The point is not just to understand Empire but to destroy it. At least for a time, the walls of the State were under siege by critique, which mustered an army of reason targeting sovereignty’s mythical foundations. But rationality became a tool of governance as the State found ways to capture reason for its own purposes. The Spectacle packages every product through cynicism, and critique has become just another means to spread detachment and fatalist alienation. Yet even if Empire’s pervasive use of cynical reason does not completely damn the future of critique, it does serve as a cautionary tale for those engaged in the politics of truth and warns of the declining efficiency of forces backed by critique alone. It is then the destructive power of critique that should be recovered, its critical function, as it realizes a particular type of force – the force of conflict. Continue reading “Part 3 – Conflict”
So, while Žižek is arguing – quite correctly – that Lenin refuses the revisionist tendency to await for the ‘objective conditions’ to develop to a sufficient degree, that the ‘stages’ of social development unfold, that it is only with the say-so of these conditions, stages, laws that the process of revolution is justified; nevertheless, his challenge to opportunism (to use of good Leninist epithet) that revolution cannot rest upon the big Other, does not amount – as Žižek suggests – to the statement that the revolution must rest on nothing other than itself, the ‘abyss of the act’, to legitimate itself. Is this not effectively to substitute an ethics of the revolutionary event for a politics? By this move Žižek takes one step forward and two steps back.
Let us return in conclusion to Negri then Continue reading “Repeating Lenin is not Returning to Lenin”