Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 18

This article was downloaded by: [178.148.6.

48]
On: 16 December 2014, At: 07:46
Publisher: Routledge
Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered
office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

Culture, Theory and Critique


Publication details, including instructions for authors and
subscription information:
http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rctc20

Event and Ideology


Andrew Stein
Published online: 13 Sep 2012.

To cite this article: Andrew Stein (2012) Event and Ideology, Culture, Theory and Critique, 53:3,
287-303, DOI: 10.1080/14735784.2012.721627
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14735784.2012.721627

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE


Taylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the
Content) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis,
our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as to
the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions
and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,
and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Content
should not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sources
of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims,
proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or
howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising
out of the use of the Content.
This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any
substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,
systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &
Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/termsand-conditions

Culture, Theory and Critique, 2012, 53(3), 287 303

Event and Ideology


Andrew Stein

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

Abstract This paper explores how Zizek uses the concepts of ideology and event
to explain what the revolutionary desires and how the revolutionary might
prepare for a revolutionary cut within Capitalism based on a Lacanian-Hegelian
discourse.

In this article, I explore how Zizek breathes new life into an old dialogue
between psychoanalysis and radical politics. Figures in this tradition have
included the idiosyncratic Wilhelm Reich, classical Freudians such as Otto
Fenichel, Marxist neo-Freudians like Erich Fromm, Frankfurt School figures
such as Herbert Marcuse, the French structuralist and Marxist Louis Althusser,
and more recently Alain Badiou and others. Zizek, of course, fits within this
lineage; although in the past he was more associated with Badiou and
J.-A. Miller. His particular expertise lies in Hegelian philosophy and Lacanian
psychoanalysis. His politics, though on the Left, remains idiosyncratic, and he
is difficult to place in any traditional political position. He is a radical whose
radicalism is not steeped in a particular utopian ideology, but in a HegelianLacanian discourse. An avowed Communist, he is an enemy of postmodern
and liberal cultural politics, which he finds complicit with the ideology of
global Capitalism, and he also is an enemy of the new East European Communists who have embraced ultra-nationalism. Although having a worldwide
following, Zizek has often been dismissed in academia as a showman
lacking substance. I suggest why this is not the case. After an initial section
exploring the link between Lacanian psychoanalysis and radical politics, I
izeks concepts of ideology and event. I discuss how ideology has a
examine Z
perverse structure for Zizek and why that structure maintains the consumer
within a deadlocked dialectic that is only overcome by the formation of revolutionary desire during an event.

Look at them enjoy


izek borrowed Lacans question what is the desire of the
I suggest that Z
analyst? and applied it to radical politics; in this way he arrived at the question of the desire of the revolutionary. His attempt to answer this question runs
throughout his entire oeuvre and boils down to a very Lacanian paradox: What
Culture, Theory and Critique
ISSN 1473-5784 Print/ISSN 1473-5776 online # 2012 Taylor & Francis
http://www.tandfonline.com
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14735784.2012.721627

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

288

Andrew Stein

does the revolutionary desire? She desires to give to the world a signifier of
universal social justice. But this signifier of universal social justice is only a
possible reality that, like all possible past and future realities, has a symbolic fictional structure. It, therefore, is not equivalent to objective reality. Nevertheless, the revolutionary works to bring such a universal fictional structure
into the world even though she does not know where, when, and for how
long it may next appear. To prepare for its next appearance, however, is the
thing she desires more than life; it is her ethics and being.
Although this is a Lacanian position, Lacan actually said very little about
the desire of the revolutionary (Lacan 1990: 11728; Turkle 1990: 8; Roudinesco
1990: 34142). What he did say about the desire of the May 68ers, however,
izek would later say to the Occupy Wall
closely foreshadowed things Z
Street protesters in 2011. In essence, while Lacan sympathised with the
student and worker revolts against the institutions of power, work, and bourgeois morality, he also saw another side one that turned revolt into an
unconscious affirmation of the Others desire.
While rebelling against authority at the conscious level, Lacan suggested,
the protesters unconsciously turned their revolt against authority on its head,
so that it became a desire to go on affirming the Others desire. In this respect,
the insistence by the May 68ers on self-actualisation and enjoyment, in fact,
was a narcissistic and voyeuristic display, offered for the enjoyment of a symbolic-imaginary Other who perversely directed them not to work, but to
enjoy themselves in the act of transgressing the Law.
Thus, when the May 68ers proclaimed that the beach lay beneath the pavement, they often did so at the behest of a new symbolic Other (Capitalism)
which turned the object of the Other into an object of perverse jouissance
rather than an object of repression. The self-actualising playfulness of the
May 68ers, therefore, did more than just break with the old Law; it also was a
collective affirmation of the new face of the Law. Therefore, protesters who
believed that they were transgressing the Law in any sort of straightforward
way were fooling themselves. In fact, Lacan had shown that only psychotics
successfully disavow the Others symbolic function by foreclosing the symbolic
dimensions of reality, whereas the neurotic and the pervert each make the Faustian bargain by accepting the Others symbolic role (Lacan 1993: 32). Students
were presumably not all psychotics but they were people whose subject position in the social symbolic chain of meanings was being (or already had been)
radically rewritten, where the dilemma faced by the protesters was that their
revolt against inauthenticity was structurally compatible with an unconscious
desire to meet the new demands of the Other to produce (here by enjoying)
surplus enjoyment (plus-de jouir) for the Other. This was the pound of
flesh that the Other still demanded. Thus, Lacan saw the protestors as subjects
standing at a crossroads, unaware of the stakes involved in deciding to go in one
direction or another. And it was to convey some of the gravitas of the
moment that Lacan said of the May 68ers: Look at them enjoy! and, on
another occasion, Lacan said the aspirations to revolution has but one conceivable issue, always, the discourse of the master. That is what experience has
proved. What you, as revolutionaries, aspire to is a Master. You will have
one (Lacan 1990: 111, 124, 126).

