Forever Under Construction

Old, New and Violence

Posted in Society by homeyra on July 23, 2009

“[…] This is the dialectic of the OLD and the NEW.
It is those who propose almost every week new terms to grasp what is going on today, post modern society, risk society, post- industrial society, informational society, … they, I think, miss what is really new.

The only way to grasp what is New in the new is to analyze what is going on today through the lenses of what was eternal in the old […]”

Source, mn1.42

Here is an excerpt from a review of Žižek’s book: Violence:

“[…] Žižek’s aim is to look at violence in a different way. Usually, it is linked to a perpetrator, a murderer, terrorist, rioter. Žižek calls this subjective violence, because we can identify the subject. But there are two other kinds of violence that are often hidden because no-one can readily be held responsible for it.

The first is systemic violence and, today, the quintessential example is capitalist speculation. This self-gendering monster that pursues its path disregarding any human or environmental concern is only fed by traders and financiers in the city. And the system itself also generates the solution to the problem of its violence: The same philanthropists who give millions for AIDS or education in tolerance have ruined the lives of thousands through financial speculation and thus created the conditions for the rise of the very intolerance that is being fought. Thus liberals, who frequently feel the lash of Žižek’ pen, don’t know whether to condemn or admire a Bill Gates or George Soros. It’s a trap.

The second type of hidden violence is symbolic. It is implicit in language. For example, when Muslims reacted so violently to the publication of the caricatures of Muhammad in Denmark, it was not because they had seen the cartoons, but because the cartoons became a focus for the humiliations and frustrations that are identified with Western violence. This condensation, it needs to be borne in mind, is a basic fact of language, of constructing and imposing a certain symbolic field, Žižek explains. Just to speak is to do a violence; again, a trap. […]”

2 Responses

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  1. luis said, on August 11, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Interesting blog. Please take a look at my blog when you get a chance @ http://amte.wordpress.com If you’re interested, we should link to each other.

  2. homeyra said, on August 12, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Hi Luis, thanks I will.
    I am a little disheartened about blogging at the moment. Not sure if I’ll continue here.


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