Wednesday, May 16, 2012

ZIZEK: The Actuality of Ayn Rand: Journal of Ayn Rand Studies; vol 3;no. 2 (Spring 2002)

X-ray and curioushairedgal have had a running disagreement about a statement of Rand's: So if the Roark character figuring in the text corpus The Fountainhead,  Roark was to her "as man should be", one can infer that she meant what she said.  I am forced to side with x-ray in this incredibly and astonishing closure of this discourse. I am not agreeing with x-ray because she quotes Rand as "meaning what she says," but because of Zizek's intricate Lacanian analysis of the distinction between desire and drive.

If x-ray had stopped at the end of the quote, she would have secured her point. This statement about Roark comes from Nietzsche's Overman, his ubermensch. To stay in context Rand is still reading Nietzsche, (going on about 20 years now) making entries in her Journal during the planning and writing of Fountainhead.

Now to move on to Zizek!

The entire article is here.


The_ Actuality of Ayn Rand- The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
Ayn Rand'. Slavoj Zizek. Ayn Rand's fascination for male figures displaying absolute, unswayable determination of their Will, seems to offer the best ...

The properly subversive dimension of her ideological procedure is not to be underestimated. Rand fits into the line of "overconformist" authors who undermine the ruling ideological edifice by their very excessive identification with it. Her over-orthodoxy was directed at capitalism itself, as the title of one of her books (Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal; Rand 1967) tells us; according to her, the truly heretical thing today is to embrace the basic premise of capitalism without its communitarian, collectivist, welfare, etc. sugar-coating. So what Pascal and Racine were to Jansenism, what Kleist was to German nationalist militarism, what Brecht was to Communism, Rand is to American capitalism. (The Actuality of Ayn Rand;Slavoj Zizek;JARS 3,no.2;215-227.)

....We have thus Roark as the being of pure drive in no need of symbolic recognition (and as such uncannily close to the Lacanian saint - only an invisible line of separation distinguishes them), and the three ways to  compromise one's drive: Wynand, Keating, Toohey. The underlying opposition  here is that of desire and drive, as exemplified in the tense relationship between Roark and Dominique, his sexual partner. Roark displays the perfect indifference towards the Other characteristic of drive, while Dominique remains caught in the dialectic of desire, which is the desire of the Other: she is gnawed by the Other's gaze, i.e., by the fact that others, the common people totally insensitive to Roark's achievement, are allowed to stare at it and thus spoil its sublime quality.  (218)

Here in Zizek's article he takes on Rand's characterization of Dominique at the level of desire in the dialectic.

The only way for her to break out of this deadlock of the Other's desire is to destroy the sublime object in order to save it from becoming the object of the ignorant gaze of others:

You want a thing and it's precious to you. Do you know who is standing ready to tear it out of your hands? You can't know, it may be so involved and so far away, but someone is ready, and you're afraid of them all.....I never open again any great book I've read and loved. It hurts me to think of the other eyes that have read it and of what they were."(F 143-44 )

And is this not what Sasha is saying about Barthes: The Lover's Discourse:

Owning Roland Barthes

Two of my friends are currently reading Roland Barthes. One keeps hurling invectives at the page. The other, whom I see almost every day, likes to send out snippets on Twitter, professing her endless love for Barthes’ words, swearing against life itself that this book is hers, it knows her, no other writer could come close to what she tries, in vain, to say about love. This friend asks me, “You remember what he said about absence?” And I itch to rid of the conversation, of her questions, of her testimonials about how fated she and this book are. She offers, “It’s so hard to talk about, no? It’s so personal.” And I itch to rid of the conversation. I think her unworthy, I think her views unworthy, I think her identification with my words unworthy. I think anyone undeserving of this book. I think of everyone who comes to A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments as an intruder to my love affair with it, its captivation of me, my willing enslavement to it. I have known this for four and a half years, perhaps felt it for longer:A Lover’s Discourse is mine.
Doesn't this resonate with Kristen Stewart's refusal to discuss her relationship with Robert Pattinson? "They covet him," she says.  "Why would I discuss something that means the world to me with a perfect stranger?" 
These "other eyes" are the Evil Gaze at its purest, which grounds the paradox of property: if, within a social field, I am to possess an object, this possession must be socially acknowledged, which means that the big Other who vouchsafes this possession of mine must in a way possess it in advance in order to let me have it. ....this gaze of the Other that oversees me in my desiring capacity is in its very essence "castrative," threatening.