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

Event and Ideology

289

In a manner of speaking, Lacan gave back to the protesters their own


message in an inverted form when he asked whether the protests would
descend into narcissistic enjoyment carried on beneath the gaze of the Other
or give rise to a new desire for an Other whose cuts and holes would not be
veiled by an idealisation. The protesters call for a holistic society beyond
repression, warned Lacan, did not prefigure a new naturalism. Rather, it
marked an ideological repositioning of the subject in the field of the Other
a point Zizek would later highlight by saying that the perverse structure
does not rely on repression to guard the subject against abjection. Instead it
safeguards against lack (which might carry the subject beyond the pleasure
principle) by veiling it behind an idealisation acceptable to the ego which
in the case of the protesters took the form of an ideal fantasy of a desublimation capable of suspending alienation and guilt.
Lacan had been discussing a transformation in the fantasy of the Other
since the 1950s. He had shown in numerous ways that modernity is marked
by the fantasy that the place of master in the master discourses is occupied
by dupes whose authority rests on the connivance and opposition of a series
of hysteric, perverse, and obsessive characters (Lacan 2007). Moreover,
Lacan had discussed how a socially disruptive desire in this case the
desire of the fictional house of Labdacus can alter the subjects relation to
the Other when an ethical subject appears on the scene willingly to sacrifice
her happiness and her life to her desire (in a sense, to take the fantasy of the
masters desire seriously again). But Lacan also showed how Antigones act
lures the perverse gaze of the audience (I am referring to the gaze being
drawn to the purity and dazzling beauty of her act while veiling the obscenity
of a girl hanging from a rope with a broken neck). Similarly, Lacan warned the
protesters against falling in love with the beautiful image of happiness beyond
izek will later
guilt, so near to the American disease Freud condemned; and Z
warn against a subjective attitude at work whenever Capitalism draws
peoples gaze away from its obscenities to an ideal imaginary happiness:
One should simply not be dazzled by the beauty of the machinery of Capitalism. Consequently, when Zizek states that the revolutionarys desire lies
beyond the pleasure principle of perversion, he is adding his voice to a
tradition reaching back to Freud and Lacan.

The Lacanian field and revolutionary desire


Just as Claude Levi-Strauss wrote that one comes upon a myth at the point
where there is the effect of an irresolvable social conflict from the past that
still divides and binds a society, Lacan believed that one comes upon a linguistic displacement (metonym) or condensation (metaphor), a place of repression,
a gap, etc. at a point of a trauma or irresolvable psychic conflict. The psychoanalyst pays special attention to these linguistic and imaginary slips, mistakes,
gafs and gaps that regularly befuddle and stymie the ego. It is only by being a
dupe, said Lacan, that a subject can know something of its own unconscious
desire. In other words, it is only by following the ways that the unconscious
subject dupes the ego (the ego which asks itself is this it? is this how it is?
is this what the Other desires?) that the subject reaches its own desire,
starts accepting a lack exists in the Other, and the law of castration that it

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

290

Andrew Stein

implies. Consequently, it is through the gaps that the subject eventually is confronted with the primary signifier, and the subject is, for the first time, in a
position to subject himself to it (Lacan 1977: loc. 4792 94).
But how a Lacanian passes from the field of desire to the field of politics
may seem baffling. For the political consequences of psychoanalysis are ones
that are not normally considered to be part of the classical realm of politics (yet
many analysts combine revolutionary desire with their analytic desire). A
Lacanian politics begins with helping analysands read the signifiers emerging
in their speech and dreams; doing so already places analysis beyond the conventional structures of modern science and Capitalism, which convert human
relations into commodity relations and forms of university discourse. Beyond
this, Lacan said that psychoanalysis safeguards the subject against its own
desire to sacrifice itself to the dark god of fascism (Lacan 1977) and other
paranoid desires that destroy the subjects ability to distinguish between signifiers (that is, to read desire).
Being a Lacanian and a revolutionary therefore only poses a problem for
those who see clinical work as the alpha and omega of psychoanalysis. Lacan
himself said as much in Television to Jacques Alain-Miller (Lacan 1990), so there
is no reason one cant derive both an analytic practice and a theory of revolutionary desire from his teachings, provided they do not confuse the one and
the other. Lacanian politics even extends into the most remote areas of Lacanian knots theory. Consider, for example, the uses of the Lacanian sinthome.
Sinthome is a neologism condensing the symptom with the name of Saint
Thomas Aquinas. The sinthome hooks or rings a broken Borromean knot,
holding the three rings together and keeping the subject (symptom) from
coming apart. By analogy, sinthomes hold the rings of the Borromean knot
together like Saint Thomas held Christian and Pagan thought together. But
there is a vital difference. Thomas could link Aristotle and Christianity
because both exist sub species aeternitas in Gods Absolute gaze: because God
knows how it all fits together. The sinthome, on the other hand, holds the individual subject (symptom) together in full knowledge that the gaze of the Other
no longer is Absolute; that it is full of holes. A sinthome then operates within a
structure where the Other lacks, where the Others gaze does not see and
know all, and where the Absolute exists only as a fantasy in the imaginary
register.

How ideology supports the desire of the Other and thwarts the desire
of the revolutionary
Fast forward to Zizeks speech on October 9, 2011 during an Occupy Wall
Street rally where he sounded a very Lacanian note by saying to the protesters
that he supported them but they should not love themselves too much that
is, that they should not get carried away by their imaginary, narcissistic fantasies of speaking truth to power and transgressing the Law, because to do so
would be to betray the revolutionary moment by turning their rebellion
against the egoism and greed of Wall Street and the financial institutions
back onto themselves. Do not, he implied, simply give the message of the
Other back to it in an inverted form. Instead, find your own desires and

