Mortal, All Too Mortal: Post-Nihilistic Speculations from Dr. Lawgiverz (3)

If you were to ask me at gunpoint, like Hollywood producers who are too stupid to read books and say, “give me the punchline,” and were to demand, “Three sentences. What are you really trying to do?” I would say, Screw ideology. Screw movie analyses. What really interests me is the following insight: if you look at the very core of psychoanalytic theory, of which even Freud was not aware, it’s properly read death drive-this idea of beyond the pleasure principle, self-sabotaging, etc.-the only way to read this properly is to read it against the background of the notion of subjectivity as self-relating negativity in German Idealism. That is to say, I take literally Lacan’s indication that the subject of psychoanalysis is the Cartesian cogito-of course, I would add, as reread by Kant, Schelling, and Hegel. I am here very old fashioned. I still think that basically this – the problematic of radical evil and so on – is philosophy, and all the rest is a footnote. (Zizek, 2003a)[1]

It couldn’t have been that bad, but it was, for there truly was nothing to be done. It was that bad, almost worst, the situation we mean, for the sun would truly and gradually extinguish within the next 4.5 years. Amazed at the fact, Dr. Lawgiverz looked at his watch, which was an extraordinary tool to have considering the times in which we live; those times being the times of mobile phones which also have clocks. The time of clocks is not real, thought Dr. Lawgiverz, only the time which transcends the finite and human time of clocks is real. But this thought, of course, did not belong to him. It was a thought without him as its subject. Being a non-being, the subject has to think he is not himself to be able to say “I think, therefore I am.” This attempt at uniting thought and being, or filling the gap between thought and being with the subject who says I, was and remains an amazing trap set by Descartes against himself. For by equating thought and being, he also equated non-being and non-thought; that is, death and language…

Now, the issue of becoming becomes crucial here. We shall therefore attempt at clarifying the difference between being and becoming in relation to death, in the light of Lacan’s and Deleuze’s encounters with the matter at hand.

In a fine passage written by Deleuze on Lacan, entitled How do we recognize Structuralism? and published in his collection of essays Desert Islands, Deleuze makes an important point concerning Lacan’s contribution to the correlation between thought and being. He explicitly says that Lacan introduced a third dimension for thought with his concept of the Symbolic. Being as a (w)hole within the symbolic, leads to the conclusion that the subject can only be a being, for as soon as the passage to the symbolic takes place, the subject becomes a non-being; that is, a becoming undead…

It is at this point that Deleuze takes on the issue, where Lacan had left without carrying it all the way through its logical consequences. For Deleuze, the subject is not a lack in becoming but that becoming itself. That is, it is that which continually becomes different from what it always already is that we call a subject, not the other way around. The subject is that which produces and is produced by the real and the symbolic via imagination. It is the way in which the subject as being relates the real to the symbolic via the imaginary that matters. If one changes “the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence,”[2] so does the symbolic change. Althusser appears to be the imaginary link between Lacan and Deleuze in relation to the role of ideology in the constitution of the subject, then.

It is rather curious that Slavoj Zizek missed this point in his Organs Without Bodies: Deleuze and Consequences. For as is well known by those who have actually read the book, Zizek attempts to show Deleuze as an Anti-Lacanian at all costs. That said, I think Deleuze’s Lacanianism is a much more profound one than that which Zizek interprets.

Admitting that his reading of Deleuze relies heavily on Alain Badiou’s little book on Deleuze, The Clamor of Being, Zizek accuses Deleuze for being a philosopher of the One disguised as the philosopher of Multiplicity, reflecting these times.