....So, for Dominique, the greatest sacrilege is to throw pearls before swine: to create a precious object and then to expose it to the Other's Evil Gaze, i.e., to let it be shared with the crowd. And she treats herself in precisely the same way: she tries to resolve the deadlock of her position as a desired object by way of willingly embracing, even searching for, the utmost humiliation _ she marries the person she most despises and tries to ruin the career of Roark, the true object of her love and admiration. .....she will become his true partner only when her desire for him will no longer be bothered by the Other's gaze _ in short, when she will accomplish the shift from desire to drive.

Shifting now to Atlas Shrugged: 

What the hystericized prime mover must accept is thus the fundamental existential indifference: she must no longer be willing to remain the hostage of the second-handers' blackmail. ("We will let you work and realize your creative potential, on condition that you accept our terms"). She must be ready to give up the very kernel of her being, that which means everything to her, and to accept the "end of the world," the (temporary) suspension of the very flow of energy that keeps the world running. In order to gain everything, she must be ready to go through the zero-point of losing everything. (And here we have Nietzsche! Emphasis mine.) And, far from signaling the "end of subjectivity," this act of assuming existential indifference is, perhaps, the veryb gesture of absolute negativity that gives birth to the subject. What Lacan calls "subjective destitution" is thus, paradoxically, another name for the subject itself, i.e., for the void beyond the theater of hysterical subjectivizations. 
     This subject beyond subjectivization is free in the most radical sense of the word.. This is why Rand's "prime movers" are not characterized primarily by their positive properties (superb intelligence, etc.); their innermost feature is their lack of the false guilt feeling, their freedom from the superego vicious cycle - when you are caught in this cycle, you are guilty whatever you do. (Z;222)


«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 248 of 248
abbeysbooks said...

Exactly. It gets worse not better. Three years ago if anyone had told me I'd be ploughing - actually it's a joy - through Hegel I would have been speechless. I have spent a lot of years in solitude, melancholy, which I have a lot of respect for, and read myself out of it. For awhile anyway. I always wanted to write but every time I would and then reread it it would seem like such garbage to me I'd go walk my dog, rescue a dog, garden, whatever.

abbeysbooks said...

Expectation. I have forgotten all that in experimental psych. It's an important part of running rats. The "expectancy hypothesis"? Now I can't remember what it was. It's behavioral of course. It's part of prediction and control. Expect takes you out of the present, the zen moment, and colors what is to come.

No I still don't want to think about it. OK now I remember some.

When you run an experiment if you don't run it double-blind then your expectancy on how you "expect" it to turn out affects the results. If you breed higher IQ rats and run them in a maze to compare against lower IQ rats, the fact that you know which are high and which are low affects the performance of the rats. All psychology experiments were run this way before the 1960's so all that data is suspect. there is a correction formula for the statistics but unless you are absorbed in a particular problem you are never going to redo the stats.

The kind of lay example of this is a teacher going into her classroom and saying to her class that he had just read an interesting article that said blue eyed people were smarter than brown eyed people. the blue eyed children in her class did unusually poorly that day. The next day when she
came in she said she had made a mistake reading the article and it wasn't
blue eyed people who were smarter, but brown eyed people. So the reverse
happened performance wise that day.

I knew of this experiment so when I went to teach at Miquon in 66-67 I
never looked at the IQ tests of my class until the end of the year. All
were around 115-120. (1 or 2 exceptions) I was astonished. the brilliance
of the children in that room all year was enough to power the world. That's
when I finally decided that the IQ tests had some merit (verbal versus
non-verbal understanding) but as a number were pretty much worthless. Then
there was that Japanese psychologist in New Jersey who began studying
specific superiorities. The leading block printing artist in Japan never
tested out of the 40's and I don't mean 140's.

