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Kentucky Fellows 2008 Murray and Lux

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Psychoanalysis is Truth
Psychoanalysis is Truth.................................................................................................................................................1 1NC Security (1/11)...................................................................................................................................................5 .......................................................................................................................................................................................5 1NC Security (2/11)...................................................................................................................................................6 1NC Security (3/11)...................................................................................................................................................7 ......................................................................................................................................................................................7 1NC Security (4/11)...................................................................................................................................................8 1NC Security (5/11)...................................................................................................................................................9 1NC Security (6/11).................................................................................................................................................10 1NC Security (7/11).................................................................................................................................................11 1NC Security (8/11).................................................................................................................................................12 1NC Security (9/11).................................................................................................................................................13 1NC Security (10/11)...............................................................................................................................................14 1NC Security (11/11)...............................................................................................................................................15 1NC Environment Shell (1/7)......................................................................................................................................16 1NC Environment Shell (3/7)......................................................................................................................................18 1NC Environment Shell (4/7)......................................................................................................................................19 1NC Environment Shell (5/7)......................................................................................................................................20 1NC Environment Shell (6/7)......................................................................................................................................21 1NC Environment Shell (7/7)......................................................................................................................................22 Security Lacan 2nc O/V: ............................................................................................................................................23 Security Link Wall.......................................................................................................................................................24 ...................................................................................................................................................................................24 Impact block - securitization.......................................................................................................................................25 2nc Environmental Lacan O/V: .................................................................................................................................26 Environment 2nc Links: .............................................................................................................................................27 Link - fantasy...............................................................................................................................................................28 Link utopia................................................................................................................................................................29 ...................................................................................................................................................................................30 Link utopia................................................................................................................................................................31 Link world vision......................................................................................................................................................32 Link representations.................................................................................................................................................33 Link representations.................................................................................................................................................34 Link Fiat....................................................................................................................................................................35 Link futurism............................................................................................................................................................36 ....................................................................................................................................................................................36 Link futurism............................................................................................................................................................37 Link futurism............................................................................................................................................................38 Link futurism............................................................................................................................................................39 ....................................................................................................................................................................................39 Link- State....................................................................................................................................................................40 Link state..................................................................................................................................................................41 Link scarcity.............................................................................................................................................................42

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Murray and Lux Goat F*cking Link identity..............................................................................................................................................................43 Link identity..............................................................................................................................................................44 ...................................................................................................................................................................................44 Link - identity..............................................................................................................................................................45 Link war representations..........................................................................................................................................46 Link Race..................................................................................................................................................................49 ....................................................................................................................................................................................49 Link - Race...................................................................................................................................................................50 .....................................................................................................................................................................................50 LinkRace..................................................................................................................................................................51 ....................................................................................................................................................................................51 LinkRace..................................................................................................................................................................52 ....................................................................................................................................................................................52 .....................................................................................................................................................................................52 LinkRace..................................................................................................................................................................53 LinkRace..................................................................................................................................................................54 .....................................................................................................................................................................................54 LinkRace..................................................................................................................................................................55 ....................................................................................................................................................................................55 LinkRace..................................................................................................................................................................56 LinkRace..................................................................................................................................................................57 LinkRace..................................................................................................................................................................58 LinkRace..................................................................................................................................................................59 LinkRace..................................................................................................................................................................60 LinkRace..................................................................................................................................................................61 LinkRace..................................................................................................................................................................62 LinkRace Discourse.................................................................................................................................................63 LinkProblem Solution.............................................................................................................................................64 ...................................................................................................................................................................................64 Link Reason..............................................................................................................................................................65 Link - War on Terror...................................................................................................................................................66 Link timeframe.........................................................................................................................................................67 Link liberation..........................................................................................................................................................68 Link - Ethics................................................................................................................................................................69 LinkEthics................................................................................................................................................................70 Link Ethics................................................................................................................................................................71 .....................................................................................................................................................................................71 Link Derrida..............................................................................................................................................................72 Link - Derrida..............................................................................................................................................................73 Link - obligation..........................................................................................................................................................76 .....................................................................................................................................................................................76 Link Obligation.........................................................................................................................................................77 Link util....................................................................................................................................................................78 ...................................................................................................................................................................................78 LinkCompassion......................................................................................................................................................79 .....................................................................................................................................................................................79

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Murray and Lux Goat F*cking ....................................................................................................................................................................................79 LinkGuilt/Harms......................................................................................................................................................80 .....................................................................................................................................................................................80 Link guilt..................................................................................................................................................................81 ....................................................................................................................................................................................81 Link ecology.............................................................................................................................................................82 LinkEcological Catastrophe....................................................................................................................................83 LinkEcological Catastrophe....................................................................................................................................84 LinkEnvironmental Ethics.......................................................................................................................................85 Link environmental discourse..................................................................................................................................86 ...................................................................................................................................................................................87 Link politicizing the environment............................................................................................................................88 Link environmental narratives.................................................................................................................................89 Link environmental apocalypse...............................................................................................................................90 .....................................................................................................................................................................................90 Link the other............................................................................................................................................................91 Link the other............................................................................................................................................................92 .....................................................................................................................................................................................92 Link omission...........................................................................................................................................................93 .....................................................................................................................................................................................93 Link - threats................................................................................................................................................................94 Link - historicism........................................................................................................................................................95 Impact - violence.........................................................................................................................................................96 Impact self regulation...............................................................................................................................................97 Impact - fascism...........................................................................................................................................................98 .....................................................................................................................................................................................98 Impact scapegoating.................................................................................................................................................99 Impact post politics.................................................................................................................................................100 Impact sham jouissance..........................................................................................................................................101 ...................................................................................................................................................................................101 Impact queer violence.............................................................................................................................................102 Impact death drive (1/3).........................................................................................................................................103 ..................................................................................................................................................................................103 Impact death drive (2/3).........................................................................................................................................104 ...................................................................................................................................................................................104 Impact death drive (3/3).........................................................................................................................................105 Impact death drive (4/4).........................................................................................................................................106 ..................................................................................................................................................................................106 Alternative: the aff can never access it.....................................................................................................................107 ...................................................................................................................................................................................107 Alternative: Shame....................................................................................................................................................108 Alternative do nothing............................................................................................................................................109 Alternative radical realignment (environment)......................................................................................................110 ..................................................................................................................................................................................111 AT: Link turn.............................................................................................................................................................112 AT Robinson..............................................................................................................................................................113

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Murray and Lux Goat F*cking AT: Robinson.............................................................................................................................................................114 AT: Ontology.............................................................................................................................................................115 AT: Radicality ..........................................................................................................................................................116 AT: State/ Realism inevitable....................................................................................................................................117 AT: Doesnt apply to the social.................................................................................................................................118 AT Permutation.........................................................................................................................................................119 AT: Permutation........................................................................................................................................................120 ..................................................................................................................................................................................120 AT: Permutation (environment)................................................................................................................................121 AT: Speaking for the other........................................................................................................................................124 Framework theory..................................................................................................................................................125 AT: Framework.........................................................................................................................................................126 AT: Framework.........................................................................................................................................................127 Framework - Shame...................................................................................................................................................128 Framework be the analyst......................................................................................................................................129 FrameworkThe Analyst.........................................................................................................................................130 FrameworkThe Analyst.........................................................................................................................................131 FrameworkThe Analyst.........................................................................................................................................132 ...................................................................................................................................................................................132 FrameworkThe Analyst.........................................................................................................................................133 FrameworkThe Analyst.........................................................................................................................................134 FrameworkThe Analyst.........................................................................................................................................135 Framework psychoanalysis good: political............................................................................................................136 Framework psychoanalysis good: gender..............................................................................................................137 Framework psychoanalytic terms..........................................................................................................................138 Framework symbolic order....................................................................................................................................139 Framework language..............................................................................................................................................140 .................................................................................................................................................................................140 AT: Pragmatism/ Rorty.............................................................................................................................................141 AT: Fantasies good/ alt solvency..............................................................................................................................142 AT: Lacan bad...........................................................................................................................................................143 AT: Foucault..............................................................................................................................................................144 Affirmative AT: lack..............................................................................................................................................145 ..................................................................................................................................................................................145 Affirmative AT: lack..............................................................................................................................................146 Affirmative AT: Fantasy........................................................................................................................................147 Affirmative AT: Fantasy........................................................................................................................................148 Affirmative AT: alternative....................................................................................................................................149 Affirmative AT: alternative....................................................................................................................................150 Affirmative - AT: session..........................................................................................................................................151 Affirmative - permutation..........................................................................................................................................152 Affirmative generic................................................................................................................................................153 Affirmative aff is better than the alt.......................................................................................................................154 Affirmative psychoanalysis = despotism...............................................................................................................155 Affirmative AT: Thomassen..................................................................................................................................156

Kentucky Fellows 2008 Murray and Lux

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1NC Security (1/11)


The Affirmatives belief in the fantasy of security allows the us to remain hopeful in the peaceful resolution of [impact] with the promise of a new energy. The problem with strategies such as the affirmative is it promises its subjects the ability to reunite with their lost enjoyment while never actually delivering on the goods. The result is the insulation of the ruling security ideology McGowan, 2007, (Todd, Prof of English @ Univ of Vermont, The Real Gaze: Film Theory After Lacan, p. 131136) SRM
Through its deployment of fantasy, the cinema of integration offers the spectator hope in the face of the impossible. Its unbridled hopefulness is one of the primary sources of this cinemas attractiveness. Subjects long to hope because hope suggests that they are not simply condemned to the path of desire, that there is something beyond the dissatisfaction of desire. If it sustains subjects in this way, hope seems beneficial, or at least innocuous. Where does the danger lie? Why does Nietzsche proclaim that hope . . . is in truth the worst of all evils?1 The problem with hope is that it justifies our submission to the dictates of ideology. We submit to ideology hoping that the future will provide the enjoyment that the present denies us. Ideology sustains its control on the basis of the hopes it engenders, hopes that no subject can ever realize. All hope for the realization of our desire is in vain because we cannot accesseither now or in the futurethe impossible object around which desire revolves. Even revolutionary or utopian hopes, insofar as they envision a future without lack, deceive us concerning the impossible status of the object.2 Refusing hope, however, does not imply the quiet acceptance of present conditions. In fact, refusing hope represents the basis for political contestation. Rather than having faith in the possibility of a different future, we can act in order to transform the current situation. Subjects who sustain fidelity to the path of pure desire act because they recognize that no amount of obedience and no amount of waiting will bring the impossible object. In contrast, the hopeful subject obeys and waits, which is why the ideological cinema of integration focuses to such an extent on films that engender hope. The films of Ron Howard are, above all, hopeful. They depict a marriage of the realms of desire and fantasy that eliminates the impossible object and produces an accessible object of desire in its stead. In the typical Howard film, we encounter an impossible object-cause of desire, and then, through the course of the film, we discover that we can actually achieve the impossible. Howard shows us that we can realize our desire and attain an object that would satisfy our desireor that such an object exists. Because they enact the most elementary function of fantasytransforming an absence into a presenceHowards films represent the most basic manifestation of the cinema of integration. Splash (1984) depicts Madison (Daryl Hannah) as an impossible object (a mermaid) who later becomes an accessible object of desire; Cocoon (1985) depicts three old men confronting death and then transcending it through joining an alien civilization; Ransom (1996) shows Tom Mullen (Mel Gibson) save his son from kidnappers determined to kill him even after Mullen agrees to pay the ransom; and A Beautiful Mind (2001) presents John Nash (Russell Crowe) facing his psychosis and conquering it through reason. Each of these films begins by stressing the impossibility of the object driving the heros desire in order to maximize the enjoyment that we feel when we discover that the impossible is actually possible. By taking up this trajectory, these films create a seamless image of ideology, and they work to produce spectators invested in the rewards that ideology promises. Cocoon begins by emphasizing the dissatisfaction that Ben Luckett (Wilford Brimley), Art Selwyn (Don Ameche), and Joe Finley (Hume Cronyn) experience as a result of the aging process. Living in a retirement community surrounded by other elderly people, they feel their lives winding down and sense the proximity of death. This becomes evident in the first sequence introducing them, as Ben and Art see another resident of the community die. Howard establishes the gaze as a structuring absence in this scene. Watching this death, the two men experience the gaze insofar as they see the point in the visible field that includes them: as they look at this scene of death, they see their own impending demise. Howard shoots the scene in a way that places the death of this anonymous resident of the retirement community into the position of the gaze for the spectator as well. The scene begins with a shot of Ben and Art looking in the distance with distraught looks on their faces. A subsequent long shot of the residents room shows doctors and nurses working frantically to revive the person. This shot is brief, however, and the film quickly returns to another shot of Ben and Art. Just as they begin to walk away, we hear a doctor pronounce the residents death while the camera stays with Ben and Art. Here, Howard indicates through the shot sequence and the timing of the death announcement the precise status of the residents death. It is the gaze, the point at which Ben and Artand the spectatorare not just objective onlookers but involved in what they see. The verbal pronouncement stains the visual image and functions as a present absence within that image. The presence of death as an absent object in this scene indicates that it is the truth of both Ben and Arts being. Death is the inescapable obstacle in the face of their desire, and at the same time, it is what animates this desire. In the scene immediately following this encounter with death, Joe joins Ben and Art as they walk to the neighboring abandoned mansion where they often swim clandestinely in the pool.

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[continues, no text omitted] Ben asks Joe about the results of his visit to the doctor, and Joe responds evasively, suggesting that his illness is severe. He finally concludes by saying, Doctors dont know everything, a statement that implicitly affirms the terminal nature of his illness. As in the prior scene, deathhere the mention of itfunctions as an absent presence. Joe knows he is going to die, and yet he cannot smoothly integrate this fact into his conceptual universe. Through these two scenes, the film establishes a world of desire, a world in which the absence of the gaze leaves subjects in a constant state of dissatisfaction, a world in which subjects feel their mortality impinging on them. Ben, Art, and Joe avoid directly confronting their impending death, but nonetheless the dissatisfaction that death produces structures their experience. With the spectator, they feel the lack that death and the aging process introduce. The beginning of the film establishes a world of desire in which Ben, Art, and Joe exist as dissatisfied subjects. Their desire here centers around an impossible object, since they cannot escape death or counteract the effects of the aging process. However, the film constructs a fantasy scenario that allows the three men to relate successfully to this impossibility. This fantasy scenario is triggered when aliens (disguised as humans) rent the mansion and the pool as a hatchery for the cocoons of fellow aliens who were left behind on earth from an earlier visit. Because of the life energy that the aliens impart into the swimming pool in order to hatch the cocoons they place there, the pool acquires curative powers. The first time that Ben, Art, and Joe swim in the pool after the aliens have placed the cocoons in it, the pool rejuvenates them. Howard depicts this rejuvenation through a fantasmatic montage sequence. We see slow-motion shots of each of the men exuberantly diving into the pool as upbeat music plays on the soundtrack. This display of vitality suggests that they have found a way to resolve their desire. In this way, the film provides a fantasmatic supplement for the desiring subject, showing that the desiring subject can actually find a solution to its lack. This turn from impossibility to possibility manifests itself even further in the subsequent behavior of the three men. After the swim in the energized pool, Ben, Art, and Joe display renewed sexual energy. When walking back to the retirement community, they all notice that they have erections, and that evening, they all have sex with their partners. The surprise evinced by each partner suggests that this is not a regular practice. Later, Joe learns from his doctor that his cancer is in complete remission, and Ben passes the eye test that he earlier failed in order regain his drivers license. After the three men introduce their partners to the life-enhancing pool, the film depicts them all dancing and displaying the energy of young people. At the end of the film, the three men, along with their spouses and many of their friends from the retirement community, depart in the alien spaceship for a life without death or aging. With this denouement, the film offers us a fantasy that perfectly addresses the desire that its opening establishes. Used in this way, fantasy disguises the impossible situation of the desiring subject and renders invisible the absences within the structure of ideology. Cocoon creates a fantasy that releases us from the trauma of death and aging, but at the same time, this fantasy also works to cement our position within ideology. This dimension of the film becomes even more pronounced in the final sequence. Rather than concluding the film with the departure of the elderly group and the aliens from earth, Howard adds a coda. This codaa mass funeral for the groupis perhaps the most important scene in the film because it emphasizes the link between the fantasy world and the world of desire. The minister presiding over the funeral says to the mourners, Do not fear. Your loved ones are in safekeeping. They have moved on to a higher expression of life, not life as we know it, but in the spirit everlasting. Our loved ones are in good handsnow and forever more. Here, the minister offers the standard nebulous description of heaven that is meant to offer the families fantasmatic consolation. If they will never see their lost family members again, at least they can fantasize that their loved ones are in a better place. But Cocoon gives a new twist to the standard consolation: while he undoubtedly thinks he is describing heaven, the minister unwittingly describes the actual life that the aliens have given to those who went with them. Though they are no longer visible in the image, we experience their presence through the unintended irony of the ministers words. The lost family members are here present even in their absence from the image. This conclusion is thus the precise opposite of Citizen Kane: for Welles, the object is absent even when it is present, but for Howard, the object is present even when it is absent. Cocoon demands that we see even the absences that do exist in the visual field as obscuring a hidden presence. The film reveals to the spectator that fantasy is not a separate realm apart from the world of desire; there is no radical divide between the two. This lack of a divide allows fantasy to intervene clandestinely in the world of desire. As a result, the subject continues to experience the dissatisfaction of desire but does not experience this dissatisfaction as constitutive. Instead, dissatisfaction becomes empirical, an obstacle that one might overcome. In Howards films, the impossible object that produces the world of desire disappears and an attainable object of desire appears in its stead, and this transformation dramatically undermines the subjects ability to recognize the hold that ideology has over it. In the first instance, A Beautiful Mind seems to represent a break in Howards filmmaking. Rather than hiding the gaze and its distorting power,it forces the spectator to confront the way in which our lookwhich we share with the main character, John Nash distorts the field of representation in the film. At almost its midpoint, the film makes us aware that much of what we have seen in the first half of the film (Johns top-secret government work, his congenial roommate, the roommates niece) is nothing but the product of Johns delusion. In the manner of David Finchers Fight Club (1999), the film thereby demands that we recognize how our acceptance of Johns delusional fantasy structure shaped our experience of the filmic world.

Kentucky Fellows 2008 Murray and Lux

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[continues, no text omitted] Like Johns, our view of reality in the film has been stained. We become aware that the filmic world wasnt simply there for us to see; instead, it included our look in the form of the object gaze distorting the visible field. By depicting the gaze as a distortion in the visible field, A Beautiful Mind places the spectator, with John, in the position of the desiring subject. However, the film quickly provides fantasmatic relief from desire.4 After he receives medication and becomes aware of his illness, John must endure the antagonism that accompanies the experience of desire. The subject of desire always confronts antagonism insofar as desire relates to an impossible object. When faced with antagonistic alternatives, the desiring subject cannot simply opt for one path or the other: either choice would fail to resolve desire. Either choice would leave the subject lacking something essential. Likewise, John is faced with an impossible choice: either he can take medication and lose his genius, or he can stop taking his medication and become delusional again. The impossible nature of this choice indicates the fundamental problem for the subject of desire. But the film is unable to leave Johnor the spectatorin the position of the desiring subject. Frustrated with his inability to think clearly, John opts to stop taking his medicine, and the results are disastrous. Again believing in his nonexistent college roommate, John almost allows his infant son to drown while the roommate is watching him in the bathtub. Unable to continue to live with the danger that Johns illness presents to her and her son, Alicia quickly takes their child in the car and begins to drive away. As she drives away, the film shows John flash in front of the car. His abrupt appearance in the image seems to identify him here as a threatening figurehe has just almost allowed his child to drownbut the film quickly reveals the opposite: John has taken the first step to recovery. He proclaims to Alicia, She never gets old. Marcy cant be real. She never gets old. By telling Alicia this, John informs her that he is able to control his delusions. Through the use of his reason, he can overcome the way delusion stains his sense of reality. He later says, All I have to do is apply my mind. By applying his mind to the problem instead of using medication, John surmounts the antagonism and resolves his desire. When he is faced with an impossible choicesanity or geniusthe film depicts John having it both ways. This fantasy transforms the nature of the antagonism. Rather than signaling an impossibility, the antagonism becomes nothing but the site of a difficult problem. By first depicting the antagonism and then stripping it of its impossible dimension, A Beautiful Mind shows us that social antagonism doesnt really existor exists only insofar as it can be overcome. In doing this, the film helps to accommodate the spectator to ideology. The experience of antagonism is the key to developing resistance to ideology in the subject (which is why Marx constantly stresses the antagonism between classes that capitalist ideology attempts to obscure). The antagonism that the subject of desire experiences marks the point at which ideological explanations break down; it is a rift in the fabric of the social order. By obscuring the antagonism, the film disguises this rift. The disturbance in the visual field that we experience earlier in the filmthe gazeloses its disruptive power as John gains control of his delusions. Rather than depicting the gaze as an irreducible stain in the field of the visible, A Beautiful Mind domesticates the gaze. The gaze does not disappear from the film altogether, however. John and the spectator continue to see his delusions: we often see them looking at him in the distance or walking alongside him as he is walking. But at the end of the film, a dramatic change occurs in the ontological status of these delusions. John is able to distinguish clearly between his delusions and reality. As he explains to someone who questions him about them, I still see things that are not here, but I choose not to acknowledge them. With John, the spectator also gains, by the conclusion of the film, a firm sense of what is real and what is delusion. As a result, the gaze no longer represents a barrier to the experience of reality. John canand doestreat the gaze as just another object in the field of the visible rather than allowing that object to stain the entire field. The film has transformed it from impossible object to just another possible object in the visual field. The end of the film thus marks a total victory over the gaze and desire, accomplished through the merging of the worlds of desire and fantasy. The victories over the gaze in Ron Howards films attest to the indefatigable hopefulness of these films. The gaze marks the limit of our ability to hope. As an impossible object in the field of the visible, it constantly reminds us of what we lack and what is absent. The films of Ron Howard work to convince us that we can overcome this lack, that we can hope even in the face of what seems impossible. The hope that they provide comes with a cost, however. When we embrace the hope that Howards films offer, our social reality becomes whole and unquestionable. The loss of the trauma of the gaze is at once the loss of the possibility of freedom.

Kentucky Fellows 2008 Murray and Lux

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1NC Security (4/11)


The Guarantee provided by the affirmative is merely another example of the fantasy of security provided by the Big Other, this sustained belief creates a vicious cycle in which subjects begin to cede more and more of their freedoms in the name of security until ultimately it culminates in the creation of a fascist state McGowan, 2007, (Todd, Prof of English @ Univ of Vermont, The Real Gaze: Film Theory After Lacan, p. 110112) SRM
Roma, citt aperta constitutes the spectator in a position of desire relative to the fantasmatic inducements of fascism. Later neorealist films, such as Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves, Vittorio de Sica, 1948), La Terra trema (The Earth Trembles, Luchino Visconti, 1948), and Riso amaro (Bitter Rice, Giuseppe de Santis, 1949), depict the fantasies of capitalism rather than those of fascism as the primary danger. These films continue and develop neorealisms insistence on desire as a political position, and they ground desire in the concrete political context of postwar Italian capitalism. In this context, the fantasy that seduces the subject away from the path of desire is that of individual difference, of finding an object that will lift the subject out of the oppressive situation of the masses in general. As these films make clear, this fantasy is essential to the functioning of capitalist ideology because it prevents the subject from entering into a collective opposition to capitalism. In Ladri di biciclette, de Sica continually links the situation of the main character, Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani), to other members of the working class. Antonio is not alone, despite his fantasy of elevating himself above his peers. The film reveals Antonios sense of his own exceptionalism from its very opening: other workers are clamoring to hear their names called for jobs while he sits across the street not paying attention to the job announcements (despite his eagerness for a job). In fact, he only learns about the job when a friend comes running to tell him. But when Antonio obtains the job, he convinces himself that he will pull himself above the crowd. Later, we see this fantasy of exceptionalism remaining intact even after the loss of his bicycle (and thus the job) when he is eating at a restaurant with his son, Bruno (Enzo Staiola). Antonio fantasizes about having a job that would pay enough to allow him to afford the opulent meal that he sees people eating at a nearby table. For Antonio, escape from poverty is always an individualized and private project. But in the face of Antonios individualist fantasy, the film highlights his ordinariness, the link between him and the other impoverished people we see in the film. Antonios kinship with the other members of his class becomes apparent when he visits the pawnshop to pawn the family sheets and retrieve his bicycle. After Antonio has pawned the sheets and is in the process of picking up the bicycle, the camera pans, following the worker who is in the process of storing the sheets. We see him climb a storage area several stories high, in which there are thousands of sheets that people have pawned. This pan does not advance the narrative movement of the film, but de Sica includes it in order to show that Antonio is not at all exceptional in the way that he fantasizes. 5 De Sica turns from narrative progression to social exposition in order to illustrate the illusory status of the individualist fantasy that leads the subject away from the path of desire and the possibility of politicized activity. Ladri di biciclette pushes us in the direction of this politicization because it reveals the failure of capitalism to deliver the object that its fantasies promise.6 After it has been stolen, the bicycle comes to function as the impossible object in the film, an object whose impossible status underscores capitalisms failure. De Sica emphasizes that the impossibility of the object stems not from its scarcity but from our inability to distinguish our particular object. That is to say, capitalism offers the subject the fantasy of the individualized objectthe object that is ones own and that one can ownand at the same time, capitalism works, as a mode of production, to eliminate all difference between objects. In this sense, it becomes impossible to own the object. Hence, capitalism itself renders its own individualistic fantasy impossible. 7 This becomes most apparent in Ladri di biciclette when Antonio enlists the help of his friends to search for his stolen bicycle. The day after the theft, Antonio and his friends go to the market where bicycles are sold in order to find Antonios. As they walk amid the many vendors, de Sica shoots a series of tracking shots that reveal hundreds of indistinguishable bicycles that vendors are selling. Here, the tracking shot communicates the multitude and the similarity of the objects that the group must search through. The way that de Sica shoots this scenedepicting bicycle after bicyclereveals the impossibility of isolating one particular object from the many. In addition, Antonio also learns that stolen bicycles are often sold in pieces, so that the group must identify the individual pieces of the Antonios bicycle rather than the object as a whole. Such a task is impossible because its object is impossible: within the capitalist world that the film depicts, one cannot distinguish ones own privileged object from any other object. As a result, the subject cannot live out capitalisms individualist fantasy within the world that capitalism creates. It is this contradiction that Ladri di biciclette highlights.

Kentucky Fellows 2008 Murray and Lux

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[continues, no text omitted] For the subject who succumbs to it, capitalisms individualist fantasy transforms a political situation into a purely economic one. This is what befalls Antonio. He invests himself in this fantasy right up until his final act of the film, when he attempts to steal a bicycle to replace his own. This act indicates that Antonio remains within the capitalist fantasy, but as the film concludes, de Sica emphasizes for the spectator, if not for Antoniothe illusoriness of this fantasy. After the owner of the bicycle declines to press charges against Antonio, de Sica ends the film with a shot of Antonio and Bruno disappearing into a mass of people as they walk away from the camera. This concluding shot shows that Antonio has not raised himself above the crowd, but in fact merges into it. Though he does not recognize it, the films conclusion inserts Antonio back into the position of desire as it dissolves the last vestiges of his individualist fantasy. Only by traversing such fantasies and sustaining the path of desire, the film suggests, can we become politicized subjects. By sustaining absence within the structure of narrative, Italian neorealism suggests a model for political action. Rather than basing political activity on a fantasy of the future that we work to realize, we can base it on desires resistance to the commands of symbolic authority. This is not simply resistance for its own sakea kind of anarchismbut instead resistance that insists on the subjects freedom. When the subject accepts the fantasmatic resolution of desire and obeys the strictures of symbolic authority, it cedes this freedom to a big Other that exists only through the subjects positing of it. In short, the abandonment of desire itself brings symbolic authority into existence: fascism emerges because subjects eschew the traumatic freedom of their desire. If Italian neorealism has one overriding idea, it is its insistence on the political importance of sustaining desire. This is a conception of politics that centers around the rejection of the respite that paternal authorityup to and including that of fascist authorityprovides for the subject of desire. But there is a danger inherent within the cinema of desire. Through its emphasis on the absence of the object, this type of cinema, even as it encourages us to resist the lure of fantasy, pushes us toward fantasizing a scenario that would resolve the deadlock within which it leaves us. Few have the ability to sustain the path of desire, and those who do, like Welles, often find insurmountable barriers placed along this path. The path of desire is not that of pleasure but its opposite. In Seminar V, Lacan makes this equation: Desire has an eccentricity in relation to every satisfaction. It permits us to understand what is in general its profound affinity with pain. At the limit, it is to this that desire is confined, not so much in its developed and masked forms, but in its pure and simple form; it is the pain of existing.8 To sustain the path of desire is to sustain the pain of existingand this is difficult for both filmmakers and audiences. Even overtly political films like those of Italian neorealism often slip into a form that presents the gaze as a possible object, if only to provide hope for the spectator. When the cinema opts for this path and chooses to resolve the deadlock of desire, it produces a kind of film that functions ideologically by integrating desire and fantasy. This process results in what I call the cinema of integration.

Kentucky Fellows 2008 Murray and Lux

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The Affirmative is a healthy dose of ideology instead of coming to terms with the irrational nature of the international relations they only attempt to secure the international arena making sure nothing ever really changes. Unfortunately their hope sustained in security guarantees is misplaced as ideology only operates by never fulfilling its promise of security the result is only the creation of more threats to be secured by the West Daly, 2004, (Glyn, Risking the Impossible, http://www.lacan.com/zizek-primer.htm) SRM
Zizek has been concerned crucially to demonstrate the way in which ideology serves to support reality as a concrete fully integrated totality - reality cannot be reproduced without initial ideological mystification. Ideology does not conceal or distort an underlying positivity (the way things really are), but quite the opposite. What ideology attempts to do is provide a certain positive consistency against the distorting and traumatizing effects of the Real (Zizek, 1989: 45). All ideology presents reality as a full ontological totality, and in this way tries to repress the traumatic fact that the latter is ultimately a delusion; it tries to eliminate all traces of (Real) impossibility (Zizek, 1989: 49). The exemplary figure here is that of the cynic. The typical cynic is someone who is "pragmatic", who distances themselves from sincerely held beliefs, dismisses alternative visions of social existence as so much juvenile nonsense...and who, for all that, relies even more deeply on some absolutist conception of an independent fully-formed reality. The cynic is the very model of an ideological subjectivity insofar as s/he is radically dependent on the idea of an externally ratified reality ("human nature", "the way it is" etc.). What the cynic fears most is that they might lose the support of this independent (Other) reality and consequently their sense of "place" in the world. The cynic gets involved in a certain short-circuiting procedure that is, in fact, generic to all ideological functioning: s/he is cynical towards every kind of ideological belief except his/her own fundamentalist belief in objectivist reality. The cynical attitude is more widely reflected in today's predominant inclination towards "postmodern ironizing". The key philosopher is arguably R. Rorty. Rorty wants a world where individuals are free "to pursue private perfection in idiosyncratic ways" (Rorty, 1991: 19) and where the public realm is restricted to minimal functions and is essentially aesthetic in orientation (Rorty, 1989: 125). For Rorty the central obligation is to be sceptical towards any projects of substantial social engagement for fear that it might curtail individual pursuits of happiness and lead towards despotic forms of cruelty in the name of a higher (collective) Truth (see Daly, 1994). The basic inconsistency in Rorty's position is that "we" should exercise an ironic distancing towards every socio-political project except the liberal one: the one true reality whose (private/public) structuring of social relations represents "the last conceptual revolution" (Rorty, 1989: 63) and effectively suspends history. This is why so much of what passes for contemporary postmodern thought should be understood as strictly ideological in character. With all its ironic distancing, disavowals of the authentic gesture and so on, it relies even more heavily on the functioning of the existing order as if it were a naturalistic, or immaculate, Other - a kind of preservation of the ontological dream through symbolic mortification. In other words, it tends to involve the very form of ideological identification which is formulated along the lines of "we know very well that there is no such thing as Reality but nonetheless we believe in it". So how does ideology deal with its immanent impossibility, with the fact that it cannot deliver a fully integrated social order? Zizek's answer is that ideology attempts to reify impossibility into some kind of external obstacle; to fantasmatically translate the impossibility of Society into the theft, or sabotage, of Society (see Daly, 1999). Transcendental impossibility is projected into some contingent historicised Other (e.g. the figure of "the Jew" in Nazi ideology) in such a way that the lost/stolen object (social harmony/purity) appears retrievable; an object which, of course, "we" have never possessed. By synonymizing the impossible-Real with a particular Other (Jews, Palestinians, Gypsies, immimgrants...), the fantasy of holistic fulfilment through the (imagined or otherwise) elimination/suppression of the Other is thereby sustained.

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[continues, no text omitted] Zizek has recently given this perspective a further more radical twist. Thus ideology not only presents a certain ideal of holistic fulfilment (Plato's Republic of Reason, Habermas' transparent modernity, Rorty's liberal utopia, multiculturalist harmony and so on), it also serves crucially to regulate a certain distance from it. The paradox of ideology is that it advances a particular fantasy of being reconciled with the Thing (of total fulfilment) but with the built-in proviso that we do not come too close to it. The psychoanalytic reason for this is clear: if you come too close to the Thing it either fragments irretrievably (like a digitally produced image) or, as in the Kantian sublime, produces unbearable anxiety and psychical disintegration. The point is that ideology is always already engaged reflexively with its own impossibility. Impossibility is articulated through ideology and in such a way that it both structures reality and establishes the very sense of what is considered possible. Here we have a double inscription. First there is the basic operation of translating impossibility into an external obstacle (an Other). But second, there is a further deeper stage whereby the ideological objective itself is elevated to the status of impossibility precisely as a way of avoiding any direct encounter with it (see Zizek & Daly, 2003). Ideology seeks to maintain a critical distance by keeping the Thing in focus but without coming so close that it begins to distort and fragment (see Daly, 1999: 235). The paradigmatic example is of someone who fantasises about an ideal object (a sexual scenario, a promotion, a public performance etc.) and when they actually encounter the object they are typically confronted with a de-idealisation of the object; a return of the Real . By keeping the object at a certain distance, however, ideology sustains the satisfaction derived from the fantasy of holistic fulfilment: "if only I had x I could achieve my dream". Ideology is the impossible dream not simply in terms of overcoming impossibility but of constructing the latter in an acceptable way; in a way that itself yields a certain satisfaction of both having and eating the cake. The idea of overcoming impossibility is subsists as a deferred moment of realisation but without having to go through the pain of overcoming as such. Ideology regulates this fantasmatic distance as a way of avoiding the Real in the impossible - the trauma involved in any real change. Let's take the case of Iraq and the so-called New World Order. With extensive military mobilisation, widespread social upheaval and a terrible human cost, the invasion of Iraq was undertaken precisely in order that the underlying structures of Western-U.S. socioeconomic power can continue to function in a relatively undisturbed way. While the invasion was initially justified on the grounds of international security this has, subsequent to a profound lack of evidence, been largely rearticulated in terms of a project of emancipation. And it is here that we get the ideological twist: "we are here to liberate/democratise Iraq...while recognising that a full implementation of the latter is impossible under present (any) circumstances". Thus the occupation of Iraq continues in full force. The message is, "in principle (you can have liberation), yes; in reality, no". It is this hidden clause of deferral that effectively prevents any real attempt to realise the publicly stated objective. Along the lines of Henry Ford's famous declaration ("you can have any colour you like, as long as it's black") we see the same kind of forced choice at play: "the Iraqi people can have all the democracy they want, all the popular control over their oil and natural resources...as long as it is modelled on U.S.-Western liberal capitalism, as long as it does not undermine U.S.-Western interests". With New World Order discourse we see a similar ideological process. Any genuine attempt to realise such an order would involve massive (traumatic) changes: power sharing, the eradication of poverty and systematic social exclusion, a globalisation of equal rights/participation and so on, as integral reflexive elements. In reality, the New World Order is routinely conjured as an indefinite ideal that serves precisely to prevent any real movement towards it. The same type of ideological clause is secretly functioning: "we are moving towards a New World Order that will not tolerate the Saddam Husseins of this world...while recognising that a true implementation of such an order (one that would be intolerant of all the autocrats and corporate profiteers/dictatorships) is currently/always impossible". In this way, the category of impossibility itself functions as an implicit-obscene ideological supplement in today's realpolitik; in today's cynical assertion of the way things actually are.