I’m trying to do what Deleuze forgot to do-to bugger Hegel, with Lacan . . . so that you get monstrous Hegel . . . It’s a very technical, modest project, but I believe in it. All other things are negotiable. I don’t care about them. You can take movies from me, you can take everything. You cannot take this from me . . . What really interests me is philosophy, and for me, psychoanalysis is ultimately a tool to reactualize; to render actual for today’s time, the legacy of German Idealism. (Zizek, 2003a)[3]

As we can see Dr. Lawgiverz was and reamins a keen thinker of peculiarities to say the least. Perhaps it is for this reason that he had recently become the target of authorities. He knew that he had to find the man behind these conspiracies. What he didn’t know was from where to begin. To begin at the beginning would be the best thing, thought Dr. Lawgiverz, but where could that beginning be? Perhaps there was no beginning, perhaps he was loccked within an infinite process of becoming, just like Hegel’s spirit in his Phenomenology of Spirit.

According to Adrian Johnston’s reading of Zizek in his Zizek’s Ontology: A Transcendental Materialist Theory of Subjectivity, however, the Hegelian subject can get out of the deadlock of dialectical materialism, an eternal  process in and through which the opposites reverse the roles and take on one another’s identities without end. For Johnston, Zizek’s ontology presents us with a very peculiar case of materialism other than dialectical materialism, in and through which the vicious circle of the movement between the noumenal(the thing in-itself) and the phenomenal(the thing for-us) can be broken and turned into a spiral. In Johnston’s account, the subject needs not go back to that which it has already come from, which is not so probable anyway, for that which it has come from changes with the new perception and action upon it. It turns not into its opposite, but rather into something altogether new. As opposed to dialectical materialism, rather than being a strategy serving the unification of the subject and the object, transcendental materialism is an attempt at changing the world by understanding it in a new way and acting upon it via this new understanding in such a way as to expose the transcendental’s immanence to the world so as to transform it in the way of creating a new world out of very little, almost nothing, which is matter, and matters in so far as it is capable of thinking the worlds as they are in-themselves, indifferently to humant thoughts, feelings, desires, needs, and emotions, but nevertheless in touch with these human faculties, and engaging in socioplitical action upon the world as it is for-us.

This is my problem, thought Dr. Lawgiverz, I cannot make a distinction between the world as it is for-me and the world as it is in-itself. If only I could solve this mind-body problem once and for all, I would be the happiest of homosapiens.

inside the head

What Dr. Lawgiverz was not aware of was that he understood the world not only for-us, but also in-itself too well, and that was precisely the reason why the they were after him. Now, that’s where things get a bit complicated. For who are “we” and who are “they”? Needless to say, we are those who are in the process of moving from dialectical materialism towards transcendental materialism, and they are the ones who are struggling with us with the aim of imposing their ideas and ideals upon that which matters only insofar as it remains in-itself and not for-us. So we have to forget about ourselves and become capable of thought without passive remembering, that is, become capable of thinking outside the time of clocks. We have to create a condition of existence, or a mode of being which situates us within a non-space outside human time. Perhaps we are that non-space itself, rather than being entitities situated within a space. Perhaps we are the constituents of a space becoming other than itself in a way that is engagingly indiffernt to the time of clocks. A space becoming of time and a time becoming of space takes place at once in this eternal instant.