I know or did know how to give them, how to read them, but that's all.
Reading Foucault on them puts them to bed for me. They came into being in
order to section children and adults that were confined: institutions,
schools, prisons etc. They did not come into being as an educational aid.

Another case of genealogy confirming what you feel but have no evidence
for. Just this uneasy feeling that nobody agrees with. Or makes you feel
stupid for having.

abbeysbooks said...

I have a way for seeing what someone is asking for when they say something. Your game/play relation was such a communication to me. The Glass Bead Game is a very serious GAME! Actually years later I came across a yoga visual perception game that I instantly knew was based on The Glass Bead Game. A stimulus that when contemplated went into layers and layers of visual reality. Imaginary spaces. I think this is what mathematicians who work on theories in topology are seeing in their minds. I don't know. Just guessing sort of.

abbeysbooks said...

When my father died I remember thinking I was relieved it wasn't my beloved dog. When my mother died I was relieved what couldn't do any more damage. Zizek has also said, "Love the world." He himself is so full of love when I listen to him. He feels so passionately about everything he talks about.

abbeysbooks said...

Yes I remember that theory in psychology now. Von Neumann something or other. I forget it all praise me to the lord!

abbeysbooks said...

Oh and his one on education Beneath the Wheel I loved so much.

Solas said...


Solas said...

I love these stories. One of my favourites, though, was the teacher who had success (the children suddenly starting shining) with a class that previous teachers had said were horrible, unable to learn, etc. At the end of the year the principal asked how she was able to get these children to learn and flourish, and the teacher was surprised that no one before was able to help children with such high IQs. The principal was not aware that the children had such high IQs and asked from where the teacher had found this. The teacher pointed to a list from the beginning of the school year, that had numbers such as 153, 165, etc next to the names of each student. The principal did not have the heart to tell her that these were their locker numbers!!! When I heard this story, I experimented with teachers I was training and told them that the children had high IQs and that the teachers had to make sure they had rich enough learning experiences for the children. EVERY time, the students learned far better, behaved far better, 'performed' far better (as that is what everyone was looking for) than previous years, beyond anyone's expectations. Even now, when discussing with teachers a specific child 'client' I make sure (no matter what the testing number was) to tell the teachers how brilliant and gifted the child, and the best way to teach the child (to me, all children have gifts, in various areas; if a child is gifted musically that can tell a teacher how to reach the child in math, language arts, etc). 

kidkennedy said...

I am not thinking here about what level of expectation we are having....I have a very present awareness about expectation when buying a car. So much so that i communicate it verbally. I tell the seller, "This is what i expect (insert all expectations about a car)"
You are talking about trades that do not turn out the way we expect them to. I am curious about acts, trades, gifts that are done without our own awareness of our own expectation. Something we do automatically or instinctually with no thought involved. Pet the dog or nurse the baby. We dont think "What satisfaction will this give me?" the way we do when we buy a car.
So when we are unaware of our expectation, then does it exist?

abbeysbooks said...

Perfect solas. We not only waste our environment but what's worse we waste the potentials of everyone. Yes, some excel in spite of all this "normalization" but what might they have done if they hadn't had to fight so hard against the tide.

curioushairedgal said...

XRay, look, he keeps his clothes in kitchen cupboards!

kidkennedy said...

When i was attending college i lived in a tiny efficiancy apartment and when the weather got warm i would store all of my sweaters and my coat in the oven.
This dude belongs in 'Shit City'. I want more.

curioushairedgal said...

LOL He was a presidential candidate on first independent elections in 1990, Slovenia, almost got elected. Man,if he did I would have studied there while he would have been in office LOL
Here's "Žižek: the documentary" made by Astra Taylor who also made this "Examined Life", the link is around here somewhere.
Mass of articles here:
"The Actuality of Ayn Rand" is in there somewhere. The first ones I read were on the Matrix and Hitchcock.

kidkennedy said...