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The Threat of catastrophe utilized by the Affirmative in order to justify passage of the plan is not a break from Status Quo Bush Doctrine, but instead is the sustaining force behind todays biopolitics. Life lived under this constant threat of annihilation is a life lived in a permanent state of emergency. Life deprived of the substance that makes it worth living. Zizek 2003, (Slavoj, Prof of Sociology @ Inst. For Sociology Ljjbljana Univ, The Puppet and the Dwarf, 94-99) SRM
Insofar as death and life designate for Saint Paul two existential (subjective) positions, not objective facts, we are fully justified in raising the old Pauline question: who is really alive today? What if we are really alive only if and when we engage ourselves with an excessive intensity which puts us beyond mere life? What if, when we focus on mere survival, even if it is qualified as having a good time, what we ultimately lose is life itself? What if the Palestinian suicide bomber on the point of blowing himself (and others) up is, in an emphatic sense, more alive than the American soldier engaged in a war in front of a computer screen hundreds of miles away from the enemy, or a New York yuppie jogging along the Hudson river in order to keep his body in shape? Or, in terms of the psychoanalytic clinic, what if a hysteric is truly alive in her permanent, excessive, provoking questioning of her existence, while an obsessional is the very model of choosing a life in death? That is to say, is not the ultimate aim of his compulsive rituals to prevent the thing from happeningthis thing being the excess of life itself? Is not the catastrophe he fears the fact that, finally, something will really happen to him? Or, in terms of the revolutionary process, what if the difference that separates Lenins era from Stalinism is, again, the difference between life and death? There is an apparently marginal feature which clearly illustrates this point: the basic attitude of a Stalinist Communist is that of following the correct Party line against Rightist or Leftist deviation in short, to steer a safe middle course; for authentic Leninism, in clear contrast, there is ultimately only one deviation, the Centrist onethat of playing it safe, of opportunistically avoiding the risk of clearly and excessively taking sides. There was no deeper historical necessity, for example, in the sudden shift of Soviet policy from War Communism to the New Economic Policy in 1921 it was just a desperate strategic zigzag between the Leftist and the Rightist line, or, as Lenin himself put it in 1922, the Bolsheviks made all the possible mistakes. This excessive taking sides, this permanent imbalance of zigzag, is ultimately (the revolutionary political) life itselffor a Leninist, the ultimate name of the counterrevolutionary Right is Center itself, the fear of introducing a radical imbalance into the social edifice. It is a properly Nietzschean paradox that the greatest loser in this apparent assertion of Life against all transcendent Causes is actual life itself. What makes life worth living is the very excess of life: the awareness that there is something for which we are ready to risk our life (we may call this excess freedom, honor, dignity, autonomy, etc.). Only when we are ready to take this risk are we really alive. So when Hlderlin wrote: To live is to defend a form, this form is not simply a Lebens form, but the form of the excess-of-life, the way this excess violently inscribes itself into the life-texture. Chesterton makes this point apropos of the paradox of courage: A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine.2 The postmetaphysical survivalist stance of the Last Men ends up in an anemic spectacle of life dragging on as its own shadow. It is within this horizon that we should appreciate todays growing rejection of the death penalty: what we should be able to discern is the hidden biopolitics which sustains this rejection. Those who assert the sacredness of life, defending it against the threat of transcendent powers which parasitize on it, end up in a supervised world in which well live painlessly, safelyand tediously,3 a world in which, for the sake of its very official goala long, pleasurable life all real pleasures are prohibited or strictly controlled (smoking, drugs, food. . .). Spielbergs Saving Private Ryan is the latest example of this survivalist attitude toward dying, with its demystifying presentation of war as a meaningless slaughter which nothing can really justifyas such, it provides the best possible justification for Colin Powells No-casualties-on-our-side military doctrine. On todays market, we find a whole series of products deprived of their malignant property: coffee without caffeine, cream without fat, beer without alcohol. . . . And the list goes on: what about virtual sex as sex without sex, the Colin Powell doctrine of warfare with no casualties (on our side, of course) as warfare without warfare, the contemporary redefinition of politics as the art of expert administration as politics without politics, up to todays tolerant liberal multiculturalism as an experience of the Other deprived of its Otherness (the idealized Other who dances fascinating dances, and has an ecologically sound, holistic approach to reality, while features like wife-beating remain out of sight)? Virtual Reality simply generalizes this procedure of offering a product deprived of its substance: it provides reality itself deprived of its substance, of the hard resistant kernel of the Realjust as decaffeinated coffee smells and tastes like real coffee without being the real coffee, Virtual Reality is experienced as reality without being so. Is this not the attitude of the hedonistic Last Man?

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[continues, no text omitted] Everything is permitted, you can enjoy everything, but deprived of its substance, which makes it dangerous. (This is also the Last Mans revolution revolution without revolution.) Is this not one of the two versions of Lacans anti-Dostoevsky motto If God doesnt exist, everything
is prohibited? (1) God is dead, we live in a permissive universe, you should strive for pleasure, you should avoid dangerous excesses, so everything is prohibited if it is not deprived of its substance. (2) If God is dead, the superego enjoins you to enjoy, but every determinate enjoyment is already a betrayal of the unconditional one, so it should be prohibited. The nutritive version of this is to enjoy the Thing Itself directly: why bother with coffee? Inject caffeine directly into your bloodstream! Why bother

with sensual perceptions and excitation by external reality? Take drugs which directly affect your brain! And if God does exist, then everything is permittedto those who claim to act directly on behalf of God, as the instruments of His will; clearly, a direct link to God justifies our violation of any merely human constraints and considerations (as in Stalinism, where the reference to the big Other of historical
Necessity justifies absolute ruthlessness). Todays hedonism combines pleasure with constraint: it is no longer the old notion of the right balance between pleasure and constraint, but a kind of pseudo-Hegelian immediate coincidence of opposites: action and reaction should coincide; the very thing that causes damage should already be the remedy. The ultimate example is arguably a chocolate laxative, available in the USA, with the paradoxical injunction: Do you have constipation? Eat more of this chocolate! (that is, of the very thing that causes constipation). Do we not find here a weird version of Wagners famous Only the spear which caused the wound can heal it, from Parsifal? And is not a negative proof of the hegemony of this stance the fact that genuine unconstrained consumption (in all its

forms: drugs, free sex, smoking) is emerging as the main danger? The fight against such danger is one of the principal motivations of todays biopolitics . Solutions are desperately sought that would reproduce the paradox of the chocolate laxative. The main contender is safe sexa term which makes
us appreciate the truth of the old saying Isnt having sex with a condom like taking a shower with your raincoat on? The ultimate goal here would be, along the lines of decaffeinated coffee, to invent opium without opium: no wonder marijuana is so popular among liberals who want to legalize itit already is a kind of opium without opium. In his scathing remarks on Wagner, Nietzsche diagnosed Wagners decadence as consisting in a combination of asceticism and excessive morbid excitation: the excitation is false, artificial, morbid, hysterical, and the ensuing peace is also a fake, that of an almost medical tranquilization. This, for Nietzsche, was the universe of Parsifal, which embodied Wagners capitulation to the appeal of Christianity: the ultimate fake of Christianity is that it sustains its official message of inner peace and redemption by a morbid excitation, namely, a fixation on the suffering, mutilated corpse of Christ. The very term passion here is revealing in its ambiguity:

passion as suffering, passion as passionas if the only thing that can arouse passion is the sick spectacle of passive suffering. The key question, of course, is: can Saint Paul be reduced to mixture of morbid excitation and ascetic renunciation? Is not the Pauline agape precisely an attempt to break out of the morbid cycle of law and sin sustaining each other? More generally, what, exactly, is the status of the excess, the too-muchness (Eric Santner) of life with regard to itself? Is this excess generated only by the turn of life against itself, so that it actualizes itself only in the guise of the morbid undeadness of the sick passion? Or, in Lacanese: is the excess of jouissance over pleasure generated only through the reversal of the repression of desire into the desire for repression, of the renunciation of desire into the desire for renunciation, and so on? It is crucial to reject this version, and to assert some kind of primordial excess or too-muchness of life itself: human life never coincides with itself; to be fully alive means to be larger than life, and a morbid denial of life is not a denial of life itself, but, rather, the denial of this excess. How, then, are the two excesses related: the excess inherent to life itself, and the excess generated by the denial of life? Is it not that the excess generated by the denial of life is a kind of revenge, a return of the excess repressed by the denial of life? A state of emergency coinciding with the normal state is the political formula of this predicament: in todays antiterrorist politics, we find the same mixture of morbid excitation and tranquilization. The official aim of Homeland Security appeals to the US population in early 2003, intended to make them ready for a terrorist attack, was to calm people down: everything is under control, just follow the rules and carry on with your life. However, the very warning that people must be ready for a large-scale attack sustained the tension: the effort to keep the situation under control asserted the prospect of a catastrophe in a negative way. The aim was to get the population used to leading their daily lives under the threat of a looming catastrophe, and thus to introduce a kind of permanent state of emergency (since, let us not forget, we were informed in the fall of 2002 that the War on Terror will go on for decades, at least for our life-time). We should therefore interpret the different levels of the Alert Code (red, orange) as a state strategy to control the necessary level of excitation, and it is precisely through such a permanent state of emergency, in which we are interpellated to participate through our readiness, that the power asserts its hold over us. In The Others (Alejandro Amenabar, 2001), Nicole Kidman, a mother who lives with her two young children in a haunted house on Jersey Island,
discovers at the end that they are all ghosts: a couple of years before, she first strangled her children and then shot herself (it is the intruders who disturb their peace from time to time who are the real people, potential buyers interested in their house).The only interesting feature of this rather ineffective Sixth Sense-type final twist is the precise reason why Kidman returns as a ghost: she cannot assume her Medea-like actin a way, continuing to live as a ghost (who doesnt know that she is one) symbolizes her ethical compromise, her unreadiness to confront the terrible act constitutive of subjectivity. This reversal is not simply symmetrical: instead of ghosts disturbing real people, appearing to them, it is the real people who disturb the ghosts, appearing to them. Is it not like this when to paraphrase Saint Paulwe are not alive in our real lives? It is not that, in such a case, the promise of real life haunts us in a ghostlike form? Today we are like the anemic Greek philosophers who read Pauls words on the Resurrection with ironic laughter. The only Absolute acceptable within this horizon is a negative one: absolute Evil, whose

paradigmatic figure today is that of the Holocaust. The evocation of the Holocaust serves as a warning of what the ultimate result of the submission of Life to some higher Goal is.

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In a world where every single action seems to only reinforce the dominant security ideology, what is our alternative you ask? We will commit to the Burden of rejoinder and defend the status quo. We ask you to come to terms with a world absent the World affirmative and accept their impacts as inevitable in their ideological universe. Only the refusal to participate in the forced choice provided by ideology explodes it at its weakest searching for new political action outside the confines of ideology. McGowan 2007,
(Todd, Assoc. Prof of English @ Univ. of Vermont, The Real Gaze: Film Theory After Lacan, p. 175-178) SRM THE ALLIANCE BETWEEN the theorist and the cinema as such becomes most evident in the cinema of intersection. This cinema has an implicit political urgency that derives from its effort to depict the gaze directly. By depicting the gaze directly, the films of the cinema of intersection aim at encouraging subjects to recognize that they themselves, on the level of fantasy, hold the key to the secret at the heart of the Other. In clear contrast to the cinema of integration; this cinema directs subjects away from their proclivity to seek fantasmatic support in the Other. The cinema of integration tends to produce subjects who believe in a nonlacking Other. This cinema, as we saw in the case of Steven Spielberg, is one that posits; whether explicitly orimplicitly, a symbolic father filling in the absence in the Other. The filmic world of the cinema of integration fosters the belief that absence in the Other does not really exist. Each time it depicts an absence, this cinema reveals a hidden presence. According to this cinema, the Other as such never fails. In the cinema of intersection, we encounter the absence in the Other directly. The strict separation of the worlds of desire and fantasy in this cinema allows it to depict these worlds intersecting. At these moments, we experience the absence in the Other in a privileged way. Hence, rather than producing dependence, the cinema of intersection produces an experience of freedom. The encounter with the real is the encounter with the Other's failure, and this encounter traumatizes the subject because it deprives the subject of support in the Other. The subject derives its symbolic identity from the Other, and as a result, the encounter with the Other's lack leaves the subject without any sense of identity. The subject loses the security that derives from its link to the Other. But at the same time, this loss of support in the Other frees the subject from its dependence on the Other. Freedom depends on the recognition that the Other does not exist, that the Other cannot provide the subject a substantive identity. The encounter with the gaze in the cinema of intersection permits us to experience directly the Other's insubstantial status. In none of the cinematic structures that we have looked at thus far does the gaze appear as an object that we can encounter. Each type of cinema, in its own fashion, suggests the impossible status of the gaze, though the cinema of integration does so unwittingly, through its failure to present the gaze as either an absence in the visible field or as a distortion of that field. In this sense, these three types of cinema affirm Lacan's contention that "the real is the impossible," and they allow us to seeexcept in the case of the cinema of integrationthe lack in the Other and the incomplete status of ideology. Though the cinema of desire and the cinema of fantasy affirm the impossible status of the gaze and its irreducibility to the field of the visible, neither is able to show us how we can experience and accomplish the impossible. That is to say, both kinds of cinema conceive of the gaze as impossible in the strict sense of the term. However, Lacan's conception of the real as impossible does not mean that the real cannot be reached, but that it does not fit within the logic of our symbolic structure. As he explains in Seminar XVII, it is impossible "not on account of a simple stumbling block against which we bang our heads, but on account of what is announced as impossible by the symbolic. It is from there that the real arises."2 Though the real marks the point of impossibility within any symbolic system, this point of impossibility is not out of reach. The impossible status of the real stems from our inability to trace a path to it through the symbolic order. We can identify itand we can mark it symbolically but we can't find a way to access the red in the way that we access other empirical objects. The example of the square root of -1 indicates the problem that the real presents to us. We can, of course, think and symbolize the square root of 1. But we cannot symbolize with real numbers what results when we try to take the square root of 1 because no squared real number will be negative. The square root of 1 requires us to create an imaginary number that exists solely in order to be the solution to this operation. This imaginary number is, in a sense, more real than any real number insofar as it indicates the point at which a certain mathematical system of symbolization breaks down. This system invites us to take the square root of numbers, but it cannot accommodate this operation being performed on every number. The square root of 1 represents what the system of real numbers cannot symbolize, and when we create imaginary numbers in order to perform this operation, we do the impossible and thereby radically transform the system of symbolization itself. To return from mathematics to ideology, one can accomplish the impossible by refusing to accept the choices that ideology offers. Ideology functions by defining the possibilities that subjects have, by creating options that remain within ideological bounds. One can choose today, for instance, between fundamentalism and capitalist democracy, but both choices remain within the ideological orbit of contemporary global capitalism.

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[continues, no text omitted] Even opting to combat capitalist democracy by choosing fundamentalism doesn't challenge the ideological landscape. Even fundamentalist terror attacks affirm rather than question capitalist ideology as they provide an opportunity for this ideology to align itself falsely with freedom. Capitalist democracy understands fundamentalism as the other that allows it to function and to define itself. That is to say, ideology establishes the game so that it wins no matter which side a subject chooses. Within an ideological structure, every possibility affirms the ideology and feeds its overall logic. The only way to break from the controlling logic of the ideology is to reject the possibilities that it presents and opt for the impossible. The impossible is impossible within a specific ideological framework, and the act of accomplishing the impossible has the effect of radically transforming the framework. The impossible thus marks the terrain of politics as such. As Slavoj Zizek points out, "Authentic politics is ... the art of the impossibleit changes the very parameters of what is considered 'possible' in the existing constellation." If a political act is not impossible in this sense, it is not really political because it lacks the ability to transform the contested ideological field.5 To create authentic change demands an act that does not fit within the possibilities that ideology lays out. Ideology prevents subjects from opting for the impossible choice precisely by making it seem impossible to do so. That is to say, we tend to believe that the impossible really is impossible because this is what ideology tells us again and. again. Herein lies the great value of the cinema of intersection. Through enacting a traumatic encounter with the gaze, this cinema shows us that we can do the impossible. At the moment we encounter the gaze, we see the field of representation thrown into relief and redefined. Everything outside of the gaze loses its former significance in light of this encounter. Through this cinematic experience, we can glimpse the impossible. We see the filmic world from the perspective of the gaze rather than seeing the gaze from the perspective of the filmic world (as occurs in the cinema of integration). After this encounter, the normal functioning of the world cannot continue in the same way and undergoes a radical transformation. Though we can accomplish the impossible, we can't do so without simultaneously destroying the very ground beneath our feet. By facilitating an encounter with the gaze, the cinema of intersection encourages the spectator to identify with this object. Though other forms of cinema push the subject in the direction of freedom, it is only the cinema of intersection that emphasizes identification with the impossible object. In doing so, this cinema allows the subject to grasp its own nothingnessto see itself in the nothingness of the object. The reduction of the subject to the nothingness of the objet petit a is the most extreme form of freedom available to the subject. It implies a rejection of the world of the Other and an affirmation of the subject's private fantasmatic response to that world. To identify with the object is to insist on one's particular way of enjoying at the expense of one's symbolic identity.

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Sustainability is just a symbolic attempt to recreate an authentic nature The desire for a wholly cohesive and stable conception manifests itself in the drive for newer better technology. The desire for sustainability ignores the need to radically shift the ideological paradigm that locks humanity within the cycle of apocalyptic fear. Swyngedouw, Dept of Geography, School of Environment and Development, Manchester University, 2006. [Eirk, Impossible Sustainability and the Post-Political Condition, Forthcoming in: David Gibbs and Rob Krueger (Eds.) Sustainable Development, http://www.liv.ac.uk/geography/seminars/Sustainabilitypaper.doc]
So, if Nature does not exist, what, then, to say about sustainability, a concept (and associated set of fuzzy practices) that is deeply indebted and intensely connected to the particular imaginations of Nature suggested above. Since its early definition in the Brundtland report of 1987, the concept (but not much of the practice) of sustainability has really taken off. A cursory glance at both popular and academic publications will quickly assemble a whole array of sustainabilities: sustainable environments, sustainable development, sustainable growth, sustainable wetlands, sustainable bodies, sustainable companies, sustainable processes, sustainable incomes, sustainable cities, sustainable technologies, sustainable water provision, even sustainable poverty, sustainable accumulation, sustainable markets, and sustainable loss. I have not been able to find a single source that is against sustainability. Greenpeace is in favour, George Bush Jr. and Sr. are, the World Bank and its chairman (a prime war monger in Iraq) are, the pope is, my son Arno is, the rubber tappers in the Brazilian Amazon are, Bill Gates is, the labour unions are. All are presumably concerned about the long-term socio-environmental survival of (parts of) humanity; most just keep on doing business as usual. The clear and present danger posed by the environmental question is obviously not dramatic enough to be taken seriously in terms of embarking on a different socioenvironmental trajectory. That is left to do some other time and certainly not before the day after tomorrow. Of course, this cacophony of voices and imaginations also points to the inability to agree on the meaning or, better, to the lack of a singular Nature. There are obviously multiple imaginations that mobilise or appropriate sustainability as radically and truthfully theirs, based on equally imaginative variations of what constitutes Nature. Environmentalists (whether activists or scientists) invariably invoke the global physical processes that threaten our existence, and insist on the need to re-engineer nature, so that it can return to a sustainable path. Armed with their charts, formulas, models, numbers, and grant applications, to which activists usually add the inevitable pictures of scorched land, factories or cars emitting carbon fumes, dying animals and plants, suffering humans, apocalyptic rhetoric, and calls for subsidies and financial support, scientists, activists, and all manner of assorted other human and non-human actants enter the domain of the social, the public, and, most importantly, the political. Thus natures enter the political. A particular and symbolically enshrined nature enters the parliament of politics, but does so in a duplicitous manner. It is a treacherously deceitful Nature that enters politics, one that is packaged, numbered, calculated, coded, modelled, represented by those who claim to possess, know, understand, speak for the real Nature. In other words, what enters the domain of politics is the coded and symbolised versions of nature mobilised by scientists, activists, industrialists and the like. This is particularly evident in examples such as the debate over GMOs, global climate change, BSE, biodiversity loss, and other equally pressing issues. Invariably, the acting of Nature -- as scripted by the bearers of natures knowledge enters the political machinery as coded language that also already posits its political and social solution and does not tolerate, in the name of Nature, dissent other than that framed by its own formulations. It is in this sense of course that the argument about climate change is exclusively formulated in terms of believers and non-believers, as a quasi-religious faith, but the weapons of the struggle in this case are matters of fact like data, models, and physico-chemical analysis. And the solutions to the question of sustainability are already pre-figured by the way in which nature is made to speak. Creeping increases in long term global temperatures, which will cause untold suffering and damage, are caused by CO2 output. Hence, the solution to future climate ills resides in cutting back on CO2 emissions. Notwithstanding the validity of the role of CO2 in co-constituting the process of climate change, the problematic of the future calamities the world faces is posited primarily in terms of the physical acting of one of natures components, CO2 as is its solution found in bringing CO2 within our symbolic (socio-economic) order, futilely attempted with the Kyoto agreement or other neo-liberal market-based mechanisms. Questioning the politics of climate change in itself is already seen as an act of treachery, as an unlawful activity, banned by Nature itself.

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The attempt to make nature and the environment a political issue ignores the social coordinates that have created the dangers of environmental catastrophe, and birthed the prevalence of the green governmental discourse. The politicization of nature ignores the socio-political circumstances that allow massive disasters. The discussion of Katrina as a political issue of climate change ignores the failure to rebuild levees around the ninth ward, and effectively glosses over the racism implicit in the destruction of New Orleans. Swyngedouw, Dept of Geography, School of Environment and Development, Manchester University, 2006. [Eirk, Impossible Sustainability and the Post-Political Condition, Forthcoming in: David Gibbs and Rob Krueger (Eds.) Sustainable Development, http://www.liv.ac.uk/geography/seminars/Sustainabilitypaper.doc]
Although there may be no Nature, there certainly is a politics of nature or a politics of the environment. The collages of apparently contradictory and overlapping vignettes of the environmental conditions outlined above share one common threat that many of us, Bush and Blair, my son and Greenpeace, Oxfam and the World Bank, agree on. The world is in environmental trouble. And we need to act politically now. Both the 2004 Tsunami and New Orleanss Katrina brought the politicisation of Nature home with a vengeance. Although the Tsunami had everything to do with the earths geodetic acting out and with the powerless of South East Asia drowning in its consequences and absolutely nothing with climate change or other environmentally degrading practices, the Tsunami calamity was and continues to be staged as a socio-environmental catastrophe, another assertion of the urgent need to revert to more sustainable socio-environmental practices. New Orleans socio-environmental disaster was of a different kind. While there may be a connection between the number and intensity of hurricanes and climate change, that of course does account neither for the dramatic destructions of poor peoples lives in the city nor for the plainly blatant racist spectacles that were fed into the media on a daily basis in the aftermath of the hurricanes rampage through the city. The imaginary staged in the aftermath of the socio-environmental catastrophe of New Orleans singled out disempowered African Americans twice, first as victims, then as criminals. Even the New York Times conceded that 80% of the reported crimes taking place in unruly and disintegrating New Orleans in the aftermath of the hurricanes devastations were based on rumour and innuendo. A perverse example of how liberal humanitarian concern is saturated with racialised coding and moral disgust with the poorest and most excluded parts of society. Of course, after the poor were hurricaned out of New Orleans, the wrecked city is rapidly turning into a fairy-tale playground for urban developers and city boosters who will make sure, this time around, that New Orleans will be rebuilt in their image of a sustainable capitalist city: green, white, rich, conservative, and neo-liberal (Davis, 2006). The popular response to Katrina, the barrage of apocalyptic warnings of the pending catastrophes wrecked by climate change and the need to take urgent remedial action to engineer a retro-fitted balanced climate are perfect examples of the tactics and configurations associated with the present post-political condition, primarily in the US and Europe. Indeed, a politics of sustainability, predicated upon a radically conservative and reactionary view of a singular and ontologically stable and harmonious Nature is necessarily one that eradicates or evacuates the political from debates over what to do with natures. The key political question is one that centres on the question of what kind of natures we which to inhabit, what kinds of natures we which to preserve, to make, or, if need be, to wipe off the surface of the planet (like the HIV virus, for example), and on how to get there. The fantasy of sustainability imagines the possibility of an originally fundamentally harmonious Nature, one that is now out-of-synch but, which, if properly managed, we can and have to return to by means of a series of technological, managerial, and organisational fixes. As suggested above, many, from different social, cultural, and philosophical positionalities, agree with this dictum. Disagreement is allowed, but only with respect to the choice of technologies, the mix of organisational fixes, the detail of the managerial adjustments, and the urgency of their timing and implementation. Natures apocalyptic future, if unheeded, symbolises and nurtures the solidification of the post-political condition. And the excavation and critical assessment of this post-political condition nurtured and embodied by most of current Western socio-environmental politics is what we shall turn to next.

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The Threat of catastrophe utilized by the Affirmative in order to justify passage of the plan is not a break from Status Quo Bush Doctrine, but instead is the sustaining force behind todays biopolitics. Life lived under this constant threat of annihilation is a life lived in a permanent state of emergency. Life deprived of the substance that makes it worth living. Zizek 2003, (Slavoj, Prof of Sociology @ Inst. For Sociology Ljjbljana Univ, The Puppet and the Dwarf, 94-99) SRM
Insofar as death and life designate for Saint Paul two existential (subjective) positions, not objective facts, we are fully justified in raising the old Pauline question: who is really alive today? What if we are really alive only if and when we engage ourselves with an excessive intensity which puts us beyond mere life? What if, when we focus on mere survival, even if it is qualified as having a good time, what we ultimately lose is life itself? What if the Palestinian suicide bomber on the point of blowing himself (and others) up is, in an emphatic sense, more alive than the American soldier engaged in a war in front of a computer screen hundreds of miles away from the enemy, or a New York yuppie jogging along the Hudson river in order to keep his body in shape? Or, in terms of the psychoanalytic clinic, what if a hysteric is truly alive in her permanent, excessive, provoking questioning of her existence, while an obsessional is the very model of choosing a life in death? That is to say, is not the ultimate aim of his compulsive rituals to prevent the thing from happeningthis thing being the excess of life itself? Is not the catastrophe he fears the fact that, finally, something will really happen to him? Or, in terms of the revolutionary process, what if the difference that separates Lenins era from Stalinism is, again, the difference between life and death? There is an apparently marginal feature which clearly illustrates this point: the basic attitude of a Stalinist Communist is that of following the correct Party line against Rightist or Leftist deviation in short, to steer a safe middle course; for authentic Leninism, in clear contrast, there is ultimately only one deviation, the Centrist onethat of playing it safe, of opportunistically avoiding the risk of clearly and excessively taking sides. There was no deeper historical necessity, for example, in the sudden shift of Soviet policy from War Communism to the New Economic Policy in 1921 it was just a desperate strategic zigzag between the Leftist and the Rightist line, or, as Lenin himself put it in 1922, the Bolsheviks made all the possible mistakes. This excessive taking sides, this permanent imbalance of zigzag, is ultimately (the revolutionary political) life itselffor a Leninist, the ultimate name of the counterrevolutionary Right is Center itself, the fear of introducing a radical imbalance into the social edifice. It is a properly Nietzschean paradox that the greatest loser in this apparent assertion of Life against all transcendent Causes is actual life itself. What makes life worth living is the very excess of life: the awareness that there is something for which we are ready to risk our life (we may call this excess freedom, honor, dignity, autonomy, etc.). Only when we are ready to take this risk are we really alive. So when Hlderlin wrote: To live is to defend a form, this form is not simply a Lebens form, but the form of the excess-of-life, the way this excess violently inscribes itself into the life-texture. Chesterton makes this point apropos of the paradox of courage: A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine.2 The postmetaphysical survivalist stance of the Last Men ends up in an anemic spectacle of life dragging on as its own shadow. It is within this horizon that we should appreciate todays growing rejection of the death penalty: what we should be able to discern is the hidden biopolitics which sustains this rejection. Those who assert the sacredness of life, defending it against the threat of transcendent powers which parasitize on it, end up in a supervised world in which well live painlessly, safelyand tediously,3 a world in which, for the sake of its very official goala long, pleasurable life all real pleasures are prohibited or strictly controlled (smoking, drugs, food. . .). Spielbergs Saving Private Ryan is the latest example of this survivalist attitude toward dying, with its demystifying presentation of war as a meaningless slaughter which nothing can really justifyas such, it provides the best possible justification for Colin Powells No-casualties-on-our-side military doctrine. On todays market, we find a whole series of products deprived of their malignant property: coffee without caffeine, cream without fat, beer without alcohol. . . . And the list goes on: what about virtual sex as sex without sex, the Colin Powell doctrine of warfare with no casualties (on our side, of course) as warfare without warfare, the contemporary redefinition of politics as the art of expert administration as politics without politics, up to todays tolerant liberal multiculturalism as an experience of the Other deprived of its Otherness (the idealized Other who dances fascinating dances, and has an ecologically sound, holistic approach to reality, while features like wife-beating remain out of sight)? Virtual Reality simply generalizes this procedure of offering a product deprived of its substance: it provides reality itself deprived of its substance, of the hard resistant kernel of the Realjust as decaffeinated coffee smells and tastes like real coffee without being the real coffee, Virtual Reality is experienced as reality without being so. Is this not the attitude of the hedonistic Last Man?

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[continues, no text omitted] Everything is permitted, you can enjoy everything, but deprived of its substance, which makes it dangerous. (This is also the Last Mans revolution revolution without revolution.) Is this not one of the two versions of Lacans anti-Dostoevsky motto If God doesnt exist, everything
is prohibited? (1) God is dead, we live in a permissive universe, you should strive for pleasure, you should avoid dangerous excesses, so everything is prohibited if it is not deprived of its substance. (2) If God is dead, the superego enjoins you to enjoy, but every determinate enjoyment is already a betrayal of the unconditional one, so it should be prohibited. The nutritive version of this is to enjoy the Thing Itself directly: why bother with coffee? Inject caffeine directly into your bloodstream! Why bother

with sensual perceptions and excitation by external reality? Take drugs which directly affect your brain! And if God does exist, then everything is permittedto those who claim to act directly on behalf of God, as the instruments of His will; clearly, a direct link to God justifies our violation of any merely human constraints and considerations (as in Stalinism, where the reference to the big Other of historical
Necessity justifies absolute ruthlessness). Todays hedonism combines pleasure with constraint: it is no longer the old notion of the right balance between pleasure and constraint, but a kind of pseudo-Hegelian immediate coincidence of opposites: action and reaction should coincide; the very thing that causes damage should already be the remedy. The ultimate example is arguably a chocolate laxative, available in the USA, with the paradoxical injunction: Do you have constipation? Eat more of this chocolate! (that is, of the very thing that causes constipation). Do we not find here a weird version of Wagners famous Only the spear which caused the wound can heal it, from Parsifal? And is not a negative proof of the hegemony of this stance the fact that genuine unconstrained consumption (in all its

forms: drugs, free sex, smoking) is emerging as the main danger? The fight against such danger is one of the principal motivations of todays biopolitics . Solutions are desperately sought that would reproduce the paradox of the chocolate laxative. The main contender is safe sexa term which makes
us appreciate the truth of the old saying Isnt having sex with a condom like taking a shower with your raincoat on? The ultimate goal here would be, along the lines of decaffeinated coffee, to invent opium without opium: no wonder marijuana is so popular among liberals who want to legalize itit already is a kind of opium without opium. In his scathing remarks on Wagner, Nietzsche diagnosed Wagners decadence as consisting in a combination of asceticism and excessive morbid excitation: the excitation is false, artificial, morbid, hysterical, and the ensuing peace is also a fake, that of an almost medical tranquilization. This, for Nietzsche, was the universe of Parsifal, which embodied Wagners capitulation to the appeal of Christianity: the ultimate fake of Christianity is that it sustains its official message of inner peace and redemption by a morbid excitation, namely, a fixation on the suffering, mutilated corpse of Christ. The very term passion here is revealing in its ambiguity:

passion as suffering, passion as passionas if the only thing that can arouse passion is the sick spectacle of passive suffering. The key question, of course, is: can Saint Paul be reduced to mixture of morbid excitation and ascetic renunciation? Is not the Pauline agape precisely an attempt to break out of the morbid cycle of law and sin sustaining each other? More generally, what, exactly, is the status of the excess, the too-muchness (Eric Santner) of life with regard to itself? Is this excess generated only by the turn of life against itself, so that it actualizes itself only in the guise of the morbid undeadness of the sick passion? Or, in Lacanese: is the excess of jouissance over pleasure generated only through the reversal of the repression of desire into the desire for repression, of the renunciation of desire into the desire for renunciation, and so on? It is crucial to reject this version, and to assert some kind of primordial excess or too-muchness of life itself: human life never coincides with itself; to be fully alive means to be larger than life, and a morbid denial of life is not a denial of life itself, but, rather, the denial of this excess. How, then, are the two excesses related: the excess inherent to life itself, and the excess generated by the denial of life? Is it not that the excess generated by the denial of life is a kind of revenge, a return of the excess repressed by the denial of life? A state of emergency coinciding with the normal state is the political formula of this predicament: in todays antiterrorist politics, we find the same mixture of morbid excitation and tranquilization. The official aim of Homeland Security appeals to the US population in early 2003, intended to make them ready for a terrorist attack, was to calm people down: everything is under control, just follow the rules and carry on with your life. However, the very warning that people must be ready for a large-scale attack sustained the tension: the effort to keep the situation under control asserted the prospect of a catastrophe in a negative way. The aim was to get the population used to leading their daily lives under the threat of a looming catastrophe, and thus to introduce a kind of permanent state of emergency (since, let us not forget, we were informed in the fall of 2002 that the War on Terror will go on for decades, at least for our life-time). We should therefore interpret the different levels of the Alert Code (red, orange) as a state strategy to control the necessary level of excitation, and it is precisely through such a permanent state of emergency, in which we are interpellated to participate through our readiness, that the power asserts its hold over us. In The Others (Alejandro Amenabar, 2001), Nicole Kidman, a mother who lives with her two young children in a haunted house on Jersey Island,
discovers at the end that they are all ghosts: a couple of years before, she first strangled her children and then shot herself (it is the intruders who disturb their peace from time to time who are the real people, potential buyers interested in their house).The only interesting feature of this rather ineffective Sixth Sense-type final twist is the precise reason why Kidman returns as a ghost: she cannot assume her Medea-like actin a way, continuing to live as a ghost (who doesnt know that she is one) symbolizes her ethical compromise, her unreadiness to confront the terrible act constitutive of subjectivity. This reversal is not simply symmetrical: instead of ghosts disturbing real people, appearing to them, it is the real people who disturb the ghosts, appearing to them. Is it not like this when to paraphrase Saint Paulwe are not alive in our real lives? It is not that, in such a case, the promise of real life haunts us in a ghostlike form? Today we are like the anemic Greek philosophers who read Pauls words on the Resurrection with ironic laughter. The only Absolute acceptable within this horizon is a negative one: absolute Evil, whose

paradigmatic figure today is that of the Holocaust. The evocation of the Holocaust serves as a warning of what the ultimate result of the submission of Life to some higher Goal is.

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In a world where every single action seems to only reinforce the dominant security ideology, What is our alternative you ask? We will commit to the Burden of rejoinder and defend the status quo. We ask you to come to terms with a world absent the World affirmative and accept their impacts as inevitable in their ideological universe. Only the refusal to participate in the forced choice provided by ideology explodes it at its weakest searching for new political action outside the confines of ideology. McGowan 2007,
(Todd, Assoc. Prof of English @ Univ. of Vermont, The Real Gaze: Film Theory After Lacan, p. 175-178) SRM THE ALLIANCE BETWEEN the theorist and the cinema as such becomes most evident in the cinema of intersection. This cinema has an implicit political urgency that derives from its effort to depict the gaze directly. By depicting the gaze directly, the films of the cinema of intersection aim at encouraging subjects to recognize that they themselves, on the level of fantasy, hold the key to the secret at the heart of the Other. In clear contrast to the cinema of integration; this cinema directs subjects away from their proclivity to seek fantasmatic support in the Other. The cinema of integration tends to produce subjects who believe in a nonlacking Other. This cinema, as we saw in the case of Steven Spielberg, is one that posits; whether explicitly orimplicitly, a symbolic father filling in the absence in the Other. The filmic world of the cinema of integration fosters the belief that absence in the Other does not really exist. Each time it depicts an absence, this cinema reveals a hidden presence. According to this cinema, the Other as such never fails. In the cinema of intersection, we encounter the absence in the Other directly. The strict separation of the worlds of desire and fantasy in this cinema allows it to depict these worlds intersecting. At these moments, we experience the absence in the Other in a privileged way. Hence, rather than producing dependence, the cinema of intersection produces an experience of freedom. The encounter with the real is the encounter with the Other's failure, and this encounter traumatizes the subject because it deprives the subject of support in the Other. The subject derives its symbolic identity from the Other, and as a result, the encounter with the Other's lack leaves the subject without any sense of identity. The subject loses the security that derives from its link to the Other. But at the same time, this loss of support in the Other frees the subject from its dependence on the Other. Freedom depends on the recognition that the Other does not exist, that the Other cannot provide the subject a substantive identity. The encounter with the gaze in the cinema of intersection permits us to experience directly the Other's insubstantial status. In none of the cinematic structures that we have looked at thus far does the gaze appear as an object that we can encounter. Each type of cinema, in its own fashion, suggests the impossible status of the gaze, though the cinema of integration does so unwittingly, through its failure to present the gaze as either an absence in the visible field or as a distortion of that field. In this sense, these three types of cinema affirm Lacan's contention that "the real is the impossible," and they allow us to seeexcept in the case of the cinema of integrationthe lack in the Other and the incomplete status of ideology. Though the cinema of desire and the cinema of fantasy affirm the impossible status of the gaze and its irreducibility to the field of the visible, neither is able to show us how we can experience and accomplish the impossible. That is to say, both kinds of cinema conceive of the gaze as impossible in the strict sense of the term. However, Lacan's conception of the real as impossible does not mean that the real cannot be reached, but that it does not fit within the logic of our symbolic structure. As he explains in Seminar XVII, it is impossible "not on account of a simple stumbling block against which we bang our heads, but on account of what is announced as impossible by the symbolic. It is from there that the real arises."2 Though the real marks the point of impossibility within any symbolic system, this point of impossibility is not out of reach. The impossible status of the real stems from our inability to trace a path to it through the symbolic order. We can identify itand we can mark it symbolically but we can't find a way to access the red in the way that we access other empirical objects. The example of the square root of -1 indicates the problem that the real presents to us. We can, of course, think and symbolize the square root of 1. But we cannot symbolize with real numbers what results when we try to take the square root of 1 because no squared real number will be negative. The square root of 1 requires us to create an imaginary number that exists solely in order to be the solution to this operation. This imaginary number is, in a sense, more real than any real number insofar as it indicates the point at which a certain mathematical system of symbolization breaks down. This system invites us to take the square root of numbers, but it cannot accommodate this operation being performed on every number. The square root of 1 represents what the system of real numbers cannot symbolize, and when we create imaginary numbers in order to perform this operation, we do the impossible and thereby radically transform the system of symbolization itself. To return from mathematics to ideology, one can accomplish the impossible by refusing to accept the choices that ideology offers. Ideology functions by defining the possibilities that subjects have, by creating options that remain within ideological bounds. One can choose today, for instance, between fundamentalism and capitalist democracy, but both choices remain within the ideological orbit of contemporary global capitalism.