There is a pre-linguistic domain which is not nothingness, but something in between nothingness and everything that there is. That space between is a non-space, the realm of partial objects which serve the purpose of relating to the world even before the language is acquired. And with this we come back to what Zeno was saying. At the beginning there is no-motion, but that state of the being of things is not perceivable, for the mind unites partial-objects to form a sequence of events, before which there is nothing perceivable. Zeno says that movement in-itself is impossible because there can be no movement prior to the synthesis of the individual states of being at rest. But as Deleuze puts it in his Cinema books, with cinema we see that motionless pictures are put one after the other in a particular sequence and when the film revolves a continuity of images, a flow of pictures is created. There is the illusion of one continuous motion of events when in fact each event is a motionless picture in itself. But if it cannot be perceived how can we say that at the beginning there is nothing and immobility? Well, that’s not what we’re saying. There is nothing at the beginning precisely because nothing can be perceived before the beginning. You see, there is the absence of something, there is nothing as the object of perception. You have to assume that beginning itself has no beginning so that you can begin living, acting, and doing things. Otherwise how can you live with the thought of being surrounded by nothingness and death at all times? Death is where you cannot be. It is absolutely other to you, its presence signifies your absence and inversely. Perhaps we should have said there is nothing before the beginning and after the end. That fits in better with everything. It is not a matter of beginning or ending; everything is in the middle, and nothing is before the beginning and after the end. The eternal return has neither a beginning nor an end. Even when you die your body is still in the process of dissolving; you dissolve into other things and become something else. It is not resurrection we are talking about here. Nor is resurrection what Nietzsche attempted to theorize with the thought of eternal return, but a very materialist understanding of nature and its relation to man. Nietzsche never says what exactly the eternal return means but from what he says we come to a grasp of what it might mean. Let us do not hesitate to quote Nietzsche at length. In one of the best descriptions of what the eternal return might mean we see Zarathustra talking with a dwarf about time, the moment as a gateway to possibilities, and the passage of time.

 ‘Everything straight lies,’ murmured the dwarf disdainfully. ‘All truth is crooked, time itself is a circle.’

‘Spirit of Gravity!’ I said angrily, ‘do not treat this too lightly! Or I shall leave you squatting where you are, Lamefoot—and I have carried you high!

‘Behold this moment!’ I went on. ‘From this gateway Moment a long, eternal lane runs back: an eternity lies behind us.

‘Must not all things that can run have already run along this lane? Must not all things that can happen have already happened, been done, run past?

‘And if all things have been here before: what do you think of this moment, dwarf? Must not this gateway, too, have been here—before?

‘And are not all things bound fast together in such a way that this moment draws after it all future things? Therefore—draws itself too?

‘For all things that can run must also run once again forward along this long lane.

‘And this slow spider that creeps along in the moonlight, and this moonlight itself, and I and you at this gateway whispering together, whispering of eternal things—must we not all have been here before?

‘—and must we not return and run down that other lane out before us, down that long, terrible lane—must we not return eternally?’[4]

What renders the eternal return possible is saying yes to difference in repetition. The eternal return is Nietzsche’s grand conception which excludes all binary opposition and defies the binary logic of being and non-being. You can see that it is far away from what Diogenes Laertius was saying concerning the relationship between absence and presence. For Laertius where there is absence there can be no presence and inversely. But Nietzsche thinks that being and non-being, presence and absence are intermingled, are the two constitutive parts of becoming. One side of becoming accomplishes its movement while the other fails to accomplish its movement. So the persistence of being can only take the form of becoming. It is the becoming of being that counts as the immaculate conception of the eternal return. The eternal return is not a metaphysical concept, rather it renders possible attachment to the material world, the world as it is before turning into a fable in and through a linear narrative of history. The eternal return is a tool for interpreting the world in its infinity and finitude at the same time, and its legacy lies in its rejection of both a purely transcendental and a purely immanent interpretation of the world. When Nietzsche makes the dwarf say “everything straight lies[…] all truth is crooked, time itself is a circle,” he is pointing towards an ethical imperative, namely, that one must give free rein to the unconscious drives so that in time, as these drives are let to manifest themselves in and through language, it becomes apparent that it is ridiculous to repress them for it is repression itself that produces them; so the more one represses them the more one contributes to their strengthening. As you can see what’s at stake here is a way of governing the self in relation to others. Eternal return is will to power and will to nothingness at the same time, it is the name of the process of becoming through which the subject becomes other than itself. This becoming other than itself of the subject is in the form of an emergence of the new out of the old, that is, realization of an already existing possibility and will towards its actualisation through this realization. So the subject assumes what it was in the past and upon this assumption builds its present as already past and yet to come. It is in this context that Foucault says genealogy is “a history of the present.”