The majority of todays youth do not know the original meaning of the word gay.
"Gay" is used as a description for "stupid", not even for homosexuallity anymore.
If you say that the party is gay, most people 30 and under will not  think that you mean the party is merry OR homosexual but that the party is not worth attending, that it's stupid.

kidkennedy said...

Cool, thanks.
So, is Zizek your inspiration for becomming politically active?

curioushairedgal said...

Cool, so it's like now 'terrific'(as in terrible) or 'horribly' is used in positive context, ' gay' has actually reached a kind of negative connotation if the original meaning of joyous, happy, carefree etc. is considered.LIke 'awesome' is not awesome at all anymore, urban dictionary defines it as a word Americans use to describe everything LOL Not just Americans I'd say.

curioushairedgal said...

I haven't defined what made me go there, it's probably a bunch of very different things and people, yourself included. I don't want to know, you know. It's very serious on a certain level, but also like a game. Many around here consider it a whim on my part, a waste of time instead of doing the academic work. So it's partly in revolt I guess. Just wait for all the campaigning updates!

kidkennedy said...

"Awesome" WAS a great word until it was misused and abused by American airheads and stoners with very limited vocabularies. Now it is meaningless. It imploded. lol
I think this word and language conversation is sick, and by sick, i mean wicked and by that i mean groovy and no, i dont mean that it has grooves in it.
But seriously, "gay" is insultive now, yes.

kidkennedy said...

Revolt you rebel! follow your muse.

kidkennedy said...

"unknown wisdom" was a poor attempt at trying to define something indescribable.
A primordial knowing (or truth) deep within us that has been covered up by ages and ages (layers and layers) of false thinking and inhibition (conditioning) that have made it silent.
This is how i characterize 'intuition'.

abbeysbooks said...

Oh what a wonderful interview on Zizek. I left 2 comments. Decca did a smart and funny interview. Oh for you son: The Little Prince. My second and thrid graders loved it. And then I led into Alyosha's speech to the boys at the end of Karamazov. They loved - boys and girls - TLP and they couldn't believe Alyosha out of that big thick adult book! Beneath the Wheel by Hesse. Important to continue to read to a child at their listening level. I am thinking of ones in English. Crow Boy is wonderful. A faux simple picture book that is very profound. By a Japanese, in English. Taro Yashima ???

Trafo said...

Janet wrote:
He [Zizek] out Hegels Hegel.

I get the impression that he wants to 'out Zizek' himself as well.   :-)

abbeysbooks said...

Yeah, nice observation. He is not espousing a theory - what a blessing. He keeps inverting everything. this is enough to make one feel mad. To dismiss him as a clown before you have tried to read his awesome scholarship is typical of Americans. He writes in such a way as NOT to impress you but to invite you to join him in thinking about something. I started at 2 am this morning and couldn't stop until 5 am.

Just think! A man who lives on my time schedule. What bliss! I need to put up a pic of him when he was young. What a sexy dish!

Trafo said...

CHG wrote:
"Why would you think that? And where are all these things coming from,
how he talks, how many showers he takes, devoid of empathy (as Rand?),
horrible about continuing beyond this 'both'. Or it
could mean...?
You really like your people in neat little boxes." (end quote)

I'm merely responding to some first impressions Zizek has made on me. It is nothing to be sorted into any box, It's not product-oriented, but process-oriented.

abbeysbooks said...

Your processing feels like you are squishing cooked vegetables through a strainer to puree them into something digestible.

curioushairedgal said...

Googled Crow Boy, yes.
There's a Serbian poet, Miroslav Antić, wrote for children in the same way the Little Prince is a book for children. They ask a lot about death lately, and now I remembered there's his Immortal Poem, I need to find the book at my parents'.
"If they tell you I died, this is what will happen:
Thousands of colorful fishes will flutter through my eye
And the earth will hide me
and the weeds will hide me
while I'll be flying high.
Remember, there are no limits
only temporary limits.
I'll be sailing above your head at dusk
in wind slick as silk (...)
Do you really think my arm,
my knee
or head
can turn into clay,
beech root or grass?
That some tiny secret
or fear
can tomorrow become
and dust?
I am really from stars, you know.
All made of light.
Nothing in me will shorten or stifle
I'll just return
at some accidental dawn
to some distant sun
my eyes golden."
This is my translation, someone was smart enough to translate the whole poem here
Why Žižek didn't bemoan his parents' death.

abbeysbooks said...