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[continues, no text omitted] Even opting to combat capitalist democracy by choosing fundamentalism doesn't challenge the ideological landscape. Even fundamentalist terror attacks affirm rather than question capitalist ideology as they provide an opportunity for this ideology to align itself falsely with freedom. Capitalist democracy understands fundamentalism as the other that allows it to function and to define itself. That is to say, ideology establishes the game so that it wins no matter which side a subject chooses. Within an ideological structure, every possibility affirms the ideology and feeds its overall logic. The only way to break from the controlling logic of the ideology is to reject the possibilities that it presents and opt for the impossible. The impossible is impossible within a specific ideological framework, and the act of accomplishing the impossible has the effect of radically transforming the framework. The impossible thus marks the terrain of politics as such. As Slavoj Zizek points out, "Authentic politics is ... the art of the impossibleit changes the very parameters of what is considered 'possible' in the existing constellation." If a political act is not impossible in this sense, it is not really political because it lacks the ability to transform the contested ideological field.5 To create authentic change demands an act that does not fit within the possibilities that ideology lays out. Ideology prevents subjects from opting for the impossible choice precisely by making it seem impossible to do so. That is to say, we tend to believe that the impossible really is impossible because this is what ideology tells us again and. again. Herein lies the great value of the cinema of intersection. Through enacting a traumatic encounter with the gaze, this cinema shows us that we can do the impossible. At the moment we encounter the gaze, we see the field of representation thrown into relief and redefined. Everything outside of the gaze loses its former significance in light of this encounter. Through this cinematic experience, we can glimpse the impossible. We see the filmic world from the perspective of the gaze rather than seeing the gaze from the perspective of the filmic world (as occurs in the cinema of integration). After this encounter, the normal functioning of the world cannot continue in the same way and undergoes a radical transformation. Though we can accomplish the impossible, we can't do so without simultaneously destroying the very ground beneath our feet. By facilitating an encounter with the gaze, the cinema of intersection encourages the spectator to identify with this object. Though other forms of cinema push the subject in the direction of freedom, it is only the cinema of intersection that emphasizes identification with the impossible object. In doing so, this cinema allows the subject to grasp its own nothingnessto see itself in the nothingness of the object. The reduction of the subject to the nothingness of the objet petit a is the most extreme form of freedom available to the subject. It implies a rejection of the world of the Other and an affirmation of the subject's private fantasmatic response to that world. To identify with the object is to insist on one's particular way of enjoying at the expense of one's symbolic identity.

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Only realigning our symbolic coordinates can create a new narrative of existence to challenge the symbolic order that entrenches the politics of neoliberal control. Swyngedouw, Dept of Geography, School of Environment and Development, Manchester University, 2006. [Eirk, Impossible Sustainability and the Post-Political Condition, Forthcoming in: David Gibbs and Rob Krueger (Eds.) Sustainable Development, http://www.liv.ac.uk/geography/seminars/Sustainabilitypaper.doc] Rancieres notion of the political is characterised in terms of division, conflict, and polemic (Valentine, 2005: 46). Therefore, democracy always works against the pacification of social disruption, against the management of consensus and stability . The concern of democracy is not with the formulation of agreement or the preservation of order but with the invention of new and hitherto unauthorised modes of disaggregation, disagreement and disorder (Hallward, 2005: 34-35). The politics of sustainability and the environment, therefore, in their populist post-political guise are the antithesis of democracy, and contribute to a further hollowing out of what for Rancire and others constitute the very horizon of democracy as a radically heterogeneous and conflicting one. Therefore, as Badiou (2005a) argues, a new radical politics must revolve around the construction of great new fictions that create real possibilities for constructing different socio-environmental futures. To the extent that the current post-political condition, which combines apocalyptic environmental visions with a hegemonic neoliberal view of social ordering, constitutes one particular fiction (one that in fact forecloses dissent, conflict, and the possibility of a different future), there is an urgent need for different stories and fictions that can be mobilised for realisation. This requires foregrounding and naming different socio-environmental futures, making the new and impossible enter the realm of politics and of democracy, and recognizing conflict, difference, and struggle over the naming and trajectories of these futures. Socio-environmental conflict, therefore, should not be subsumed under the homogenizing mantle of a populist environmentalist-sustainability discourse, but should be legitimised as constitutive of a democratic order.

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Security Lacan 2nc O/V:


The affirmative claims that peoples security can be situated entirely in a new kind of energy. This is yet another example of the desire for unity. The affirmative claims to have the glue that can put the chaotic world back in order. This promise makes the polis complacent in state action as they beg at the hands of the state like Pavlovs dog. The ideology of the affirmative is dependant on the willingness of individuals to submit to the state for their own protection. The continuing fantasy of security always seems just a stones throw away, so people are always willing to sacrifice just a little bit more to be totally safe, despite this security is never as close as it seems. This not only means that the international implications of the affirmative are constructed, but also that the state will always be limiting the rights of its people. This constructs a long steep waterslide into a splash pool of totalitarianism. As people willingly submit to the state, the state will continue to grow in power and become more and more involved with the control of everyday life. Only by refusing the forced choice of security can we break free of the ideological hold of the fantasy of security. That refusal creates cracks in the walls that restrain the minds of the populace within the symbolic order. The alternative brings the Real to the fore of psychology and totally recreates the symbolic order in a newer freer way.

2nc Lacan Security Alt: Extend the 1nc McGowan alternative, the affirmative is constructed as a choice between action or certain death. This symbolic choice is representative of the status quo reluctance to risk our own lives. Instead of continuing to live in the fear of chaos and disorder, the alternative opens up a new symbolic space for resistance that will break the hold of fantasy upon our thinking. This way we can challenge the influence held over us by the security that we dream of.

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Security Link Wall


Representations: The affirmatives threats to security create conditions that engender constant fear in the masses the proliferation of visions of nuclear war and environmental collapse trigger the desire for an ideal world where these dangers no longer exist. Utopia: constructs of a perfect world image necessitates the development of a surplus Other who prevents this world from coming into view in the status quo. This stigmatization justifies genocide in the name of a better tomorrow and ensures solvency is impossible because actions are directed at a false cause which ignores the true root of the 1AC harms thats Stavrakakis Failure to account for the lack: the 1AC operates under the assumption that social cohesion is possible which means their scenario planning lies on false assumptions which ultimately dooms solvency because it cant account for imperfections in this planning.

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Impact block - securitization


A. Our first McGowan evidence suggests the embracement of hope as per the 1AC cedes the possibility of creating hyper specific changes in the system that can create better conditions. Focusing on utopian politics entrenches an ideology of wholeism that endorses the possibility of an impossible social cohesion preventing pragmatic actions. B. Threats of catastrophe create conditions of fear which encourage individuals to relieve their powers to the state in hopes of protection. Our second McGowan evidence indicates this culminates into the totalizing fascist state which dominates all life. <and> Totalitarianism results in hundreds of millions of deaths and destroys quality of life Rummel, Professor Emiritus at University of Hawaii, 1994 [Death By Government, http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/DBG.CHAP1.HTM]
Power kills, absolute Power kills absolutely. This new Power Principle is the message emerging from my previous work on the causes of war and this book on genocide and government mass murder--what I call democide--in this century. The more power a government has, the more it can act arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite, the more it will make war on others and murder its foreign and domestic subjects. The more constrained the power of governments, the more it is diffused, checked and balanced, the less it will aggress on others and commit democide. At the extremes of Power2, totalitarian communist governments slaughter their people by the tens of millions, while many democracies can barely bring themselves to execute even serial murderers. <continued> Consider also that library stacks have been written on the possible nature and consequences of nuclear war and how it might be avoided. Yet, in the life of some still living we have experienced in the toll from democide (and related destruction and misery among the survivors) the equivalent of a nuclear war, especially at the high near 360,000,000 end of the estimates. It is as though one had already occurred! Yet to my knowledge, there is only one book dealing with the overall human cost of this "nuclear war"--Gil Elliot's Twentieth Century Book of the Dead.

C. The affirmatives international framework ensures the protection of the United States at all costs one of those costs being massive pre-emptive strikes in order to dominate rising powers. Extend Daly the quest for dominance is a futile one because we refuse to engage in the opportunities for the fulfillment of our fantasies out of fear that they may not be as great as we imagined. Instead the global world order always keeps harmony at arms length to justify otherwise dangerous politics in the name of peace D. Extend Zizek - Focus on mere survival replicates bare life as we embrace an existence devoid of the minutia that creates happiness. Security drive society demands all of the life with none of the danger, engaging in a truncated life absent the engaging of real pleasure. They concede our value to life claims massive death is meaningless if the lives lost were only warm bodies without merit.

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2nc Environmental Lacan O/V:


The affirmative participates in the fantasy of a harmonious functioning predictable Nature. They believe that simply by changing environmental policies within the current ideological world coordinates they can solve whatever impending disaster was constructed in the 1ac. What they fail to come to terms with is that by fall into the obsession with producing newer better technologies to maintain nature, the affirmative fails to restore its authentic relationship with nature, and instead creates an artificial reality filled with manmade fuels and genetically engineered animals. The affirmative is a classical instance of using threats to foreclose the thought of change. The affirmative traps this debate round in a post-political mentality refusing to think outside of their standard ideological coordinates, for fear that any stopping for thought will cause the collapse of the environment as we know it. The constant need to be active in order to postpone the apocalypse forecloses resistance and allows the specter of state control to loom large over the people, consuming their every action. The only mechanism for breaking out of this cycle is to radically resist the ideological processes that we take for given, for instance the functioning of the environment as a singular force, this confrontation must be violent and radical so as to totally change the symbolic ordering that manages the way that the both the affirmative and negative relate to the world. The judge should vote negative to totally remove him(her)self from the current symbolic order and radically shift the coordinates that dictate human interaction.

2nc Enviro Lacan Alt Extension: First extend the Mcgowan 2007 evidence, as of the 1ac the decision that is put before the judge is a forced choice, either the judge votes affirmative and saves the world from the doom of environmental collapse, or the judge votes negative and we are all doomed. This is the choice forced upon us by the ideology of the status quo. Only by doing something can we avoid certain doom. By voting negative the judge ignores this forced choice and breaks the hold of the symbolic order upon his(her) thinking. This radical realignment of the social coordinates totally changes the way that we as debaters, and as people relate to the post-political environment in which we exist. Now extend the final piece of 1nc Swyngedouw evidence. This evidence is specific to postpolitics in the context of the environment, only by radically realigning our mentality in terms of nature can new types of thought emerge that could break out of the dangerous cycles of apocalyptic terror that is entrenched in the status quo.

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Environment 2nc Links:


1. Extend the first piece of 1nc Swyngedouw evidence, the affirmative attempts to find new ways to avoid the looming ecological disaster, however there is no quick fix to the environment. The environment is not just a single entity that is broken and needs fixing, rather it is an intersection of many smaller environments. No single action, nor even a multitude of green policies can prevent the ecological disasters that loom in the future. The attempt to constantly create solutions just furthers the affirmative from ever finding a way to access an all consuming Nature 2. Extend the second piece of Swyngedouw evidence. The affirmative moves ecological disaster from a local issue to a political issue. This leads to an externalization of responsibility, like the people who drive SUVs because the government hasnt mad them illegal so they must be ok. Because the environment has become politicized, until the state takes a stance on environmental change individuals will be reluctant to do so as well. The affirmative divorces the polis from the political, and situates environmental catastrophe as totally separate from the politics that surround the disaster. Katrina was not a question of the violence implicit in the refusal to maintain the ninth ward, but simply a question of how climate shift caused the disaster. The politicization of nature precludes resistance to the ideology that structures interpersonal relations.

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Link - fantasy
The affirmative creates a utopian vision of the world in which nature conforms to man and we can remedy global energy problems with a few dollars unfortunately this social harmony does not and can not ever exist for it is forever somewhere over the rainbow. This attempt at fantasy is simply an attempt to cover up the holes in society where nature cannot be controlled, or lack, ending in the extermination of those who interrupt the affirmatives strive for utopia.
STAVRAKAKIS VISITING FELLOW IN GOV'T, UNIV. OF ESSEX '99 Yannis, Lacan and the Political, pg. 63-5 SRM
What constantly emerges from this exposition is that when

harmony is not present it has to be somehow introduced in order for our reality to be coherent. It has to be introduced through a fantasmatic social construction. 19 One should not get the impression though that this is a mere philosophical discussion. In so far as our constructions of reality influence our behaviourand this is what they basically doour fixation on harmony has direct social and political consequences. Reality construction does not take place on a superstructural level. Reality is forced to conform to our constructions of it not only at the spiritual or the intellectual, but also at the material level. But why does it have to be forced to conform? This is due, for instance, to the gap between our harmonious fantasmatic constructions of nature and nature itself, between reality and the real. Our constructions of reality are so strong that nature has to conform to them and not they to nature; reality is conceived as mastering the real. But there is always a certain leftover, a disturbing element destabilising our constructions of nature. This has to be stigmatized, made into a scapegoat and exterminated. The more beatific and harmonious is a social fantasy the more this repressed destabilising element will be excluded from its symbolizationwithout, however, ever disappearing.
In this regard, a vignette from the history of nature conservation can be revealing. As is well known nature conservation was developed first in the United States; what is not so well known is that a major feature of the crusade for resource conservation was a deliberate campaign to destroy wild animalsone of the most efficient, well-organized, and well-financed such efforts in all of mans history (Worster, 1994:261). All this, although not solely attributable to it, was part of a progressive moralistic ideology which conceived of nature together with society as harbouring ruthless exploiters and criminals who should be banished from the land (Worster, 1994:265). The driving force behind this enterprise was clearly a particular ethically distinctive construction of nature articulated within the framework of a conservation ideology. According to this construction what was had to conform to what should be and what should be, that is to say nature without vermin (coyotes and other wild predators), was accepted as more naturalmore harmoniousthan what was: These conservationists were dedicated to reorganizing the natural economy in a way that would fulfil their own ideal vision of what nature should be like (Worster, 1994:266). This construction was accepted by the Roosevelt administration in the USA (1901-9) and led to the formation of an official programme to exterminate vermin. The job was given to a government agency, the Bureau of the Biological Survey (BBS) in the Department of Agriculture, and a ruthless war started (in 1907 alone, 1,700 wolves and 23,000 coyotes were killed in the National Parks and this policy continued and expanded for years) (Worster, 1994:263). What is this dialectic between the beatific fantasy of nature and the demonised vermin doing if not illustrating the Lacanian dialectic between the two sides of fantasy or between fantasy and symptom? Since we will explore

fantasy/symptom axis. As far as the promise of filling the lack in the Other is concerned, fantasy can be better understood in its relation to the Lacanian conception of the symptom; according to one possible reading, fantasy and symptom are two inter-implicated terms. It is the symptom that interrupts the consistency of the field of our constructions of reality, of the object of identification, by embodying the repressed jouissance, the destabilising part of nature excluded from its harmonious symbolisation. The symptom here is a real kernel of enjoyment; it is the repressed jouissance that returns and does not ever stop in imposing itself [on us] (Soler,
the first of these two Lacanian approaches to fantasy in Chapter 4, we will concentrate here on the

1991:214). If fantasy is the support that gives consistency to what we call reality (iek, 1989:49) on the other hand reality is always a symptom (iek, 1992). Here we are insisting on the late Lacanian conception of the symptom as sinthome. In this conception, a signifier is married to jouissance, a signifier is instituted in

the real, outside the signifying chain but at the same time internal to it. This paradoxical role of the symptom can help us understand the paradoxical role of fantasy. Fantasy gives discourse its consistency because it opposes the symptom (Ragland-Sullivan, 1991:16). Hence, if the symptom is an encounter with the real, with a traumatic point that resists symbolisation, and if the discursive has to arrest the real and repress jouissance in order to produce reality, then the negation of the real within fantasy can only be thought in terms of opposing, of stigmatising the symptom. This is then the relation between symptom and fantasy. The self-consistency of a symbolic construction of reality depends on the harmony instituted by fantasy. This fantasmatic harmony can only be sustained by the neutralisation of the symptom and of the real, by a negation of the generalised lack that crosses the field of the social. But how is this done? If social fantasy produces the self-consistency of a certain construction it can do so only by presenting the symptom as an alien, disturbing intrusion, and not as the point of eruption of the otherwise hidden truth of the existing social order (iek, 1991a:40). The social fantasy of a harmonious social or natural order can only be sustained if all the persisting disorders can be attributed to an alien intruder. To return to our example, the illusory character of our harmonious construction of nature is shown in the fact that there is a part of the real which escapes its schema and assumes a symptomatic form (vermin, etc.); in order for this fantasy to remain coherent, this real symptom has to be stigmatised and eliminated. It cannot be accepted as the excluded truth of nature; such a recognition would lead to a dislocation of the fantasy in question. When, however, the dependence of fantasy on the symptom is revealed, then the play the relationbetween the symptom and fantasy reveals itself as another mode of the play between the real and the symbolic/imaginary nexus producing reality.

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Link utopia
Social lives, ontology, language, life these things all contain a fundamental lack that prevents their perfection. The subject, state and all other would be moral actors attempt to close this gap in symbolization, yet it always fails and causes us to forget that there is another politics and another way EDKINS SR. LECTURER, INT'L POLITICS @ UNIV. OF WALES-ABERYSTWYTH '3 Jenny, Trauma and the Memory of Politics, pg. 11-14 SRM
In the psychoanalytic account the subject is formed around a lack, and in the face of trauma. We become who we are by finding our place within the social order and family structures into which we are born. That social order is produced in symbolic terms, through language. Language does not just name things that are already there in the world. Language divides up the world in particular ways to produce for every social grouping what it calls 'reality'. Each language - each symbolic or social order has its own way of doing this. Crucially, none of these are complete; none of them can find a place for everything. This is a logical limitation, not a question of a symbolic or social order being insufficiently developed. Completeness or closure is impossible. There is always, inevitably, something that is missed out, something that cannot be symbolised, and this is one part of what psychoanalytic theory calls 'the real'. In its birth into the symbolic or social order, into language, the subject is formed around, and through a veiling of, that which cannot be symbolised the traumatic real. The real is traumatic, and has to be hidden or forgotten, because it is a threat to the imaginary completeness of the subject. The 'subject' only exists in as far as the person finds their place within the social or symbolic order. But no place that the person occupies as a mother, friend, consumer, activist can fully express what that person is. There is always something more. Again, this is not a question of people not fitting into the roles available for them and a call for more person-friendly societies. Nor does it concern multiple or fragmented identities in a postmodern world. It is a matter of a structural impossibility. If someone is, say, a political activist, there is always the immediate question of whether they are sufficiently involved to count as an activist: don't activists have to be more committed, to take part in more than just demonstrations, shouldn't they stand for office? On the other hand, are they perhaps more than an activist does that description do justice to what they are, to their role in the party? There is always an excess, a surplus, in one direction or the other. However, we choose on the whole to ignore this - to forget this impossibility, and to act as if completeness and closure were possible. We hide the traumatic real, and stick with the fantasy of what we call social reality. As I have argued elsewhere, the political is that which enjoins us not to forget the traumatic real but rather to acknowledge the constituted and provisional nature of what we call social reality. Politics refers to the sphere of activity and institutions that is called 'politics' as opposed to 'economics' or 'society'. Politics is part of what we call social reality. It exists within the agendas and frameworks that are already accepted within the social order. The political, in its 'properly traumatic dimension', on the other hand, concerns the real. It refers to events in which politics of the first sort and its institutions are brought into being. This can be the day-to-day production and reproduction of the social and symbolic order. This continual process has to take place; the social order is not natural, it doesn't exist unless it is produced continually. The political also takes place at moments when major upheavals occur that replace a preceding social and legal system and set up a new order in its place. At such points, the symbolism and ideology that concealed the fragile and contingent nature of authority collapse altogether and there is a brief interregnum before the new order imposes a different form of concealment. The way that time figures in the psychoanalytic account is interesting. A certain non-linearity is evident: time no longer moves unproblematically from past through present to future. In a sense, subjects only retrospectively become what they already are - they only ever will have been. And the social order too shares this retroactive constitution. The subject and the social order in which the subject finds a place are both in a continual process of becoming. Neither exists as a fixed entity in the present moment, as the common-sense view in western culture might lead us to expect. Both are always in the process of formation. This is because the two are so intimately related. The person is formed, not through a process of interaction with the social order (since that would mean thinking of the social as already there), but by imagining or supposing that the social order exists. This supposing by the individual is what brings the social into being. We have to imagine that others will respond to us before we speak, but it is only our speaking, of course, that enables them to respond. But supposing that the social exists does not only produce the social order, it also, simultaneously, brings the individual into existence too. When our speaking elicits a response, we recognise ourselves as subjects in that response. This recognition is belated when viewed through the lens of a linear temporality: it is not at the moment we decide to

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speak that we see who we are, but only a moment later, when we get a response. The response tells us not who we are now, since we are no longer that - we have already changed. It tells us who we were, at the moment when we spoke. This is the sense in which we never are, we only ever will hazy been. Like the distant stars, whose past we know from the light that has taken millions of years to reach us but whose present we can only guess at, we can only know what we were, not what we are. And even that is also a guess, of course. In a similar way, when we listen to a sentence being spoken, we can predict what is being said, but we cannot be sure we were right until the sentence is completed and over. Some forms of speech - rhetoric and jokes for example - play on that unpredictability. The uncertainty and unpredictability that this involves can be unsettling. In the rational west, we tend to seek certainty and security above all. We don't like not knowing. So we pretend that we do. Or that if we don't we could, given sufficient scientific research effort and enough money. We forget the uncertainties involved and adopt a view that what we call social reality - which Slavoj Zizek calls social fantasy -- is basically knowable. We adopt an ontology a view of being and the nature of things - that depends on a progressive linear notion of time. Things can 'be' in our modern western sense only in the context of this temporality. They 'are' because they have a history in time, but they are at the same time separate from that history. But central to this solution to doubt is forgetting, as we have seen. The fantasy is only convincing if, once it has been put in place, we can forget that it is a fantasy. What we are forgetting some would say deliberately - is the real, that which cannot he symbolised, and that which is produced as an excess or surplus by any attempt at symbolisation. We do not remember the trauma that lies at the root of subjectivity, the lack or gap that remains, even within what we call social reality. This position leads to a depoliticisation. We forget that a complete, non-antagonistic society is impossible. We strive for completion and closure, often at any price. There are a number of ways in which this is done, according to Zizek.'' The first is communitarian attempts to produce a close homogeneous society arche-politics. Political struggle disappears because everyone agrees on everything. 'The second, most common in the liberal west, Zizek calls para-politics. Here the political is replaced by politics. Standardised competition takes place between accepted political parties according to pre-set rules, the prize being a turn at executive control of the state bureaucracy. Politics has become policing or managerial control. In the third metapolitics, political conflict is seen as a shadow theatre, with the important events taking place in another scene, that of economic processes. Politics should be cancelled when economic processes have worked themselves out (as scientific materialism predicts) and matters can he decided by rational debate and the collective will. Finally, we have ultra-politics, where political struggle becomes warfare, and the military are called in. There is no common ground for debate and politics is militarised. If we are to resist such attempts to 'gentrify' or depoliticise the political we have to recall the constituted, provisional and historically contingent nature of every social order, of every ontology. This position, which Zizek calls 'traversing the fantasy', 'tarrying with the negative' or fidelity to the ontological crack in the universe, is uncomfortable." It involves an acceptance of the lack of trauma at the centre of the subject and the non-existence of any complete, closed social order.

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Link utopia
Utopia is not just an impossible dream of perfection, but even the concept that the violence of neoliberalism can be remedied within the psychosocial coordinates of capitalism through single actions is a utopian conception of politics. The only change can come through a radical reaction against the domination of capital. Slavoj Zizek, 2007 (The Market Mechanism for the Race of Devils)
One of the "proofs" of my practice of fetishist disavowal is the alleged "perverse paradox" of me rejecting utopias and then nonetheless claiming that today "it is more important than ever to hold this utopian place of the global alternative open"(142) - as if I did not repeatedly elaborate different meanings of utopia: utopia as simple imaginary impossibility (the utopia of a perfected harmonious social order without antagonisms, the consumerist utopia of today's capitalism), and utopia in the more radical sense of enacting what, within the framework of the existing social relations, appears as "impossible" - this second utopia is "a-topic" only with regard to these relations. Utopia as simple imaginary impossibility (the utopia of a perfected harmonious social order without antagonisms, the consumerist utopia of today's capitalism), is not utopia in the more radical sense of enacting what, within the framework of the existing social relations, appears as "impossible" - this second utopia is "a-topic" only with regard to these relations. The core of a Lacanian notion of utopia is: a vision of desire functioning without objet a and its twists and loops. It is utopian not only to think that one can reach the unencumbered full "incestuous" jouissance; it is no less utopian to think that one can renounce/sacrifice jouissance without this renunciation generating its own surplus-jouissance. In this sense, Marx's "scientific Socialism" itself has a clear utopian core. Marx perceived how capitalism unleashed the breath-taking dynamics of self-enhancing productivity - see his fascinated descriptions of how, in capitalism, "all things solid melt into thin air," of how capitalism is the greatest revolutionizer in the entire history of humanity; on the other hand, he also clearly perceived how this capitalist dynamics is propelled by its own inner obstacle or antagonism - the ultimate limit of capitalism (of the capitalist self-propelling productivity) is the Capital itself, i.e. the capitalist incessant development and revolutionizing of its own material conditions, the mad dance of its unconditional spiral of productivity, is ultimately nothing but a desperate flight forward to escape its own debilitating inherent contradiction. Marx's fundamental mistake was to conclude, from these insights, that a new, higher social order (Communism) is possible, an order that would not only maintain, but even raise to a higher degree and effectively fully release the potential of the self-increasing spiral of productivity which, in capitalism, on account of its inherent obstacle/contradiction, is again and again thwarted by socially destructive economic crises. In short, what Marx overlooked is that, to put it in the standard Derridean terms, this inherent obstacle/antagonism as the "condition of impossibility" of the full deployment of the productive forces is simultaneously its "condition of possibility": if we abolish the obstacle, the inherent contradiction of capitalism, we do not get the fully unleashed drive to productivity finally delivered of its impediment, but we lose precisely this productivity that seemed to be generated and simultaneously thwarted by capitalism - if we take away the obstacle, the very potential thwarted by this obstacle dissipates... (Therein would reside a possible Lacanian critique of Marx, focusing on the ambiguous overlapping between surplus-value and surplus-jouissance). - Furthermore, utopian is not only the conservative dream of regaining some idealized Past before the Fall; no less utopian is the liberal-pragmatic idea that one can solve problems gradually, one by one. John Caputo recently wrote: I would be perfectly happy if the far left politicians in the United States were able to reform the system by providing universal health care, effectively redistributing wealth more equitably with a revised IRS code, effectively restricting campaign financing, enfranchising all voters, treating migrant workers humanely, and effecting a multilateral foreign policy that would integrate American power within the international community, etc., i.e., intervene upon capitalism by means of serious and far-reaching reforms. /.../ If after doing all that Badiou and Zizek complained that some Monster called Capital still stalks us, I would be inclined to greet that Monster with a yawn.

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Link world vision


The unstable and constantly changing nature of the natural world produces anxiety for the perspective that seeks an eternal harmony and unchangable utopia the response is to attempts to dominate and master that natureal world by defining a single, immutable version of it. Yannis Stavrakakis, Department of Govt at University of Essex, 2000 [On the Emergence of Green Ideology: the Dislocation Factor in Green Politics, Discourse Theory and Political Analysis, eds: Howarth, Norbal and Stavrakais]
The field of our relationship to nature is one of the fields in which the real is continuously intersecting with our symbolic and imaginary reality, with our constructions of objectivity. It is in that sense that Zizek presents ecological crisis as initiating a period of continuous, everyday encounter with the rea1. Here, the real, as introduced by Lacan, is that which always escapes our attempts to incorporate it in our constructions of reality, constructions that are articulated at the level of the image (imaginary level) or the signifier (symbolic level). The encounter with this impossible is exactly what dislocates our imaginary/symbolic constructions (ideologies, paradigms, and so on). Ecological crisis is characterised by such a dislocatory dimension. In fact, the unpredictability and severity of natural forces have forced people from time immemorial to attempt to understand and master them through processes of imaginary representation and symbolic integration. This usually entails a symbolisation of the real of nature, the part of the natural world exceeding our discursive grasp of nature. The product of this symbolisation has been frequently described as a 'story' or a 'paradigm' about how the world works. We can trace such a story, or many competing stories, in any civilisation or cultural ensemble. In modern secular techno-scientific societies it is usually science that provides the symbolic framework for the symbolisation of nature. Predicting the unpredictable, mastering the impossible, reducing the unexpected to a system of control, in other words symbolising, integrating the real of nature, is attempted through the discourse of science and its popularisation in the media. Now, as we have pointed out, these discursive mediations instituting human reality are not eternal or transcendental but change over time. It seems that today we are witnessing such a gradual but important change. What is asserted by many analysts of the environmental crisis is that 'a new story about the relationship between humans and nature is emerging in western societies that contrasts sharply with the story that currently dominates public discourse'. Indeed if we call this story a paradigm, generalising the Kuhnian application of the term, if we understand it as a discursively constructed belief structure that organises the way people perceive and interpret their relation to nature, then we could assert that we are witnessing a gradual paradigm shift. It has been suggested that this is a shift from a Dominant Social Paradigm (DSP) to a New Environmental Paradigm (NEP). Most importantly, this shift is produced by the dislocation of the old paradigm and the need for a new discursive structure to fill the lack produced by this dislocation. At this point, it is important to keep in mind that the lack of meaning produced by a dislocation can activate a plurality of reactions . As Zizek has put it, one can continue to stick to the old paradigm, pretending that the dislocation does not affect it, or engage in frenetic environmental activism, identifying with new paradigms, new stories, new ideologies. The direction of the response depends on the course of action which seems to be more capable of neutralising the terrorising presence of this impossible real, more capable of covering over the lack of meaning in question and of providing the greater feeling of 'security'. This means that subjective responses to such situations cannot be predicted in advance nor do they follow any rational rules. In cases where the dislocation is severe and the symbolic means to articulate a new response are not available it is even possible for social actors to ignore its implications for their life. In fact, as Beck has put it: as the hazards increase in extent, and the situation is subjectively perceived as hopeless, there is a growing tendency not merely to accept the hazard, but to deny it by every means at one's disposal. One might call this phenomenon, paradoxical only at first glance, the 'death-reflex of normality'. There is a virtually instinctive avoidance, in the face of the greatest possible danger, of living in intolerable contradiction; the shattered constructs of normality are upheld, or even elevated, as if they remained intact.

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Link representations
The affirmatives desire is one of the spectacle of representations to produce film like imaginary events destined to destroy us only via an over active imagination produced the objet a a false desire used to fill the lack. This refusal to engage in the horrific thing on the horizon instead pushing it away is the late capitalist dominions final suicidal attempt to retain the fantasy. Zizek 2001 (Slavoj. Professor. Philosophy. Institute for Sociology - Ljubljana. European Graduate School. On Belief. Pg. 31-32. Questia.) SRM
The logic of this succession is thus clear enough: we Start with the stable symbolic order; we proceed to the heroic suicidal attempts to break out of it; when the Order itself seems threatened, we provide the matrix of permutations which accounts for how the revolt itself is just the operator of the passage from one to another form of the social link; finally, we confront the society in which the revolt itself is rendered meaningless, since, in it, transgression itself is not only recuperated, but directly solicited by the system as the very form of its reproduction. To put it in Hegel's terms, the "truth" of the student's transgressive revolt against the Establishment is the emergence of a new establishment in which transgression is part of the game, solicited by the gadgets which organize our life, as the permanent dealing with excesses. Is, then, Lacan's ultimate result a conservative resignation, a kind of closure, or does this approach allow for a radical social change? The first thing to take note of is that the preceding paradigms do not simply disappear in those, which follow - they persist, casting a shadow on them. The late capitalist global market society is by no means characterized by the undisputed rule of the proliferating objets a: this very society is simultaneously haunted by the prospect of confronting the Thing in its different guises - no longer predominantly the nuclear catastrophe, but the multitude of other catastrophes that loom on the horizon (the ecological catastrophe, the prospect of an asteroid hitting the Earth, up to the micro level of some virus going crazy and destroying human life). Furthermore, as Miller himself deployed apropos of the notion of extimacy, and as Lacan himself predicted in the early 1970s, does not capitalist globalization give rise to the new racism focusing on the "theft of enjoyment," on the figure of the Other who either threatens to snatch from us the treasure of our "way of life," and/or itself possesses and displays an excessive jouissance that eludes our grasp? In short, the passage from the traumatic Thing to lichettes, to the "little bits of jouissance [which] set the tone for a lifestyle," never fully succeeds, the Thing continues to cast its shadow, so that what we have today is the proliferation of the lifestyle lichettes against the background of the ominous Thing, the catastrophe which threatens to destroy the precious balance of our various life styles This weakness of Miller's description of the paradigms of jouissance has a deeper ground. Today, in a time of continuous rapid changes, from the "digital revolution" to the retreat of old social forms, thought is more than ever exposed to the temptation of "losing its nerve," of precociously abandoning the old conceptual coordinates. The media constantly bombard us with the need to abandon the "old paradigms": if we are to survive, we have to change our most fundamental notions of what constitutes personal identity, society, environment, etc. New Age wisdom claims that we are entering a new "post-human" era; postmodern political thought tells us that we are entering post-industrial societies, in which the old categories of labor, collectivity, class, etc., are theoretical zombies, no longer applicable to the dynamics of modernization. The Third Way ideology and political practice is effectively THE model of this defeat, of this inability to recognize how the New is here to enable the Old to survive. Against this temptation, one should rather follow the unsurpassed model of Pascal and -ask the difficult question: how are we to remain faithful to the Old in the new conditions? ONLY in this way can we generate something effectively new.