These are the avenues Deleuze opened in the way of explicating the meaning of eternal return and its use. Look at what he says in a passage, perhaps the most lucid articulation of Deleuze’s conception of time and its passage in Nietzsche and Philosophy:

What is the being of that which becomes, of that which neither starts nor finishes becoming? Returning is the being of that which becomes. “That everything recurs is the closest approximation of a world of becoming to world of being—high point of the meditation.” [Will to Power, 617] This problem for the meditation must be formulated in yet another way; how can the past be constituted in time? How can the present pass? The passing moment could never pass if it were not already past and yet to come—at the same time as being present. If the present did not pass of its own accord, if it had to wait for a new present in order to become past, the past in general would never be constituted in time, and this particular present would not pass. We cannot wait, the moment must be simultaneously present and past, present and yet to come, in order for it to pass (and to pass for the sake of other moments). The present must coexist with itself as past and yet to come. The synthetic relation of the moment to itself as present, past and future grounds its relation to other moments. The eternal return is thus an answer to the problem of passage. And in this sense it must not be interpreted as the return of something that is, that is “one” or the “same.” We misinterpret the expression “eternal return” if we understand is as “return of the same.”[5]

With the big-bang a substance of infinite intensity begins its still ongoing process of expansion-contraction. And this process must always already be complete for it to even begin taking its course of becoming; everything happens at present and for that reason there is neither a beginning nor an end of time. The force combinations are infinitely repeated but because of its previous repetition the quality of the forces themselves change and give birth to its becoming different from itself through repetition of what it assumes itself to be in relation to time. So the subject always already is what it strives to become and yet the only way to actualise this becoming what one is is this: one has to realize that what one is striving to become is already what one is. All the configurations have to repeat themselves eternally for the return of the same to take place. But when this same returns one sees that it has never been the same but always already different from itself. When the future comes it becomes present, the subject is always at present and can never know what it would be like to exist in another present. There is nothing and the present.

agartha

Eternal return is the first conceptualisation of the death drive. It is not death drive but it operates the way death-drive operates, and since none of these have any existence outside their operations they are the two different forms the same content takes. The subject of the eternal return wills nothingness and this willing nothingness always returns as a will to power. You can see that Nietzsche uses this grand conception of the relationship between creation and destruction to invert destructive and reactive Nihilism into the spotlight; he turns Nihilism against itself through the thought of eternal return as the thought of becoming other than what one thinks one is. What was repressed and locked into the unconscious once turns into its opposite and becomes the order of the day in a new light and in another time. In this light time is itself the fourth dimension of space. That is how Nietzsche can see the rise of Nihilism in its material, historical conditions. We all come and keep coming from inorganic substance and will end up there. Nietzsche’s confrontation with truth was the confrontation of brain with chaos. And out of this confrontation emerges the truth of the death drive, the will to nothingness disguised as the will to truth, the internally constituted external governor of a Nihilistic Europe.

We are governed by nothingness and death which have neither a beginning nor an end. Well, at least not for us, who are those governed by them. For when we die we are nowhere to see our dead bodies or experience death as our own. Death occurs where there is the absence of my self’s sense-experience, all the rest is a process of being towards death, dying, becoming-dead. When death finally arrives even my name ceases to be mine, or rather, it is realized that even my name has never been mine. There remains no one to carry out my life in my name once death is here.

Death and nothingness are interior and exterior to us at the same time. Most of us, however, keep the thought of death at bay at all times; those of us are the ones who live their lives without thinking about death, for they think, in a Spinozan fashion, that “he who is free thinks of nothing less than of death and his meditation is a wisdom not of death but of life.” This is the time of good-sense where everything is identical and everything can be substituted by something else.

The will to power and the will to nothingness reverse the roles. We break down as we go along the way towards the completion of passing across the field of partial objects. And what is thought worth if it is not in the service of the present? Sacrificing the present by scarfacing yourself for the sake of a better future face is itself the worst thing that can be done to your face at all times. In vain is he/she who strives for immortality.