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

Event and Ideology

291

build new communal institutions that sustain them against the desire of the
Other of global consumer Capitalism.
What lies behind this warning is Zizeks concern that a perverse ideology
shapes these fantasies. This perverse ideology relies on a series of obscene contradictions, gaps, lapses, holes, and distortions of jouissance veiled by an
idealisation so that the subject is asked to assume with enjoyment the very
izek 2005: 206). In fact, for Zizek ideolinjustice of which they are horrified (Z
ogy resembles Kafkas lower and higher courts in The Trial, which are also
riddled by real and metaphorical holes, self-contradictions, and abject
objects. In both cases, desires circulate around abject objects that are
papered over by pompous, irrational, and often comically distorted,
obscene representatives of the superego Law, which can destroy anyone
unlucky enough to get caught in its web. The whole apparatus is deadly
despite its rather shoddy slapped-together appearance. Consequently, the perverse structure of ideology incites anxiety in people: for both the pervert and
ideology, anxiety is a necessary effect of the production of obscene superego
fantasies, barely veiled behind idealised objects, of the perverse structure.
Nothing works without it.
Ideology has the quality of being like the air we breathe. We both know
about it and take it for granted (dont think about it much). As such, it is
like a social phantasm that contains the logic of our relation to the Other
and the object a (the source of anxiety). The semblant par excellence of this
dialectic structure in the Western imagination is the Jew who, in the mind of
the anti-Semite, possesses this double structure of being an idealised and
abject other. For the Jew seems to have escaped castration and to have
access to some unfathomable je ne sais quoi, to forbidden enjoyments that
makes them not quite human (aliens in the precise sense this term
acquired in the science-fiction films of the 1950s) for the anti-Semite (Zizek
2005: 236). Because the Jew occupies the logical place of the object cause of
desire, the Jew appears to the anti-Semites gaze as a stain disturbing their
fantasm of an imaginary whole, harmonious world. The anti-Semite, therefore,
resents the Jew for having access to secret jouissance that the anti-Semite wants
for himself. As a result, the anti-Semite creates fantasies in which the Jew is
eliminated and the world is no longer uncanny, which the anti-Semite
blames on the proximity of the Jew. By erasing the stain caused by the Jew
(qua place holder of an enjoyment that is denied to the anti-Semite), the antiSemite also tries to satisfy its own Other and thereby gain access to a bit of
the secret treasure, the surplus jouissance, that the Jew is believed to possess.
Logically, however, the hatred of the Jew or any other group which
occupies this place in the matheme of the fantasm ($ , .a) is not limited
to the actual properties of the Jew but targets its real kernel, objet a, what
izek 2005: 236). What the anti-Semite ultiis in the object more than itself (Z
mately longs for and hates is not the empirical Jew, but an empty place of inaccessible surplus jouissance (death) that the Jew represents in the anti-Semites
fantasy. That is, the anti-Semite does not react to the real Jew. He reacts to his
own fantasms. Central to these fantasms is the subjects fascination with abjection (represented by the Jew). None of this makes much sense, however, unless
people see that ideology and here Zizek stretches the idea to include antiSemitism structurally depends on this dialectic combination of an ideal

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

292

Andrew Stein

and abject object and that it works best when it puts people as close to the
object a as possible. The reverse side of the Others demand to enjoy, therefore, is anxiety about jouissance, both a performance anxiety am I enjoying
enough? and an anxiety that the other is enjoying more. Such anxiety breeds
addiction and depression, as the subject increasingly wants more and increasingly resents other people as well. But it also generates a fear of getting too
near the real.
This same fantasm, based on combining an ideal and abject (anxietyprovoking) object, also exists in the relation between the Law and crime. For
the Law, Zizek argues, does not squelch crime so much as it allows people
to satisfy partial drives (crimes and transgressions) in ways that have the sanction of the symbolic order. The Law, in other words, succeeds best when it
looks away and permits subjects not homo sacers to enjoy what is officially
unlawful. For Zizek, the beauty of Kafka lies in the way that his stories reveal
this obscene, superegoic side of the Law lurking behind the made in
izek writes, so
Germany stamp of approval. Kafka lets the screen drop, Z
that his readers see the fantasm working. That is, they are shown the Law
operating as an obscene object of desire (much as Freud did when he con izeks words, where
structed the myth of the primal father). Literally, in Z
God is too present, under the shape of course, which is not at all comforting
of obscene, disgusting phenomena (2005: 138). This materialisation of God
this image that brings God down to the level of the obscene object cause of
desire (A .a), may be the necessary step in the transformation from a Christian world, such as we had for two thousand years, into a more thoroughly
Capitalist one compatible with the fetish and with the perversion of finance,
as is seen, for example, in Capitalisms idealisation of individual greed and
acquisitiveness.
Similarly, Zizek depicts the historic-figure Bligh, the captain of the Bounty,
as a character who does not know how the Law functions: Bligh, who occupies
the place of Law, metes out the Law as if it is a Kantian universal that must be
applied, without exception, to everyone in the same way (2005: 23134, 269
70). Bligh is so fair and upright that he runs afoul of all the unofficial rules that
allow more senior sailors to abuse their juniors, etc., and as such he earns the
universal hatred of everyone on board and is twice mutinied once aboard
the Bounty and again in the colonies. He thus repeats Joseph K.s mistake in
The Trial: standing before the court he cannot see that people cant disentangle
the Law from its obscene, erotic, farcical, and mean other side. In Zizeks
words (discussing Orson Wells film The Trial): The error of Joseph
K. consists in overlooking the solidarity between this obscene perturbation
and the court. He thinks that everybody would be anxious to have order
restored and the offending couple at least ejected from the meeting, but
when he tries to rush across the room the crowd obstructs him, someone
seizes him from behind by the collar (Zizek 2005: 258). Thus, neither Joseph
K. nor Bligh understands that what matters is not that the Law is followed
to the letter, but that it fails in a regulated way because it is only through
failing that the Law affirms the exception (the ideal-abject object a) that
izek 2010: loc. 653, loc. 1897). In other words,
defines the limits of legality (Z
they cannot understand that, in the perverse fantasm, eroticism and anxiety

Event and Ideology

293

function as the glue that binds people to each other and that the Law demands
a pound of flesh from the subject for society to function.