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Link representations
Representations of violent catastrophe arent attempts to access the Real theyre attempts to shield ourselves from it. Their preoccupation with catastrophic scenarios is an attempt to avoid the real of the political field. In psychological terms, they locate the real danger as the deranged rapist who the maternal father is tasked with protecting us from, while the real danger is the benign father himself. Slavoj Zizek, Professor of Sociology at the Institute for Sociology, Ljubljana University, 2000, The Fragile Absolute, p. 76-78
Another example from war can help us to clarify this point further. The ultimate lesson of the latest American military interventions, especially Operation Desert Fox against Iraq at the end of 1998, is that such operations signal a new era in military history battles in which the attacking force operates under the constraint that it can sustain no casualties. (The same point is repeated in every US discussion about military intervention abroad, from Somalia to ex-Yugoslavia one expects a guarantee that there will be no casualties.) This tendency to erase death itself from war should not, however, seduce us into endorsing the standard notion that war is rendered less traumatic if it is no longer experienced by the soldiers (or presented) as an actual encounter with another human being to be killed, but as an abstract activity in front of a screen or behind a gun far from the explosion, like guiding a missile on a warship hundreds of miles away from where it will hit its target. While such a procedure makes the soldier less guilty, it is open to question if it actually causes less anxiety this is one way to explain the strange fact that soldiers often fantasize about killing the enemy soldier in a face-to-face confrontation, looking him in the eyes before stabbing him with a bayonet (in a kind of military version of the sexual False Memory Syndrome, they even often remember such encounters when they never in fact took place). There is a long literary tradition of elevating such face-to-face encounters as an authentic war experience (see the writings of Ernst Junger, who praised them in his memoirs of the trench attacks in World War I). So what if the truly traumatic feature is not the awareness that I am killing another human being (to be obliterated through the dehumanization and objectivization of war into a technical procedure) but, on the contrary, this very objectivization, which then generates the need to supplement it by fantasies of authentic personal encounters with the enemy? It is thus not the fantasy of a purely aseptic war run as a video game behind computer screens that protects us from the reality of the face-to-face killing of another person; on the contrary, it is this fantasy of a face-to-face encounter with an enemy killed bloodily that we construct in order to escape the Real of the depersonalized war turned into an anonymous technological operation. So our thesis should be clear now: the cruel reality of war relates to the notion of the virtualized war with no casualties in precisely the same way as Festen relates to Benignis Lfe is Beautiful: in both cases, we are not dealing with the symbolic fiction (of virtual bloodless warfare, of protective narrative) concealing the Real of a senseless bloodbath or sexual violence in both cases it is, rather, this violence itself which already serves as a fantasized protective shield. Therein lies one of the fundamental lessons of psychoanalysis: the images of utter catastrophe, far from giving access to the Real, can function as a protective shield against the Real. In sex as well as in politics, we take refuge in catastrophic scenarios in order to avoid the actual deadlock. In short, the true horror is not the rapist Urvater against whom the benevolent maternal father protects us with his fantasy shield, but the benign maternal father himself the truly suffocating and psychosis-generating experience for the child would have been to have a father like Benigni, who, with his protective care, erases all traces of excessive surplus-enjoyment. It is as a desperate defence measure against this father that one fantasizes about the rapist father. And what if this is also the ultimate lesson of Schelling: that the horror of the ultimate Grand, this monstrous apparition with hundreds of hands, this vortex that threatens to swallow everything, is a lure, a defence against the abyss of the pure act? Another way to approach this same ambiguity and tension in the relationship between fantasy and the Real would be via Heideggers theme of errancy/untruth as the innermost feature of the event of truth itself. The very opening paragraph of John Salliss remarkable essay on the monstrosity of truth tackles this difficult point directly:

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The affs presumption of a free willing, fiating individual is a fantasy which covers over the operations of the drives which hold the subject together. Enjoyment is the fuel that powers the Self. Jodi Dean. Enjoyment as a Category of Political Thought.Annual Meeting of American Political Science Association, September, jdeanicite.typepad.com/i_cite/files/aspa_05_enjoyment.doc 2005. Do not cite without permission
Thinking enjoyment in terms of fixity enables us to distinguish Zizeks account of subjectivity from other versions prominent in political theory. First, his subject is clearly not the same as the liberal subject in so far as there is no notion of consciously free and rational will. Rather, the Zizekian subject is an emptiness held in place by enjoyment. Second, for Zizek the subject is not properly understood in terms of the concept of subject-position or the individual as it is constructed within the terms of a given hegemonic formation (as a woman/mother, black/minority, etc). And, third, the subject is not the illusory container of a potentially infinite plasticity or capacity for creative self-fashioning. Instead, of either a subject position or an opportunity for re-creation, the subject is lack (in the structure, the other) marked by the limit point or nugget of an impossible enjoyment. Although this idea of the subject of lack might appear at first glance rather bizarre and unhelpful, it nonetheless affiliates well with notions congenial to thinkers convinced by critiques of a specific reading of the enlightenment subject such as those offered by Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud and extended in Foucauldian, feminist, and post-Nietzschean thought. Zizeks account of the subject shares with these views the rejection of a primary will, rationality, wholeness, and transparency. Similarly, it acknowledges the role of the unconscious, the body, and language, bringing these three elements together in its account of enjoyment as it limits and ruptures language and provides the object that is the very condition of the subject. As it emphases the object conditioning the subject, moreover, Zizeks discussion of enjoyment as a political factor draws our attention to a certain fixity on the part of the subject. Far from the malleable self-creating subject championed by consumer capital, the Zizekian subject finds itself in a place not of its choosing, attached to fantasies of which it remains unaware that nevertheless structure its relation to enjoyment thereby fastening it to the existing framework of domination.

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Reproductive Futurism keeps us terroristically beholden to the Child. Life itself is deferred to a phantasmatic tomorrow as human freedom is sacrificed to the fascism of the baby's face. Furthermore, this ideology obligates us to identify and root out all those individualities and lifestyles which are perceived to threaten the endless repetition of the social order. Lee Edelman. No Future: Queer Theory and Death Drive. 2004 pp. 19-22 SRM
The Child, in the historical epoch of our current epistemological regime, is the figure for this compulsory investment in the misrecognition of figure. It takes its place on the social stage like every adorable Annie gathering her limitless funds of pluck to "stick out [her] chin/ And grin/ And say: 'Tomorrow!/ Tomorrow!/1 love ya/ Tomorrow/ You're always/ A day/ Away.' " 2 0 And lo and behold, as viewed through the prism of the tears that it always calls forth, the figure of this Child seems to shimmer with the iridescent promise of Noah's rainbow, serving like the rainbow as the pledge of a covenant that shields us against the persistent threat of apocalypse nowor later. Recall, for example, the end of Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia (1993), his filmic act of contrition for the homophobia some attributed to The Silence of the lambs (1991}. After Andrew Beckett (a man for all seasons, as portrayed by the saintly Tom Hanks), last seen on his deathbed in an oxygen mask that seems to allude to, or trope on, Hannibal Lecter's more memorable muzzle (see figures 1 and 2), has shuffled off this mortal coil to stand, as we are led to suppose, before a higher law, we find ourselves in, if not at, his wake surveying a room in his family home, now crowded with children and pregnant women whose reassuringly bulging bellies (see figure 3) displace the bulging basket (unseen) of the Hiv-positive gay man (unseen) from whom, the filmic text suggests, in a cinema {unlike the one in which we sit watching Philadelphia) not phobic about graphic representations of male-male sexual acts, Saint Thomas, a.k.a. Beckett, contracted the virus that cosegerous "lifestyles" on the Internet; the Child who might choose a provocative book from the shelves of the public library; the Child, in short, who might find an enjoyment that would nullify the figural value, itself imposed by adult desire, of the Child as unmarked by the adult's adulterating implication in desire itself; the Child, that is, made to image, for the satisfaction of adults, an Imaginary fullness that's considered to want, and therefore to want for, nothing. As Lauren Berlant argues forcefully at the outset of The Queen of America Goes to Washington City, "a nation made for adult citizens has been replaced by one imagined for fetuses and children."2 2 On every side, our enjoyment of liberty is eclipsed by the lengthening shadow of a Child whose freedom to develop undisturbed by encounters, or even by the threat of potential encounters, with an "otherness" of which its parents, its church, or the state do not approve, uncompromised by any possible access to what is painted as alien desire, terroristically holds us all in check and determines that political discourse conform to the logic of a narrative wherein history unfolds as the future envisioned for a Child who must never grow up. Not for nothing, after all, does the historical construction of the homosexual as distinctive social type overlap with the appearance of such literary creations as Tiny Tim, David Balfour, and Peter Pan, who enact, in an imperative most evident today in the uncannily intimate connection between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort, a Symbolic resistance to the unmarried men (Scrooge, Uncle Ebenezer, Captain Hook) who embody, as Voldemort's name makes clear, a wish, a will, or a drive toward death that entails the destruction of the Child. That Child, immured in an innocence seen as continuously under seige, condenses a fantasy of vulnerability to the queerness of queer sexualities precisely insofar as that Child enshrines, in its form as sublimation, the very value for which queerness regularly finds itself condemned: an insistence on sameness that intends to restore an Imaginary past. The Child, that is, marks the fetishistic fixation of heteronormativity: an erotically charged investment in the rigid sameness of identity that is central to the compulsory narrative of reproductive futurism. And so, as the radical right maintains, the battle against queers is a life-and-death struggle for the future of a Child whose ruin is pursued by feminists, queers, and those who support the legal availability of abortion. Indeed, as the Army of God made clear in the bombmaking guide it produced for the assistance of its militantly "pro-life" members, its purpose was wholly congruent with the logic of reproductive futurism: to "disrupt and ultimately destroy Satan's power to kill our children, God's children.

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The image of the Child works to restrict politics to the terms of Reproductive Futurism. This futurism condemns the queer subject to destruction and whitewashes all politics that act in the name of the unborn child. Lee Edelman. No Future: Queer Theory and Death Drive. 2004 pp. 2-3 SRM
But what helped him most in these public appeals on behalf of America's children was the social consensus that such an appeal is impossible to refuse. Indeed, though these public service announcements concluded with the sort of rhetorical flourish associated with hard-fought political campaigns ("We're fighting for the children. Whose side are you on?"), that rhetoric was intended to avow that this issue, like an ideological M6- bius strip, only permitted one side. Such "self-evident" one-sidedness the affirmation of a value so unquestioned, because so obviously unquestionable, as that of the Child whose innocence solicits our defenseis precisely, of course, what distinguishes public service announcements from the partisan discourse of political argumentation. But it is also, I suggest, what makes such announcements so oppressively political- political not in the partisan terms implied by the media consultant, but political in a far more insidious way: political insofar as the fantasy subtending the image of the Child invariably shapes the logic within which the political itself must be thought. That logic compels us, to the extent that we would register as politically responsible, to submit to the framing of political debateand, indeed, of the political fieldas defined by the terms of what this book describes as reproductive futurism: terms that impose an ideological limit on political discourse as such, preserving in the process the absolute privilege of heteronormativity by rendering unthinkable, by casting outside the political domain, the possibility of a queer resistance to this organizing principle of communal relations. For politics, however radical the means by which specific constituencies attempt to produce a more desirable social order, remains, at its core, conservative insofar as it works to affirm a structure, to authenticate social order, which it then intends to transmit to the future in the form of its inner Child. That Child remains the perpetual horizon of every acknowledged politics, the fantasmatic beneficiary of every political intervention. Even proponents of abortion rights, while promoting the freedom of women to control their own bodies through reproductive choice, recurrently frame their political struggle, mirroring their anti-abortion foes, as a "fight for our childrenfor our daughters and our sons," and thus as a fight for the future.2 What, in that case, would it signify not to be "fighting for the children"? How could one take the other "side," when taking any side at all necessarily constrains one to take the side of, by virtue of taking a side within, a political order that returns to the Child as the image of the future it intends? Impossibly, against all reason, my project stakes its claim to the very space that "politics" makes unthinkable: the space outside the framework within which politics as we know it appears and so outside the conflict of visions that share as their presupposition that the body politic must survive. Indeed, at the heart of my polemical engagement with the cultural text of politics and the politics of cultural texts lies a simple provocation: that queerness names the side of those not "fighting for the children," the side outside the consensus by which all politics confirms the absolute value of reproductive futurism. The ups and downs of political fortune may measure the social order's pulse, but queerness, by contrast, figures, outside and beyond its political symptoms, the place of the social order's death drive: a place, to be sure, of abjection expressed in the stigma, sometimes fatal, that follows from reading that figure literally, and hence a place from which liberal politics strivesand strives quite reasonably, given its unlimited faith in reasonto disassociate the queer. More radically, though, as I argue here, queerness attains its ethical value precisely insofar as it accedes to that place, accepting its figural status as resistance to the viability of the social while insisting on the inextricability of such resistance from every social structure.

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Political actions taken in the name of a better tomorrow engender the politics of futurism where all actions are justified under the faceless child of the future generations. This ideology scapegoats and stigmatizes those who endanger our perfect envisionment of the far off world at large. Lee Edelmen, No Future: Queer Theory and Death Drive. 2004 pp. 112-113 SRM
Ignore for a moment what demands to be called the transparency of this appeal. Ignore, that is, how quickly the spiritualizing vision of parents "nourishing and growing . . . small bodies and . . . small souls" gives way to a rhetoric affirming instead the far more pragmatic (and politically imperative) investment in the "human capital . . . essential to the health and wealth of our nation." Ignore, by so doing, how the passage renominates those human "souls" as "capital" without yielding the fillip of Dickensian pathos that prompts us to "cherish" these "capital"- ized humans ("small" but, like the economy in current usage, capable of being grown) precisely insofar as they come to embody this thereby humanized "capital." Ignore all this and one's eyes might still pop to discover that only political intervention will "allow," and the verb is crucial here, "parents to cherish their children" so as to "ensure our collective future - or ensure, which comes to the same in the faith that properly fathers us all, that our present will always be mortgaged to a jantasmatic future in the name of the political "capital" that those children will thus have become. Near enough to the surface to challenge its status as merely implicit, but sufficiently buried to protect it from every attempt at explicitation, a globally destructive, child-hating force is posited in these linesa force so strong as to disallow parents the occasion to cherish their children, so profound in its virulence to the species as to put into doubt "our collective future"and posited the better to animate a familial unit so cheerfully mom-ified as to distract us from ever noticing how destructively it's been mummified. No need to trick out that force in the flamboyant garments of the pedophile, whose fault, as "everyone" knows, defaults, faute de mieux, to a fear of grown women and thus, whatever the sex of his object, condemns him for, and to, his failure to penetrate into the circle of heterosexual desire. No need to call it names, with the vulgar bluntness of the homophobe, whose language all too often is not the bluntest object at hand. Unnamed, it still carries the signature, whatever Hewlett and West may intend, of the crime that was named as not to be named ("inter christianos non nominandum") while maintaining the plausible deniability allowing disavowal of such a signature, should anyone try to decipher it, as having been forged by someone else. To be sure, the stigmatized other in general can endanger our idea of the future, conjuring the intolerable image of its spoliation or pollution, the specter of its being appropriated for unendurable ends; but one in particular is stigmatized as threatening an end to the future itself. That one remains always at hand to embody the force, which need never be specified, that prohibits America's parents, for example, from being able to cherish their children, since that one, as we know, intrudes on the collective reproduction of familialism by stealing, seducing, proselytizing, in short, by adulterating those children and putting in doubt the structuring fantasy that ensures "our collective future."

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Future Link: Discourse of the future, reproduces the obsession with the children and causes us to forget the current problems of the status quo. Lee Edelman. No Future: Queer Theory and Death Drive. 2004 pp. 10-12
In its coercive universalization, however, the image of the Child, not to be confused with the lived experiences of any historical children, serves to regulate political discourseto prescribe what will count as political discourseby compelling such discourse to accede in advance to the reality of a collective future whose figurative status we are never permitted to acknowledge or address. From Delacroix's iconic image of Liberty leading us into a brave new world of revolutionary possibilityher bare breast making each spectator the unweaned Child to whom it's held out while the boy to her left, reproducing her posture, affirms the absolute logic of reproduction itselfto the revolutionary waif in the logo that miniaturizes the "politics" of Its Mis (summed up in its anthem to futurism, the "inspirational" "One Day More"), we are no more able to conceive of a politics without a fantasy of the future than we are able to conceive of a future without the figure of the Child. That figural Child alone embodies the citizen as an ideal, entitled to claim full rights to its future share in the nation's good, though always at the cost of limiting the rights "real" citizens are allowed. For the social order exists to preserve for this universalized subject, this fantasmatic Child, a notional freedom more highly valued than the actuality of freedom itself, which might, after all, put at risk the Child to whom such a freedom falls due. Hence, whatever refuses this mandate by which our political institutions compel the collective reproduction of the Child must appear as a threat not only to the organization of a given social order but also, and far more ominously, to social order as such, insofar as it threatens the logic of futurism on which meaning always depends. So, for example, when P. D. James, in her novel The Children of Men, imagines a future in which the human race has suffered a seemingly absolute loss of the capacity to reproduce, her narrator, Theodore Faron, not only attributes this reversal of biological fortune to the putative crisis of sexual values in late twentieth-century democracies "Pornography and sexual violence on film, on television, in books, in life had increased and became more explicit but less and less in the West we made love and bred children," he declaresbut also gives voice to the ideological truism that governs our investment in the Child as the obligatory token of futurity: "Without the hope of posterity, for our race if not for ourselves, without the assurance that we being dead yet live," he later observes, "all pleasures of the mind and senses sometimes seem to me no more than pathetic and crumbling defences shored up against our ruins."12 While this allusion to Eliot's "The Waste Land" may recall another of its wellknown lines, one for which we apparently have Eliot's wife, Vivian, to thank"What you get married for if you don't want children?" it also brings out the function of the child as the prop of the secular theology on which our social reality rests: the secular theology that shapes at once the meaning of our collective narratives and our collective narratives of meaning. Charged, after all, with the task of assuring "that we being dead yet live," the Child, as if by nature (more precisely, as the promise of a natural transcendence of the limits of nature itself), exudes the very pathos from which rhe narrator of The Children of Men recoils when he comes upon it in non reproductive "pleasures of the mind and senses." For the "pathetic" quality he projectively locates in nongenerative sexual enjoyment enjoyment that he views in the absence of futurity as empty, substitutive, pathologicalexposes the fetishistic figurations of the Child that the narrator pits against it as legible in terms identical to those for which enjoyment without "hope of posterity" is peremptorily dismissed: legible, that is, as nothing more than "pathetic and crumbling defences shored up against our ruins." How better to characterize the narrative project of The Children of Men itself, which ends, as anyone not born yesterday surely expects from the start, with the renewal of our barren and dying race through the miracle of birth? After all, as Walter Wangerin Jr., reviewing the book for the Neu? York Times, approvingly noted in a sentence delicately poised between description and performance of the novel's pro-procreative ideology; "If there is a baby, there is a future, there is redemption."1 3 If, however, there is no baby and, in consequence, no_future, then the blame must fall on the fatal lure of sterile, narcissistic enjoyments understood as inherently destructive of meaning and therefore as responsible for the undoing of social organization, collective reality, and, inevitably, life itself.

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The 1AC a guise for yet another form of state control over our lives. By trusting the state to save people, we give it an arena to create a state of emergency in which to prove its capabilities. This depoliticizes the decisions made involving aid, as they will always err in favor of the state. Edkins, Professor of International Politics at the University of Wales, 2003 [Jenny, Trauma and the Memory of Politics, 211-212]
One reason why the tale of the concentration camp survivor is so compelling is that although it is presented as a space of exception, the camp is nothing more than the coming to fruition of the horror contained in everyday existence under the sway of sovereign politics in the west. Thus our response to the camps is in part a recognition of our own predicament as participants in the reduction of life to bare life and politics to biopolitics. As Foucault reminds us `we are all governed and, to that extent, in solidarity'. But this is of no use if our invocation of the trope of humanitarian crisis repeats the metaphor that reinforces the very power that produces the humanitarian emergency in the first place. As Agamben puts it: It is almost as if, starting from a certain point, every decisive political event were double-sided: the spaces, the liberties, and the rights won by individuals in their conflicts with central powers always simultaneously prepared a tacit but increasing inscription of individuals' lives within the state order, thus offering a new and more dreadful foundation for the very sovereign power from which they wanted to liberate themselves. This double-sidedness, of course, recalls Jacques Derrida's double contradictory imperative where the question, for example, of whether and in what way to intervene in a humanitarian emergency is a dilemma that has to be resolved in any particular instance by a decision. Aid cannot be both offered and withheld: only one course of action can take place. But to seek general rules, applicable overall to aid organizations and their operations, is to duck the very question of the political that is inherently involved. Agamben's work enables us to analyze what is at stake in the politics of the decision. He elaborates how sovereign power operates through the state of emergency and how the very posing of the question through the trope of emergency is always already on the side of sovereignty. The implication of the argument in the final part of the chapter is that although the power of the sovereign state over the lives of its populations has been successfully challenged in the post-cold war period and the notion of humanitarian concern as overriding sovereignty widely accepted, this is not a liberation or an emancipation but merely the beginning of another and more authoritarian form of sovereign control over life. Just as the role of the revolution in the transition to modern state rule can be seen as an ironic strengthening of central authority, the role of humanitarian intervention can be seen as a tightening of a global structure of authority and control.

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State sovereignty serves as a universal lens through which to view the world and conduct political life it constitutes a fantasy attempting to avoid confronting uncertainty, even to the point of violent imposition. Edkins, professor at Aberystwyth 2002 [Jenny The Subject of the Political Sovereignty and Subjectivity]
We have shown that the subject is of necessity incomplete, or impossible. It is always in process; it never fully comes to presence but is structured around a lack. This lack arises, first, from the gap between the real and the imaginary in the mirror phase and then from the gap between the imaginary and the symbolic, or social, during interpellation. Like the subject, the symbolic, or social, order is similarly constituted around a lack, one that in this case appears as a constitutive antagonism.11 This antagonism appears in a variety of guises in different social orders, but it is always there and cannot be removed. A society without antagonism cannot exist: social reality can never be complete or whole. However, for life to go on the lack must be concealed and the concealment hidden. This is accomplished by the production of social reality. In order for what we call social reality to be constituted, meaning has to be imposed. This is achieved through the "master signifier," a signifier that stands in the place of the constitutive lack or antagonism at the heart of the social order. Without such a signifier, the social order cannot constitute itself; the sliding of meaning cannot be arrested. This signifier is the embodiment of lack; it enables us to account for the gap between result and intention. The act of imposing meaning, halting the movement of free-floating signifiers, is an authoritative act, "a non-founded founding act of violence" that recalls the violence of the founding decision in the work of Jacques Derrida.12 At this moment, the symbolic order comes into being, the decision is taken, and the law is founded. The violence that is implicat ed in this process then disappears: in the history of what happened, what was brought into being with this foundational act is narrated as always already inevitable. Once the decision has been taken, the moment of decision disappears, though not entirely without trace. We are now in a position to suggest how sovereignty and subjectivity implicate each other. As we have seen, subjectivity can only exist, or rather, be constituted, in relation to a particular social or symbolic order. The social order itself is brought into existence, supposed or posited, in relation to a particular signifier, which covers the hole or lack in the-social or symbolic order and provides a nodal point around which meaning is articulated. In modernity, one of the signifiers that performs this function is sovereignty. The concept of sovereignty is central to discourse and the International. It informs conventional notions of what power might be: the relationship between sovereign and subject within the absolutist kingdom, or the sovereignty of a government over the lives of its citizens in the modern nation state. Sovereignty also plays a foundational role in discussions of international autonomy: the sovereign state is a bounded unit in the international system. This centrality testifies to its place as the master signifier around which a particular symbolic order is constituted "Sovereignty" as a master signifier is not free and autonomous here but stands implicated and embroiled in questions of "subjectivity." The authori ty of the master signifier derives only from its position in the social orderwhich itself derives only from the subjection of the subjects that evoke it. It is an impostor, in a sense: any signifier that found itself at the place of constitutive lack in the structure would dodivine providence, the invisible hand of the market, the objective logic of history, or the Jewish conspiracy, for example.i3 Sovereignty performs this task for the social reality that is taken to be modern politics. It conceals antagonism in a particular way and implicates particular subjectivities. For example, it produces politics as subjection and sovereignty as absolute. Within the legal authority it establishes, violence is concealed. That same violence is banished to the nonsoviereign realm of the international. The subjectivities it invokes (or rather, that invoke it) are the irresponsible camp followers of power insofar as they naturalize a particular social order. Their actions respond to what they suppose are the desires of authority.

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Human behavior is driven by desire. In a world of capital superabundance the only thing left to desire is a world of no scarcity. Unfortunately such a world cannot exist within the ideological coordinates of neoliberalism. Edkins, Lecturer in Politics at the University of Wales, 2000 [Jenny, Whose Hunger? Concepts of Famine, Practices of Aid p. 123-124]
Famine images, like the sexual images they parallel, embody the lack that must be concealed if the subject is to be constituted. Hunger as desire is at the root of the constitution of subjectivity. Famine itself can be read as a symptom: a point of overdetermination, of condensation of differentstrands of meaning. In that sense, there is a fantasy space reserved for it. I looked at the relation of famine and scarcity to market economics in chapter 2. To explore this further, I look at Zizek's account of the role of desire in late capitalism. For Zizek, late-capitalist liberal-democracy has an impasse at its heart centering around the role of desire. In Lacan's work desire is not something that can be satisfied as such. As Zizek expresses it, "desire is sustained by lack and therefore shuns its satisfaction, that is, the very thing for which it 'officially' strives." Desire is sustained by the unattainability of its object and by the gap between its official motivation and its actual function, which is to provide a way of accommodation with a primordial lack, a lack inherent in the human condition as such. In Lacan, an empirical object fills out the role of the primordially lost Thing and becomes the object-cause of desire. Whereas Freud might argue that the obstacles of convention that are put in place to prevent the attainment of the object of desirethe sexual object, for exampleserve to heighten desire, in Lacan's account these obstacles are there precisely to avoid the possibility of the discovery that the object is unattainable as such: "external hindrances that thwart our access to the object are there precisely to create the illusion that without them, the object would be directly accessiblewhat such hindrances thereby conceal is the inherent impossibility of attaining the object." In late capitalism, the immediate satisfaction of desire through superabundance, permissiveness, and accessibility of objects threatens to suffocate desire. We are approaching a position where for some of us the attainment of all possible empirical objects of desire is conceivable in practice. This will become even more so, Zizek claims, with the advent of so-called virtual reality. Superabundance threatens desire by supplying the means for its satisfaction; the function of the object-cause of desire is thwarted by this. Although officially desire exists to be satisfied, in Lacanian terms desire provides a means of transcending a primordial lack; it exists precisely because it has to be insatiable. By providing an impossible object, the impossibility of fulfillment itself is sublimated. However, this superabundance is not without its opposite: scarcity and deprivation . For Zizek, drawing on Hegel, universal abundance is impossible, since in capitalism "abundance itself produces deprivation." Excess and lack are structurally interdependent in a capitalist economy. The system produces both together. Some live in abundance and plenty while others live in scarcity and deprivation. Superabundance goes hand in hand with its opposite. This does not mean that notions of desire are irrelevant in the context of a world where for large numbers of people the necessities of life itselffood, water, shelter, and freedom from violenceare hard to come by. On the contrary, Zizek's account of notions of desire as a concealment of an inherent lack and the need to sustain desire in conditions of superabundance can help us to understand some of the paradoxes of responses to events such as famines and the sight of incredible suffering in these and other disasters. The object of "Ending Hunger" functions as just such an impos sible or unattainable object-cause of desire in the Lacanian sense. Here we have the irony of a desire sustained by the object of removing the very thingdeprivationthat is indissolubly linked with the superabundance that threatens desire. Rather than the question of "Why, when there is such an abundance of food, do so many people starve?" the question becomes "Why, when we are so well provided for with an abundance of everything we can possibly desire, do we desire the one thing we cannot have, that is, a world without others who are deprived?" At least part of the answer, I argue, can be found in the Lacanian account of desire. Not only do we desire the thing we cannot attain, but we put obstacles of convention in the way of attaining it. These obstacles are seen in arguments of developmentalists that portray famine as complex: it needs further research, we have to act carefully and take into account the feelings of those we want to help, and so on. Thus in famine we have an answer to Zizek's question: "So the big enigma is: how, through what kind of limitation of access, will capitalism succeed in reintroducing lack and scarcity into this saturation?" Lack and scarcity are reintroduced as someone else's lack and scarcityas hunger, the stranger that waits outside some other door. For those of us who live in an excess of abundance, desire becomes the (impos sible) desire for a world free from scarcity: a hunger for a world free from hunger.

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Link identity
Identity politics is impossible it is emblematic of the constitutive lack that is why identity politics is not politics but rather a constant search for utopia STAVRAKAKIS VISITING FELLOW IN GOV'T, UNIV. OF ESSEX '99 Yannis, Lacan and the Political, pg. 29 SRM
What are the implications of the constitutive alienation in the imaginary and the symbolic for a theory of subjective identity? The fullness of identity that the subject is seeking is impossible both in the imaginary and in the symbolic level. The subject is doomed to symbolise in order to constitute her- or himself as such, but this symbolisation cannot capture the totality and singularity of the real body, the close-circuit of the drives. Symbolisation, that is to say the pursuit of identity itself, introduces lack and makes identity ultimately impossible. For even the idea of identity to become possible its ultimate impossibility has to be instituted. Identity is possible only as a failed identity; it remains desirable exactly because it is essentially impossible. It is this constitutive impossibility that, by making full identity impossible, makes identification possible, if not necessary. Thus, it is rather misleading to speak of identities within a Lacanian framework. What we have is only attempts to construct a stable identity, either on the imaginary or the symbolic level, through the image or the signifier. The subject of lack emerges due to the failure of all these attempts. What we have then, if we want to be precise and accurate, is not identities but identifications, a series of failed identifications or rather a play between identification and its failure, a deeply political play. The concept of identification becomes crucial then for any understanding of the Lacanian conception of subjectivity; it was already crucial in Freudian theory. In Freud, identification emerges as a concept of major importance as it refers to the mechanism through which subjectivity is constituted. Identification refers to the psychological process whereby the subject assimilates an aspect, property or attribute of the other and is transformed, wholly or partially, after the model the other provides. It is by means of a series of identifications that the personality is constituted and specified (Laplanche and Pontalis, 1988:205). What Lacan adds to this picture is two qualifications. First of all the distinction between imaginary and symbolic identification, which clarifies a lot of ambiguities in Freuds account, and, second, the important emphasis on the idea that identification cannot result in a stable subjective identity: The ontic horizon of identification is that of ultimate failure; its ontological horizon that of impossibility. 19 Yet this is not, strictly speaking, a failure of identification, but a failure of identity, that is to say a failure to achieve identity through identification. It is, however, this same impossibility to achieve identity (substance) that makes identification (process) constitutive. This is not only true for the life of the child but for the life of the adult as well, something which reveals the relevance of the concept of identification for social and political analysis. Since the objects of identification in adult life include political ideologies and other socially constructed objects, the process of identification is revealed as constitutive of socio-political life. It is not identity which is constitutive but identification as such; instead of identity politics we should speak of identification politics.

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Link identity
Claims to end the tyranny of a system are false. Identity is a constantly negative relationship, an attempt to murder an identity forced upon you, ending capitalism or rethinking paitrarchy are like the parents kiss to a childs injury-they make us feel better but do nothing about the underlying paradoxes of identity. Your very thesis is entrenched in a logic of perpetual failure. Serge Leclaire, psychoanalyst and instructor at the institute du psychoanalytic Paris, A Child Is Being Killed: On Primary Narcissism and the Death Drive, 1998, pg. 2-3 SRM
From where the analyst is sitting, what is at stake is the truth. There is no way out: reckoning with the absolute power of the infans, he must never stop perpetrating the murder of the child, even as he recognizes that he cannot carry it out. Psychoanalytic practice is based upon bringing to the fore the constant work of a power of deaththe death of the wonderful (or terrifying) child who, from generation to generation, bears witness to parents dreams and desires. There can be no life without killing that strange, original image in which everyones birth is inscribed It is an impossible but necessary murder, for there can be no life, no life of desire and creation, if we ever stop killing off the always returning wonderful child. The wonderful child is first of all the nostalgic gaze of the mother who made him into an object of extreme magnificence akin to the Child Jesus majesty, a light and jewel radiating forth absolute power. But he is already the forsaken one as well, lost in total dereliction, facing terror and death alone. In the extraordinary presence of the child in the flesh, the radiant image of the infant-king, stronger even than his cries or laughter and counterbalanced by the sorrow of the Pieta, compels attention. Through him shines the royal figure of our wishes, memories, hopes, and dreamsa fragile and hieratic figure representing, in the secret theater where destiny is played out, the first(or third-) person position from which the unconscious speaks. For each of us, the wonderful child is the unconscious, primordial representation in which, more densely than anywhere else, our wishes, nostalgia, and hopes come together. In the transparent reality of the child, the Real of all our desires can be seen, almost without a veil. We are fascinated and can neither look away nor grasp it. To give it up is to die, to no longer have a reason for living. But to pretend that we can hold on to it is to condemn ourselves not to live. There is for everyone, always, a child to kill. The loss of a representation of fullness, of motionless jouissance, must be relentlessly mourned and mourned. A light must be eclipsed so it can shine and spread out on a background of darkness. Whoever does not mourn, over and over, the loss of the wonderful child he might have been remains in limboin the milky light of a shadowless, hopeless waiting. But whoever believes he has won the battle against the figure of the tyrant once and for all cuts himself off from the sources of his creative spirit and thinks he is strong when he stubbornly resists the reign of jouissance.

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Link - identity
The recognition of identity is an outlet for anxiety recognizing our being riveted to our identity not because of our own choice but because we are born into these positions. Joan Copjec in 2006 (Department of English, Comparative Literature, and Media Study at the University of Buffalo, where she is the Director of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture: Lacan: the silent partners; May 68, the Emotional Month) SRM
This discussion of the emergence of an 'immemorial past' within moments of anxiety permits me to observe an intuition that barely surfaces Levinas text, where the sentiment of 'being riveted' seems sometimes to relate to issues of race, ethnicity, and national identity. The immemorial act that shadows me and compels my anxiety also reawakens me to the fact that I was born into an identity that I did not choose, but which chose me. That this intuition does indeed subtly haunt the argument is verified when, in the first annotation to On Escape, Jacques Rolland reveals a striking similarity between the language of this text and an essay Levinas wrote in the same year, 1935. In 'The Religious Inspirations of the Alliance', Levinas wrote these sentences: "Hitlerism is the greatest trial...through which Judaism has to pass...The pathetic destiny of being Jewish becomes a fatality. One can no longer flee it. The Jew is ineluctably riveted to his Judaism.' And also these: a youth 'definitely attached to the sufferings and joys of the nation to which it belongs...discovers in the reality of Hitlerism all the gravity of being Jewish': 'In the barbarous and primitive symbol of race...Hitler recalled that one does not desert Judaism.'

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Link war representations


The voyueristic ways in which we experience war in debate are the exemplification of our desire to find the single biggest impact card. This individual desrie is in a direct relationship with what our leaders decide is best for the nation state. This national desire is manifested in our need to be dominat of international relations. Their impact story is not external to journey to achieve perfection just like hyping up and warranting down the biggest impact card is not external to our mulitple invasions of Iraq and their failures on a libidnal level. Shapiro, critical international relations theorist and a professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii. 1993. [Michael j. That obscure object of violence: Logistic and Desire in the Gulf War The political subject of violence p.126-130]
Within a Lacanian frame, the objects of desire are substitutable signs related to the subject's self-constitution and coherence. They are thus never destined to provide the self with satisfaction. Accordingly, during the recent Gulf War, discursively engendered understandings and desires found distant objects of attention, not only for those involved in combat however technologically mediated that involvement was but also for the viewing public, who watched the war on television and experienced the destruction of people and things at another technological level of remove. The highly mediated relationship, in which linguistic, and weapons technologies intervened, rendered the relationship between viewing and fighting subjects complex, for the targets of violence were rarely available to anyone's direct vision and were hardly ever available for direct contact. There was very little actual touching. It was indeed telling when one airforce pilot praised his sighting devices and weapons by remarking of his recently vanquished enemy, 'we could reach out and touch him, but he could not touch us' (a bit of discursive flotsam left over from AT&T's advertisement) one service remote touching of 'someone' was involved. In most senses, then, the objects of violence in the Gulf War were obscure and remote, both in that they were removed from sight and other human senses and that they emerged as appropriate targets through a tortuous signifying chain. More generally, they were remote in terms of the meanings they had for their attackers and the attackers' legitimating and logistical supporters. To place the implications for how hostile actions can be understood in such a peculiar, modern condition, it is appropriate to turn to Luis Bunuel's film Cet Obscur Objet du Desir (This/That Obscure Object of Desire), which contains not only a structure and dynamic that fits the array of subjects acting, in as well as following, the story of the Gulf War but also is implicitly structured within a Lacanian frame that fits the approach to interpreting the Gulf War to follow. This/that obscure object of desire At the level of its primary narration, Bunuel's film is the story of a failed seduction, told in flashbacks by the middle-aged Mathieu Fabert to his (accidental?) travelling companions, sharing a compartment in a train to Paris. At a more abstract level, the film is governed by a Lacanian view of the opacity or deeply encoded non-comportment between desire and its objects. Ambiguities abound from the outset, not the least of which is the absence of a designation in the title that a woman is the object in question, which adds to the this/that (close or remote) ambiguity of the Cet in the French title. Moreover, as is shown (but necessarily evident to all viewers of the film) Conchita, whom Fabert names as the object of his amorous quest, is two different women (she is represented by two different actresses), and this is seemingly never apparent to Fabert or his listeners in the train compartment. Apart from the various mediations between the various desiring subjects and objects in the film, however (Fabert's audience in his train compartment are straining with attention to the narrative), as viewers, we also have desires, and they remain unconsummated as the narrative and images frustrate our attempt to attain completion, to grasp a coherent episode unless we work to help make it coherent. Despite the seeming confidence with which Fabert delivers his story, what one sees, especially the dualistic Conchita and other enigmatic images and events, deprive us of confidence that we have a story we can understand. Ultimately, the imposition of meaning (by the viewers among others) on the ambiguous and arbitrary aspects of Fabert's story are organised within the frame of a Lacanian view of the functioning of desire. Bunuel leaves many hints that Lacan hovers in the background, and most significant for thepurposes at hand, the lessons of the film transfer to the US actions in the Gulf for it developed narrative of the derealisation of the targets of violence developed above.