Let us move on to the subjects of finitude and infinity, then. Here is a question for you: Are we finite becomings or infinite beings? We might as well be neither or both of these. It’s a matter of taste depending on whether you see being alive as a process of dying or a process of living. We who are alive, or at least think we are, are infinite beings by nature, but turn into finite becomings in and through our cultures. I say we are infinite beings because infinity has no beginning or end, so it’s impossible for an infinite entity to be a becoming, only a being can be infinite, whereas a finite entity has a beginning from which its becoming starts taking its course and comes to a halt at the end. Since the concept of time is a cultural construct imposed on nature by human beings, because we see other people die, we have come to imagine that we are limited by finitude and surrounded by infinity, when in fact it is the other way around; that is, we are infinite beings and death constitutes an internal limit to our being in the world, giving birth to our idea of ourselves as finite becomings. We don’t have to strive for immortality, for we are always already immortals who are incapable of realising and actualising their immortalities.

Upon the realisation that infinity is transcendentally immanent to finitude and finitude is immanently transcendental to infinity Dr. Lawgiverz decides to reconsider Alain Badiou’s shifting conceptualisation of immortality.

In his Theoretical Writings Badiou attempts to separate himself from the Romantic understanding of infinity, and the pursuit of immortality. According to Badiou, contemporary mathematics broke with the Romantic idea of infinity by dissolving the Romantic concept of finitude. For Badiou, as it is for mathematics, the infinite is nothing but indifferent multiplicity, whereas for the Romantics it was nothing more than a “historical envelopment of finitude.” Behind all this, of course, is Badiou’s strong opposition to historicism and temporalization of the concept. It is in this context that Badiou can say, “Romantic philosophy localizes the infinite in the temporalization of the concept as a historical envelopment of finitude.”[6]

Mathematics now treats the finite as a special case whose concept is derived from that of the infinite. The infinite is no longer that sacred exception co-ordinating an excess over the finite, or a negation, a sublation of finitude. For contemporary mathematics, it is the infinite that admits of a simple, positive definition, since it represents the ordinary form of multiplicities, while it is the finite that is deduced from the infinite by means of negation or limitation. If one places philosophy under the condition such a mathematics, it becomes impossible to maintain the discourse of the pathos of finitude. ‘We’ are infinite, like every multiple-situation, and the finite is a lacunal abstraction. Death itself merely inscribes us within the natural form of infinite being-multiple, that of the limit ordinal, which punctuates the recapitulation of our infinity in a pure, external ‘dying.’[7]

The political implications of the move from Romantic infinity to mathematical infinity can be observed in Badiou’s Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil. In this little book Badiou criticizes the hypocrisy of human rights for reducing being-human to being a mortal animal. Of course Badiou admits that what is called human is indeed a mortal animal, but what he objects to is the exploitation of this state of being. Against this deprecative attitude, Badiou pits the immortal subject, or rather, the subject who is capable of realising his/her immortality.[8]

Badiou says that “being is inconsistent multiplicity.” As an advocate of immanence he doesn’t think that there is an ontological difference between Being and beings. As a matter of fact, he altogether refuses that there is such a thing as Being transcending the multiple beings, or beings as inconsistent multiplicities. To understand where Badiou is coming from we only need to look at his critique of Heidegger’s equation of being in the world and being towards death. For Badiou there is no such thing as being in the world, because for him there is not one world but multiple worlds and consequently being in the world as being towards death is a rather impoverished idea doomed to result in the mistaken assumption that consciousness of human finitude is self-consciousness. And I agree with Badiou that consciousness of human finitude merely serves to justify a life driven by death.