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

Structural deadlock and the ideological function


Ideology (without people noticing it) binds people to what Lacan called a
forced choice your money or your life. The point of such a choice, in part,
is its speciousness: the terms present no choice at all since the subject must
either acquiesce to the muggers demand or lose his life. But, if he accepts
the muggers demand he also loses the money he needs to live. This sort of
choice does not follow classical logic, which proposes that if A is true than
not-A is false. Instead, it follows a logic where A and not-A are both true at
the same time, as also can be true for an identification. Thus, a subject is free
to choose. But that choice is not free.
Capitalism, writes Zizek, offers people a similar unfree choice. Subjects
are presented with an excess of choice. A person can make a purchase after
comparing cars; he can even buy the same car in a variety of different colors
and so on; he can select from shelves of sodas, each one of which comes in
its own flavors just so long as he does not opt out of the system and so
long as his desire does not become too revolutionary; freedom to choose,
then, is freedom managed by an Other. According to Zizek, this is how Capitalism imposes its own forced choice on people and keeps them stuck in a deadlock where Capitalism remains the impassable limit to everything.
There are other forced choices too. Zizek also believes that a forced choice
logic lies behind Liberalisms appeal to free choice, be it freedom of the press,
freedom to choose your own beliefs, etc. According to this definition, freedom
to choose remains purely formal in Liberal society. Multiculturalism and other
forms of postmodernism also rely on logics of forced choices: people can be as
different as they like, provided that they are not free to opt out. Therein rests
the forced choice for Zizek.
All these forced choices are effects of the alienating structure of language
which, Lacan said, occurs each time the subject appears in the field of the
Other as a signifier (in what Freud had called subjects discontent within civilisation). The most basic structures of language necessitates that the subject
pulses between states of meaning (when it appears through a signifier that
represents it to other signifiers) and aphanisis (or fading). Alienation, said
Lacan, consists in this vel, which . . . condemns the subject to appearing in
that division which, it seems to me, if it appears on one side meaning, produced by signifiers, it appears on the other as aphanisis (the fading of the
subject) (Lacan 1977: loc. 36664944). This is the most basic structure supporting the barred or divided subject. But Capitalism is alienating in another sense:
on the level of ideology. Ideology, like any symptom, represents a second order
type alienation that presupposes the alienation of the subject in language, but
goes beyond it.
This means that while the subject must pass through the vel of alienation,
it need not accept the terms offered by Capitalism. Capitalism, as ideology,
shares the characteristics of a Freudian screen memory. It is a simplification
we accept so that we do not have to face the real trauma of the barred and

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

294

Andrew Stein

divided nature of the subject and the Other. In this sense, Capitalism is a bluff
that the subject can refuse.
Another way to imagine this problem is to say that Capitalism diverts the
subjects gaze onto a fantasy of a perverse broken master (the Other); this
Other requires the Capitalist to make it whole again by fulfilling their
natures as greedy acquisitive individuals. But this other version of the
Tikun olam (repairing the world) is nothing but a perverse imaginary fantasy
the subject posits to justify its own desires and whose main purpose is to
screen lack so we can act as if the place of the master (the One) in our
fantasy is occupied now by a totality of the greedy and acquisitive individuals
competing to satisfy their desires.
According to Jean-Michel Vappereau, in one of his final (still unpublished) seminars Lacan discussed how modern children learn to separate the
One and the many by observing their parents. Lacan thought, according to
Vappereau, that this posed a real paradox for children who wonder: who is
this being the parental couple, are they one or two? At times the parental
couple appears as one to the child, as what Lacan referred to (alluding to Aristophanes) as a double-backed being. At other times, the being separated into
two, especially during moments of passion (love making) and violence
(arguing). Eventually, Lacan taught according to Vappereau that the child
learns to decern a relation between One and the many which often is symptomatic leading the subject to react to truama by repositing a fictional (lost)
totality.
In these teachings by Lacan, the mystery of the One and the many begins
in violence and passion just like the image of a mugging in the example of
the forced choice. Both examples suggest the importance fantasms of violence,
terror, and being in a state of emergency (as well as enjoyment) play in the
history of the subject. This intimate connection between security, a state of
emergency, forced choices, lost jouissance, and global Consumer Capitalism
was recently explained to us by George W. Bush, when he told Americans
after 9/11 that it is their patriotic duty to go on consuming: to do otherwise,
he said, would be to concede defeat to the terrorists. The overt message
(go on enjoying like before while your government engages Terror for you),
however, hid a more truthful one. Namely, the terrorists are our benefactors
because consumerism works best when it is combined to an obscene state of
emergency. The real message was: make Terror work for Capitalism.
A related perverse fantasm, Zizek writes, appears when communities partition people into groups of whole and not-whole people. This notion that the
world can be partitioned into whole and partial beings broadens the class
concept found in classical Marxism into a vision of society riven by multiple,
competing apartheid communities in which each community maintains a safe
distance between whole and partial damaged others. The underlying injunction of liberal tolerance is (not) monocultural Be like us! Become British!
On the contrary, . . . the injunction is one of cultural apartheid: others should
izek 2010:
not come too close to us, we should protect our way of life (Z

loc. 122325). The State of Israel is one example Zizek often cites about a
society that has adopted this apartheid logic in its policies towards the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza, not only by erecting the Wall but also by

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

Event and Ideology

295

placing an untold number of rules and regulations between themselves and


their Palestinian neighbors.
The fantasm operating here is not that the ideal object can veil obscenity
but it is a related fantasm that dirty, obscene, abjection can be isolated and
quarantined in the other. Sometimes this logic of separation becomes explicit
(as in the Palestinian case). At other times, the logic of separation operates
izek alludes to this later
without its reasons being made explicit anymore. Z
situation whenever he referred to Levi-Strauss discussion in Tristes Tropiques
of a village where a gap separated the villagers into two groups. Each group
had a different mental map of how the village was laid out because both communities processed in different ways a common historic trauma that occurred
long ago (Zizek 2010: 24243). This is not the same thing as the division of
izeks point is that
people into whole and partial or damaged people, but Z
these two communities were defined by a parallax logic, because all parallaxes
(the gaps in a symbolic whole) are rooted in the way the libidinal economies of
different communities respond to a shared trauma the site of an unbearable
izek and Milibank 2009: 49) and this
antagonism, self-contradiction (Z
includes the villagers discussed by Levi-Strauss, the Capitalist and the
factory worker living under conditions of 19th century industrial Capitalism,
and the Israeli and Palestinian communities in the 21st century.
In a similar vein, Zizek refers to Confucius as the first proto-ideologist
who articulated what one is tempted to call the elementary scene (one is
reminded of the primal scene in The Wolf Man) of ideology, its zero-level,
which consists in asserting the (nameless) authority of some substantial
Tradition (2010: loc. 500) against abject hidden signifiers. Confucius, in
other words, produced a set of rules and concepts that allowed subjects
be they peasants, mandarins, or Emperors to feel that they were fulfilling
the desire of the Other when they followed the Confucian obligations codified
in a mythological past (Tradition). In this way, Confucius codified a belief that
an imaginary Order, discernible as the order of the universe, could be the
model for terrestrial relations, as well. For Zizek it is a small step from this
proto-ideological world to the Wild West of postmodern consumer Capitalism where the goal is not to replace disharmony with harmony but to make
disharmony pay. The ethic of responsibility and shame discernible in Confucianism is replaced in the structures of global Capitalism by an oral fantasy
that guiltless consumption is possible: even though the world may be full
of corruption and alienation, and even if people are often disingenuous, ideology whispers, an idealized object, when purchased and consumed, can raise
an abject object out of the muck of social reality (Zizek 2010: loc. 111). One sees
izek, in the appeals of companies like
this developed most fully, according to Z
Starbucks who sell indulgences with a double espresso latte to people who
feel guilty about their social privileges. What companies like Starbucks
really sell is an identification with an ideal fantasy object which the subject
consumes. But, no matter what one consumes, one never gets it; and, consequently, one never gets free of guilt or dangerous jouissance no matter how
hard one tries. The oral fantasy continues to function as a lure that keeps
the subject hooked to a changing flux of faux satisfactions.
This displacement of guilt resembles the displacement of responsibility
by Hegels beautiful soul (in whom the superego seems to be absent). The