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[continues, no text omitted] Because Lacanian desire operates through a series of substitutions, there is a compatibility between the functioning of desire and logistical abstraction as they work together to locate targets of violence in modern warfare, despite how recalcitrant those targets may actually be to the meaning frames that direct the enemy-perceiving gaze. The operation of desire in a war works on the basis of a different process from that of an individual's search for erotic completion. It is connected to a national-level rather than individuallevel work on the production of a coherent self. As has already been suggested in the analysis of Clausewitz's duplicitous discourse, what is represented as a quest for accomplishing political and military objectives obfuscates a more fundamental, ontological quest, the attempt for the national subject at completion through the display of courage and the lack of inhibition against using force in a violent confrontation with an enemy. For a deeper appreciation of how desire complements the historically emerging, logistical narrative in which the enemy/object has been derealised, it is necessary to recognise that within the Lacanian view, desire is formed at the time when the subject first enters the realm of the symbolic. Residing as an infant in the domain of the imaginary, where there is no recognition of oneself as separate from others, the subject's entry into the symbolic is a dual alienation. First, it is a separation from the maternal source of satisfaction and, second, through becoming a named beings withal language, it is a loss of control over meaning and the bonds of affect; it amounts to a subjugation to the law of the signifier. The compensation for this alienation is of course the ability to participate in the domain of the symbolic, but it is also the birth of desire, which, given the unlawfulness of achieving the satisfactions longed for but lost, takes the form of a series of substitutions. It is the always-obscuring acts, based on the ways in which the subject is divided from itself, that impose significance on the objects of desire, and within the Lacanian model, these impositions follow the twists and turns of linguistic, figural mechanisms. More specifically, Lacan notes in one place, 'desire is metonymy, however funny people may find the idea'.' The metonymical structure of desire is displayed unambiguously in Bunuel's film when Conchita gets in bed with Fabert in a chastityprotecting undergarment tied tightly with little knots that he cannot undo. As he weeps in frustration, she names the various parts of her that he already possesses and expresses puzzlement that he is so resolute in his quest for the one part denied him. During the Gulf War, President Bush and many television commentators seemed caught in a similar signifying structure. What eluded final consummation in their case was not someone's maidenhead. It was Saddam Hussein's destruction. All the parts associated with him were possessed. Kuwait was freed, his army was routed, his 'weapons of mass destruction' largely eliminated. But as long as Saddam remained the ruling leader of Iraq, the 'victory in the desert' seemed empty. The narrative was left uncompleted. But perhaps 'Saddam Hussein' (the 'Hitler', the 'Arab fanatic', the 'ruthless dictator') needs to survive. Without him, there would remain no arch-enemy. Without Saddam Hussein, perhaps the US would not be .able to justify remaining so armed and alert. Indeed, this is precisely what Fabert says in response to his cousin, the arbiter/judge who asks why he doesn't just marry Conchita. Fabert says, Si je'epousais, je serais desarme.' (If Saddam had been destroyed or removed, no sense of fulfilment would have lasted because the conditions of possibility for producing desire would re-emerge. For example, of late in the United States there is a national debate over towards whom the reduced nuclear weapons arsenal ought to be aimed. National desire is searching for new dangerous objects). At this moment, at least, Fabert seems to understand much of what is driving his narrative, but there is also much evidence that the more fundamental part, remains obscure, for his story continually turns the incredible - e.g. encountering Conchita almost everywhere - into the credible. This is because the object of desire for Fabert (Mathieu for one Conchita and Mateo for another), like the enemy/object of violence for the United States, is in part a product of a damaged subjectivity in search of reestablishing a coherence as an effective and virile male entity. In the case of the United States, the damaged collective subjectivity (often called the 'Vietnam syndrome') is a result of a lost and muddled war in the recent past. In the case of Fabert his manly subjectivity is similarly uncertain. First, his wife of many years is recently deceased and he has had no substitute prior to his pursuit of Conchita. Second, he is a law-abiding, obviously well-established and well-off citizen and, in his pursuit of Conchita uses his spending power rather than his male strength (until the very end when driven to the limit with frustration). Meanwhile, all around him, he witnesses a series of acts of violence, car bombings, political assassinations, etc., apparently carried out by terrorist groups. At one point we overhear a radio report claiming that the bombings, which are randomly dispersed in his narrative, are attributed to coalitions of political groups that form the acronyms, PRIQUE and RUT.

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[continues, no text omitted] The virile young terrorists, with which one version of Conchita seems to be associated, serve as an affront to Fabert, who cannnot show his potence (cannot use his prick). Similarly, the collective subjectivity of the US prior to the Gulf War (the Vietnam syndrome) and its leader's potence (the 'wimp factor') had been affronted by the violence of others not restricted by law-abiding inhibitions. Hence the increasingly frenzied complaints from the White House against terrorists (similar complaints issue from Fabert about the terrorist acts around him). Thus the comparisontwo levels of incomplete and increasingly provoked subjectivity in need of an episode of completion. But perhaps, major similarity that suggests the Gulf War is the similarity in the dynamics governing the meanings of the objects of attention. In Fabert's narrative, Conchita appears as both lack (as an elusive object ofdesire) and excess (she appears everywhere Fabert goes). At one point, Fabert's servant likens women to a sac d'excrement. Rather than simply a sexist disparagement, this can be read as reference to the object of desire's excess, of all that is imposed on it by a restless, driven subjectivity. Conchita flees Fabert's employ as a servant after his initial advances, and then he encounters her as a restaurant coatcheck person, as part of a youthful gang in Switzerland, as a flamenco dancer in Seville. She is excessive, inexplicably appearing everywhere. With each encounter, she seems to promise herself to Fabert and then does something extraordinary to frustrate him. Similarly, as the Gulf War progressed, Saddam's resistance capability was easily overcome, but the superiority in the air and the decisive land battle left Saddam where he was, a defiant leader of an Iraqi nation that was badly bruised but had never been completely possessed, never made to totally capitulate. What substitutes for a final and telling violence in the Gulf War, is a fitful and ambiguous attempt to force the object, Saddam, to comply with the law (the United Nations resolution). Within a Lacanian frame and, accordingly, in Bunuel's film, the relationship between the law and desire is complex. The law cannot still the operation of desire in the direction of seeking consummation may -even provoke it. In a telling episode, Fabert attempts to use the law, his cousin the judge, to send the object of desire away. His cousin uses his influence to have the police exile Conchita and her mother, sending them back to Spain. As the decree is read, we learn that Conchita is a name related to her official/legal name which is Concepcion, and that her mother's name is Encarnacion, deepening our suspicion that their existence and significance is largely a function of the work of the subject, Fabert, and his desire-driven imagination. Fabert decides to take an arbitrary trip to forget his frustration, but after he chooses Singapore by pointing to a map while blindfolded, he ends up travelling to Seville, where Conchita is. The arbitrary is always controlled at some level by desire. It is not wholly clear what the signifying elements are that turn Singapore (etymologically, 'Lion city') into Seville (etymologically, merely 'city'). Perhaps it is that the lion represents virility and reminds Fabert of his quest to consummate it. What energes most significantly is the need for a woman to complete the self for Fabert (in the way that the US needed an enemy and Bush needed to get tough for self-completion), and here again the law does not quiet desire; it seems only to inflame it. Moreover, the love or violent object is arbitrary inasmuch as it does not summon on the basis of what is intrinsic to it. It acquires its force from the signifying practices that erupt out of a subjectivity pursuing it, a subjectivity that lacks a reflective rapport with itself.

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Link Race
The structure of racial discourse is totalizing and attempts to overcome difference and control what it means to be human Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 55-56 SRM
Guillaumins terms are useful not so much in distinguishing between premodern and contemporary notions of race, as she suggests, but rather in discerning the emergence of race through the self-splitting referred to earlier. Guillaumins failure to discern the notion of Whiteness as the organizing principle of Eurocentrism (as distinguished from banal ethnocentrisms) enables her to exonerate both ethnocentrism and aristocratism as not true racism. But proper attention to the crucial element of class at play in Whiteness reveals that it is not about aristocratism, but about the people the yolk, with precisely the sense of its own naturalness that Guillaumin disavows as an element in auto-referential systems. I would also suggest that the altero-referential system does not so much displace but is founded on the auto-referential notion of Whiteness. Thus the discourse of race as we understand it today is an effect of that internal splitting that we identified earlier as the cause of race. The structure of race is totalizing, and attempts to master and overcome all difference within its boundaries. The dichotomy of self and other is within Whiteness in the competition over who properly possesses Whiteness, or sovereign humanness. H. F. K. Gunthers (1927) classification along physiognomic lines is a part of the logical nucleus of racial visibility grounded in the narcissism of small differences that grounds racial visibility. Thus in Gunthers classification, other European races such as the Mediterranean can carry the Negro strain, or the Tartar may carry the Asiatic. The signifier Whiteness is about gaining a monopoly on the notion of humanness, and is not simply the displaceable or reversible pinnacle of the great chain of being.22 However, one must not forget that as the unconscious principle or the master signifier of the symbolic ordering of race, Whiteness also makes possible difference and racial inter-subjectivity. It orders, classifies, categorizes, demarcates and separates human beings on the basis of what is considered to be a natural and neutral epistemology. This knowledge is also the agency that produces and maintains differences through a series of socially instituted and legally enforced laws under the name of equality, multiculturalism, anti-discrimination, etc. Anti-racist legislations and practices, in other words, work ultimately in the service of race, which is inherently, unambiguously, structurally supremacist. The structure of race is deeply fissured, and that is discernible in the constitutive tension, or contradiction between its need to establish absolute differences, and its illegal desire to assert sameness. In fact, race establishes and preserves difference for the ultimate goal of sameness, in order to reproduce the desire for Whiteness. As Foucault might have put it, race separates in order to master. However, unlike the technologies of power that Foucault so painstakingly detailed, the analysis of race cannot be exhausted through its historicization. Race produces unconscious effects, and as a hybrid structure located somewhere between essence and construct, it determines the destiny of human bodies. It is our ethical and political task to figure out how destiny comes to be inscribed as anatomy, when that anatomy does not exist as such.

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Link - Race
Securing whiteness and race is an impossibility-all forms of racial inquiries are doomed to failure Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 77-78 SRM
In conclusion, I suggest that we view Leggatt as the extimate object that provides the fantasy of overcoming castration and maintaining ones subject status in the symbolic. Leggatt positions himself beyond the law, as the extimate core of the law which exposes its lack. How, then, does Leggatt function as an objet a delivering recognition, or more properly as the pathological cure for the captain? Leggatts appointing himself beyond the Law is also very much in antinomy with the law, insofar as he almost successfully evacuates the Other when he drops off the side of the ship. The captain, in trying to ease Leggatts escape, steers his ship precariously close to the black hills of Koh-ring, thereby endangering his entire crew, the ship, and his command. Language, words, speech are all expunged at that moment when Leggatt drops into the sea: Such a hush had fallen on the ship that she might have been a bark of the dead floating slowly under the very gate of Erebus (402). The problem that insists upon us as readers is the question of how such an object, which Miller asserts is incompatible with the presence of the subject, insofar as the object cancels the subject, can provide a cure for the captain. It is inevitable that we read the story as the delineation of the impossible fantasy at the core of Whiteness. An important reason why this tale should be read as a fantasy, not of the captain as a character in the text, or of the implied author Conrad, but of the discourse of race itself, is that it is ultimately a fantasy about transgressing the law in relation to race. The storys construal of Archbold as the tenacious executor of the law also valorizes the mere juridical prohibition against racial domination into the moral law (the commandment against murder) that makes desire possible. Let us recall that the historical John Anderson, according to Lubbock, was permitted to escape by the kind hearted Captain Wallace, and that when he was finally captured his sentence was far from being commensurate with his crime. Thus when read by the traces of Whiteness, The secret sharer can be interpreted as a story about the successful reaching of the goal of Whiteness the jouissance of absolute mastery and fullness. While the inevitable failure of such a goal could produce anxiety, and the captain is often on the brink of such an affect, it is here presented as triumphant. Finally, as the thing that will fill up the lack in the law, Leggatt promises a fantasy of completion of almost psychotic fullness to the captain. Thus in the end, driven by Leggatts white hat the spot of light on the surface of the current the gaze of Whiteness saves the ship as it guarantees certainty to the captain. This time the captains yearning stare in seeking the objet a alights not on something expelled from the Other, but on something that is his very own: What was that thing? I recognised my own floppy hat. It must have fallen off his head and he didnt bother. Now I had what I wanted the saving mark for my eyes (403). The object has been fully (impossibly) introjected as his own, investing him with a certainty that no subject of the symbolic can properly have. The captains certainty is not to be confused with the imaginary sense of unity in overcoming ones fragmentation. Rather, it is the certainty of having Whiteness as the object of desire (of recognizing or fantasizing a lack in the symbolic order of race), of possessing it in and as his unconscious, that permits him to take up the command of his ship again with renewed vigor.
... ...

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LinkRace
Race operates according to the empty Master Signifier of Whiteness and is sexed in such a way that it ensures domination, power, and the eradication of difference Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p.7-8 SRM
I am suggesting two things: first, the order of racial difference attempts to compensate for sexs failure in language; second, we must not therefore analogize race and sex on the sexual model of linguistic excess or contradiction. The signifier Whiteness tries to fill the constitutive lack of the sexed subject. It promises a totality, an overcoming of difference itself. For the subject of race, Whiteness represents complete mastery, self-sufficiency, and the jouissance of Oneness. This is why the order of racial difference must be distinguished from, but read in relation to, sexual difference. If sex is characterized by a missing signifier, race, on the contrary, is not and cannot be organized around such an absence a missing signifier that escapes or confounds language and inter-subjectivity. Race has an all-too-present master signifier Whiteness which offers the illegal enjoyment of absolute wholeness. Race, therefore, does not bear on the paradigm of failure or success of inter-subjectivity on the model of the sexual relation. The rationale of racial difference and its organization can be understood as a Hobbesian one. It is a social contract among potential adversaries secured to perpetuate singular claims to power and dominance, even as it seeks to contain the consequences of such singular interests. The shared insecurity of claiming absolute humanness, which is what race as a system manages, induces the social and legal validation of race as a discourse of neutral differences. In other words, race identity can have only one function it establishes differential relations among the races in order to constitute the logic of domination. Groups must be differentiated and related in order to make possible the claim to power and domination. Race identity is about the sense of ones exclusiveness, exceptionality and uniqueness. Put very simply, it is an identity that, if it is working at all, can only be about pride, being better, being the best. Race is inextricably caught up in a Hobbesian discourse of social contract, where personal (or particular) interest masquerades as public good. Sexual difference, on the other hand, cannot be founded upon such a logic. The values attached to male and female are historically contingent as feminists have long suggested, but power cannot be the ultimate cause of sexual difference. Racial difference, on the other hand, has no other reason to be but power, and yet it is not power in the sense of material and discursive agency that can be reduced to historical mappings. If such were the case, as many have assumed, then a historicist genealogy of the discursive construction of race would be in order: Foucault not Lacan, discourse analysis not psychoanalysis. But race organizes difference and elicits investment in its subjects because it promises access to being itself. It offers the prestige of being better and superior; it is the promise of being more human, more full, less lacking. The possibility of this enjoyment is at the core of race. But enjoyment or jouissance is, we may recall, pure unpleasure. The possibility of enjoyment held out by Whiteness is also horrific as it implies the annihilation of difference. The subject of race therefore typically resists race as mere social construction, even as it holds on to a notion of visible, phenotypal difference.

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Race is set apart from history and conflict because of its physical demarcation differentiating it from other struggles and requiring a new venue of analysis Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 8 SRM
Visible difference in race has a contradictory function. If it protects against a lethal sameness, it also facilitates the possibility of that sameness through the fantasy of wholeness. Insofar as Whiteness dissimulates the object of desire, 10 any encounter with the historicity, the purely symbolic origin of the signifier, inevitably produces anxiety. It is necessary for race to seem more than its historical and cultural origin in order to aim at being. Race must therefore disavow or deny knowledge of its own historicity, or risk surrendering to the discourse of exceptionality, the possibility of wholeness and supremacy. Thus race secures itself through visibility. Psychoanalytically, we can perceive the object cause of racial anxiety as racial visibility, the so-called pre-discursive marks on the body (hair, skin, bone), which serve as the desiderata of race. In other words, the bodily mark, which (like sex) seems to be more than symbolic, serves as a powerful prophylactic against the anxiety of race as a discursive construction. We seem to need such a refuge in order to preserve the investment we make in the signifier of Whiteness. Thus race should not be reduced to racial visibility, which is the mistake made by some well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning advocates of a color blind society Racial visibility should be understood as that which secures the much deeper investment we have made in the racial categorization of human beings. It is a lock-and-key relation, and throwing away the key of visibility because it happens to open and close is not going to make the lock inoperable. By interrogating visibility we can ask what the lock is preserving, and why the capacity of visibility to secure an investment in identity also distinguishes race from other systems of difference such as caste, class, ethnicity, etc. These latter forms of group identity, insofar as they cannot be essentialized through bodily marks, can be easily historicized and textualized. Nothing prevents their deconstruction, whereas in the case of race, visibility maintains a bulwark against the historicity and historicization of race. (In fact, Brennan suggests that the egos era is characterized by a resistance to history) It is this function of visibility that renders cases of racial passing fraught and anxious.

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Race as s system perpetuates itself on the basis of racial identification as a method to purge racism ignoring the broader desire for Whiteness. Such an investment of power relations leads to inevitable violence and disastrous politics. Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 8-9 SRM
My contention that the category of race is inherently a discourse of supremacy may seem inattentive to the advances that our legal systems and liberal social ideologies have made precisely in relation to racism and racist" practices. Modern civil society refuses to permit its subjects the enjoyment of supremacist rhetoric, the rhetoric of exceptionality, by distinguishing between race and racism. It draws this distinction between a supposed ontology (the study of physical or cultural differences) and an epistemology (discriminatory logic) in the name of preserving a semblance of inter-subjectivity Race, it suggests, is a neutral description of human difference; racism, it suggests, is the misappropriation of such difference. The liberal consensus is that we must do away with such ideological misappropriation, but that we must celebrate difference. It is understood as a baby and the bath water syndrome, in which the dirty water of racism must be eliminated, to reveal the cleansed and beloved fact of racial identity. This rather myopic perspective refuses to address the peculiar resiliency of race, the subjective investment in racial difference, and the hypervalorization of appearance. It dismisses these issues or trivializes them because race seems a historical inevitability. The logic is that people have been constituted for material and other reasons as black and white and that this has had powerful historical consequences for peoples thus constituted. Whether race exists or not, whether race and racism are artificial distinctions or not, racialization is a hard historical fact and a concrete instance of social reality We have no choice, according to this reasoning, but to inhabit our assigned racial positions. Not to do so is a form of idealism, and a groundless belief that power can be wished away In making this ostensibly pragmatic move, such social theorists effectively reify race. Lukacs, who elaborated Marxs notion of reification in relation to the commodity form in History and Class Consciousness, is worth recalling here: Its basis is that a relation between people takes on the character of a thing, and thus acquires a phantom objectivity, an autonmy that seems so strictly rational and all-embracing as to conceal every trace of its fundamental nature: the relation between people (1923: 89). To arrest analysis of race at the point where one discerns and marks its historical effects is to reproduce those very relations of power that one intends to oppose. It is to render race so objective that it is impossible to conceive human difference or inter-subjectivity anew. Modern civil society engages in such reification because ultimately its desire is to keep the dialectic between races alive. It must thus prohibit what it terms racism in order to prevent the annihilation not so much of the inferior races but of the system of race itself. This is how the system of desiring Whiteness perpetuates itself, even in the discourses that are most pragmatically aimed against racism. The resilience and endurability of race as a structure can thus be attributed to its denials and disavowals. On the one hand, it is never in the place that one expects it to be: it disavows its own historicity in order to hold out the promise of being to the subject the something more than symbolic a sense of wholeness, of exceptionality. On the other hand, as a social law, it must disavow this object in order to keep the system viable and to perpetuate the dialectic: the race for Whiteness. Exploring the structure of race requires a toleration of paradox, an appreciation of the fact that it is an inherently contradictory discourse, and a willingness to see beyond relations of power in order to mine the depth of subjective investment in it.

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Utilizing the concept of race relations ensures a constant purification of the race Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 16-18 SRM
While both Appiah and Goldberg offer persuasive analyses of the (academic) discourse of race, as representatives of what are now entrenched positions on the race term, they fail to confront the fact that racial practice is not fully covered by racial theory There is a hiatus between racial theory and practice in that the two can function quite independently of each other. Thus to proceed as if an engagement with racial theory were to undermine the foundations of racial practice is to misrecognize the structure of the discourse of race. Etienne Balibar suggests that we regard shifts in doctrine and language [in race theory] as relatively incidental matters, given the fact that from the point of view of the victims of racist practice, these justifications simply lead to the same old acts (Balibar 1991: 18). This does not mean that race theory is irrelevant, or that we must focus entirely on racism and racist practice at the cost of ignoring its more institutionalized forms. Rather, as a first step, we must begin to

recognize the double-edged aspect of the rhetoric of race, where so-called theory and practice do not always coincide to produce the effect of causality. The inadequacy of critical race theory with reference to practice is most evident in relation to cases such as that of little Koen, with which I began. Interestingly, what is precisely at play in this case is nature and culture, or biology and the social
problems of inclusion and exclusion that Appiah and Goldberg focus on respectively. For instance, given Appiahs view that race evaporates with the exposure of races scientific or genetic fallibility, it is, interestingly enough, genetics itself which is at the heart of this little racial mistake. In his argument with the Dutch-African-American philosopher W E. B. Du Bois, Appiah demonstrates that race cannot be invoked, except through a specious use of genetics, to define the destiny of a so-called people, or to delineate group aspirations. However, what Koen as a Dutch-AfroCaribbean child seems to represent is precisely the relation between genes and destiny. At one level, we may say that at the age of eight months, he has already been disqualified to borrow at a bank. But more seriously, the irony of this particular case is that genetic theory here does not serve to discredit racial identity; rather, the DNA test establishes Koen as black boy (though born of a white mother). Admittedly, Koens parents are not suggesting that Koen is inherently incapable of borrowing at a bank, and neither is the DNA test a verification of race as much as of paternity; identity and destiny here are socially interpreted rather than genetically determined. However, the issue remains that destiny is not uncorrelated to genetics. And no amount of argumentation disarticulating the two will do away with the fact that because something is inherited as race, your life is predetermined for you. As the Dutch parents testify, most of us continue to harbor deep-seated notions of racial inheritance, despite its scientific untenability simply due to genetic theorys claims to heritabilty as such. Some of us, as committed social constructionists, may perhaps disclaim this notion because science tells us that the relation between genes and racial identity and destiny is not one of simple predication. DNA tests can establish parentage, but they cannot establish a trans-historical racial identity Nevertheless, the DNA test in this case does determine Koens racial identity (and his non-creditworthiness), though not directly The relation between genes and identity/destiny is no longer one of predication but implication. The notion of race as genetic inheritance can continue to be entertained when mediated by kinship relations: Koens father is a black man from Aruba. It is a question, it seems of the signifier, of the Name of the Father, which imparts not only sexual and familial identity, but also racial. Thus the signifier establishes race at the same moment that genetics establishes kinship, and it is this synchrony that enables the simultaneous articulation of genes and identity/destiny, though not causally None of this alters the fact that the bottom line in both arguments, whether that of predication or articulation, is of genetic inheritance. Thus I would affirm Appiahs argument that race is inextricably linked to inheritance. If we reduce the position of Du Bois and that of Koens father into simple propositions, we see their logical similarity: Black people (because they are born black) have an inherently valuable message for the world (as this message is a factor of their racial inheritance); and Black people (because they are born black) will always be poor (which is a factor of their social inheritance based on their racial identity). Both statements leave intact the implication of race as inheritance and destiny However, my skepticism is directed not at the contents of Appiahs argument but at its utility Appiahs impulse to undermine race by interrogating its scientific grounds is academically valuable, but it does not address the way in which race recoups inheritance through other rhetorical means, such as articulation with kinship and recourse to visibility It seems that, given the power of the notion of heritability as such, no amount of disputation with racial theory can dislodge the association one makes of race with inheritance. Race

will continue to be articulated with kinship, with ethnicity, with culture, in ways that will require repeated purges of its claims to inheritance. Theoretical expurgations may be useful at one level, but they do not undercut the emotional force of an ethnos that race so effectively and resiliently enables. I argue that this effect is made possible primarily through races ability to combine with narratives of the family and kinship in order to appear as a factor of inheritance. Race, then, derives its power not from socially constructed ideologies, but from the dynamic interplay between the family as a socially regulated institution, and biology as the site of essences and inheritances. In fact, the more one attempts to render race as merely a social construct, the more it contributes to the naturalization of that construct.

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Race orients itself around the master signifier of Whiteness, which creates a constant exclusion Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 24-25 SRM
Thus the unconscious is to be conceived not so much as an individual construct as an entity that bridges the subject to the general economy of signification. In other words, the necessary insertion of the subject into language implies his/her subjection to the general or shared universe of signifiers, which must come to represent ones desire. The important point here is that insofar as language pre-exists each of us, the subject in his or her specificity can come into existence only by borrowing the signifiers of its desire from the Other.10 It follows then, that desire is always desire of the Other. Thus it becomes logically impossible to conceive of the atomized individual with an unconscious interior. On the contrary, in Lacan, the unconscious is outside rather than inside, in that it is the discourse of the Other, which is primarily meaningless, that produces subjective effects. Given this perspective of the subject in language, the discourse of race and so-called racial identity is necessarily a function of language that situates the subject as raced within an economy of linguistic difference and meaning. It follows that the analysis of race should not be confined to the level of the ego and the ego ideal with its attendant mechanisms such as identification and introjection (and/or incorporation) of an object. In Seminar I, Lacan insists that introjection is always accompanied by a symbolic denomination. Introjection is always introjection of the speech of the Other (83). Thus bodily identity as well as ones own historical identity is engendered by the symbolic. What we introject as race is a signifier, a certain structure of signification, a way of slicing the world, of making meaning and of representing difference, that has its own logic or law that invests us as subjects with a semblance of coherence. My argument is that Whiteness should be discerned as an unconscious signifier, one that generates a combinatory with its own set of inclusions and exclusions that determine the subject. To be a raced subject is to be subjected to the signifier Whiteness. The law of Whiteness establishes race as a neutral description of human difference. Thus, as a mode of ordering the world, the signifier Whiteness installs a system of racial difference that is unconsciously assimilated by all raced subjects as a factor of language, and thus as natural. In other words, Whiteness, as the inaugural term of difference, is the primary signifier of the symbolic order of race. In this sense, Whiteness is the transindividual aspect of the unconscious which subjects us all equally to the logic of race. The law of the symbolic order must be grasped in its dual function as the determinant of the structure of speech and as the inexorable term of prohibition. In fact, language depends upon prohibition or a logic of exclusion, which gets manifested as cultural organization through the taboo against incest. We must therefore understand the discourse of race as a law with a certain structure, or productive capacity to organize difference founded upon a prohibition or exclusion of some sort. (I will take up the interdictory aspect of the law in the section on the racial symbolic and the moral law.) Let us here follow, very briefly, Lacans thinking on the law as structuration in its pertinence to race."

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Racial visibility and identity requires a certain type of racial being that denies universality of being Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 29-30 SRM
In the deployment of Lacans theory of the subject of the symbolic to the subject of race, it is necessary to inquire what the subject of race desires. Also, what kind of access does race, as a chain of signifiers that determines the symbolic subject, have to being, or that which is excluded by the chain? I will be suggesting that racial visibility is to be located precisely at this point of interrogation: it is the level at which race, or more properly its master signifier Whiteness aspires to being. The above questions suggest that the model of the subject as determined by a chain of signifiers is necessarily incomplete insofar as it cannot account for sexual difference or more properly for the body. More questions emerge: If the unconscious is structured like a language, then how is the body constituted? If sexual difference is merely a question of the signifier, how do we account for the bodys drives, or for sexuality that is often at odds with the logic of sexual difference? In relation to race, to stop with the account of the symbolic function of Whiteness would be too premature, for it does not address the issue of visibility, or the relation of the signifier to the visible body, which is, after all, the inaugural point of this inquiry. In order to take up in earnest the question of the body and of its constitution as raced, it is necessary to clarify the relation between the ego as body image and racial visibility. First, one must repudiate the notion that race is merely a process of specular identification, where a pre-discursive and preraced entity assumes a racial identity on the basis of certain familial others whose image it identifies with in a mirror relation. Such a notion is based on a simplified account of Lacans concept of the imaginary and the mirror stage. I undertake the following discussion of the imaginary for two reasons: to suggest that insofar as the symbolic underwrites the imaginary, race must be understood as a symbolic phenomenon. It is a logic of difference inaugurated by a signifier, Whiteness, that is grounded in the unconscious structured like a language. This signifier subjects us all equally to its law regardless of our identities as black, white, etc. Racial visibility is a remainder of this symbolic system. Second, the process of becoming racially visible is not coterminous with the organization of the ego or the acquisition of the body image. In other words, the visibility of the body does not necessarily have to be a racial visibility It is important that one disarticulate the two processes; otherwise racial visibility will seem to be an ontological necessity that is a universal verity of subjective existence as such.

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Racial signifiers do not operate in an equivocal relationship with one another-Whiteness creates a hierarchy that leads to domination Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 35-36 SRM
It is important that we not mistake the moment of the constitution of the bodily ego as the necessary moment when the body becomes racially visible. To do so would not be a sufficient departure from the erroneous belief that race is purely a question of misrecognition or identification with a mirror image. We would merely have added the factor of the racial signifier to the account of the mirror stage. There is no doubt that one can be constituted as a subject with a unified bodily ego without necessarily identifying with a racial signifier, or seeing oneself as racially marked. (The large point here is that race is not like sex. Not all are subject to the racial signifier.) We only have to consider the numerous accounts from literature and autobiography that enact the scene of becoming racially visible to oneself Besides Fanon, who speaks of discovering that he is black during his first visit to France, there is Stuart Hall, who in Minimal selves says that for many Jamaicans like himself, Black is an identity which had to be learned and could only be learned in a certain moment (1996b: 116). This process of introjecting the signifier is repeated by other characters such as Janie in Zora Neal Hurstons Their Eyes Were Watching God, James Weldon Johnsons protagonist in Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, and by Oulaudah Equiano in his autobiographical narrative. There are doubtless numerous other examples that one could cite. The fact that the secondariness of race seems to apply only to so-called people of color, and that there are rare, or virtually no instances of a so-called white person discovering his or her race may lead to several specious speculations such as: black people identify with whites as the latter are more powerful and define the norm. Such misidentification on the part of blacks leads to trauma when they discover the reality of their blackness (Fanons thesis). Other problematic views might be that white people impose an identity upon those they have colonized in order to justify their dominance, or whites have no race or race consciousness; whites are not racially embodied, and this is an index of their transparency and power, etc. While some of these propositions might make some ideological sense, all of these conclusions nevertheless presume the pre-existence of black and white as if these were natural and neutrally descriptive terms. I would suggest that the difference among black, brown, red, yellow and white rests on the position of each signifier in the signifying chain in its relation to the master signifier, which engenders racial looking through a particular process of anxiety. Perhaps the more effective ideological stance may be not to raise race consciousness among so-called whites, as scholars in Whiteness studies suggest, but to trouble the relation of the subject to the master signifier. One must throw into doubt the security and belief in ones identity, not promote more fulsome claims to such identity.

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Race functions purely in the symbolic excluding undergirding factors of identification and a continual fear of moral law Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 41-42 SRM
Insofar as the racial law is purely symbolic, to be a raced subject is to be symbolically determined. The racial symbolical cannot be said to be missing a signifier. Rather it supplies a master signifier (Whiteness) that appears in the place of the object of desire (that must remain absent for desire to be possible). Insofar as it is purely symbolical, the racial law cannot in itself bespeak the subjects, or more properly the bodys, potential for that Other jouissance, which emerges at the site of a lackin the symbolic order. The law of race is not lacking; it supplies its own guarantee by equating Whiteness with being. Thus the doubled aspect of the moral law that makes possible an enjoyment even as it forbids it in the name of the good should not be thought as having a parallel in the law of race; rather the racial symbolic calculates its success, as we shall see shortly, upon the doubleness of the moral law. Also, racial law does not have the moral authority of the incest taboo. Its good, expressible only as purity, and eugenic health, cannot lend itself to the structure of the categorical imperative that characterizes the moral law. The good or the morality of race does not so much slide into its opposite, as itself being subject to continual interrogation as a good. The law of race is groundless, without a foundation of truth, but it is not indeterminate. Thus we can say that the moral law, insofar as it can provide no guarantee of its meaning, indexes the radical indeterminacy of the subject, while the racial law in its function as social or symbolic determinacy (Whiteness is its guarantee) is necessarily groundless (a function of citation) but not indeterminate. We can deconstruct race as performativity, but not sex. The moral law given its own lack renders sex unknowable. Finally, it is in its bearing on kinship that the racial symbolic discloses its parasitic dependence upon the moral law. The prohibition of miscegenation must be understood not as a law that resembles the incest taboo, but rather as one that threatens it. The law of race undoes the moral law. In the racial realm, the taboo against incest plays no role, as those racially other can never be admitted or acknowledged within the family structure. In slave regimes, particularly the type that prevailed in North America, slave women, we may recall, were fair game for their owners. The master could cohabit with his slaves, and the children he bred upon his slaves, with absolute impunity. The strict separation between those who were kin (racially similar people) versus slaves (racially dissimilar people) rendered the incest taboo void ci propos the latter group. The slave owner could play out his fantasy of the primal father of the original horde whose murder Freud posits at the origin of the moral law. Thus the racial symbolic, and the taboo of miscegenation make incest, or the time before the moral law possible even as it upholds the law at another level. If the incest taboo dictates who one may or may not cohabit with or marry, it presupposes the boundaries of the family, whereas the racial symbolic intervenes at a more fundamental level and presents a selected view of the family which considerably limits the effectivity of the moral law. The threat that miscegenation poses to the moral law explains the horror and fear that Levi-Strauss alludes to as one of the inducements to collective vengeance. All raced subjects have cause to fear miscegenation as it could render the moral law inoperative.

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Race is founded by the basis and interrelationship to whiteness which is sexed and cannot be basis for a stable desire of the Other Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 45-46 SRM
How does race articulate itself with sex? How does it produce extra-symbolic effects? I would suggest that race aims for the body in its otherness15 by disavowing its own historicity. For what the racial symbolic promises the subject is precisely access to being. Whiteness offers a totality, a fullness that masquerades as being. Thus for the raced subject, to encounter the historicity of Whiteness is particularly anxiety-producing. In other words, the cause of the raced subject is its own disavowed historicity. I refer not so much to the fact that race is historicizable (that it has at its origin some historical, cultural or social cause) but rather to the phenomenon of its Historicity (which is the delimitation of race as a regulative norm at the expense of its natural universality) that radically exposes the subject to its own linguistic limit. To encounter ones subjectivity as an effect of language, and not as an enigma, is anxiety-producing not because one is reduced to a construct (what would that really mean experientially?) but because it implies the foreclosure of desire and the possibility of being. It is to discover that the law of racial difference is not attached to the Real. What the raced subject encounters, in a given moment of anxiety, is the law as purely symbolical. This is to confront the utter groundlessness of the law of racial difference, to discover that the question of ones being is not resolved by Whiteness, but that Whiteness is merely a signifier that masquerades as being and thereby blocks access to lack. To pose the question of being in relation to race is to face that there is not one. It is here that we must situate social and juridical laws against discrimination as well. Like the prohibition against miscegenation, our legal prohibitions, couched in the language of respect for difference, ultimately serve to protect the paradox of Whiteness. The paradox is that Whiteness attempts to signify the unsignifiable, i.e. humanness, in order to preserve our subjective investment in race. The Other of race, in short, is not lacking; there is no hole where being could be promising ]ouissance. All of race is expressed and captured by language. Thus the raced subject experiences anxiety, which is a consequence of encountering the lack of a lack. It is as if the jigsaw puzzle were complete, but there were still a piece left over for which there is no place. Anxiety is an affect, according to Lacan, that appears when there is no possibility of desire, when there is a lack of a lack. For the raced subject, the anxiety experienced by its encounter with historicity produces an object. Anxiety, Lacan maintains, is not without an object .. the object petit a is what falls from the subject in anxiety. It is precisely the same object that I delineated as the cause of desire. For the subject, there is substituted, for anxiety which does not decieive, what is to function by way of the object petit a (Television: 82). The objet a that race produces is a lethal object, its own disavowed historicity, produced out of the lack of a lack a phobic object that tries to make the barred Other, the desire of the symbolic, exist. This phobic objet a I suggest is localized as the pre-discursive mark on the surface of the body. The effect of nature that race produces emerges from its anxiety, its disavowal of its own historicity. This is the peculiarity of race which is neither in the Real, like sex, nor wholly discursive, like class or ethnicity To recapitulate: race has no Other jouissance, no lack, no barred Other. Its symbolical origin, however, does not render it simply historical for it relies for its effectivity on a phobic object that exceeds biological and historical explanations of identity. What this means is that one encounters the limits of ones subjectivity as an effect of language, and the question of being as not so much that which escapes articulation, but as one that is extinguished or foreclosed. Thus what the study of race offers to psychoanalysis is a view of historicity that is not only about the ungraspable, non-signifiable limit, but about the horrific confrontation of the subject with its own signifying totality, the anxiety of suffering the recognition that there is no enigma to racial difference or to the raced subject. Thus what we see repeatedly in cases of racial anxiety is the attempt to constitute that enigma through an object that has no real consistency. An analysis of the prohibitions of miscegenation and incest reveals the intricate entwinement of race and sex as a struggle waged in the subject for a desire that can never be its own.

