Thursday, December 18, 2003

On 18 Dec 2003 at 11:55, Peter D. Junger wrote on litIds:

May I point out that the Buddhist position would appear to be that self-deception is possible because there is no self to deceive (and, of course, because there is no self to do the deceiving).

Funny you should mention that, as I just observed the following passage in Zizek:

When we denounce as idological the very attempt to draw a clear line of demarcation between ideology and actual reality, this inevitably seems to impose the conclusion that the only non-ideological position is to renounce the bery notion of extra-ideological reality and accept that all we are dealing with are symbolic fictions, the plurality of discursive universes, never 'reality,' we must none the less maintain the tension that keeps the CRITIQUE of ideology alive. [...] Ideology is not all; it is possible to assume a place that enables us to maintain a distance from it, but this place from which one can denounce ideology must remain empty, it cannot be occupied by any positively determined reality -- the moment we yield to this temptation we are back in ideology. (Slavoj Zizek, “The Spectre of Ideology”, The Zizek Reader, p70)

Ideology would appear to imply fixity, or sutured signification in Zizek, while it's critique may only be employed from a position of non-fixity. This is of relevance to studies of nationalism, since it would entail that it's critique can not successfully be launched from the position of foreigner, which is precisely nationalism's meaning- giving other, the point of fixity against which the nation is stabilized. It also means that a non-ideological position can never be finally arrived at, however it must [for ethical reasons?] remain a posibility as a condition for ideological critique.

It should be added that in the approach of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe it is not required to supply ethical arguments in order to enable signification's non-fixity. In their view, any articulation is constituted as any practice (linguistic and extra-linguistic) that establishes a relation among elements so as to modify their identity, or as attempt to fix floating elements as discursive moments. Since there can be no suture to this kind of social practice, there will always remain endless posibilities for different articulations of the same elements.

As Volosinov points out, the word is split.