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

296

Andrew Stein

beautiful soul is the subject who raises himself up out of the corruption of the
world, which he always attributes to others. Lacan famously called the beautiful soul the only truly mad person today because such a subject cant read his
own divided subject. In opposition to the beautiful soul, Lacan affirmed that
we all are monsters we are abject beings who, having been born prematurely,
begin life defective. That makes everyone damaged goods. But like all defective organisms, we still want to live. We are monsters, said Lacan, according to
Vappereau in a recent seminar, not machines. Machines break down and do
not work while humans seek to live, despite being defective. In this respect,
we resemble the Monster in Frankenstein. We are monsters who speak
language being the iron lungs that surround us and keep us going. But
these iron lungs are also a poultice of shit surrounding us, wrote Lacan: abjection being what ultimately keeps us going.
To explain more about this deadlock requires an excursion into the logic of
structures because Zizek says that the ideologically-driven subject is caught in
the logic of disavowal or verleugnung, or one of the logical forms of negation
discussed by Freud and Lacan the others being repression or unterdruckung
and foreclosure or verwerfung (Lacan 2006: 31833; Freud 1964, 1991). For
Lacan, each of these three forms of negation also corresponds to a structure
of the unconscious signifying chain: namely, repression appears with the neuroses, foreclosure with the psychoses, and disavowal with the perversions.
What Zizek adds is that, no matter which structure and logic of negation
this or that subject may have, ideology today is structured like a perversion,
and consequently the typical form of negation within it is disavowal: I
myself do not believe but nevertheless I should act as if I do, so as not to offend
someone who may believe; or, although its true that I do not believe, I will act as if
I do on behalf of someone else.
Thus, in a Pascalian style, the subject disavows belief while continuing to
act as if he believes. For example, while modern subjects claim to no longer
believe in God, they still behave as if there is one (as if a master existed
behind the master discourse). Zizek relates this to the old joke about a man
who enters a hospital because he believes there is a big chicken who thinks
he is bird seed and wants to consume him; after being cured of this delusion,
the man returns in terror to the hospital because, although he knows he is not
bird seed, he still is afraid the big chicken does not. Zizeks point here is that
today ideology takes up this position towards disavowal of the Other. Even
though a person knows there is no Other, he still behaves as if there is an
Other or he still believes unconsciously because he is under the sway of
his identification. The difference with Pascal is that he subverts disbelief: if
I do not believe, I still act as if I do (and soon I will start believing) while
the deluded man in Zizeks joke uses a different logic: namely, if I consciously
profess to disbelieve that there is an Other, it is because I unconsciously go on
believing sub rosa: thus, if I pretend not to believe, I can go believing just the
same. Once again, A and not-A are the same disbelieve so that I can
believe.
It is Kafka who exposes the nature of the deadlock in works like The Trial
and Metamorphosis. For even as Kafkas texts illuminate the fusion of abjection
and ideal (and belief and disbelief) in the fantasm, he offers no way through its
logic (at least not in these texts). At the end of The Trial, for instance, Joseph

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

Event and Ideology

297

K. lets himself be killed by the Other an act of paradoxical grace since he is


already an existential non-person erased from the world, transformed into a
homo sacer by the priest, the lawyers, the housekeeper, the painter, the
judges of the higher and lower Courts the comical dupes and frauds
running a bureaucratic nightmare where the official story does not work at
all. In Metamorphosis, too, Joseph K. finds no escape from the alienation he
feels towards his family, the renters, and his employer. He is consigned to
be a bug until his death, or as long as he goes on sacrificing himself and his
health for the semblants of the Other (his family, employer, society); that is,
so long as he behaves like a homo sacer or as a Hegelian slave who has forgotten
izeks
his cunning or who has had it stolen from him (Weiss 2005). And yet Z
point is not that Kafkas stories reveal the malfunctioning of the Law, but that
his stories show how the perverse structure of the Law sustains a state of deadlock where the Other is never more present then when it is absent and the Law
(and Reason) is never more totalitarian and oppressive then when its rule is
most arbitrary (unlawful) (Zizek 2006: 15859).
This absence of change, or this dialectic deadlock, also can be connected
with the pulsations of the unconscious and repetition. S1, S2, S3, S4 . . .: Each
signifier is different but essentially repeats the same underlying structure.
But, in another sense, structural deadlock doesnt fully capture what is occurring, as desire follows a moebius-like structure linking subject and Other,
anxiety and enjoyment, drive and signifier, screen and obscene object of
desire, etc. In this way, we are taken back to the matheme of the pervert
where the perverse subject exists on the side of the object a ($ , .a), and
so receives the surplus enjoyment from the other. To frame this as a Hegelian
master and slave discourse, the pervert appropriates the enjoyment produced
by the slave. And yet the pervert envies the slave who is the source of enjoyment (jouissance) that the perverse subject wants to have (or be) just as the
anti-Semite wants the unspeakable enjoyment that he either thinks the Jew
possesses or that he locates in the Jews being. This moebius passage
between signifiers of death, anxiety, enjoyment, and the Law, as we have
seen, allows ideology to keep the subject bound to the Others desire.