So beautiful a poem selma. Wasn't there another like this you commented somewhere? I remember it but now don't know where it is. We need to put them altogether.

Trafo said...

Janet wrote:
"Oh and his one on education Beneath the Wheel I loved so much."

That's another one by Hesse which my husband too liked very much.

Trafo said...

No. Rand was a post modernist in her thinking. She just didn't know it. By default.

I don't get this impression at all about Rand being postmodernist.
Her thinking is very much in black and white, and how the fantasy in AS ends, with the "good guys" winning in the end - this too is very much in black and white, and her "we are going back to the world" phrase has a touch of childlike naivete about it. She almost sounds there like the child kind she one was and who never stopped loving Cyrus, the brave hero of the adventure stories she enjoyed so much.

abbeysbooks said...

Your husband? That's like old women saying, "I can't use a computer, but my grandchildren can>"

For all by the name of what's holy, read it. Read Ivan Illich, Kozol, and there's a great new article by foucault. I need to get my review of Paper Clips up. Waldorf Schools?

Trafo said...

Your processing feels like you are squishing cooked vegetables through a strainer to puree them into something digestible.
When I wrote process-oriented, I didn't have the image in mind of me processing something, instead I had in mind me being 'in the process' of getting acquainted with Zizek's writings, words, personality, etc.
I have the feeling that this is going to have some kind of trigger effect on my thinking; it makes me curious what kind of effect it will be.
These are the "gifts" I have often gotten from discussion opponents: New doors open for me. That's why I like exchanges and debates with people who don't sing from the same hymn sheet.

As for Zizek, I get the impression of a tornado-like type. Where to start with such a philosopher is quite a challenge.
I think I'll start where I can relate, for example with what he said about about Hitchcock films, as I'm quite a fan of Hitchcock.

Trafo said...

Janet wrote:
"Your husband? That's like old women saying, "I can't use a computer, but my grandchildren can>"
(end quote)

My husband is a good deal more spiritually inclined than I am. He is much further advanced in that field.

As fo me, I don't feel inclined to read any Hesse, at least not in the near future.
And don't get me started on the terrible Rudolf Steiner, who was, what few people seem to be aware of, a racist.

abbeysbooks said...

Well racism he may espouse. But Foucault talks about racism in a broader sense to include the old, the disabled, all those who are confined within certain spaces without knowing they live in confinement.

I haven't read very much of Steiner, but I do like the Waldorf curriculum as I have read it in a Waldorf teacher's book. The Waldorf people I have met I have not been overly impressed with, but I have felt their spirituality. Perhaps that's the wrong word. They are sensitive to certain nuances "regular" people don't seem to know exist. But I have found them in la la land when dealing with ordinary reality. Like "jumping" your car with clips when you have let the battery go dead.

Trafo said...

I am curious about acts, trades, gifts that are done without our own awareness of our own expectation. Something we do automatically or instinctually with no thought involved. Pet the dog or nurse the baby. We dont think "What satisfaction will this give me?" the way we do when we buy a car.
So when we are unaware of our expectation, then does it exist?
I think it does exist but not as consciously forumulated thought. It's more something that is bilogically hardwired in us. When for example children l children see a pet e. g. a Puppy dog, pupy guniea pig, they have the instinctive impulse impulse to gently touch and stroke it.

abbeysbooks said...

These acts, gifts, trades etc are a thorny philosophical issue. Nietzsche in the beginning of Genealogy says that man was first a calculating man, a man who traded, an economic man. He is disgusted by "this man" who is an exchanger. So here we can read Rand reading Nietzsche, memorizing him by heart, not quite aware of this implication - she is only a schoolgirl of 16 - but later we will see in her novels, especially Atlas, that she glorifies this "exchanger man" who produces wealth instead of just consuming it. We can read her as a "negatively suggestible" personality if we want to go into psychology, as she swims against the current current of her environment - Russia, the US - and she, of course, must go toe to toe and head to head with her mentor Nietzsche. She must "best" him. Alas even Heidegger felt he couldn't. At the end of his life he said, "Nietzsche ruined me." Babich reads that statement differently and her reading is convincing.

