“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Friday, June 17, 2011

Paul and Lenin: An Anarchist Critique

...on this view, Zizek is correct to argue that Paul and Lenin are isometric. Both changed the polis by universalizing a form of subjectivity. In Paul's case, Zizek and Badiou argue that he spearheaded the invention of a new mode of subjectivity beyond the specific lifeworld of being-Jewish. In the case of Lenin, the transition was from being working class to being a proletarian.

However, there is an underside to these isometric transitions.

Both forms of subjectivity also underwrite massive institutional norms--official Christianity and Soviet Communism. Indeed, the subjectivity itself is always secondary in the last instance to a teleological vision of History (the triumph of the true Church, the downfall of capitalism).

Such a "revolutionary" subjectivity is thus totally standardized, like Ford's "Any color you like..."

This essay by Junge Linke does a great job of explaining the paradoxes

1 comment:

Douglas Lain said...

Aren't all subjective experiences ultimately founded on a teleological and institutional basis? And isn't it also true that we require subjectivity to live?