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Racial jokes are indicative of the way Whiteness functions to suppress race by creating antagonistic relationships between people of different races Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 91-92 SRM
In other words, hostile jokes substitute for the violence that is forbidden expression in a homogeneous, civil society, just as obscene jokes substitute for the spontaneous touching that is also forbidden by moral law. Thus jokes which thrive on symbolic and legal interdiction are only possible, in Freuds view, when the joker, victim, and listener share the same nationality or race, whereas with a foreign people there is no necessity to displace the aggression into a joke; we permit ourselves to express it physically.3 Thus, in Freuds seemingly narrow conception of hostile jokes, racist jokes, whether in a modern sovereign state or in colonialism, become redundant if not actually impossible. Thus, on the subject of anti-Semitic jokes, for instance, Freud is quite perfunctory: The jokes made about Jews by foreigners are for the most part brutal comic stories in which a joke is made unnecessary by the fact that Jews are regarded by foreigners as comic figures (111). The peculiar disavowal of the racist joker (he implies that there is no such person, as there are no racist jokes, per se), or more properly the comedian as a foreigner(!), once again nullifies the existence of racist jokes per Se. But there are racist jokes that are not merely comic stories. There is enough wordplay in racist jokes to qualify them technically as jokes and not comic stories. A cursory glance at a popular collection of jokes such as Blanche Knotts Truly Tasteless Jokes VI (1985) proves that one can make hostile jokes about foreigners, and that racial or cultural difference within a given society is no hindrance to joking either. Freuds peculiar blind spot with regard to this brand of hostile jokes pertains to his inability to conceive of (or acknowledge) a multiracial society. Thus we have to resituate the function of aggression and its relation to jokes in the disparate contexts of a modern multiracial society and in colonialism. A study of racist jokes in a multiracial society should not be undertaken as a sociological inquiry into race relations. Christie Davies (1990) and Elliot Oring (1992) have usefully criticized attempts to read ethnic jokes as crude indicators of social relations and levels of hostility against specific groups, as founded on inaccurate and inconsistent assumptions. While their arguments are generally persuasive in that they wish to preserve the spontaneity of the joking relationship, the debate itself is largely misconceived insofar as it focuses on the content of jokes rather than on the mechanism of joking, which reveals how Whiteness functions. Assertions to the effect that jokes are responsible for or innocent of racial oppression displace the emphasis from the jokes unconscious dependence on the prohibition of the law to intentionality and the conscious deployment of the joke as insult. (Indeed, to debate this issue is perhaps to be deflected by the comic and to miss the joke.) Such a deflection would considerably impoverish an understanding of how variations in the dialectical pressure of aggression and inhibition (from which the joke originates) produce differing joke situations, which are indicative of shifts in the working order of race as common sense.

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Race relies on rigid signifiers which require rigid historical practices to constitute their identity. However, the way race is articulated always relies on certain bodily features which attempt to create a basis for contingent identity. This denies the historicization of race and dooms both politics and identification. Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 155 SRM
What kind of an identity statement is Maggie is black? I have cited Kripkes thesis regarding names as rigid designators, and we have extended that thesis to race designators such as black and white to suggest that these nouns also function as names, insofar as they merely determine reference without recourse to qualitative descriptions that may serve as criteria for identity Like proper names, black and white have no meaning, and neither is their reference determined through a cluster of concepts such that they are true in all situations. Race identity, then, is not contingent; it is necessary, even essential, insofar as it is a rigid designation without qualitative criteria that can be true in all situations . We have further extended the absence of the signified in this notion of the signifier to Lacans notion of identity, particularly in relation to the place of woman in sexual difference, as something that exceeds the symbolic. If the signified is a symbolic construct, it is precisely in its absence or failure that identity is made possible. With reference to woman and sexual difference, this is the excluded possibility of jouissance, the lack in the Other, that determines the subject of desire as such. However, racial identity insofar as it is entirely symbolic has no bearing on the lack in the Other. Thus the absence of the signified here does not mean that the symbolic has failed; it is rather that it has succeeded too well. There is no question of mapping racial difference onto the graph of sexual difference. Black, white, etc. are rigid designators, and whatever qualities or signifieds we may attempt to attach to them will be determined by history. This does not mean that racial identity is contingent; it is so only if we think of identity in qualitative terms. And as Kripke says, everyone knows that there are contingent identities. Racial identity is necessary in that it rigidly designates a referent without need of qualitative properties. To return to the context of the story, what does it mean to say that Maggie is black? What effect does it have, especially in relation to the fact that such reference is precisely refused, by the narrator, for Twyla and Roberta? I have suggested that one of the effects of such narrative reticence is to exemplify racial names as rigid designators without qualitative properties. Therefore trying to decode the narrative to read one of the other characters as black or white is to elide the fundamental proposition of the story: racial signifiers do not mean anything in the strong sense of having no sense. Therefore, what is the effect of Robertas fixing of Maggie as black, given that Twyla was unaware of Maggies identity as black?

The practices of the Third Reich are the consequences of racial visibility Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 38 SRM
When the signifier of race, Whiteness, positions itself in the place of the minus phi as the object of desire, that is when its historicity is most apparent and productive of anxiety. This is because Whiteness, by attempting to signify that which is excluded in subject constitution, the more-than-symbolic aspect of the subject the fact that he/she is not entirely determined by the symbolic or the imaginary produces anxiety. There is a lack of a lack as it appears in that place that should have remained empty. It is a false door opening not onto a nowhere, but to an all-too-concrete wall. This anxiety then produces the uncanny object of race, the arbitrary marks on the body, namely hair, skin and bone. These marks then are properly the desiderata of race; they serve the function of the objet a. Uncanny and phobic, they make desire possible again by producing lack on another level. The difference between the visible body as an ego function, and the visible body as a function of Whiteness or racialization, can be understood as the difference between seeing and being seen. The subject of the imaginary is constituted as seeing by the signifier, whereas the subject of race is constituted as seen, the subject of the gaze, through a certain logic of the signifier. If racial identity is produced by the signifier, racial visibility is produced as a remainder, a phobic object, in order, paradoxically, to give consistency to the signifier. Racial visibility is always a function of anxiety, but ones place in the chain may determine what form that anxiety may take. Consider for instance, the Third Reich, where the system of race is installed as the promise of being. The lethal result is, of course, the policy of anti-Semitism that finds its locus in that most anxious regime of visibility that finds its object in minute and arbitrary bodily marks. By providing a psychical account of the regime of visibility, I suggest that we view the logic of antiSemitism not as a racist aberration of difference, but as the kernel of all racial practice as a mode of looking. 14

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LinkRace
Racial identification results in stereotyping and the creation of loving-hating relationships that invariably collapse into violent regimes Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 143-144 SRM
We must ask what consequence race names as rigid designators have for the psychoanalytic examination of race identity. I suggest that insofar as race identity, unlike sexual identity, has no bearing on the real, such rigid designation is better understood not as an indication of the failure of the symbolic (a symptom that escapes meaning or the possibility of interpretation), which would be the Lacanian translation of rigid designation, but of its agency. Black and white and other racial signifiers do not fail to signify properties (as the woman does in her position as objet a or the symptom); they perform the only function they can: they designate rigidly this or that individual (everything is what it is and not another thing). Does this mean that race names as rigid designators cannot be translated into Lacanian terms, that they have no psychoanalytic valence? That race names are rigid designators is, first of all, a counterintuitive claim. If we consider how and why racial signifiers are used in everyday speech, we encounter not only the ideological production of specific racial content (usually referred to as stereotypes), but the fraught status of the racial referent as such. One points with a word black man, white woman but this pointing cannot be innocent in the sense that it merely establishes reference as in: no other than Nixon might have been Nixon (Kripke 1982: 48). The pointing in this case involves the whole regime of racial visibility which, as I have been delineating it, is founded on a certain anxiety This relation between racial naming as meaning, or the description of properties, and racial naming as reference, or pure designation, is not one of misreading the logical functioning of names; rather, I suggest that racial naming as referring to properties (or the stereotype) acts as an envelope, a cover for the anxiety of racial reference which literally means nothing. (This is the very definition of the stereotype as a form of discourse that attempts to produce meaning where none is possible.) There is something anxiety-producing about the fullness of the signifier/referent relation that bypasses the signified, or the concept, that would properly produce meaning and thus desire. This anxious relation between the racial signifier as rigid designation and the racial signifier as a cluster of concepts founded on anxiety is brilliantly disclosed in the only short story ever written by Toni Morrison, Recitatif. In the following, I read the storys technique as a working out of the Kripkean logic of naming in relation to the Lacanian gloss on rigid designators as a certain writing which indicates the failure, or the limit, of the symbolic. I choose this text for its singular meditation on names, rigid and non-rigid, and its device of refusing to deploy the racial name for significant purposes. This story, which is about love between women as much as it is about race, demands that we read identity as a gendered and raced phenomenon simultaneously. The contrapuntal relation, which I have been arguing for thus far, between race and sexual difference is sharply thematized in this narrative, with reference to a set of relations that will be delineated among naming, the body, knowledge, racial ambiguity, love and hatred. I shall be arguing that the import or the force of rigid designation in relation to race serves not so much to point up the impossibility of language founded on the impasse of sexual difference, but the anxiety of reference inherent in racial visibility as meaningless designation. In Recitatif, both these themes of rigid designation as an impossible writing, and as anxious reference are braided together as unconscious knowledge, or an ignorant knowing. To expand on Morrisons musical metaphor: I read the story as possessing the structure of an antiphony, where there is a responsive alternation between racial anxiety and the impasse of sexual difference. Approaching the referent involves a recitatif with the impossibility of language, and when the impasse of language seems most insistent, then the referent performs an encore. The keynote being the letter of love figured as an emptiness, a nothing to know. The two themes are reconciled only in that space of hateloving, where the (w)hole of identity forms a paradoxical ground for what Lacan calls true love.

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LinkRace Discourse
The affirmatives discourse is like a racist joke it engages in a forum for discursive colonialism Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 89-90 SRM
This notion of the joke as principally dissident and of the comic as reproductive of power relations, then, explains why there seems to be a predominance of comedy in colonialism and why jokes can become deeply suspect. It is a commonplace to observe that jokes and wordplay are never tolerated by totalitarian regimes, primarily because linguistic ambivalence may expose the hollow absolutism of regimes based on political and psychological repression. But jokes are not simply subversive, that is, they are not always the weapons of the weak against the strong. According to Freud, jokes can thrive only when and where there is an inhibition or repression of instincts, and insofar as tendentious jokes are concerned, it is the inhibition of aggression that fuels the witticism. However, there is the species of joke called the racist joke, whose relationship to aggression is rather more complex than Freud seems to acknowledge. Insofar as they are extreme examples of tendentious jokes, racist jokes reveal in greater detail the way in which they are determined by a certain attitude to aggression its inhibition and its expression within a particular society A brief examination of aggression in jokes in general, and in racist jokes in particular, will serve the purpose of situating in a precise fashion the all-important function of ambivalence and aggression for the uncanny joke, which is characteristic of the scenario of colonialism.

Attempts to utilize the state reinforce the problematic aspects of identity politics-reifying the racial viewpoint that ignores broader systems of oppression Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, assistant professor of English at Boston College, Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, 2000, p. 158 SRM
In presenting my hypothesis to various interlocutors in formal and informal settings, I have been asked how my theory of race as a symbolic system sustained by a regime of visibility translates into social policy. How does it affect our thinking about affirmative action, about anti-discrimination legislations, about those particularly powerful modes of political mobilization that have aggregated around identity? It is sophisticated and easy to be dismissive of identity politics because it seems naive and essentialist. But the immeasurable weightiness of, say, the black power movement or the womens rights movement in pushing back the forces of exploitation and resuscitating devalued cultures through the redefinition of identity must give us pause. Identity politics works. However, the argument of this book is that it also ultimately serves to reinforce the very system that is the source of the symptoms that such politics confines itself to addressing. It is race itself that must be dismantled as a regime of looking. We cannot aim at this goal by merely formulating new social policies. In fact, my theory is anti-policy for two reasons: first, any attempt to address race systematically through policy, and by that I mean state policy, will inevitably end up reifying race. Second, the only effective intervention can be cultural, at the grassroots level. Such intervention can and should work, sometimes in tandem and at others in tension with state policy, but the project of dismantling the regime of race cannot be given over to the state. Gramsci speaks of the necessity of trans forming the cultural into the political; where race is concerned, it is imperative that we turn what is now political, an issue of group interests, into the cultural, an issue of social practice.

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LinkProblem Solution
The attitude of restoring agency and living life good enough ensures continued oppression of other bodies in our image-we continually succumb to the temptation to graft identity onto bodies in order to fulfill our own narcissitic fantasy constructions. Kaja Silverman, professor of rhetoric at the university of California-berkeley, The Threshold of the Visible World, 1996, p. 4-5
SRM One cannot characterize this motility of the look as agency since it resists our conscious attempts to direct it. Here again, we need the assistance of aesthetic texts, which can intervene where we cannot. Such texts abound in visual and rhetorical images which, even before being psychically worked over, have the formal and libidinal properties of highly charged unconscious memories. They are consequently capable of moving immediately to a privileged site within the unconscious. At the same time, they are available to conscious scrutiny and interrogation. For the most part, representational practice works through such mnemic implants to confirm dominant values. However, implicit in their exterior derivation is the possibility for each of us of having psychic access to what does not belong to usof remembering other peoples memories. And through these borrowed memories, we can accede psychically to pains, pleasures, and struggles which are far removed not only from our own, but from what normative representation validates, as well. In Chapter 2 of The Threshold c/the Visible World, I argue at length that all of our attempts personally to approximate the ideal end in failure, and leave us in a relation of fatal aggressivity toward others. I oppose to this vain narcissistic quest the active gift of love, or the provisional conferral of ideality upon socially devalued bodies. However, I do not indicate in that chapter how the subject is psychically to negotiate his or her resulting apprehension of lack or distance from the ideal. It might seem that the only alternative to self-idealization is a determined self-revulsion. However, in the closing pages of this book, I am led by a series of important images toward a concept with which it would seem possible to dismantle the binary opposition of ideality and abjectionthe notion of the good enough. In so doing, I return to the topic with which I began: love. However, whereas I am initially concerned with the terms under which we might idealize and so identify with bodies which we would otherwise reject, I am by the end more concerned with the conditions under which we might ethically love ourselves. The good enough is a paradigm through which ideals can be simultaneously lived and deconstructed. To live an ideal in the mode of the good enough is, first of all, to dissolve it into its tropesto grasp its fundamentally figural status. Equally important, it is to understand that those tropes are only ever partially fulfillable. Finally, to embrace the principle of the good enough is to realize that ones partial and tropological approximation of the ideal counts most when circumstances most conspire against it. Once again, these are lessons that we can perhaps only learn from visual texts, since they have the power to reeducate the look. We can only accede narcissistically to the principle of the good enough after we have been taught to exercise it in relation to other bodies, and here the image is all-important.

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Link Reason
Modern claims of reason are the feeble attempts to control language, action and thought, to create them as universally manageable, grounded and understandable. But within this quest the picture of the rational, conscious, autonomous individual has vanished. In its place, is a form of subjectivity that is bound up with the social or symbolic order. Edkins, professor at Aberystwyth 2002 [Jenny The Subject of the Political Sovereignty and Subjectivity]
Toward the end of this part of Chapter 1, before we outline the contribution subsequent chapters will make, we pursue the entanglement of sovereignty and subjectivity further and pose the question of whether there is an alternative to sovereignty. Does the political as such necessarily involve sovereignty as a nodal point, or can other signifiers take its place, leading to alternative structures of authority? More radically, perhaps, is it possible to talk of politics without the fixity such an authorizing concept imposes? We conclude by arguing that it is only without a "sovereign" that a rethinking of the political is possible. The Cartesian subject was produced in response to a sense of loss and a search for certainty amid the confusion of a newly decentered post-Copernican world. The resolution of doubt for Rene Descartes was to be found in rational, conscious thought. Since then, as Richard Ashley reminds us, "modem discourse has invoked the heroic figure of reasoning man who is himself the origin of language, the maker of history, and the source of meaning in the world. . . . Reasoning man . . . is the modern sovereign."3 The challenge to this notion of sovereign subjectivity has occurred through a series of decenterings that have successively loosened its anchorages in language, action, and thought. The first decentering contested the concept of language as no more than a medium for the expression of thought. Ferdinand de Saussure contended that rather than linguistic signs being produced by the allocation of names to preexisting objects, the association of signifier and signified that they embodied produced objects at the same time as naming them.4 Language constituted the world in particular ways. More significantly for the present discussion, since signifier and signified were arbitrary, meaning arose only from the linguistic system as a whole, and words acquired their value through associations. Language as system, however, preexists, and hence is beyond the control of, the speaker. In addition, words spoken are not determined in their meaning, since meaning arises from associations that vary with the context and the listener.5 In an important sense, then, we do not speak language; language speaks us. The sense that language was out of control, and that thoughts could not be "expressed" as such, was only the first challenge. The next was to thought itself, with the notion of the unconscious.6 If it was necessary to posit the existence of a realm of thinking that was not only unconscious (and hence inaccessible) but that operated in an entirely different manner from that of consciousness, then the picture of reason as central to subjectivity was shattered. The status of thought as originary was also contested by the view that social being precedes and to an extent at least determines consciousness.? The whole edifice of philosophy and political thought was argued to be no more than a superstructure resting on the foundations of an economic base defined by its mode of production. Political ideas and aspirations were seen as reflecting and constrained by, rather than leading to, economic and social change. The subject was not in charge of history but subjected to (and by) historical processes. After these several decenterings, what is left? The picture of the rational, conscious, autonomous individual has vanished. In its place, what we have is a subjectivity that is bound up with the social or symbolic order. The constitution of the subject and the social order seem to implicate each other. This leads to the picture of the poststructuralist subject as not only a decentered subject but an incomplete, impossible subject that only ever will have been.8 How does this relate to our contention that subjectivity and sovereignty depend upon and contain each other and that this is a fiercely political relationship? Before we can address this question, we need to elaborate how the impossible, split subjectivities we describe are constituted, thus giving an account of how the social order is posited and how sovereignty as a nodal point is crucial in this process.

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Link - War on Terror


Relying on the implicit threat of terrorism empowers the United States global strategy of conquest. What we fight is not a central enemy with guns pointed at the U.S., but rather an unnamed faceless foe somewhere beyond the horizon with the potential to become a threat. This logic os self-defeating and justifies absolute control and scapegoating in order to protect the homeland Savoj Zizek is a coked out madman and professor somewhere, 2005 (Give Iranian Nukes a Chance, http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/2280/) SRM
Every power structure has to rely on an underlying implicit threat, i.e. whatever the oficial democratic rules and legal constraints may be, we can ultimately do whatever we want to you. In the 20th century, however, the nature of this link between power and the invisible threat that sustains it changed. Existing power structures no longer relied on their own fantasmatic projection of a potential, invisible threat in order to secure the hold over their subjects. Rather, the threat was externalized, displaced onto an Outside Enemy. It became the invisible (and, for that reason, all-powerful and omni-present) threat of this enemy that legitimized the existing power structures permanent state of emergency. Fascists invoked the threat of the Jewish conspiracy, Stalinists the threat of the class enemy, Americans the threat of Communism-all the way up to todays war on terror. The threats posed by such an invisible enemy legitimizes the logic of the preemptive strike. Precisely because the threat is virtual, one cannot afford to wait for it to come. Rather, one must strike in advance, before it is too late. In other words, the omni-present invisible threat of Terror legitimizes the all too visible protective measures of defense-which, of course, are what pose the true threat to democracy and human rights (e.g., the London polices recent execution of the innocent Brazilian electrician, Jean Charles de Menezes). Classic power functioned as a threat that operated precisely by never actualizing itself, by always remaining a threatening gesture. Such functioning reached its climax in the Cold War, when the threat of mutual nuclear destruction had to remain a threat. With the war on terror, the invisible threat causes the incessant actualization, not of the threat itself, but, of the measures against the threat. The nuclear strike had to remain the threat of a strike, while the threat of the terrorist strike triggers the endless series of preemptive strikes against potential terrorists. We are thus passing from the logic of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) to a logic in which ONE SOLE MADMAN runs the entire show and is allowed to enact its paranoia. The power that presents itself as always being under threat, living in mortal danger, and thus merely defending itself, is the most dangerous kind of power-the very model of the Nietzschean ressentiment and moralistic hypocrisy. And indeed, it was Nietzsche himself who, more than a century ago, in Daybreak, provided the best analysis of the false moral premises of todays war on terror: No government admits any more that it keeps an army to satisfy occasionally the desire for conquest. Rather, the army is supposed to serve for defense, and one invokes the morality that approves of self-defense. But this implies ones own morality and the neighbors immorality; for the neighbor must be thought of as eager to attack and conquer if our state must think of means of self-defense. Moreover, the reasons we give for requiring an army imply that our neighbor, who denies the desire for conquest just as much as our own state, and who, for his part, also keeps an army only for reasons of self-defense, is a hypocrite and a cunning criminal who would like nothing better than to overpower a harmless and awkward victim without any fight. Thus all states are now ranged against each other: they presuppose their neighbors bad disposition and their own good disposition. This presupposition, however, is inhumane, as bad as war and worse. At bottom, indeed, it is itself the challenge and the cause of wars, because as I have said, it attributes immorality to the neighbor and thus provokes a hostile disposition and act. We must abjure the doctrine of the army as a means of self-defense just as completely as the desire for conquests. Is not the ongoing war on terror proof that terror is the antagonistic Other of democracy-the point at which democracys plural options turn into a singular antagonism? Or, as we so often hear, In the face of the terrorist threat, we must all come together and forget our petty differences. More pointedly, the difference between the war on terror with previous 20th century worldwide struggles such as the Cold War is that the enemy used to be clearly identified with the actually existing Communist empire, whereas today the terrorist threat is inherently spectral, without a visible center. It is a little bit like the description of Linda Fiorentinos character in The Last Seduction: Most people have a dark side she had nothing else. Most regimes have a dark oppressive spectral side the terrorist threat has nothing else. The paradoxical result of this spectralization of the enemy is an unexpected reflexive reversal. In this world without a clearly identified enemy, it is the United States, the protector against the threat, that is emerging as the main enemy-much like in Agatha Christies Murder on the Orient-Express, where, since the entire group of suspects is the murderer, the victim himself (an evil millionaire) turns out to be the real criminal.

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Link timeframe
Much like the CTU agents of Foxs 24, The ethic of urgency implicit in the ____ assures the duty to our country mentality and an ethic that allows torture, and terrorism to thrive. Slavoj Zizek January 27, 2006 (Jack Bauer and the Ethics of Urgency, philosopher and psychoanalyst, is a senior researcher at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, in Essen, Germany.) SRM
This brings up a crucial question: What does this all-pervasive sense of urgency mean ethically? The pressure of events is so overbearing, the stakes are so high, that they necessitate a suspension of ordinary ethical concerns. After all, displaying moral qualms when the lives of millions are at stake plays into the hands of the enemy. CTU agents act in a shadowy, space outside the law, doing things that simply have to be done in order to save society from the terrorist threat. This includes not only torturing terrorists when they are caught, but torturing CTU members or their closest relatives when they are suspected of terrorist links. In the fourth season, among those tortured were the secretary of defenses son-in-law and his own son (both with the secretarys full knowledge and support), as well as a female member of CTU, wrongly suspected of passing information to the terrorists. (After the torture, when new data confirms her innocence, she is asked to return to work. And since this is an emergency and every person is needed, she accepts!) The CTU agents not only treat terrorist suspects in this wayafter all, they are dealing with the ticking bomb situation evoked by Alan Dershowitz to justify torture in his book, Why Terrorism Worksthey also treat themselves as expendable, ready to lay down their colleagues or their own lives if this will help prevent the terrorist act.

This duty to our country mentality through the ethic of urgency is the ethic that allowed the agents of the holocaust to continue their job worry free. Without this ethic the next great tragedy can never be carried out. Slavoj Zizek January 27, 2006 (Jack Bauer and the Ethics of Urgency, philosopher and psychoanalyst, is a senior researcher at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, in Essen, Germany.) SRM
This is the dilemma for those in power: How to obtain Kurtz without Kurtzs pathology? How to get people to do the necessary dirty job without turning them into monsters? SS chief Heinrich Himmler faced the same dilemma. When confronted with the task of liquidating the Jews of Europe, Himmler adopted the heroic attitude of Somebody has to do the dirty job, so lets do it! It is easy to do a noble thing for ones country, up to sacrificing ones life for it. It is much more difficult to commit a crime for ones country. In Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt provided a precise description of how the Nazi executioners endured the horrible acts they performed. Most of them were not simply evil; they were well aware that their actions brought humiliation, suffering and death to their victims. Their way out of this predicament was that, instead of saying: What horrible things I did to people!, the murderers would be able to say: What horrible things I had to watch in the pursuance of my duties, how heavily the task weighed upon my shoulders! In this way, they were able to turn around the logic of resisting temptation: Their ethical effort was directed toward the task of resisting the temptation not to murder, torture and humiliate. Thus, the very violation of spontaneous ethical instincts of pity and compassion was turned into the proof of ethical grandeur: Doing ones duty meant assuming the heavy burden of inflicting pain on others.

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Link liberation
Politics of liberation are utter suicide it is a fantasy to believe these politics will be accepted when the truth is that radical backlash from both the left and right will ensue Lee Edelmen, No Future: Queer Theory and Death Drive. 2004 pp. 27-8 SRM
By denying our identification with the negativity of this drive, and hence our disident.ificar.ion from the promise of futurity, those of us inhabiting the place of the queer may be able to cast off that queerness and enter the properly political sphere, but only by shifting the figural burden of queerness to someone else. The structural position of queerness, after all, and the need to fill it remain. By choosing to accept that position, however, by assuming the "truth" of our queer capacity to figure the undoing of the Symbolic, and of the Symbolic subject as well, we might undertake the impossible project of imagining an oppositional political stance exempt from the imperative to reproduce the politics of signification (the politics aimed at closing the gap opened up by the signifier itself), which can only return us, by way of the Child, to the politics of reproduction. For the liberal's view of society, which seems to accord the queer a place, endorses no more than the conservative right's the queerness of resistance to futurism and thus the queerness of the queer. While the right wing imagines the elimination of queers (or of the need to confront their existence), the left would eliminate queerness by shining the cool light of reason upon it, hoping thereby to expose it as merely a mode of sexual expression free of the all-pervasive coloring, the determining fantasy formation, by means of which it can seem to portend, and not for the right alone, the undoing of the social order and its cynosure, the Child. Queerness thus comes to mean nothing for both: for the right wing the nothingness always at war with the positivity of civil society; for the left, nothing more than a sexual practice in need of demystification .

So long as we remain obedient to the faceless child, any attempt at liberation is doomed to failure Lee Edelmen, No Future: Queer Theory and Death Drive. 2004 pp. 25-6 SRM
Bound up with the first of these death drives is the figure of the Child, enacting a logic of repetition that fixes identity through identification with the future of the social order. Bound up with the second is the figure of the queer, embodying that order's traumatic encounter with its own inescapable failure, its encounter with the illusion of the future as suture to bind the constitutive wound of the subject's subjection to the signifier, which divides it, paradoxically, both from and into itself. In the preface to Homoaraphesis I wrote that the signifier "gay," understood "as a figure for the textuality, the rhetoricity, of the sexual . . . designates the gap or incoherence that every discourse of 'sexuality' or 'sexual identity' would master."3 0 Extending that claim, I now suggest that queer sexualities, inextricable from the emergence of the subject in the Symbolic, mark the place of the gap in which the Symbolic confronts what its discourse is incapable of knowing, which is also the place of a jouissance from which it can never escape. As a figure for what it can neither fully articulate nor acknowledge, the queer may provide the Symbolic with a sort of necessary reassurance by seeming to give a name to what, as Real, remains unnameable. But repudiations of that figural identity, reflecting a liberal faith in the abstract universality of the subject, though better enabling the extension of rights to those who are still denied them, must similarly reassure by attesting to the seamless coherence of the Symbolic whose dominant narrative would thus supersede the corrosive force of queer irony. If the queer's abjectified difference, that is, secures normativity's identity, the queer's disavowal of that difference affirms normativity's singular truth. For every refusal of the figural status to which queers are distinctively called reproduces the triumph of narrative as the allcaorization of irony, as the logic of a temporality that always serves to "straighten" it out, and thus proclaims the universality of reproductive futurism. Such refusals perform, despite themselves, subservience to the law that effectively imposes politics as the only game in town, exacting as the price of admission the subject's (hetero)normalization, which is accomplished, regardless of sexual practice or sexual "orientation," through compulsory abjuration of the future-negating queer.

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Link - Ethics
Ethics is impossible the attempt to create a rational world of good/evil dichotomies is doomed to failure and this failure manifests itself in the endless murder that history has seen as the consequence of ethics STAVRAKAKIS VISITING FELLOW IN GOV'T, UNIV. OF ESSEX '99, Yannis, Lacan and the Political, pg. 129 SRM
In Lacans view, the sphere of the good erects a strong wall across the path of our desirethe first barrier that we have to deal with (VII:230). Lacans central question is: what lies beyond this barrier, beyond the historical frontier of the good? This is the central question that guides the argumentation in The Ethics of Psychoanalysis. What lies beyond the successive conceptions of the good, beyond the ways of traditional ethical thinking, is their ultimate failure, their inability to master the central impossibility, the constitutive lack around which human experience is organised. In fact, this impossibility exercises a structural causality over the history of ethical thought. Its intolerable character causes the attempts of ethical thought to eliminate it. But this elimination entails the danger of turning good to evil, utopia to dystopia: the world of the good is historically revealed to be the world of evilas epitomized not only by the famous reversibility of Kant with Sade but also by the unending murders under the reign of the politics of happiness (Lacoue-Labarthe, 1997:58). On the other hand, the irreducible character of this impossibility shows the limits of all these attempts. The name of this impossibility in Lacan is, of course, the real.

Commonplace ethics is the ethics of desiring an other that doesnt exist-one who constantly tries to try again and again to transform an other into the big Other that governs the construction of a field of symbolic meaning-only a challenge to this pathology can reorient our relationships to ethics Alenka Zupancic, intellectual monster guru and researcher at the Institute of Philosophy in the Slovene Academy of Sciences at Ljubljana, Ethics of the Real: Kant, Lacan, 2000, pg. 165-166 SRM
One can understand ethics as a pursuit of the desire of the Other, as a hunt for or an attempt to figure out the desire of the Other before one moves into action. Here, however, the subject not only has to guess the desire of the Other, but also and above all to see to it that the Other has a desire in the first place. The subject, of course, will never be capable of satisfying the demands of the Other. It is precisely this series of failures (thats not it, try again, make another effort that maintains the Other as the one who knows what It wants: if It doesnt want this, It apparently wants something else, and knows very well what this something else is. The guilt that the subject experiences for not having done what was demanded (for not having found the right answer to the enigma of the desire of the Other) and the self-accusations that follow from it aim at making the Other forget that It doesnt exist. The subject knows very well that the Other doesnt exist; this is, even, the only real certitude she has. Yet nothing changes if we tell such a subject: You are torturing yourself for nothing. The Other that terrifies you so much does not exist, since the subject is torturing herself precisely because the Other does not exist. The certainty that the Other does not exist takes away from the subject every other certainty (about what one has to do, how one is supposed to act or respond to things.. .), and the erection of the law of the superego gives the subject at least access to a negative certainty (the thats not it), to some criterion or compass for her actions. The subject who does not know whether what she wants to do (or is doing) is right or wrong, whether it is pathological or not, whether it is really it or just a pretence such a subject finds in the superego a sort of 'practical guide that at least gives her the clue that the best of all possible actions is always the one that makes you suffer the most. Thus the subject acts; she can even act (and suffer) persistently; yet all this activity can only maintain the subject in a state of suffering in a state of passivity vis-a-vis the all-powerful Other. In relation to this, we should mention yet another version of this path of passivity, which consists in trying to extort from the Other the 'right answer. Here, the subject wants the Other to choose for him. For such a subject, the Other always appears in the form of some other person. One could say that this subject aims at elevating some small other to the rank of the (big) Other. The subject spends his life imposing choices upon others, reminding them that they are free individuals who must know what they really want. To take an example: in the case of a love affair that does not suit him any more, such a subject will never break it up, be will delegate this decision to the other. He will play the honest one, he will admit that he is cheating, that he is indeed weak and that apparently he is not tip to a real relation ship. He will tell the other: 'There, these are the facts, this is how I am, Im laying myself bare before you what more can I do? and now its your turn to make a decision, to make your choice. And if this other decides to leave, she leaves precisely as the (big) Other. We might even say that all the activity of such a subject is leading towards this scene of a miraculous metamorphosis of the other into the Other (who knows what she wants or does not want, and acts accordingly).
..

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LinkEthics
Ethics is always posited as an obstruction to our desire-it is the interruption that we all must realize to change our life-this understanding of ethics lacks the fundamental insight of the Lacanian Real that something is inevitably excluded from our symbolic construction of reality. The ethics of the affirmative is a basis for a return to the traditional values that both enable the politics of extremists and fantatics and the depoliticization of postmodern identity claims Alenka Zupancic, intellectual monster guru and researcher at the Institute of Philosophy in the Slovene Academy of Sciences at Ljubljana, Ethics of the Real: Kant, Lacan, 2000, pg. 4-5 SRM
These two reference points are the basic themes of this book, which-by means of a reading of Kant, Lacan and several works of literature seeks to outline the countours of what I would like to call an ethics of the Real. An ethics of the Real is not an ethics oriented towards the Real, but an attempt to rethink ethics by recognizing and acknowledging the dimension of the Real (in the Lacanian sense of the term) as it is already operative in ethics. The term ethics is often taken to refer to a set of norms which restrict or bridle desire which aim to keep our conduct (or, say, the conduct of science) free of all excess. Yet this understanding of ethics fails to acknowledge that ethics is by nature excessive, that excess is a component of ethics which cannot simply be eliminated without ethics itself losing all meaning. In relation to the smooth course of events, life as governed by the reality principle, ethics always appears as something excessive, as a disturbing interruption. But the question remains of the cause I am following in this theoretical attempt at an ethics of the Real. In Lacanian terms, the decline of the discourse of the master, Lacans understanding of the advent of modernity, forces the discourse of ethics into an impasse. The ethical maxim behind the discourse of the master is perhaps best formulated in the famous verse from Juvenal: Summum crede nefas animam praeferre pudori, et propter vitam vivendi perdere causas [Count it the greatest of all sins to prefer life to honour, and to lose, for the sake of living, all that makes life worth living]. Another version of this credo might be found in Paul Claudel: Sadder than to lose ones life is it to lose ones reason for living. In Kant with Sade Lacan proposes his own translation of this ethical motto: Desire, what is called desire, suffices to make life have no sense in playing a coward.0 Modernity, it seems, offered no alternative to the discourse of the master, besides the feeble maxim: The worst thing one can lose is ones own life. This maxim lacks both conceptual force and the power to mobilize. This lack, in turn, is part of what makes political discourses that proclaim a return to traditional values so seductive; it also accounts for much of the fascinated horror evoked by extremists and fanatics, who want nothing more than to die for their cause. This book is an attempt to provide a conceptual framework for an ethics which refuses to be an ethics based on the discourse of the master, but which equally refuses the unsatisfactory option of a (post)modern ethics based on the reduction of the ultimate horizon of the ethical to ones own life.

Ethics result in conservatism and the preservation of the status quo. Jackson, Dept. of English, Wayne St. Univ, 2007. [Ken, The Great Temptation of Religion: Why Badiou has been so important to iek IJZS
Vol. 1 no. 2]

The reason our attention to ethics can be considered an ideology is two-fold. First, much of the academic world and, in particular, the academic left does not recognize its attention to the other as ethics as such and, indeed, recoils from the notion that they are engaged in primarily ethical pursuits. They are even more horrified when presented with the notion that this ethics, our ethics, is connected somehow to religion. We are, in short, ethically interpellated subjects that can not see our own ideological constitution clearly. Second, as the remarks from iek quoted above suggest, our ethics actually functions in a conservative fashion, preserving the neoliberal status quo under the guise of challenging hierarchical power structures. As Badiou puts it, the price paid by ethics is a stodgy conservatism. The ethical conception of man, besides the fact that its foundation is either biological (images of victims) or Western (the self-satisfaction of the armed benefactor), prohibits every broad, positive vision of possibilities.what ethics legitimates, is in fact the conservation by the socalled West of what it possesses (2001: 24). We respect the other Badiou points out, but only inasmuch as that other conforms to our vision: Respect for differences, of course? But on the condition that the different be parliamentary-democratic, pro freemarket economics, in favour of freedom of opinion, feminism, the environment(2001: 24). For this reason Badiou shockingly proposes that the whole ethical predication based upon recognition of the other should be purely and simply abandoned (2001: 25).

