by defining Marx’ view going wrong on a misinterpretation of capitalism – or – locating the petit object a as inherent limit to capitalism.
To read here just some longer excerpts on democracy, immaterial labour, multitude and violence. Zizek combines a comparison of recent thinkers on the basis of the latest books of Negri and Hardt to critize their lack of a philosophical frame in regards of political impact. Eventhough it may sound like a pure line-up of names the article brings together some thought threads in an interesting read. Nothing further here for the moment….:
“What the multitude produces is not just goods or services; the multitude also and most importantly produces cooperation, communication, forms of life, and social relationships.” 6 What thereby emerges is a new vast domain the “common”: shared knowledge, forms of cooperation and communication, etc., which can no longer be contained by the form of private property. This, then, far from posing a mortal threat to democracy (as conservative cultural critics want us to believe), opens up a unique chance of “absolute democracy”. Why? In immaterial production, the products are no longer material objects, but new social (interpersonal) relations themselves – in short, immaterial production is directly biopolitical, the production of social life. It was already Marx who emphasized how material production is always also the (re)production of the social relations within which it occurs; with today’s capitalism, however, the production of social relations is the immediate end/goal of production: “Such new forms of labor /…/ present new possibilities for economic self-management, since the mechanisms of cooperation necessary for production are contained in the labor itself.”
And, last but not least, is democracy by necessity, with regard to its very notion, non-absolute? There is no democracy without a hidden, presupposed elitism. Democracy is, by definition, not “global”; it HAS to be based on values and/or truths which one cannot select “democratically.” In democracy, one can fight for truth, but not decide what IS truth. As Claude Lefort and others amply demonstrated, democracy is never simply representative in the sense of adequately re-presenting (expressing) a pre-existing set of interests, opinions, etc., since these interests and opinions are constituted only through such representation. In other words, the democratic articulation of an interest is always minimally performative: through their democratic representatives, people establish what their interests and opinions are. As Hegel already knew, “absolute democracy” could only actualize itself in the guise of its “oppositional determination,” as terror.
via 16 beaver