I shall therefore propose a consciousness of infinitude rather than of finitude for a sustenance of the conditions of possibility for an ethical life and for an ethical death. For when you think about it, if we were immortal, that is, if our lives were eternal, we wouldn’t be so destructive of the environment, not so harsh on nature and one another, because no one would want to live in such a hell eternally. Since it is obvious that as humans we have been turning the world into a hell in the name of progress for a while now, and since death has been the end from which we have come to think we have been striving to escape in this progressive process, it is obvious that a forgetting of death, or rather, a remembering to forget our mortality would make us fear an eternal life in hell, rather than a finite life in an illusory heaven.

agharta

If we keep in mind that the global capitalist system, as we have tried to explicate, takes its governing force from its exploitation of life and death drives, that it is based on our fear of death and consciousness of finitude, it becomes clearer why a subtraction of death from life not only shakes, but also annihilates the foundations of capitalism.

There is this immanently transcendental and transcendentally immanent field that sustains a non-mortal mode of being in the world, neither for nor against it, but indifferent to it in such a way as to turn its own alienation from mortality into its driving force in its attempt to demolish the faculty of finite judgment and create the conditions of possibility out of the conditions of impossibility for an infinite judgment to take place beyond the subject/object of a Law that is mortal, all too mortal.

A truth comes into being through those subjects who maintain a resilient fidelity to the consequences of an event that took place in a situation but not of it. Fidelity, the commitment to truth, amounts to something like a disinterested enthusiasm, absorption in a compelling task or cause, a sense of elation, of being caught up in something that transcends all petty, private or material concerns.[9]

The immortal subject within and without the pre-dominant symbolic order is not only the cause, but also the effect of its own alienation from mortal life. This regulatory idea of immortality, which is also a constitutive illusion, is inspired by the post-structuralist theme of becoming non-identical as we see in Deleuze and Derrida. If one could become non-identical, why would one not also become non-mortal? If one could become alienated from one’s identity, why would one not also become alienated from one’s mortality?  Why not become immortal so as to become capable of criticizing the exploitations of this mortal, all too mortal life? But what motivated me to take immortality as a virtual mode of being was Badiou’s theory of infinity which aimed at secularizing the concept of truth. Badiou’s technique of secularizing the truth is inspired by the 19th century mathematician Georg Cantor’s technique of secularizing the infinite. As Badiou claims, the secularization of infinity started with Cantor who stated that there was not one, but many infinities varying in size and intensity. From then onwards it became possible to link Deleuze’s concepts of impersonal consciousness and transcendental empiricism with Badiou’s theory of infinity and Kant’s assertion that for reflective judgement to take place and turn the object into a subject a transcendental ground is necessary.  Now I can say that for me a transcendental ground is necessary only to the extent that it enables the subject to shake the foundation of its own mode of being and opens a field for immanent critique to take place. In other words, the untimely indifference of immortality is required in order to actively engage in an exposition of the exploitation of mortality in this time.

I don’t know if it is worth mentioning that in this time we are all slaves and yet some slaves dominate the others. Where time goes no one knows. There are necessary illusions in this life, some for life, some not. Both the extreme belief in civilized progress and barbaric regress are good for nothing. These two are now in the process of being left behind. A third possibility of developmental process is emerging in the form of a becoming-reconciled which is based on the recognition of the otherness of the other as it is, that is, prior to the additions and the subtractions imposed upon the self and the other, nature and culture, life and death. For a non-normative and progressive work it is necessary for the participants to become capable of making distinctions between their natures and cultures, their cliniques and critiques. It is a matter of realizing that theory and practice are always already reconciled and yet the only way to actualise this reconciliation passes through carrying it out and across by introducing a split between the subject of statement (the enunciated) and the subject of enunciation.

Lucifer Rising

It is indeed true that sometimes it takes a long journey to get there, where one eventually got to, and realise that one is other than one thinks itself to be. Apparently the numbers indeed start with zero and continue with two, but it takes time to realise this actuality and become capable of actualising this reality. Perhaps we should indeed know that absolute reconciliation is impossible and yet still strive to reconcile ourselves as much as we can to all the living and the dead.