Change, the Paul/Jesus event, and the desire of the revolutionary


Zizek proposes a possible way out of this deadlock if we supplant the structure supporting the deadlock (that is integral to perversion and ideology)
with a different structure that he finds in the works of Hegel, Lacan, and a
few others. At the center of this Hegelian-Lacanian dialectic is an operation
that Hegel called the negation of the negation whereby the deadlock is overcome by the creation of a third term. This shift from deadlock (this or that but
nothing else) to the Hegelian-Lacanian dialectic (that introduces a third term)
also marks a shift from an ideologically-driven subject to a revolutionary
subject who acts as the agent of the third term. Where ideology imposes a
forced choice on people, according to Zizeks reading of Lenin, a revolutionary
subject wishes to BREAK this seductive power of the symbolic efficiency and,
act AS IF THE CHOICE IS NOT FORCED. Zizeks Leninist message then is to
opt out: but not in the fashion of either 1960s style hippies or the withdrawing
from the world practiced by some aesthetics. Zizeks revolutionary opts out so

Andrew Stein

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

298

as to be able to act like a Lacanian Leninist (Zizek 2011b: 78) and break with
the seductiveness of the symbolic efficiency by no longer being satisfied by
producing surplus jouissance for the Other. Rather, the revolutionary takes
up a collective desire for social justice.
The desire of the revolutionary is also connected to a desire for an event.
The event, Zizek says, occurs when a signifying chain no longer repeats the
same signifiers in the same order as before. The event therefore is linked to
the structures of human language and human history since it is only into
izek and Milibank
such a distorted animal that an Event can inscribe itself (Z
2009: 93). It names the coming into the world of a new signifier (S1).
A subject in the midst of an event lives in a state of emergency, living in a
kind of permanent end times such as occurred in 1789, 1848, 1871, 1917,
May 68, and perhaps in the Occupy Wall Street movement when the old
reality is suspended for some who are in the grip of a concrete universal
desire for justice. Moments like these, Zizek insists, cannot be scientifically
planned and prepared for. This is why Zizek insists that revolutionary
change is never finished; nor is it inevitable; attempts to create a revolutionary
society by fiat or rational planning like Stalinism are especially ill-conceived.
As Goya understood already during the Napoleonic wars, imposing revolutionary justice through force and reason breeds monsters; it is, strictly speaking, a perversion of the ideal. Real eruptions of revolutionary desire arent
rationally planned; they happen in unexpected places and times, when the
deadlock is suspended and overturned without warning, or at least in a
izek 2005: 259). But while every event is surform no one quite anticipated (Z
prising and unlike what existed before it, each event is also a new answer to
the fundamental social antagonisms and self-contradictions upon which all
societies rest. In this respect, it is similar to the moment of affirmation in an
analysis when there is an upsurge of unconscious desire (more like a vast
sociological slip or passage to the act) than a perfectly planned action. A
subject captured by an event, then, is possessed by a violent passion to introduce difference, a gap in the order of being, in order to elevate some object a
izek 2010: loc. 2486).
at the expense of an other (Z
But the really startling news is that Zizek thinks that today people in
Western civilisation (whatever that is) are living out the consequences of an
event associated with the teaching of Paul/Jesus.1 For Zizek, Paul/Jesus
marks a world historical event in Western civilisation, such that after its
inception the owl of Minerva has flown. People are now living in the aftermath, in the end times, drawing out the (Hegelian and Lacanian) consequence
of that event it is just that ideology makes difficult work of actualizing it
izek 2003: 137).
(Z

I refer to Paul/Jesus, rather than to Paul and Jesus, because we know little about
the historic Jesus that is not filtered through the writings of the Gospels and the
various interpretations and collations of the Gospels by the Church Fathers and by
others. Zizek, in any case, is interested in proclaiming, against the canonical readings
of the Crucifixion and Resurrection, that Paul/Jesus announced a cut in the divine and,
as a consequence, in messianic time.

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

Event and Ideology

299

This idea that the crucifixion of Jesus signals a revolutionary ontological


cut in the life of the Spirit mirrors other pre-Christian, Christian, and postChristian readings of the event. In each, a millennial-emancipatory event
occurs in history that legitimates and unites people in emancipatory social
justice movements. In the post-event era, these revolutionary movements,
who do the hard work of actually changing reality and realising the events
potential, usually posit their own justifications by building narratives of the
emancipatory history of the Spirit, which (in its Christian and post-Christian
forms) often start with the Hebrew prophets Daniel, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel
and the books of Acts and Revelations, reappear in the Jesus teachings, and
then enter a post-event phase, marked by explosive revolutionary movements
(such as peasant revolts of the late Middle Ages and Reformation, and the
Digger revolt during Cromwells ill-fated Puritan-bourgeois Republic). We
also have to consider the numerous materialist, atheist, theosophist, and
deistic emancipatory movements of the modern era whose connections to
izek,
Christian messianism were largely wiped out by the participants. For Z
the Paul/Jesus event fulfills the Judaic messianic tradition by revealing how
a community of believers (revolutionary activists), bound to each other by a
Holy Spirit (a libidinal drive), can turn the sort of justice that the world normally only realises in an abstract or negative way into a concrete universal.
izek says that the desire of the revolutionary finds ontological
Further, Z
support in the Paul/Jesus claim that ultimate reality sustains an irresolvable
self-contradiction. He writes that Paul/Jesus have proclaimed an ontological
cut in the Other; the message of Paul/Jesus being that the era of the undivided
One is now over. Paul/Jesus, says Zizek, brings the feminine principle into the
world. This is not the feminine principle popularised by Otto Weininger, but
the one that Lacan referred to as the feminine not-All principle on the graph
izek, the crucifixion is the event that introduces the internal
of sexuation. For Z
feminine not-All cut in the One (Lacan 2002).
This means that, while comparing the Jewish messianic tradition with
Paul/Jesus (something he often does), Zizek proposes in The Puppet and the
Dwarf that the Jewish paradox that the messiah is always on his way but
is not yet here has been replaced by a far more uncanny Paul/Jesus messianic paradox, namely that The Messiah is here, he has arrived, the final Event
has already taken place, yet the gap remains (2003: 14041). In effect, Zizeks
position is that Paul/Jesus told the Jews the event has already occurred. The
Jews, however, should not be disappointed, because they were right but
not in the way they thought. The problem is a paradoxical gap in messianic
(universal) time, but not the gap the Jews imagined. The real paradox is not
that the Messiah tarries, but that a part of the universal is not-All and therefore
that one part of the divine remains incomprehensible to itself.2 In this way,
Paul/Jesus gives the messianic tradition back to the Jews in an inverted
form, saying that if the Jews and a few others hope that a just world is possible,

This dialectical response of Paul/Jesus also reversed the proposition that the
messiah by himself will heal the wound in the world and make it whole (One)
again with the proposition that the coming of the messiah revealed that existence is
not-All.