Just as I read Jesus's final words, "Oh my God why hast thou forsaken me" not as a statement of despair. I have forgotten exactly which psalm begins this way - the 24th, 25, 26, - somewhere around there - which a Bible student pointed out to me. It was to give courage to his watching disciples NOT to despair, to go on, to believe. and then we have Job.

More Zizek last night. On the self. The self as non-existent, as socially constructed then frozen. I see the statement as akin to The Inscription of the Body (NIetzsche, Foucault, Baudrillard, Butler, Malabou) but the IOTB
takes in the mind also, and is not the mind where we conceive of self?

Eric Packer loses his clothes all day. The well-known chapter in William
James History of Psychology on the self is a very long involved
dissertation of the construction of the self. Clothes being a very
important part.

Unfortunately or fortunately now that I have stopped tearing my fingernails
off over that self thread, I have been able to think about it more in a
contemplative way. And then of course, that part in Zizek's Hegel popped up
as I opened the book at random, which is the way I am reading it for now.
There is much in it that resonates with you, so I am marking the pages
(already it is a mess) with your name to cite them for you. Right now
Amazon whips it new, free shipping. It will never get cheaper unless
someone spills something on it and decides to sell it cheap. I've seen it
happen and it can be a long wait for that perfect opportunity.

abbeysbooks said...

An interesting blog post on genealogy in Agamden:

Trafo said...

KK wrote:

"A primordial knowing (or truth) deep within us that has been covered up by ages and ages (layers and layers) of false thinking and inhibition (conditioning) that have made it silent.
This is how i characterize 'intuition'." (end quote)

I see intuition as the ability to process and adequately interpret perceptual data even if one is unable to consciously analyze why one feels that way about a person or issue. Hence the term "gut feeling".
Intuition probably has a lot to do with mirror neuron reaction.

Trafo said...

CHG wrote:
"What does my speaking from the personal experience with the version of communism I had imply? " (end quote)
For example, it gives your statements eyewitness quality from someone who has "been there".

CHG wrote.
"Obviously, the challenges to a comprehensive model of postmodernism are
daunting." (end quote)

It is probably futile trying to work out a comprehensive model of postmodernism.

CHG wrote.
"Do we need such a model? Do we still need the word?" (end quote)

Interesting questions. All those labels can only be approximations (the German term is "Annäherungswerte") anyway.
On the other hand, what would we do without those labels?

So if we treat labels while being aware of their only limited use, there is room for flexibility.

kidkennedy said...

We are the known and the unknown having a conversation.
You seem to me to be measuring everything by what you know, what you have experienced/learned because that is logical, right?
I prefer for measure or evaluate on what i dont know, have not experienced/learned and may never know. This, to me, is more logical.

curioushairedgal said...

You are stating the obvious.
Yes, eyewitnessing is that 'one's been there' but it doesn't actually MEAN anything. Beeing there doesn't mean knowing.

Other two quotes u used are not me, but Hassan. I don't know what would we do with the labels, you seem to be the one having it all (the pomo) grasped ie. labeled.
The point is exactly that, there's the word, the label of postmodernism and there's everything that is not encompassed by the word which also needs to be known or considered if one is, as you say, to be flexible.
Do you remember what was the point of this conversation, how it begun? Cause i don't.

abbeysbooks said...

The Freudian interpretation would be the unconscious. Malabou is suggesting something different in her neural cognitive work on the plasticity of the brain. You would like her. I have just looked at her briefly since I keep tripping over her name all the time.

Zizek has much to say about the "self" which would interest you. Pages 716 - 18 is one place I found his sort of genealogy of it. You need to own this book.

abbeysbooks said...