In his Critique of Judgement, Kant distinguishes between the determinative and the reflective modes of judgement.

 If the universal (the rule, the principle, the law) is given, the judgement that subsumes the particular under it… is determinative. If, however, only the particular for which the universal is to be found is given, judgement is merely reflective.[10]

If we keep in mind that the reflective mode of judgement reflects on particulars in such a way as to produce universals to which they can be subjected, and that the determinative mode of judgement determines a particular by subjecting it to a universal, it becomes understandable why among these two I shall be using the reflective mode which splits as it unites the subject of enunciation and the enunciated subject. But it must be kept in mind that the subject of enunciation which refers to the universal is itself a constitutive illusion, or a regulatory ideal necessary for the emergence of the immortal subject as the enunciated content. It is only in and through a position of non-mortality within and without mortal life at the same time that the exploitation of mortality can be brought into the spotlight. A critique of the exploitation of mortality inherent in particularly exemplary cultural products will be achieved through putting them in a perspective that analyzes the life death drives in such a way as to expose the exploitation of the fear of death as the driving force inherent in them. The point is that it is indeed necessary to fantasize being what one is not, in our case being non-mortal, to be able to become self-conscious of one’s self-reflexivity in the way of creating an order of signification not caught up in the rotary motion of drives locked in Klein’s projection-introjection mechanism,  but rather one which breaks this vicious cycle and at least attempts to subtract death from life in a counter-act to the post-structuralist idea of life as a process of dying and death as an absent presence in the midst of life. It is only through such a subtraction of the absent presence of death within life that the productive interaction between Deleuze’s transcendental empiricism, Zizek’s transcendental materialism, Foucault’s bio-politics, Badiou’s theory of infinity, Kant’s reflective mode of judgement, and Hegel’s speculative philosophy give birth to the immortal subject as the womb of a new thought, a new life, and a new mode of being, free of the exploitation of mortality and engagingly indifferent to this mortal, all too mortal life.

Such were the thoughts of Dr. Lawgiverz on the day he decided to commit himself to actualising his immortality. And to this decision we can only respond with Nietzsche’s famous words:

 One simply cannot conceal from oneself what all the willing that has received its direction from the ascetic ideal actually expresses: this hatred of the human, still more of the animal, still more of the material, this abhorrence of the senses, of reason itself, this fear of happiness and of beauty, this longing away from all appearance, change, becoming, death, wish, longing itself—all of this means—let us grasp this—a will to nothingness, an aversion to life, a rebellion against the most fundamental presuppositions of life; but it is and remains a will!… And, to say again at the end what I said at the beginning: man would much rather will nothingness than not will… [11]

Reference Matters

[1] Quoted from Adrian Johnston, Zizek’s Ontology: A Transcendental Materialist Theory of Subjectivity, (Illinois: Northwestern University Press), 125-26

[2] Louis Althusser, “The Ideological State Apparatuses,” in Mapping Ideology ed. Slavoj Zizek (Londra: Verso, 1994), 123

[3] Quoted from Adrian Johnston, Zizek’s Ontology: A Transcendental Materialist Theory of Subjectivity, (Illinois: Northwestern University Press), 125-26

[4] Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 178-9

[5] Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, 48

[6] Alain Badiou, Theoretical Writings, trans. Ray Brassier and Alberto Toscano, (London: Continuum, 2006), 38

[7] Badiou, 38

[8] Alain Badiou, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, trans. Peter Hallward (London: Verso, 2001), 41

[9] Peter Hallward, “Introduction” in Alain Badiou, Ethics (London: Verso, 2002), x

[10] Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment, trans. James Creed Meredith (London: Wilder Publications, 2008), 13

[11] Friedrich Nietzsche, On The Genealogy of Morality, transl. Maudemarie Clark and Alan J. Swensen (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1998), 118

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