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

300

Andrew Stein

then they have to create it themselves, and only to uncertain and incomplete
ends.
izek asserts that the failure of the divine to only be One did
Elsewhere, Z
appear in Jewish texts. For example, this failure appeared in the strangest
book of the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Job, wherein Job realised that God
(qua universal justice) did not know why he was suffering (Zizek 2008: 179
80). In other words, Job stumbled against the paradox that God is a mystery
to himself, and therefore that God, too, suffers from his own lack of self-completion and self-understanding. Zizek locates other Hebrew stories that he
claims allude to the same doctrine of Gods impotence, arguing for instance
that the murder of Moses presented by Freud in Moses and Monotheism
really repeats and distorts a traumatic recollection of the humiliation of
the Pharaoh by Moses, thereby pushing back the rock to reveal that that
the crypt is empty (Freud 1964). For Zizek, although Judaism prefigures the
notion of a paradoxical impossible mystery, only Christianity moves the
enigma in God himself. . . That is to say: it is precisely because God is an
enigma also in and for himself, because he has an unfathomable Otherness in
himself, that Christ had to emerge (Zizek and Milibank 2009: 80 82). Therefore only Christianity reveals the Others impotence. It is in this spirit that
izek claims that Christianity is the first (and only) religion radically to
Z
izek and Milibank
leave behind the split between subject and the Other (Z

2009: 8082). And this, Zizek concludes, has transformed the subjects relation
to knowledge (including self-knowledge and knowledge of the Other) and
truth in ways that, at least potentially, liberates the subject from its dependency on the Other. After the Paul/Jesus event the subject has to accept
izek 2010: loc. 3190).
that there is no Other to believe for me, in my place (Z
Hence, to still believe in an Other that is only One after the Paul/Jesus
event is to remain the agent of the ego and some Other, as it were, that
izek 2005: 79). In essence, Z
izek turns the Pauline
speaks through you (Z
message of the crucified Jesus codified by the early Church Fathers on its
head to reveal that the supreme triumph of the Cross in fact exposes a cut
in the divine that forever makes God All and not-All. The good news proclaimed by Paul/Jesus is a Lacanian message: that the (Name of the) Father,
or the place where the master signifier God had appeared, is now empty.
According to Zizek, The symbolic is above all a place, a place that was originally empty and subsequently filled with the bric-a-brac of the symbolic
order. The crucial dimension of the Lacanian concept of the symbolic is this
logical priority, the precedence of the (empty) place with respect to the
elements that fill it (2005: 45). However, things are not so simple. Lacan also
emphasized that the other side of the signifier is the drive and therefore that
lack is only a phenomenological lack. On the other side of a signifier is a
partial drive (jouissance), so that the signifier (be it S1 or S2) dialectically functions as the other side of enjoyment (jouissance and death). Not surprisingly,
izeks description of Christian love or agape resembles the Lacanian
Z
formula that love is giving what you do not have, because there is no sexual
relation. That is to say: there will be no harmonious rectification in the end
of time, no possibility that universal justice will usher in a world of absolute
harmony and fairness. All that exists is the little justice gained by the fruits
of political struggle. There is no ideal Other that will be fulfilled in the

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

Event and Ideology

301

course of time, merely a desire to respond to the unbearable self-contradictions


in society (and in the divine) by bringing more social justice into existence.
And with this message the whole messianic tradition is aufhebon sustained,
negated, and overturned.
Thus the Paul/Jesus event signals a historic blueprint for a new sort of
subject position: one that moves from the ideological subject to a community
of revolutionary subjects whose collective desire is for social justice based on
the notion of there being a cut in the divine. But Zizeks dialectical gymnastics
become problematic when he places both Judaism and Christianity on
the masculine side of the graph of sexuation. But this must be a mistake
because Zizek consistently says that Paul/Jesus modify the Concept so that
it is thereafter both All (masculine) and not-All (feminine). His reasoning is
that both Judaism and Christianity presuppose an exception, an ontological
gap in being and time. But Judaism sustains the exception as a wound to be
healed in messianic time, whereas Christianity argues that the messiah (the
universal value) is already here in the dimension of time, in the message
that the exception or gap exists in God. In Paul/Jesus, God has to be impenetrable also to himself, he has to have a dark side, an otherness in himself, something that is to himself more than himself (Zizek 2010). Thus, the secret of the
substantial Other is also a secret for the Other it is thus reduced precisely to
the experience of a separation between the Other and its secret, objet petit a
(Zizek and Milibank 2009: 38).
This may at first glance sound like the same tired line that Christianity has
accomplished the Jewish messianic tradition: the New Testament superseded
the Hebrew Bible, etc., so why are there still Jews around? And it is certainly
valid to wonder why Zizek goes to so much trouble to locate the desire of the
izek gain by linking
revolutionary in Christian love. What, for example, does Z
the spirit that binds activists together in a Party to a concept like the Holy
Spirit? But, to be fair, what Zizek is proposing in an apre`s coup manner
is a Hegelian negation of the negation which will turn the teaching of Paul/
Jesus of the theologians on its head until it reappears in the (secular) desire
of the revolutionary, sustained by an anti-utopian dialectical materialist
reading in which evil is an effect of the structure and the history of the signifiers and the drive of the cut in the divine that introduces the idea a Not-All
izek, the only
dimension to the Other. Only atheists can truly believe, wrote Z
true belief is belief without any support in the authority of some presupposed
izek and Milibank 2009: 101).
figure of the Other (Z
Before he can make such a claim about Christianity, however, Zizek has to
perform a number of negations of negations to the entirety of world religions
and philosophies. For Zizek, the universal (justice) can assume different meanings and values at different points in time. This line of reasoning, of course,
had also supported Freuds assertion that meaning (of the signifier) differs
at different periods in the life of a subject (Freud 2002). And by the same
reasoning, Zizek proposes that the messianic-emancipatory teachings of
Paul/Jesus look different in the wake of Hegels and Lacans teachings from
the way they did, for instance, during the Trinitarian debates and the Arian
heresy of the early Church. Therefore, even if Paul/Jesus were not Lacanian,
Marxist, or Hegelian avant la lettre, the teachings of Paul/Jesus could
become Lacanian, Marxist, and Hegelian apres coup. What this means is not