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Link Ethics
Meaningful ethical or political action is impossible as long as the master-signifier of sovereignty remains unchallenged. Edkins, professor at Aberystwyth 2002 [Jenny The Subject of the Political Sovereignty and Subjectivity] \A symbolic order centered on sovereignty is not the only (im)possible solution; we could imagine other social realities. However, once sovereignty is in place, an ethical-political challenge in the name of an alternative becomes illegitimate. This difficulty arises because sovereignty as a master signifier conceals its status as will have been, constituting the social order as always already. As such, sovereign as a political referent persists and endures almost as if it were an inevitable and unavoidable _part of politics. Indeed, it functions to define politics in a particular way such that sovereignty is the oily referent by which one can understand the political. We will question this by asking whether another politics is possible, one that does not invoke sovereignty or an alternative master signifier. Arguably, without a master signifier either the social order nor the subject are possible. If this is accepted, emancipation as such becomes impossible. Liberation is always to come. Revolution is a joyous but impossible moment, a singularity outside time, where repressive authority has been overthrown and a new order has yet to be reimposed. There was such a moment during the revolutions at the end of the cold war in Europe, with "rebels waving the national flag with the red star, the communist symbol, cut out, so that instead of the symbol standing for the organizing principle of national life, there was nothing but a hole in its centre." Zizek raises the prospect of "tarrying with the negative," although the logic of his Lacanian position would repudiate that possibility. Derrida, in a parallel attempt to find a way of being outside the dichotomized violence of logocentrism, suggests an endless process of decisioning.I54" Both of these would be a way of engaging with the political and returning to an ethicsin Derrida's case an ethics of responsibility, and for Zizek an ethics of the real. Examining how an ethics of the real might operate leads to some interesting conclusions about the role of sovereignty in preempting such a move. As a master signifier, sovereignty has precisely the task of preventing the emergence of an ethics of the real. The imposition of meaning, which is what the master signifier accomplishes, forecloses ethical possibility,)

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Link Derrida
Derridas undecidability degenerates into empty formalism and guilt. Our psychoanalytic emphasis is necessary to investigate how affects are structured through language in the first place and are therefor insufficient to ground ethical action which requires subjective responsibility. Jason Glynos, Department of Government, University of Essex. Thinking the Ethics of the Political in the Context of a Postfoundational World:From an Ethics of Desire to an Ethics of the Drive.Theory & Event Volume 4, Issue 4, 2000
The question I want to ask here is whether this line of inquiry opened up by Derrida can pushed yet further. And I want to suggest that Lacanian psychoanalysis furnishes us with one way to conceive such a possibility. One can start with the question, Why? Why should one take guilt or lack of good conscience as the index of having adopted an ethical stance? Why not ride the worm of doubt a while longer -- at
least long enough to doubt doubt itself? That is to say, to put into question the doubt that finds itself in thrall of guilt or lack of good conscience. Might there be another way to view lack of good conscience other than as the upstanding sibling of a truly ethical stance in the face of undecidability? If we held a different theory of guilt, might we not, just possibly, come to a different conclusion? Namely, that guilt is the accomplice to something other than ethical authenticity? At the very least, it is possible to question whether guilt or lack of good conscience should function as an index of an ethical stance to the lack in the big Other. Guilt, in other words, can also be

seen to be in need of an explanation, or subjected to a more thorough investigation -- one that does not restrict it to the certainty of a decision's exclusionary effects, of, as Derrida puts it, knowing or at least suspecting that a properly ethical stance toward the moment of the political is always going to be "to the detriment of an other; of one nation to the detriment of another nation, of one family to the detriment of another family, of my friends to the detriment of other friends or non-friends, etc."[18] Of course, the way I have outlined this ethic of deconstruction resonates with Kant's discussion of the feeling of 'respect' for the moral law. This feeling of 'respect' coincides with the irreducible doubt, anxiety even, that riddles such a political decision : is it 'really' moral (in other words, have I actually acted
only from the moral law rather than simply in accordance with it?), is it 'really' just (in other words, is not my decision always contaminated with a residue of injustice?), etc.? But what if the true enigma is not why a 'pure' ethical act appears impossible but why the drive to make such an impossible act does not cease to persist, especially if we are inclined to accept the Freudian view, that superegoic guilt has a tendency to feed on itself. Of course, I do not want to imply that Derrida himself attaches even remotely the same level of significance to guilt in its relation to ethics that I do. It is a reading. At the very least it can be taken as a hint or intuition he expresses in this regard. Either way, it allows me a convenient entry point to introduce a Lacanian perspective on what I am calling the ethics of the political.

Why turn to Lacanian psychoanalysis in investigating this question of ethics? One reason for bothering might simply be to point to Lacan's repeated insistence that the status of the subject as such is ethical. This, at least, might arouse curiosity. It is perhaps the most fundamental and central concern of Lacanian psychoanalysis to deal with the question of ethics -- and this on a practical, even daily basis. And it should be obvious by now that the kind of ethics that Lacanian psychoanalysis is concerned to elucidate is not the positive ethics familiar to us in the form of an externalised positive code of professional ethics. It is not about what rules the profession should subscribe to, or about how to motivate compliance with them. No doubt, this serves an important social function, but this is definitely not what the ethics of psychoanalysis aims at. Rather, the ethics of psychoanalysis is concerned with the question of how to orient the sessions themselves, of how to orient interventions given the dynamic nature of an analysand's discourse. In short, how can one think the end of psychoanalysis if we exclude orientations based on the positively defined Good of the patient or the Good of society? Another reason for looking to Lacanian psychoanalysis in search for insights on the question of ethics concerns the high importance placed upon language and the unconscious as structured like a language. This emphasis on the importance of language has consequences regarding guilt, and regarding affects generally. One insight this generates is the idea that affects deceive. Many take Lacan to privilege language at the expense of affects. This view,
however, is based on a misunderstanding. Think, for example, of affects such as anger, jealousy, sympathy, depression, etc. Lacan's point is essentially the Freudian point that affects are structured and shaped by the symbolic order, by the language and meanings that language conveys. Change the

meaning, and the affect changes, transforms itself, sometimes into its very opposite. This is the work of the unconscious: metaphor and metonymy; or condensation and displacement. In short, language affects affects. Which means that affects -- and this includes guilt -- are as fluid as the signifying elements that structure them. One important consequence of this is that they cannot serve as reliable reference points when considering the ethical authenticity of an act or decision -- at least from a particular psychoanalytic point of view.
But again: How more precisely can a Lacanian intervention here be better understood? In the remaining part of the paper I will begin exploring what one such possibility might look like. And for this I rely on the work of Slavoj Zizek, who opposes what he calls an ethics of the drive to an ethics of desire. Lacan's motto 'Don't give

way to your desire' is meant to capture the type of ethics I have described thus far. That is to say, the kind of ethics that bows before the awesome emptiness of the formal law, that accepts the simultaneous absence of guarantees and the call to make a decision nevertheless. The Law of desire for Lacan is governed by the fact that desire is always the desire of the symbolic Other. And the big Other's desire is founded on the big Other's lack, the symbolic order's structural openness. 'Don't give way to your desire' means: stay true to the senselessness of the master signifier, thereby keeping alive, by way of a reminder, the responsibility with which you should assume your each and every concrete identity and action. This conception of ethics is an ethics of keeping the infinite metonymy of desire alive.

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Link - Derrida
Despite Derridas attempt to embed levinas-style ethics within the empirical world of politics, it retains all the trappings of abrahamic religiosity thusly reifing the power relations that allow for the domination of the other Jackson, Dept. of English, Wayne St. Univ, 2007. [Ken, The Great Temptation of Religion: Why Badiou has been so important to iek IJZS
Vol. 1 no. 2]

Derridas very different (from Badiou) fascination with Levinasian religious gestures was particularly visible in his later years, a matter evidenced institutionally by the attention he garnered from the countrys theology and religious studies departments. The efforts of Levinas suggested to Derrida a certain messianism, a way to stay open to the other yet to come, the infinite, the other of Being that haunts philosophy, without conceding philosophy to the traditional, religious messianisms and without conceding the Levinasian desire to stay open to the other strictly to the ream of the religious at least as we traditionally understand the term. It is ultimately Derridas efforts to explicate how this was possible that led Badiou to St. Paul and, as suggested, it was St. Paul that led iek to Badiou. In 1992, in between the publication of Badious Being and Event and his 1997 St. Paul book, Derrida published Donner la mort in Lethique du don, Jacques Derrida et la pensee du don. The work was translated in 1995 as The Gift of Death and is largely an extended reading of Soren Kierkegaards Fear and Trembling, itself, of course, the most famous and influential modern interpretation of Genesis 22 an increasingly important text in our times in that it ultimately unites Judaism, Christianity, and Islam around the common figure of Abram/Abraham/Ibrahim. As Derrida hinted as long ago as 1967, Fear and Trembling can be read as an attempt on Kierkegaards part to stay open to the other, the absolute other, in the figure of certain Abraham. Kierkegaard locates in the Genesis 22 description of Abraham a figure who eludes the ethical, which is to say the universal of Hegelian thought. For Hegel, identity and difference, self and other, pass into one another, and thus ultimately there is no difference, there is no other no justified incommensurability -- in his dialectical logic. In Abraham, Kierkegaard identifies a figure who responds to the absolutely other in a way that suspends the Hegelian ethical or universal (for Kierkegaard the two are the same thing) if only for an instant. In other words, he locates in Genesis 22 a rupture or cut in Hegels ontological framework, a teleological suspension of the ethical. Derrida, in turn, identifies a messianic structure in Kierkegaards philosophical gesture, a messianic structure that may determine, but is not equivalent to, the traditional messianisms. For Abraham to respond to Gods demand to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham must kill Isaac without believing he will get anything in return salvation, for example. Abraham must move towards the absolute other, God, without any sense of a deal having been struck. The exchange relationship implied in any reading that emphasizes obedience for salvation also implies some level of equality and thus negates the otherness of the absolute other, the distinction of divine from human. To distinguish Abrahams aneconomic movement from the economy of sacrifice or exchange, Derrida identifies in Kierkegaard the figure of the gift. The gift is the impossible, the instant when the economic circle of exchange is interrupted and Abraham gives death (or almost gives death) without expecting anything from God in return. The gift identifies that which is not an exchange, that which stands outside even a sacrificial economy that which is absolutely other. The Abrahamic gift thus suggests a way to think the religious without the religions, pointing simultaneously to a founding messianic gesture for all three monotheisms that is not specific to one tradition and a potential obliteration of differences something other yet to come. The to come is critical here, particularly as it works its way into Derridas more explicitly political writings like Spectres de Marx (1993) where he begins talking about a democracy to come, a concept and phrase that still draws the comic ire of iek. Like Kierkegaard, Derrida is above all else interested in keeping the possibility of the impossible open. However, Derrida does not simply dispense with a general obligation toward others to fulfill the obligation toward the absolute Other (God), the tout autre. Instead he seeks to "weaken the distinction" between the other individual and the absolutely Other. Derrida admires Kierkegaard's reading of the Abraham story in its insistence on the difficult sacrificing of general ethics, but he is more truly tracing and refining the work of Levinas who, again, insists on the ethical, the call of the other as manifested in (other) individuals. The call Abraham hears to sacrifice Isaac is not from some extraordinary other, but something we all confront everyday when we protect our own children at the expense of others, an infinite number of others whom we, in some sense, sacrifice. To put this another way, in this impossible contradictory instant Derrida seeks to find a relationship between religious obligation and everyday ethical obligation, an absolute obligation and a calculated, rational one. Quite simply, like Badiou, Derrida seeks to confront the problem of divine alterity in Levinass other and, quite provocatively, he does this by juxtaposing Levinas to Kierkegaard. The Derridean hope, I would suggest, is that if one positions Levinas next to Kierkegaard the transdescendence or materialist aspects of the Levinasian position becomes more distinct to critics who would dismiss him as simply religious.

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[continues, no text omitted] Indeed, when Derrida begins talking about a democracy to come he is trying to maintain the very same Abrahamic relation between the absolute and the everyday, the impossibly an-economic and the calculated or rational, the idealist and the materialist. Rather than simply expose or demystify the gap between an ideal democracy and neo-liberal democracies as they actually exist, Derrida wants to concentrate on the failure of the actual to achieve the ideal; not unlike iek, he wants to concentrate on the gap between the ideal and the factual because this failure and this gap characterizes A priori and by definition, all democracies, including the oldest and the most stable of so-called Western democracies. At stake here is the very concept of democracy as concept of a promise that can only arise in such a diastema (failure, inadequation, disjunction, disadjustment, being out of joint [here Derrida employs Hamlet]). That is why we always propose to speak of a democracy to come, not of a future democracy in the future present, not even of a regulating idea, in the Kantian sense, or of utopia at least to the extent that their inaccessibility would still retain the temporal form of a future present, of a future modality of the living present. [Even beyond the regulating idea in its classic form, the idea, if that is still what it is, of democracy to come, its idea as event of a pledged injunction that orders one to summon the very thing that will never present itself in the form of full presence, is the opening of this gap between an infinite promise (always untenable at least for the reason that it calls for the infinite respect of the singularity and infinite alterity of the other as much as for the respect of the countable, calculable, subjectal equality between anonymous singularities) and the determined, necessary, but also necessarily inadequate forms of what has to be measured against this promise. (1994: 64-65) Derrida suggests that his democracy to come, then, involves a spirit of Marxism, a desire for justice. To this extent, the effectivity or actuality of the democratic promise, like that of the communist promise, will always keep within it, and it must do so, this absolutely undetermined messianic hope at its heart, this eschatological relation to the to come of an event and of singularity, of an alterity that cannot be anticipated. (1994: 65) In some sense, for those who know Derrida, this is a reworking of differance in a specifically political context. But like differance, Derridas democracy to come was destined to be interpreted, despite his continual rebuttals, as deferral, lateness, delay, postponement and thus politically it suggested, at best, quietism, at worst, complicity.5 There has been some rapprochement between and Derrida and Marxism in the making, a rapprochement that became more explicit with his death (as such things tend to go) in 2005. Badiou, for example, in a recent talk titled as Homage to Derrida, talks of Derrida not as the messianic, waiting for something other, at odds with materialist thought figure that many know, but as someone captivated by the problem of inexistence as the extreme of existence. Similarly, in the opening pages of TheParallax View, iek is even willing to concede some relationship between his notion of addressing the gap as such and Derridean differance. Since I have written many pages in which I struggle with the work of Jacques Derrida, now when the Derridean fashion is fading away is perhaps the moment to honor his memory by pointing out the proximity of this minimal difference to what he called differance, this neologism whose very notoriety obfuscates its unprecedented materialist potential. (2006: 11) But like any rapprochement, this one is complicated, partial at best. In discussing his rapprochement with Derridean thought iek ultimately offers this line of distinction: This reappraisal [of difference] is intended to draw an even stronger line of demarcation from the usual gang of democracy-to-come deconstructionist-postsecular- Levinasian-respect-for-Otherness suspects. So . . .as usual, I would like to point out that, as usual (and, as usual, several sensitive people I like will look huffy), the democracy-to-come delegation has not been invited. If, however, a resolute democrat-to-come manages to slip in, he or she, should be warned that a number of cruel traps have been set here and there throughout the book. (2006: 11) One is never quite sure what to do with this brand of iekian humor. The problem, again, is that even Derridas materialist refinements of Levinas were not sufficient for Badiou (or later iek). In the figure of Abraham and the messianic openness of democracy to-come there lingered a hint of the absolute Other, the deified rather than thoroughly laicized infinite. Even more, in the figure of Abraham the common patriarch of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam there was the hint of the universalism of the one, a totality of Being to come, a totality of Being that had once been accessible somehow and would be again. In presenting St. Paul in the context of Being and Event, then, Badiou made a decisive cut between the Abrahamic Levinasian crowd and himself. In the figure of Paul Badiou quite simply identifies the most striking contrast possible to Derridas Abraham, a distinctive gesture of immanence to counter Derridas messianic openness. The historical Paul argues Abrahams covenant with God has been supplanted by the resurrection of Christ. In so arguing, he helps invent the tradition of Christian typology, the practice of reading the Hebrew Bible as only a foregrounding for what happens in the Christian New Testament. That is, Paul marks not a relation to Abraham, but a point of non-relation, absolute difference. Paul is an apostle, not a prophet, announcing that the event has already come not that it is perennially to- come. Indeed, for Paul, a certain notion of Judaism never was at all. Badiou knows this biblical scholarship well.

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[continues, no text omitted] On can detects notes of the forthcoming Paul book in Being and Event. There Badiou suggests that not only is Levinass path of thought religious, it is somewhat ironically a religious path of thought that always ultimately follows a certain Christian route: From the point of view of experience, this path consecrates itself to mystical annihilation; an annihilation in which, on the basis of the interruption of all presentative situations, and at the end of a negative spiritual exercise, a Presence is gained, presence which is exactly that of the being of the One as non-being, thus the annulment of all functions of the count of One (2005: 26). Badiou begins to suggest here that the Levinasian Jewish openness to the other will always lead to some Christian presence or immanence. The Other (God) never stays sufficiently Other; he always becomes some version of the same or self (man). Here we need to tread carefully because we risk occluding the larger discussion with the ancient divide between Jew and Christian. Badiou is not criticizing Judaism or the role Judaism played in Levinass intellectual life. He is, again, illustrating the Great Temptation of philosophical ontologies and, in particular, the fundamental flaw of beginning thought with a deified notion of the infinite. Badious materialist point, again, is that there is no one, there is no God, and certainly no other (again, only a masquerade for God); there is only a multiple without one, an infinite multiplicity with which we somehow need to come to terms -- mathematical terms. Consequently, the sooner we give up altogether on The Great Temptation of religion to stay open to the other and the suggestion of non or otherwise than Being the better off we will be. Thus he begins to foreground in Being and Event the way in which the other always moves from the transcendent beyond of Being to the imminent. Infinite multiplicity is what there and is there is nothing else (other) and there never has been anything else (other).

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Link - obligation
Talk of obligation conflates our desire creating the ethic of debt towards the Other and the constant need to take action in order to fulfill our guilty conscience. Joan Copjec in 2006 (Department of English, Comparative Literature, and Media Study at the University of Buffalo, where she is the Director of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture: Lacan: the silent partners; May 68, the Emotional Month) SRM
We were pursuing hints in Levinas's text that the sentiment of being riveted was connected to the question of race, and all those forms of identity which are ours by virtue of birth rather than choice. This connection is suggested in relation to a specific characterization of anxiety or being riveted as the feeling of being burdened by a 'non-remittable obligation'. From this sentiment to that of being weighed down by an inexpiable debt is a short step, but to take it without being aware of the distance traversed leads to the inappropriate conflation of originary and moral anxiety. That Levinas makes the error of too quickly conflating the experience of being riveted with experiences of culpability and debt proves nothing so much as the effectiveness of the superego, of guilt, in the modern world. Why should our admittedly infrangible attachment to that which precedes us and drenches our enjoyment in its indelible colors be characterized as a guilty one? There is no good reason for It; but If the equation of the past with guilt and debt is endemic to modern thought, it is because the superegoic evasion or recoil from anxiety retains so much influence over thought, up to and including Freud's. Critiquing the familiar Freudian myth of the murder of the primordial father by sons who try to, atone for their crime by reinstating him in an idealized form (as all-loving and loved by all), Lacan disentangles guilt from originary anxiety, and prepares the way for an alternative escape from the latter.

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Link Obligation
The Affirmatives moral imperative constitutes a totalitarian paralysis and continuity of conservative politics which replicate your case harms. Stavrakakis, Prof Psychoanalysis @ U Essex, 03 [Yannis , parallax, 2003, vol. 9, no. 2, 5671 Re-Activating the Democratic Revolution: The Politics of Transformation Beyond Reoccupation and Conformism]
This brings us to the whole discussion around the ethical turn in contemporary political philosophy. Even if one concludes that radical democracy can be a viable and fruitful project for a politics of transformation, what about the prioritization of ethics within recent radical democratic discourse? For example, at a fairly superficial level, it seems as if Zizek questions the importance of ethics in this field, and thus would also seem to question the deployment of the radical democratic attitude at the ethical level. Consider, for example, his outright condemnation of the ethical turn in political philosophy: The return to ethics in todays political philosophy shamefully exploits the horrors of Gulag or Holocaust as the ultimate bogey for blackmailing us into renouncing all serious radical engagement.60 Surely, however, this cannot be a rejection of ethics in toto. Even if only because Zizek himself has devoted a considerable part of his work elaborating the ethics of psychoanalysis in the Lacanian tradition.61 It follows then that it must be a particular form of ethical discourse that constitutes his target. The same is true of Alain Badious argument, to which we will now turn. Badious target is a particular type of ethics, of ethical ideology, which uses a discourse of human rights and humanitarianism in order to silence alternative thought and politics and legitimize the capitalist order. This is an ethics premised on the principle that good is what intervenes visibly against an Evil that is identifiable a priori.62 What Badiou points to here, is what appears as a strange inversion; here the Good is derived from the Evil and not the other way round.63 The result of such an inversion is significant for the theory and politics of transformation: If the ethical consensus is founded on the recognition of Evil, it follows that every effort to unite people around a positive idea of the Good, let alone identify Man with projects of this kind, becomes in fact the real source of evil itself. Such is the accusation so often repeated over the last fifteen years: every revolutionary project stigmatized as utopian turns, we are told, into totalitarian nightmare. Every will to inscribe an idea of justice or equality turns bad. Every collective will to the Good creates Evil [] In reality, the price paid by ethics is a stodgy conservatism.64 This ethic, which is revealed as nothing but a mindless catechism, a miserable moralism,65 is an ethics that can have no relation to a transformative political agenda. 66 This ethics is presented in Badious argument as a distortion of a real ethic of truths, which attempts to restore the logical priority of Good over Evil. Badious ethic of truths is an ethics related to the idea of the event, a category central for his whole philosophical and political apparatus. To put it briefly, the event here refers to a real break which destabilizes a given discursive articulation, a pre-existing order.

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Link util
Utilitarian calculus is inherently egoistic and driven by desire their claims to utility are a ridiculous attempt to claim the world owes them for their mere presence Alenka Zupancic, intellectual monster guru and researcher at the Institute of Philosophy in the Slovene Academy of Sciences at Ljubljana, Ethics of the Real: Kant, Lacan, 2000, pg. x-xi SRM
In short, the utilitarian circle even the most refined one, in which my obedience to ethical norms is grounded not only in an egotistic calculus but in the satisfaction brought about by the awareness that I will contribute to the well-being of the whole of humankind is never squared; one always has to add an x, the unknown remainder, which, of course, is the Lacanian objet petit a, the object-cause of desire. In this precise sense, for Lacan, ethics is ultimately the ethics of desire that is to say, the Kantian moral law is the imperative of desire. In other words, what Lacan accomplishes, in an inherent radicalization of the Kantian project, is a kind of critique of pure desire: in contrast to Kant, for whom our capacity to desire is thoroughly pathological (since, as he repeatedly stresses, there is no a priori link between an empirical object and the pleasure this object generates in the subject), Lacan claims that there is a pure faculty of desire, since desire does have a non-pathological, a priori object-cause this object, of course, is what Lacan calls objet petit a. Even the most egotistically calculated exchange of favours has to rely on a first move which cannot be explained in these terms, in some grounding gesture of giving, of the primordial gift (as Derrida would have put it) which cannot be accounted for in the terms of future benefits.

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LinkCompassion
The ethics of caring and compassion are ultimately a secreted attempt to produce a unified pure subjectthis is the case in Welcome To Sarajevo-when a Bosnian mother gives her daughter to an English Journalist and the child later looses her culture the Goal of the Serbs ethnic cleansing is complete the destruction of the Bosnian Culture-thus the implicit command of caring is change from what you are in a radical project to annihilate difference in capitalist humanitarianism Alenka Zupancic, intellectual monster guru and researcher at the Institute of Philosophy in the Slovene Academy of Sciences at Ljubljana, Ethics of the Real: Kant, Lacan, 2000, pg. Xii SRM
So how are we to break out of this vicious intertwining of the Good and its obscene supplement? Let us recall the final scene of the first big Hollywood production about the Bosnian war, Welcome to Sarajevo, a film that was a failure (and, incidentally, a film that Alenka Zupancic hates intensely!). In this scene, shot with minimal pathos, the broken-down Bosnian mother renounces her beloved daughter: she signs the paper which gives full custody of her daughter to the English journalist who wants to adopt her. The supreme act of maternal love is here identified as precisely the Brechtian gesture of renouncing the maternal link of conceding that, in comfortable English surroundings, her daughter will fare much better than in war-torn Bosnia. When she watches the video of her daughter playing with other children in an English garden, she immediately understands that her daughter is happy in England; when, in their last phone conversation, her daughter at first even pretends that she no longer understands Bosnian, the mother, as it were, gets the message. This scene should also be read as a critical comment on the Western humanitarian approach, revealing its ethical ambiguity: it gives a different twist to the simple narrative of a good English journalist who just wants to save a Bosnian child from her war-torn country, fighting Serbian terrorists as well as the Bosnian state bureaucracy for which the evacuation of children is capitulation and betrayal (i.e. doing the job of ethnic cleansing for the Serbs). With its final twist, the film becomes a reflexive critical comment on what it purports to be up to that point: a humanitarian tale of a journalist doing his ethical duty by saving one person (a child) from the Bosnian war inferno in a way, the Bosnian official who claims that evacuation is capitulation was right: such humanitarian acts ultimately only add insult to injury by depriving Bosnians of their offspring. ... So, in the final confrontation between the journalist and the mother, it is the mother who accomplishes the ethical gesture against the journalist, whose very humanitarian and caring behaviour is ultimately unethical.
...

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LinkGuilt/Harms
The affirmative reveals the structure of desire through an immediate guilt for the acts this reveals an underlying desire for the very thing they profess sorrow for-this repression reveals the underlying pressure of freedom and possibility that carries with it the possibility of a new ethics that can arrest the destruction of desire Alenka Zupancic, intellectual monster guru and researcher at the Institute of Philosophy in the Slovene Academy of Sciences at Ljubljana, Ethics of the Real: Kant, Lacan, 2000, pg. 26-27 SRM
In order to clarify this point, we would do well to take a look at the findings of psychoanalysis. Cases of irrational guilt are quite common in psychoanalysis cases where the subject feels guilty of something which was, strictly speaking, beyond her control. For instance, a subjects friend dies in a car accident and the subject, who was nowhere near the site of the accident, is nevertheless tormented by guilt. Such cases are usually explained on the level of 'desire and guilt: the subject in question had an unconscious desire for her friends death, which she could not admit, and so the actual death of this friend gives rise to feelings of guilt. However, there is yet another, even more interesting level of guilt that needs to be considered. As Jacques-Alain Miller pointed out in one of his lectures, there are many patients who not only suffer a variety of symptoms (including feelings of guilt) but feel guilty because of this very suffering. One might say that they feel guilty because of the guilt they feel. They feel guilty not simply because of their unconscious desires but, so to speak, because of the very frame which sustains this kind of psychological causality. It is as if they felt responsible for the very institution of the psychological causality which, once in place, they cannot but submit to, to be carried along by. With this we are approaching the notion of guilt as it figures in Kants account of freedom. The guilt that is at issue here is not the guilt we experience because of something we may or may not have done (or desired to have done). Instead it involves something like a glimpse of another possibility or, to put it in different terms, the experience of the pressure of freedom. As a first approximation, we might say that guilt is the way in which the subject originally participates in freedom, and it is precisely at this point that we encounter the division or split which is constitutive of the ethical subject, the division expressed in I couldnt have done anything else, but still, I am guilty. Freedom manifests itself in this split of the subject. The crucial point here is that freedom is not incompatible with the fact that 'I couldn't do anything else, and that I was carried along by the stream of natural necessity. Paradoxically, it is at the very moment when the subject is conscious of being carried along by the stream of natural necessity that she also becomes aware of her freedom. It is often noted that the Kantian conception of freedom has 'absurd consequences. For instance, if only autonomous actions are free, then I can be neither guilty nor responsible for my immoral actions, since they are always heteronomous. However, nothing could be further from Kants position on freedom and subjectivity As we have already seen, the paradox his reflections force us to confront is strictly opposed to this: ultimately, I am guilty even if things were beyond my control, even if I truly could not have done anything else. Yet at this point we should push the discussion a little further in order to account for how these two apparently opposite conclusions seem to follow from Kants view how Kants argument leads in two apparently mutually exclusive directions. On the one hand, Kant seems persistent in his attempt to persuade us that none of our actions is really free; that we can never establish with certainty the nonexistence of pathological motives affecting our actions; that so-called inner or 'psychological motives are really just another form of (natural) causality. On the other hand, he never tires of stressing, with equal persistence, that we are responsible for all our actions, that there is no excuse for our immoral acts; that we cannot appeal to any kind of necessity as a way of justifying such actions in brief, that we always act as free subjects.

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Link guilt
The superego imposes guilt upon the subject-this guilt must be dealt with by continuing to strive on desirehence the imposition of rules and regulations produces the exact opposite of its desire effect-only the ethical act of following through on the superegos impositions can arrest this colonialist desire gone out of control Alenka Zupancic, intellectual monster guru and researcher at the Institute of Philosophy in the Slovene Academy of Sciences at Ljubljana, Ethics of the Real: Kant, Lacan, 2000, pg. xi SRM
The further consequence of this key breakthrough is that the ethical act proper should be distinguished from the Ego-Ideal (the Law of the public Good) as well as from the superego, its obscene supplement. For Lacan, the superego is not the moral agency, since the guilt it imposes on the subject is precisely the unmistakable sign that the subject has compromised his duty to follow his desire. To take a perhaps unexpected example from politics: the splitting into Ego-Ideal and superego can be discerned in the fundamental paradox of ex-Yugoslav selfmanagement Socialism: all the time, the official ideology exhorted people actively to participate in the process of self-management, to master the conditions of their life outside the alienated Party and state structures; the official media deplored peoples indifference, escape into privacy, and so on however, it was precisely such an event, a true self-managed articulation and organization of peoples interests, which the regime feared most. A whole series of unwritten markers thus delivered between the lines the injunction that the official exhortation was not to be taken too literally; that a cynical attitude towards the official ideology was what the regime actually wanted the greatest catastrophe for the regime would be if its own ideology were to be taken too seriously, and realized by its subjects. And on a different level, does not the same go for the classic imperialist-colonialist exhortation which urged the colonized to become like their civilized oppressors? Was this injunction not undermined from within by a wise acknowledgement that the colonized people are mysteriously and irreducibly other that, however hard they try, they will never succeed? This unwritten superego injunction which undermines the official ideological stance makes it clear in what sense, in contrast to the notorious right to difference to maintain ones specific cultural identity one should, rather, assert the right to Sameness as the fundamental right of the oppressed: like ex-Yugoslav self management, the colonialist oppressor also fears above all the realization of its own official ideological request.

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Link ecology
Ecological discourse is not neutral the notion of fact in ecology is laughable as all rhetoric is inherently skewed Biro, 2006 (Andrew Biro holds a Canada Research Chair in Political Ecology, and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Acadia University, in Wolfville, NS, Canada; Human Needs and the Crisis of the Subject, MUSE) SRM
In some ways, we might argue that there are clear connections between these two developments: that a mediatized society (not to mention one that is increasingly urbanized, with a highly specialized and increasingly globalized division of labour, and so on) creates a sort of bubble-like existence, serving to alienate people both from the natural world and from the ecological consequences of their actions.3 No doubt there is some truth to this. At the same time, however, this mediated world has an ontological logic of its own. Rather than simply being seen as the obstacle to the realization of a less alienated form of existence, the sheer density of presence of new communications media in our society have served to highlight the problematic of mediation in its broadest sense, including language and even conceptual thought itself, as a structural feature of any form of recognizably human experience. What is constantly rediscovered in our mediated society that we deal in representations of reality rather than directly with reality itself is a feature (which still might be termed one of "alienation from nature") that always existed. And from this vantage point, contemporary sociopolitical challenges, whatever specific content they might take, because they are necessarily mediated, need to be constructed as sociopolitical challenges, rather than simply posited as such. There can be no value-neutral description of facts: the postmodern condition, as Jean-Francois Lyotard famously diagnosed it, is one of "incredulity toward metanarratives."4 Thus, "ecological crisis," on this line of reasoning, can only exist through its discursive construction, and cannot simply be read off the facts of nature themselves.

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LinkEcological Catastrophe
Their visions of the natural apocalypse are nothing more then a lesson in the sublime-always incomplete and structured by jouissance-we constantly desire external destruction to invoke the destruction intrinsic within our desire Alenka Zupancic, intellectual monster guru and researcher at the Institute of Philosophy in the Slovene Academy of Sciences at Ljubljana, Ethics of the Real: Kant, Lacan, 2000, pg. 155-157 SRM
At this point another question demands an answer. The sublime is often said to lie at the edge of the ridiculous. Quite frequently we encounter formulations like It is sublime or ridiculous, depending on how we look at it+~ As we have already seen with the episode from the film The Meaning of Life, it is enough to he a disinterested observer of someone overwhelmed by the feeling of the sublime for this very feeling to he transformed immediately into a farce. How, then, do we account for this convergence of opposites? Simply enough: what is sublime from the point of view of the superego is ridiculous from the point of view of the ego. The feeling of the sublime, however, consists not only in its indication of the proximity of a Thing (that is threatening to the subject); it is at the same time a way to avoid actually encountering it. That is to say, it is the very inflation of the superego that plays the crucial role in the strategy of avoiding the Thing [das Ding], the death drive in its pure state, even though this inflation itself can lead straight to death. (Kant, as we saw, claims that the subject in this state is ready to give up property, health and even life.) In his own way, Kant also comes to the point where moral agency emerges in the element of the sublime. He does so while he is dealing with the problem of universality. The discussion in question concerns the fact that even though the sublime and the beautiful as aesthetic categories can never attain the universality of law, there is nevertheless a kind of universality that can be attributed to them, a universality other than the universality of law. It is upon this paradoxical universality that the notion of Urteilskraft (the power of judgement) is based. When we are judging an aesthetic phenomenon, we do not, according to Kant, postulate everyones agreement rather, we require agreement from everyone. 30 It is the judgement itself (for instance, this image is beautiful) that constitutes its own universality. Better yet, in our judgement we constitute the 'universe within which this judgement is universally valid. Yet by thus requiring agreement from everyone, we are forced to rely on something else, and this something else is, in the case of the sublime, precisely moral agency: [A judgement about the sublime] has its foundation in human nature: in something that, along with common sense, we may require and demand of everyone, namely, the predisposition to the feeling for (practical) ideas, i.e. to moral feeling.3 In this passage we can already detect the superegoic face of the moral law in the predisposition ... to moral feeling. As we shall see, this face of the moral law gradually attains a great deal more importance. At this point, we may wonder: what exactly is the relation between what the subject sees in front of her (a hurricane, for instance) and what she then discovers in herself (a still greater force)? What is it that makes the first evoke the second? Our thesis is that in the Kantian perspective, a confrontation with something that is terrifying in itself (to take Kants own example: hurricanes with all the devastation they leave behind) strikes the subject as a kind of bodying forth of the cruel, unbridled and menacing superego the real or reverse side of the moral law (in us), of the superego as the place of jouissance. The destructive power of natural phenomena is already familiar to the subject, so the devastating force above me easily evokes a devastating force within me. The feeling of the sublime develops through this metonymy. It is clear that the devastating force within me cannot really refer to the moral law in the strict sense, but it corresponds very well to the agency of the superego, that is, to the law equipped with the gaze and voice which can make even the boldest sinner tremble. We are now in a position to spell out the major difference between the beautiful and the sublime. Kant defines the beautiful in terms of purposiveness without purpose. Beauty always has the form of purposiveness, yet it never actually has a purpose a concept to which it corresponds. This is why craft objects can never be judged truly beautiful their function or usefulness gets in the way. Things of beauty, On the other hand, have no purpose outside themselves, yet they are structured as if they had one. Beauty is possible only if it is fortuitous, if it serves no antecedently given purpose. This is why, for Kant, the examples par excellence of the heautiful are natural formations. What makes a natural formation (a crystal form, for example) beautiful, however, is the fact that it gives us the impression of a knowledge on the part of Nature. We get the feeling that Nature knows what it is doing, that there is some significance or sense in what it is doing, even though we are well aware that this is not the case. The simplest definition of beauty is thus that it is a sense-ful fonn which draws its fascination from the fact that we know this form is entirely coincidental, contingent, or unintentional. The sublime, on the other hand, is explicitly a senseless form; it is more of an incarnation of chaos (the eruption of a volcano, a turbulent ocean, a stormy night. . .). It appears as pure excess, as the eruption of an inexplicable jouissance, as pure waste. In other words, if the beautiful is characterized as the place where Nature knows, the sublime is the place where Nature enjoys. It is precisely this jouissance of the Other, a jonissance that does not serve any (real or apparent) purpose, that is so fascinating about the sublime.

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LinkEcological Catastrophe
Watching ecological catastrophe is the process of distancing ourselves from ourselves this produce the sublime feeling where we are safe in the distance wrapped in the blanket of ideology we come to accept our own powerlessness relative to the given situation this window of fantasy impairs our ability to tear at the very fabric of social reality necessary for violent constructions of nature to exist in the first place Alenka Zupancic, intellectual monster guru and researcher at the Institute of Philosophy in the Slovene Academy of Sciences at Ljubljana, Ethics of the Real: Kant, Lacan, 2000, pg. 158 SRM
Nature, we ourselves have to be somewhere safe, out of immediate danger. Watching a hurricane from a distance is sublime. If a hurricane destroys the house where we are sheltering, however, we will not see this as sublime; we will feel nothing hut horror and fear. In order for the feeling of the sublime to emerge, our (sensible) powerlessness and mortality have to he staged down there somewhere, in such a way that we can observe them quietly. The necessary condition of the feeling of the sublime is that we watch the hurricane through the window; this is nothing other than what Lacan calls the window of fantasy: thunderclouds piling tip in the sky and moving about accompanied by lightning and thundcrclaps, volcanoes with all their destructive power, hurricanes with all the devastation they leave behind . . compared to the might of any of these, our ability to resist becomes an insignificant trifle. Yet the sight of them becomes all the more attractive the more fearful it is, provided we are in a safe place. Thus it is as if, through the window, I were observing myself being reduced to an insignificant trifle, a toy in the hands of forces enormously more powerful than myself. Here we can discern Kants fundamental fantasy the pathos of apathy, which is the reverse side of the autonomous and active subject, and in which the subject is entirely passive, an inert matter given over to the enjoyment of the Law. This constellation where we are at one and the same time inside and outside, where we are both an insignificant trifle, a grain of sand toyed with by enormous forces, and the observer of this spectacle is closely connected to the change that the feeling of respect undergoes in Kantian theory. This is because, as we have already seen, what in late Kant provokes the feeling of respect is the fact that the subject watches herself being subjected to the law that she watches herself being humiliated and terrified by it.