The point is that there isn't any comprehensive model of post modernism. It's much more of an intellectual Event that is spiraling outward into the ether. Even Zizek in his Hegel argues against it (see x-ray why you will want Hegel in bed with you at night!)and seems to me to miss it. Of course Zizek is going up against Foucault, Baudrillard, etc without going up against them, but by making Hegel and Lacan more radical than they are.

Badurillard is the consummate outsider though. Hard to get him in any net.

abbeysbooks said...

Deja vu is described as an out of synch moment between the two halves of the brain.

Trafo said...

CHG wrote:
"Yes, eyewitnessing is that 'one's been there' but it doesn't actually MEAN anything. Beeing there doesn't mean knowing." (end quote)

But aren't you devaluing personal experience by stating that being there doesn't MEAN anything?
Hasn't your first-hand experience of life under a communist regime had a profound influence on your life?

CHG wrote:
"Other two quotes u used are not me, but Hassan." (end quote)
Sorry about my sloppiness. I overlooked that you had clearly marked
them as quotes from Hassan.

"I don't know what would we do with the labels, you seem to be the one having it all (the pomo) grasped ie. labeled."
(end quote)

But we can't close our eyes to the fact that labels are being used in this discussion, like e. g. Rand being called by Janet a "postmodernist in her thinking".

curioushairedgal said...

No, I'm not devaluing. Beeing there doesn't mean knowing. Yes, growing up under the communism has affected my life. But beeing there doesn't mean I understand it. Many who have been there as I was still can't tell the difference b/w communism and socialism. Now I'm feeling that I'm stating the obvious. Shouldn't this be obvious?

There was a subject we had in school, marxism. Beeing there doesn't mean I took anything from the classes.Which I did. Beeing there for other people doesn't mean that they took from the classes what I did. Beeing there doesn't mean they understood it as I did. Now we may argue over our understandings of marxism or whatever, and they tell me, well, that's the way you see it, this is the way we see it. If I was interested only in the way I saw it, then I would have still believed what they taught us in class.

It's much easier to be interested in how you understand things, have them defined and not face the figurative pain of realizing that the thing defined contains the multitude of the undefined which is crucial to the understanding of the thing defined as well. Yes, there's a chemical reaction behind petting a dog. It's all chemistry. But what then? Does the fact of chemical background make me pet the dog better? Or worse? Or do I enjoy it more if I know of chemical background? Will it make me feel more of an animal lover? How will the dog feel? If I pet the dog does that mean I like dogs? Or am I just being polite, or frightened but too ashamed to admit it?....Chemical reaction doesn't answer a multitude of these questions that also define petting a dog.

And to your last sentence.
But no one is closing their eyes. What YOU read when you read 'Rand is postmodernist in her thinking' is not what Janet is saying. YOU read it as Janet using labels and it's not. YOU go out of your way to ascribe the hidden meaning to Janet, then to psychologize to 'reveal' the intention behind it, when it's YOU, just YOU who is ascribing meaning to everything. Again, I refer you to that palympsest reply re posmodernism. And Barthes's the author is dead. And Maigritte's painting of a pipe which is not a pipe. And Žižek above all who wrote over 1000 of pages on twisting and turning and falling through layers and writing down all of this which is undefined, unable to be encompassed by language, but very defining.

Be flexible. What you're reading is only what YOU believe you're understanding. It's not necessarily what the thing IS. So everything that you're not understanding, not getting because you're believing a thing defined, settled, emboxed in the meaning you ascribe to it, is as crucial for the understanding and needs to be taken into account. Which is a major change in a way of thinking. Janet said it above, spiraling.

abbeysbooks said...

Well if it has then I want some.

Daisy Duke said...

Not always, but often Capitalism necessarily exploits human labor to provide a good or service. The humans are expendable and can be replaced if they don't produce in the required way. Is not altruistic. There is certainly an exploitation of human labor historically as practiced by Capitalists in the USA.

John Gregor said...

I have read it as well as most of Herman Hesse, along with the Vedas and Upanishads.

«Oldest ‹Older   201 – 248 of 248   Newer› Newest»