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

302

Andrew Stein

that Paul/Jesus were waiting for someone to come along and unearth the
hidden pre-Lacanian treasure buried in their teachings. If in alienation, the
subject is confronted with a full and substantial Other, supposedly hiding in
its depths some secret, its inaccessible treasure, Zizek writes, de- alienation has nothing to do with an attainment of this secret: far from managing
to penetrate right into the Others hidden kernel, the subject simply experiences this hidden treasure (algama, the object- cause of desire) as already
izek argues that there is no
missing from the Other itself (2005: 40). Indeed, Z
there to be unearthed, because strictly speaking there is no hidden untold
story in it (2003: 127). A signifier is only a subject for another signifier.
Thus, you have universals that only acquire meaning for those who believe
in the universal and who strive to live their life by it. But today, the Paul/
Jesus event heralds a revolutionary state of emergency: the other side of the
state of emergency created by global consumer Capitalism and the new security-military complex. Today, a libidinal Holy Spirit calls for people with revolutionary subjectivities to come together, to unplug from the community in
the same way that the early Christians left their families in order to enter
into a new community held together by a new desire (in the form of Christian
love) and the impossible Cause of realising universal justice in a concrete universal form, that of a fighting collective grounded in the reference to an
izek claims
unconditional universalism (Zizek 2006: loc. 2615 17). Thus Z
that Party activists today should do what Christianity did with regard to
the Roman Empire, that global multiculturalist polity. Namely, they should
create a new collective held together not by a Master-Signifier, but by fidelity
to a Cause no longer restrained by the logic of deadlock (Zizek 2011: 130;
izek 2003: 3).
Z
In sum, the revolutionary desires to serve the Cause totally: The only
thing that really exists are these individuals and their activity (Zizek and Milibank 2009: 60). Absolutely committed, the revolutionary is a subject living in a
state of emergency, in the time of an event that opens her to new possibilities.
She becomes the agent of the event, working and waiting for the return of the
universal (the desire for justice) as a concrete, partial, historical moment of
rupture and change. This longing to actualise a concrete universal desire for
justice, in all its impossible, messianic, time-bound, and secular dimensions,
izeks
calls Walter Benjamin to mind (someone surprisingly absent in Z

rather subject-heavy writings). Both Zizek and Benjamin are sensitive


readers of the seductions of modernity (or postmodernity), be they the seductions of 20th century films or the 19th century arcade and palaces of commerce.
Both Zizek and Benjamin see how the aestheticisation of life in modernity
(or postmodernity) binds the subject to a fascinating gaze of the Other. And
both in their own way long for an event that will allow revolutionary subjects
to pass beyond the deadlock structures of modernity (or postmodernity). Of
the two, Zizek is more optimistic about the possibility of escape.
What of the Occupy Wall Street protesters? What hope do they have of
realising something extimate to the current structures of global Capitalism?
izeks bet is that they can be part of an event if they do not betray the revoluZ
tionary moment or their revolutionary desire. The possibility recalls other such
revolutionaries, such as Leon Blum, who published his memoirs in the 1930s
during another state of emergency in France. New social programs were being

Event and Ideology

303

introduced by the Popular Front, during a time of great social unrest when the
Third Republic was deeply unsettled by economic crisis, a resurgent Nazi
Germany, and home grown French fascisms. Fascist and proto-fascist organisations, like the veterans group Croix de Feu and the PPF, were clashing in the
streets of Paris with defenders of the Popular Front when Blum published
his memories. The memoirs included these recollections of the Dreyfus
Affair (18941906): Life for me, wrote Blum, and for my friends, no longer
counted. All that mattered was Justice (Rose 2011: 92).This simple sentiment,
izeks entire conception of the event and the desire of the
I believe, sums up Z
revolutionary, a sentiment he finds expressed in the teachings of Paul/Jesus,
Hegel, Marx, Lenin, Lacan, and a few others: a spirit he tried to summon
when he spoke to the Occupy Wall Street protesters in 2011.

Downloaded by [178.148.6.48] at 07:46 16 December 2014

References
Freud, S. 1964. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund
Freud. Moses and Monotheism. vol. 24. Edited and translated by James Strachey.
London: Hogarth Press, 1 137.
Freud, S. 1991. Negation. In General Psychological Theory. Translated by Joan Riviere.
New York: Touchstone Books, 21317.
Lacan, J. 1977. The Four Fundamental Principles of Psychoanalysis. Translated by Alan
Sheridan. London: Karnac Books.
Lacan, J. 1990. Television. Translated by Jeffrey Mehlman. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.
Lacan, J. 1993. Seminar III. Translated by Russell Grigg. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.
Lacan, J. 2002. Seminar XX. Translated by Bruce Fink. Albany: State University of
New York Press.
Lacan, J. (ed.). 2006. Ecrits. Translated by Bruce Fink. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.
Lacan, J. 2007. Seminar XVII. Translated by Russell Grigg. New York: W. W. Norton &
Co.
Rose, J. 2011. Proust Among the Nations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Roudinesco, E. 1990. Lacan & Co. Tanslated by Jeffrey Mehlman. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press.
Turkle, S. 1990. Dynasty. London Review of Books 23 (6), 39.
Weiss, P. 2005. The Aesthetics of Resistance. Translated by Joachim Neugroschel.
Durham: Duke University Press.
Zizek, S. 2003. The Puppet and the Dwarf. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Zizek, S. 2005. Interrogating the Real. London: Continuum.
Zizek, S. 2006. The Parallax View. London: The MIT Press.
Zizek, S. 2008. Violence. London: Profile Books.
Zizek, S. 2010. Living in the End Times. London: Verso Press.
Zizek, S. 2011. What Can Lenin Tell US About Freedom Today? Slavoj Zizek
Bibliography. Available online: http://www.lacan.com/freedom.htm (accessed 2011).
Zizek, S., and Milibank, J. 2009. The Monstrosity of Christ. Edited and introduced by
Creston Davis. London: The MIT Press.

Along with PhDs in Clinical Psychology and Modern European History,


Andrew Stein trained in Modern Psychoanalysis before beginning formation
as a Lacanian Psychoanalyst. He has written on elder care and the theme of the
second death, on Freud and Lacan, on Bataille and Surrealism, on Foucault
and History, and on Zizek.