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LinkEnvironmental Ethics
The ethical act is a necessary evil since it transgresses every notion of the good-this idea of the good is inevitably portrayed in an ideological manner that expresses the true ethical dilemmas of our time that repress the considerations of an ethics of the Real such a position sets the tone for a non-political end Alenka Zupancic, intellectual monster guru and researcher at the Institute of Philosophy in the Slovene Academy of Sciences at Ljubljana, Ethics of the Real: Kant, Lacan, 2000, pg. 95-96 SRM
This is why we propose to maintain the concept of the act developed by Kant, and to link it to the thematic of overstepping of boundaries, of transgression, to the question of evil. It is a matter of acknowledging the fact that any (ethical) act, precisely in so far as it is an act, is necessarily evil. We must specify, however, what is meant here by evil. This is the evil that belongs to the very structure of the act, to the fact that the latter always implies a transgression, a change in what is. It is not a matter of some empirical evil, it is the very logic of the act which is denounced as radically evil in every ideology. The fundamental ideological gesture consists in providing an image for this structural evil. The gap opened by an act (i.e. the unfamiliar, out-of-place effect of an act) is immediately linked in this ideological gesture to an image. As a rule this is an image of suffering, which is then displayed to the public alongside this question: Is this what you want? And this question already implies the answer: It would be impossible, inhuman, for you to want this! Here we have to insist on theoretical rigour, and separate this (usually fascinating) image exhibited by ideology from the real source of uneasiness from the evil which is not an undesired, secondary effect of the good but belongs, on the contrary, to its essence. We could even say that the ethical ideology struggles against evil because this ideology is hostile to the good, to the logic of the act as such. We could go even further here: the current saturation of the social field by ethical dilemmas (bioethics, environmental ethics, cultural ethics, medical ethics . . .) is strictly correlative to the repression of ethics, that is, to an incapacity to think ethics in its dimension of the Real, an incapacity to conceive of ethics other than simply as a set of restrictions intended to prevent greater evil. This constellation is related to yet another aspect of modern society: to the depression which seems to have became the social illness of our time and to set the tone of the resigned attitude of the (post)modern man of the end of history. In relation to this, it would be interesting to reaffirm Lacans thesis according to which depression isnt a state of the soul, it is simply a moral failing, as Dante, and even Spinoza, said: a sin, which means a moral weakness.15 It is against this moral weakness or cowardice [lachete morale] that we must affirm the ethical dimension proper.

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Link environmental discourse


The politics of nature are a prime site for post-political co-option. The politicizing discourse misses the point that the environmental issue is a function of neoliberal capitalism. The depoliticizing attempt to fix current politics fails to effectively create a necessary new politics. The current mentality makes the affirmative impacts inevitable and turns the case. Swyngedouw, Dept of Geography, School of Environment and Development, Manchester University, 2006. [Eirk, Impossible Sustainability and the Post-Political Condition, Forthcoming in: David Gibbs and Rob Krueger (Eds.) Sustainable Development, http://www.liv.ac.uk/geography/seminars/Sustainabilitypaper.doc]
It is these side-effects identified by Ulrich Beck (such as, for example, the accumulation of CO2) that are becoming the key arenas around which political configuration and action crystallise, and of course, (global) environmental problems are the classic example of such effects, unwittingly produced by modernization itself, but now requiring second reflexive modernization to deal with. The old left/right collective politics that were allegedly generated from within the social relations that constituted modernity are no longer, if they ever were, valid or performative. This, of course, also means that the traditional theatres of politics (state, parliament, parties, etc) are not any longer the exclusive terrain of the political: the political constellation of industrial society is becoming unpolitical, while what was unpolitical in industrialism is becoming politicals (Beck, 1994: 18). It is exactly the side-effects (the risks) of modernising globalisation that need management, that require politicization. A new form of politics (what Rancire, iek, and Mouffe exactly define as post-politics) thus arises, what Beck calls sub-politics: Sub-politics is distinguished from politics in that (a) agents outside the political or corporatist system are allowed also to appear on the stage of social design (this group includes professional and occupational groups, the technical intelligentsia in companies, research institutions and management, skilled workers, citizens initiatives, the public sphere and so on), and (b) not only social and collective agents but individuals as well compete with the latter and each other for the emerging power to shape politics (Beck, 1994: 22). Chantal Mouffe (2005: 40-41) summarizes Becks prophetic vision of a new democracy as follows: In a risk society, which has become aware of the possibility of an ecological crisis, a series of issues which were previously considered of a private character, such as those concerning the lifestyle and diet, have left the realm of the intimate and the private and have become politicized. The relation of the individual to nature is typical of this transformation since it is now inescapably interconnected with a multiplicity of global forces from which it is impossible to escape. Moreover, technological progress and scientific development in the field of medicine and genetic engineering are now forcing people to make decisions in the field of body politics hitherto unimaginable. . What is needed is the creation of forums where a consensus could be built between the experts, the politicians, the industrialists and citizens on ways of establishing possible forms of co-operation among them. This would require the transformation of expert systems into democratic public spheres. This post-political constitution, which we have elsewhere defined as new forms of autocratic governance-beyond-the-state (Swyngedouw 2005), reconfigures the act of governing to a stakeholder based arrangement of governance in which the traditional state forms (national, regional, or local government) partakes together with experts, NGOs, and other responsible partners (see Crouch, 2004). Not only is the political arena evacuated from radical dissent, critique, and fundamental conflict, but the parameters of democratic governing itself are being shifted, announcing new forms of governmentality, in which traditional disciplinary society is transfigured into a society of control through disembedded networks (like the Kyoto Protocol; the Dublin Statement, the Rio Summit, etc.). These new global forms of governance are expressive of the post-political configuration (Mouffe, 2005: 103): Governance entails an explicit reference to mechanisms or organized and coordinated activities appropriate to the solution of some specific problems. Unlike government, governance refers to policies rather than politics because it is not a binding decision-making structure. Its recipients are not the people as collective political subject, but the population that can be affected by global issues such as the environment, migration, or the use of natural resources (Urbinati, 2003: 80).

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[continues, no text omitted] Anthony Giddens (1991; 1994; 1998) has also been a key intellectual interlocutor of this post-political consensus. He argues that globalised modernity has brought in its wake all manner of uncertainties as a result of humans proliferating interventions in nature and in social life, resulting in an explosive growth of all sorts of environmental and life-related issues. The ensuing life politics is about the challenges that face collective humanity (Giddens, 1994: 10). What is required now, in a context of greater uncertainty but also with enhanced individual autonomy to make choices, is to generate active trust achieved through a dialogic democracy. Such dialogic mode is exactly the consensual politics Jacques defines as post-democratic (Rancire, 1995; 2005b). As Chantal Mouffe (2005: 45) maintains, [a]ctive trust implies a reflexive engagement of lay people with expert systems instead of their reliance on expert authority. Bruno Latour, in his politics of nature, of course equally calls for such new truly democratic cosmo-political constitution through which both human and non-human actants enter in a new public sphere, where matters of fact are turned into matters of concern, articulated and brought together through heterogeneous and flat networks of related and relationally constituted human/non-human assemblages (Latour, 2004; 2005). Nothing is fixed, sure, or given, everything continuously in doubt, negotiated, brought into the political field. Political space is not a contingent space where that what has no name is brought into the discussion, is give a name, and is counted, but rather things and people are hailed to become part of the consensual dialogue, of the dialogic community. The question remains of course of who does what sort of hailing. Thinking about true and false, doubt and certainty, right or wrong, friend or foe, would no longer be possible, the advent of a truly cosmopolitan order in a truly cosmopolitical (Stengers, 2003) constitution looms around the corner as the genuine possibility in the new modernity. In the domain of the environment, climate change, biodiversity preservation, sustainable socio-technical environmental entanglements and the like exemplify the emergence of this new post-political configuration: they are an unexpected and unplanned by-product of modernization, they affect the way we do things, and, in turn, a new politics emerges to deal with them. This liberal cosmpolitical inclusive politics suggested by Beck and his fellow-travellers as a radical answer to unbridled and unchecked neo-liberal capitalist globalisation, of course, is predicated upon three assumptions: a) The social and ecological problems caused by modernity/capitalism are external side-effects; they are not an inherent and integral part of the de-territorialised and re-territorialised relations of global neo-liberal capitalism. That is why we speak of the excluded or the poor, and not about social power relations that produce wealth and poverty, or empowerment and disempowerment. A strictly populist politics emerges here; one that elevates the interest of the people, nature, or the environment to the level of the universal rather than aspiring to universalise the claims of particular natures, environments, or social groups or classes. b) These side-effects are posited as global, universal, and threatening: they are a total threat, of apocalyptic nightmarish proportions. The enemy or the target of concern is thereby of course continuously externalised. The enemy is always vague, ambiguous, and ultimately vacant, empty and unnamed (CO2, gene pools, desertification, etc). They can be managed through a consensual dialogical politics. Demands become depoliticised or rather radical politics is not about demands but about things.

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Link politicizing the environment


The affirmative attempts to bring the concept of nature into a political space. This ignores the fundamental truth that there is no whole singular cohesive nature by trying to find renewable and sustainable technologies the affirmative creates a synthetic nature, debasing the authentic relation they seek to restore. Swyngedouw, Dept of Geography, School of Environment and Development, Manchester University, 2006. [Eirk, Impossible Sustainability and the Post-Political Condition, Forthcoming in: David Gibbs and Rob Krueger (Eds.) Sustainable Development, http://www.liv.ac.uk/geography/seminars/Sustainabilitypaper.doc]
The Guardian International reported recently (13th August 2005) how a University of Maryland scientist had succeeded in producing cultured meat. Soon, he said, it will be possible to substitute reared beef or chicken with artificially grown meat tissue. It will not be any longer necessary to kill an animal in order to get access to its meat. We can just rear it in industrialised labs. A magical solution, so it seems, that might tempt vegetarians to return to the flock of animal protein devotees, while promising yet again (after the failed earlier promises made by the pundits of pesticides, the green revolution and now genetic engineering and GM products) the final solution for world hunger and a more sustainable life for the millions of people who go hungry now. Meanwhile, NASA is spending circa US$ 40 million a year on how to recycle wastewater and return it to potable conditions, something that would of course be necessary to permit space missions of long duration, but which would be of significant importance on earth as well. At the same time,
sophisticated new technologies are developed for sustainable water harvesting, for a more rational use of water, or a better recycling of residual waters, efforts defended on the basis of the need to reach the Millennium Development Goals that promise, among others, a reduction by half of the 2.5 billion people that do not have adequate access to safe water and sanitation.

In the mean time, other natures keep wrecking havoc around the world. The Tsunami disaster comes readily to mind, as do the endless forest fires that blazed through Spain in the summer of 2005 during the countrys driest summer since records started, killing dozens of people and scorching the land; HIV continues its genocidal march through Sub-Saharan Africa, summer heat waves killed thousands of people prematurely in 2004 in France. In 2006, Europeans watched anxiously the nomadic wanderings of the avian flue virus and waits, almost
stoically, for the moment it will pass more easily from birds to humans. While all this is going on, South Koreas leading bio-tech scientist, Hwang Woo Suk proudly presented, in August 2005, the Seoul National University Puppy (SNUPPY) to the global press as the first cloned dog (a Labrador) while a few months later, in December 2005, this science hero was forced to withdraw a paper on human stem cells from Science after accusations of intellectual fraud (later confirmed, prompting his resignation and wounding South-Koreas great biotech dream). In the UK, male life expectancy between the best and worst areas is now more than 11 years and the gap is widening with life expectancy actually falling (for the first time since the second world war) in some areasi. Tuberculosis is endemic again in East London, obesity is rapidly becoming the most seriously lethal socio-ecological condition in our fat cities (Marvin and Medd, 2006), and, as the ultimate cynical gesture, nuclear energy

is again celebrated and iconized by many elites, among whom Tony Blair, as the worlds saviour, the ultimate response to the climatic calamities promised by continuing carbon accumulation in our atmosphere while satisfying our insatiable taste for energy. This great variety of examples all testify to the blurring of boundaries between the human and the artificial, the technological and the natural, the non-human and the cyborg-human; they certainly also suggest that there are all manner of natures out there. While some of the above examples promise sustainable forms of development, others seem to stray further away from what might be labelled as sustainable. At first glance, Frankenstein meat, cyborg waters and stem cell research are exemplary cases of possibly sustainable ways of dealing with apparently important socio-environmental problems while solving significant social problems (animal ethics and food supply on the one hand, dwindling freshwater resources or unsustainable body metabolisms on the other). Sustainable processes are sought for around the world and solutions for our precarious environmental condition are feverishly developed. Sustainability, so it seems, is in the making, even for vegetarians. Meanwhile, as some of the other examples attest, socio-environmental processes keep on wrecking havoc in many places around the world. Responsible scientists, environmentalists of a variety of ideological stripes and colours, together with a growing number of world leaders and politicians, keep on spreading apocalyptic and dystopian messages about the clear and present danger of pending environmental catastrophes that will be unleashed if we refrain from immediate and determined action. Particularly the threat of global warming is framed in apocalyptic terms if the atmospheric accumulation of CO2 (which is of course the classic side effect of the accumulation of capital in the troposphere) continues unheeded. Table 1 collects a sample of some of the most graphic recent doomsday media headlines on the theme. The world as we know it will come to a premature end (or be seriously mangled) unless we urgently reverse, stop, or at least slow down global warming and return the climate to its status quo ante. Political and regulatory technologies (such as the Kyoto Protocol) and CO2 reducing techno-machinery (like hybrid cars) are developed that would, so the hope goes, stop the threatening evolution and return the earths temperature to its benevolent earlier condition. From this perspective, sustainability is predicated upon a return, if we can, to a perceived global climatologic equilibrium situation that would permit a sustainable continuation of the present worlds way of life.

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There is no coherent narrative of nature. The affirmative constructs nature as a singular entity ignoring the various parts of nature that constitute that conception. Describing nature as a singular identity moves people away from localized attempts to work with the environment, but rather it produces externalized blame and removes all responsibility from the individuals whose life styles are implicit in the environmental crisis. People become obsessed with action as a means of preventing the oncoming collapse. Swyngedouw, Dept of Geography, School of Environment and Development, Manchester University, 2006. [Eirk, Impossible Sustainability and the Post-Political Condition, Forthcoming in: David Gibbs and Rob Krueger (Eds.) Sustainable Development, http://www.liv.ac.uk/geography/seminars/Sustainabilitypaper.doc]
Slavoj iek suggests in Looking Awry that the current ecological crisis is indeed a radical condition that not only constitutes a real and present danger, but, equally importantly, questions our most unquestionable presuppositions, the very horizon of our meaning, our everyday understanding of nature as a regular, rhythmic process (Zizek, (1992) 2002: 34). It raises serious questions about what were long considered self-evident certainties. He argues that this fundamental threat to our deepest convictions of what we always thought we knew for certain about nature is co-constitutive of our general unwillingness to take the ecological crisis completely serious. It is this destabilising effect that explains the fact that the typical, predominant reaction to it still consists in a variation of the famous disavowal, I know very well (that things are deadly serious, that what is at stake is our very survival), but just the same I dont really believe, and that is why I continue to act as if ecology is of no lasting consequence for my everyday life (page 35). The same unwillingness to question our very assumptions about what nature is (and even more so what natures might become) also leads to the typical obsessive reactions of those who DO take the ecological crisis seriously. iek considers both the case of the environmental activist, who in his or her relentless and obsessive activism to achieve a transformation of society in more ecologically sustainable ways expresses a fear that to stop acting would lead to catastrophic consequences. In his words, obsessive acting becomes a tactic to stave off the ultimate catastrophe, i.e. if I stop doing what I am doing, the world will come to an end in an ecological Armageddon. Others, of course, see all manner of transcendental signs in the revenge of nature, read it as a message that signals our destructive intervention in nature and urge us to change our relationship with nature. In other words, we have to listen to natures call, as expressed by the pending environmental catastrophe, and respond to its message that pleas for a more benign, associational relation with nature, a post-human affective connectivity, as a cosmopolitical partner in dialogue. While the first attitude radically ignores the reality of possible ecological disaster, the other two, which are usually associated with actors defending sustainable solutions for our current predicament, are equally problematic in that they both ignore, or are blind to the inseparable gap between our symbolic representation (our understanding) of Nature and the actual acting of a wide range of radically different and, often contingent, natures. In other words, there is of necessity an unbridgeable gap, a void, between our dominant view of Nature (as a predictable and determined set of processes that tends towards a (dynamic) equilibrium but one that is disturbed by our human actions and can be rectified with proper sustainable practices) and the acting of natures as an (often) unpredictable, differentiated, incoherent, openended, complex, chaotic (although by no means unordered or un-patterned) set of processes. The latter implies the existence not only of many natures, but, more importantly, it also assumes the possibility of all sorts of possible future natures, all manner of imaginable different human-non human assemblages and articulations, and all kinds of different possible socio-environmental becomings.

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The discourse of environmental apocalypse presumes a cohesive set of natural logics, the debate about the effects of global warming proves that while some natures can stay stable others are collapsing. That there is a debate about the nature of global warming proves the abscense of understanding about the varying facets of nature. The need to focus on the macro aspect of nature igores chances for smal scale change. Swyngedouw, Dept of Geography, School of Environment and Development, Manchester University, 2006. [Eirk, Impossible Sustainability and the Post-Political Condition, Forthcoming in: David Gibbs and Rob Krueger (Eds.) Sustainable Development, http://www.liv.ac.uk/geography/seminars/Sustainabilitypaper.doc]
The inability to take natures seriously is dramatically illustrated by the controversy over the degree to which disturbing environmental change is actually taking place and the risks or dangers associated with it. Lomborgs The Sceptical Environmentalist captures one side of this controversy in all its phantasmagorical perversity (Lomborg, 1998), while climate change doomsday pundits represent the other. Both sides of the debate argue from an imaginary position of the presumed existence of a dynamic balance and equilibrium, the point of good nature, but one side claims that the world is veering off the correct path, while the other side (Lomborg and other sceptics) argues that we are still pretty much on natures course. With our gaze firmly fixed on capturing an imaginary idealised Nature, the controversy further solidifies our conviction of the possibility of a harmonious, balanced, and fundamentally benign ONE Nature if we would just get our interaction with it right, an argument blindly (and stubbornly) fixed on the question of where Natures rightful point of benign existence resides. This futile debate, circling around an assumedly centred, known, and singular Nature, certainly permits -- in fact invites -- imagining ecological catastrophe at some distant point (global burning (or freezing) through climate change, resource depletion, death by overpopulation). Indeed, imagining catastrophe and fantasising about the final ecological Armageddon seems considerably easier for most environmentalists than envisaging relatively small changes in the socio-political and cultural-economic organisation of local and global life here and now. Or put differently, the worlds premature ending in a climatic Armageddon seems easier to imagine (and sell to the public) than a transformation of (or end to) the neo-liberal capitalist order that keeps on practicing expanding energy use and widening and deepening its ecological footprint. It is this sort of considerations that led Slavoj iek controversially to state that nature does not exist. Of course, he does not imply that there are no such things as quarks or other subatomic particles, black holes, tsunamis, sunshine, trees, or HIV viruses. Even less would he decry the radical effects of CO2 and other greenhouse gases on the climate or the lethal consequences of water contamination for the worlds poor. On the contrary, they are very real, many posing serious environmental problems, occasionally threatening entire populations (AIDS, for example), but he insists that the Nature we see and work with is necessarily radically imagined, scripted, symbolically charged; and is radically distant from the natures that are there, which are complex, chaotic, often unpredictable, often radically contingent, risky, patterned in endlessly complex ways, ordered along strange attractors. In other words, there is no balanced, dynamic equilibrium based nature out there that needs or requires salvation in name of either Nature itself or of an equally imagined universal human survival. Nature simply does not exist. There is nothing foundational in nature that needs, demands, or requires sustaining. The debate and controversies over nature and what do with it, in contrast, signals rather our political inability to engage in directly political and social argument and strategies about re-arranging the social co-ordinates of everyday life and the arrangements of socio-metabolic organisation (something usually called capitalism) that we inhabit. In order words, imagining a benign and sustainable Nature avoids asking the politically sensitive, but vital, question as to what kind of socio-environmental arrangements do we wish to produce, how can this be achieved, and what sort of natures do we wish to inhabit.

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Link the other


Even the most liberal authors could never accept the total inclusion of the other this is because there is a radical lack of the other that becomes fetishized to fill this void (this evidence is gender modified) Betancourt-Serrano PF POL. Theory & Pol. Economy, Umass-Ahmherst - 2004 Alex, Let's bury a few liberals! (A Lacanian Gesture) The Symptom, Winter, http://www.lacan.com/gesturef.htm, SRM
If there is a lesson to be learned here, I believe is the following: let's bury the liberal multiculturalist and the postcolonial historian! This would certainly be considered to be a truly Lacanian gesture. Such gesture would reveal two fundamental points. First, that the postcolonial historian can maintain his/her position, not only because there is an 'Other' that sustains and makes possible the postcolonial discourse, but more importantly because the place of this 'Other' is constitutive, so that as long as that 'Other' remains such, as long as nothing actually changes, the postcolonial discourse is secured. If there were to be a truly radical change (let us say, in anachronistic fashion, a proletarian revolution bringing a democratization of the economy along with a policy of redistribution), the first heads to roll would be those of the postcolonial intelligentsia and the liberal multiculturalists. Their scrounging nature would become clear immediately (in Lacanesse aprs coup). That is why there is no risk in arguing, a la Kant, as much as one wants as long as one obeys. The postcolonial historian and the political liberal are secure in their positions. Only a truly structural change would unveiled the logic behind these positions and at the same time probably even erase them. However, until such structural change take place in a sense we seem to live in a Kantian universe.12 As we can remember Kant understood Enlightenment as the emergence of humanity from immaturity, where immaturity was the "inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another."13 In the Kantian universe the only requisite for Enlightenment is freedom, that is, the use of reason publicly in all matters. Hence, what Kant considered Enlightenment's proper command was Frederick's motto "Argue as much as you like and about whatever you like, but obey!"14 The command provided freedom to the subject as a scholar to call into question laws, believes, and commands but it required, from the same subject as passive member of society, his [their] civic duty to obey. Liberals and postcolonial theorists depend on such discursive universe, for a different and radical one would cost them their existence. I said earlier that the Lacanian gesture (or rather my sadistic impulse) reveals two things. The second would be the radical lack of the 'other': in Lacanesse a constitutive lack. That is to say, there is nothing transcendental about the 'other'. Only a materialist historical understanding about how this 'other' became subjugated politically and economically and how its otherness served as a scapegoat for such subjugation, only such an approach can sustain one's authentic solidarity towards that 'other'. Rather than this, the postcolonial fetishistic focus is with the ontological status of otherness and its epistemological contours. This approach, although some argue that it historicizes the other, I believe that it effectively erases the possibility of a true solidarity. It erases this possibility because it fetishizes that which is lacking in the 'other', and after such fetishization, it tries to fill that void. Liberals, such as Martha Nussbaum, try to fill the void with a good dose of political liberalism to poor Indian women; the Derrideans with the infamous difference; the Foucaultians with the microphysics of power, etc. However, a Freudian understanding would allow us to avoid that fetishization, work through our own egotistic investment in otherness and be effectively solidary.

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Link the other


Otherness Link: The psychology of capitalism creates the desire for a subject that is both full of desire and totally satisfied. This paradox creates the need for some sort of impossible desire, that desire manifests itself in the existence of a helpless other that can never be helped. McGowan, 2007, (Todd, Prof of English @ Univ of Vermont, The Real Gaze: Film Theory After Lacan, pp. 127-128) SRM
No social order even the most authoritariancan eliminate the gaps within its ideological structure in which the forms of the objet petit a are situated. And in fact, no order would want to eliminate these gaps. Though blank spaces within an ideological structure attest to the vulnerability of that structure (and hence its potential modification or even overthrow), they also serve to energize the desire of subjects within the social order. For example, contemporary capitalist ideology tells subjects that they have a right to uninterrupted happiness, and yet the capitalist mode of production functions on the basis of the constant dissatisfaction of subjects. A similar paradox lies at the heart of every social order, and it gives rise to oppositional and even revolutionary movements. Without the gaps that make possible its overthrow, a social order would not give rise to the desiring and productive subjects that it requires to perpetuate itself. In order to keep subjects desiring and satisfied at the same time, ideology simultaneously utilizes both desire and fantasy. Desire drives subjects to work to change their world, while fantasy creates a sense of satisfaction with the world as it is. Desire is the subjects mode of challenging and questioning its world, and fantasy is a way of finding an answer that appears satisfying. In this sense, desire and fantasy are opposing forces, and yet ideological stability requires that they operate together, existing in a perpetual balance. If subjects desire too much, they will revolt against the social order that oppresses them. If subjects fantasize too much, they will cease to invest themselves productively in the perpetuation of this order. This is why the extremes of the cinema of fantasy and the cinema of desire threaten to disrupt the normal functioning of ideology. This functioning depends on sustaining a balance between the dissatisfaction of desire and the imaginary satisfaction of fantasy. If a film swings too far in either direction, it shatters this balance and allows the spectator to experience the failure of ideology. The cinema of integration sustains a balance between desire and fantasy, and this is what allows it to function ideologically. Most often, the cinema of integration opens with the gaze as an absence a lack in the Otherand then depicts the absence becoming a presence a process of repairing the lack. In this way, the gaze is neither an impossible object nor an excessive one, but an object-cause of desire that becomes a present object of desire in the way that the Ark of the Covenant becomes present at the conclusion of Steven Spielbergs Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), an exemplary film in the cinema of integration. Even though Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) doesnt end up with the Ark, the film nonetheless chronicles the transformation of the Ark from an impossible absent object to a present one. This very transformation eliminates the point of impossibility in the Other and creates the image of a complete Other. By repairing the lack in the Other, this cinema disguises the source of the subjects radical freedom. The subject is free because the Other is incomplete and cannot provide a foundation for the subject. But the cinema of integration allows the subject to find support for its identity in the image of the nonlacking Other. This offers the subject a sense of security, but at the cost of the space for the subjects freedom. The subject has freedom on the basis of the constitutive incompleteness of the Otheran incompleteness that disappears in this type of cinema. The cinema of integration allows us to experience the absence within the symbolic order where the gaze emerges, but it presents this absence as empirical rather than ontological. That is to say, no absence exists that we could not imagine filling in. Here, the impossible object of desire does not exist; every object is a possible object. Though the Other in the cinema of integration may lack, there is always a nonlacking Other that emerges to provide a sense of completion. The world of the nonlacking Otherthe result of the disappearance of the gazeis a world in which everything is controlled and in which agency belongs to the Other rather than the subject.

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Link omission
Failure to account for the lack dooms their politics to failure and replicates violence STAVRAKAKIS VISITING FELLOW IN GOV'T, UNIV. OF ESSEX '99, Yannis, Lacan and the Political, pg. 102-103 SRM
It could be argued that the roots of both demonisation and utopian thinking can be traced back to the shift from a cyclical to a unilinear representation of history (Cohn, 1993a:227). 6 However, we will start our reading of Cohns work by going back to Roman civilisation. As Cohn claims, a profound demonising tendency is discernible in Ancient Rome: within the imperium, the Romans accused the Christians of cannibalism and the Jews were accused by Greeks of ritual murder and cannibalism. Yet in the ancient Roman world, although Judaism was regarded as a bizarre religion, it was nevertheless a religio licita, a religion that was officially recognised. Things were different with the newly formed Christian sect. In fact the Christian Eucharist could easily be interpreted as cannibalistic (Cohn, 1993b:8). In almost all their ways Christians ignored or even negated the fundamental convictions by which the pagan Graeco-Roman world lived. It is not at all surprising then that to the Romans they looked like a bunch of conspirators plotting to destroy society. Towards the end of the second century, according to Tertullian, it was taken as a given that the Christians are the cause of every public catastrophe, every disaster that hits the populace. If the Tiber floods or the Nile fails to, if there is a drought or an earthquake, a famine or a plague, the cry goes up at once: Throw the Christians to the Lions!. (Tertullian in Cohn, 1993b:14) This defamation of Christians that led to their exclusion from the boundaries of humanity and to their relentless persecution is a pattern that was repeated many times in later centuries, when both the persecutors and the persecuted were Christians (Cohn, 1993b:15). Bogomiles, Waldensians, the Fraticelli movement and the Catharsall the groups appearing in Umberto Ecos fascinating books, especially in The Name of the Rosewere later on persecuted within a similar discursive context. The same happened with the demonisation of Christians, the fantasy that led to the great witch-hunt. Again, the conditions of possibility for this demonisation can be accurately defined. First, some kind of misfortune or catastrophe had to occur, and second, there had to be someone who could be singled out as the cause of this misfortune (Cohn, 1993b:226). In Cohns view then, social dislocation and unrest, on the one hand, and millenarian exaltation, on the other, do overlap. When segments of the poor population were mesmerised by a prophet, their understandable desire to improve their living conditions became transfused with fantasies of a future community reborn into innocence through a final, apocalyptic massacre. The evil onesvariously identified with the Jews, the clergy or the richwere to be exterminated; after which the Saintsi.e. the poor in questionwould set up their kingdom, a realm without suffering or sin. (Cohn, 1993c:14-15) It was at times of acute dislocation and disorientation that this demonising tendency was more present. When people were faced with a situation totally alien to their experience of normality, when they were faced with unfamiliar hazards dislocating their constructions of realitywhen they encountered the realthe collective flight into the world of demonology could occur more easily (ibid.: 87). The same applies to the emergence of millenarian fantasies. The vast majority of revolutionary millenarian outbreaks takes place against a background of disaster. Cohn refers to the plagues that generated the first Crusade and the flagellant movements of 1260, 1348-9, 1391 and 1400, the famines that preluded the first and second Crusade, the pseudo-Baldwin movement and other millenarian outbreaks and, of course, the Black Death that precipitated a whole wave of millenarian excitement (ibid.: 282). 7

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Link - threats
Threats are constructed the modern state creates fantasies to cover up the impossibility of security EDKINS SR. LECTURER, INT'L POLITICS @ UNIV. OF WALES-ABERYSTWYTH '3 Jenny, Security, cosmology, Copenhagen, Contemporary Politics, v. 9, no. 4, ebsco SRM
When a security issue arises, what is happening is not that external threats are being recognized or new dangers assessed. It is something quite different that is taking place. The inherent insecurity in the object concernedgenerally the stateis being concealed. When something is impossible, one way of concealing that impossibility is to shift the blame somewhere else. During the Cold War, state insecurity in the west was blamed on the Soviet Union. The west would have been secure but for the Soviet threat. The impossibility of security appears contingent. If only we can get rid of the current impediment, we can achieve a secure world. Another example, of course, is the rush to the discourse of security after 11 September. The events of that day made very clear the impossibility of providing complete security for people and state institutions on the US mainland. But rather than admit that impossibility as structural, and work within it, the state moved immediately to declare war. The war is again supposed to produce what has always been and will remain an impossible fiction: security

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Link - historicism
Historicization is an attempt to cure universalist tendencies which obliterate essentialism and collapse into sexualized violence Charles Shepherdson, Luce fellow at Claremont graduate school, Supposing the Subject, 1994, p. 165-166 SRM
Having distinguished between the historicist construction of subjectivity and the psychoanalytic constitution of the subject, by reference to the terms role and imperative, we must consider one final point. We have suggested that current accounts of the social construction of subjectivity replace sexual difference with the category of gendered subjectivity, thereby confusing two different conceptions of the subject, while remaining bound to a specifically historicist conception of history, one that avoids the question of the body, and particularly the question of sexed embodiment, treating subjectivity as a historical invention. According to the historicist view, however, any reference to sexual difference will be taken as an appeal to naturalism. Any reference to terms such as imperative, or the law, or embodiment will be regarded as a return to the ahistorical category of sex a natural category which must then be resisted or denounced. But the psychoanalytic emphasis on sexual difference is not a return to nature, nor is it a refusal of history, as the distinction between the instinct and the drive should already indicate. To speak of embodiment and sexual difference as something other than a social construction is immediately to invite, in todays context, the misunderstanding that the body is being construed as a biological fact, and that psychoanalysis amounts to a return to that essentialism of which it has so often been accused. But it is precisely this opposition between biology and history, nature and culture, essentialism and historicism, that psychoanalysis rejects. It should be recognized that phenomenology, too, begins by rejecting precisely this conceptual framework.6 In this respect, the appeal to historicism, as a cure for the universalist tendencies of the tradition, remains bound to a conceptual network that psychoanalysis does not support. When commentators debate whether psychoanalysis is genuinely historical or just another essentialism, one has a clear indication that the most basic theoretical challenge of psychoanalysis has been obliterated. Our final point is therefore clear: if the contemporary discussions of sexual difference still tend to be split between two concepts, sex and gender (the biological argument and the argument for social construction), we may say that current discussions are strictly preFreudian. This is the great enigma, but also the theoretical interest, of psychoanalysis: what Freud calls sexuality is neither sex nor gender. As we shall see, one consequence is that the body, from the point of view of psychoanalysis, is neither a natural fact nor a cultural construction. One can see why French psychoanalytical feminism has had such a difficult and conflicted reception in the United States, where it is acclaimed as an argument on behalf of the symbolic or historical character of gender, and simultaneously denounced as another form of biological essentialism. Both views amount to a confusion whereby the question of sexuality is either collapsed into the historicist argument or rejected for its purportedly biological determinism. In both cases, and whether it is affirmed or repudiated, the psychoanalytical dimension of this work is avoided, and the entire question of sexuality is displaced into a familiar paradigm, governed by the terms sex and gender, which are themselves inscribed in an opposition betweennature and culture inherited from the nineteenth century. It is this entire configuration that psychoanalysis contests.

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Impact - violence
This is not an empty theoretical gesture toward ontological violence. The logic of reproductive futurism literally compels us to constantly identify new threats to the eternal reproduction of the ordered polity. REAL VIOLENCE is visited upon these queers who must be eliminated lest they endanger the Child and the future for which this celebrity stands. Lee Edelman. No Future: Queer Theory and Death Drive. 2004 pp. 115-7 SRM
On October 12, 1998the evening of the death of Matthew Shepard, a twenty-one-year-old gay man then enrolled at the University of Wyoming who was lured from a bar by two straight men and taken in the dark to a deserted spot where he was savagely beaten, pistol-whipped, and then tied to a wooden fence and abandoned to the brutal cold of the night (from which he would not be rescued until some eighteen hours later, when he was discovered, already comatose, by a bicyclist who thought the limp, bloody body lashed to a post was a scarecrow)on that evening of Matthew Shepard's death a hospital spokesman, "voice choked with emotion," made the following statement to the national press: "Matthew's mother said to me, 'Please tell everybody who's listening to go home and give your kids a hug and don't let a day go by without telling them you love them.'" These words of a grieving mother, widely reported on the news, produced a mimetic outpouring of grief from people across the country, just as they had from the spokesman whose own voice choked as he pronounced them. But these words, which even on the occasion of a gay man's murder defined the proper mourners as those who had children to go home to and hug, specified the mourning it encouraged as mourning for a threatened familial futuritya threat that might, for many, take the form of Matthew Shepard's death, but a threat that must also, for others, take the opposite form: of Shepard's life.5 Thus, even as mourners gathered to pray at the bier of a mother's slain child, others arrived at his funeral to condemn a "lifestyle" that made Matthew Shepard, for them, a dangerous bird of prey. An article printed in the New York Times speculated that the symbolic significance, for the killers, of leaving his body strung up on a fence might be traced to "the Old West practice of nailing a dead coyote to a ranch fence as a warning to future intruders."6 The bicyclist who mistook him for a scarecrow, then, would not have been far from the mark; for his killers, by posing Shepard's body this way, could be understood to be crowing about the lengths to which they would go to scare away other birds of his feather: birds that may seem to be more or less tame flighty, to be sure, and prone to a narcissistic preening of their plumage; amusing enough when confined to the space of a popular film like The Birdcage (1996) or when, outside the movies, caged in the ghettos that make them available for ethnographic display or the closets that enact a pervasive desire to make them all disappear but birds that the cognoscenti perceive as never harmless at all.7 For whatever apparent difference in species may dupe the untrained eye, inveterate bird-watchers always discern the tell-tale mark that brands each one a chicken-hawk first and last. In an atmosphere all atwitter with the cries that echo between those who merely watch and those who hunt such birds, what matter who killed Cock Robin? The logic of sinthomosexuality justifies that violent fate in advance by insisting that what such a cock had been robbing was always, in some sense, a cradle. And that cradle must endlessly rock, we've been told, even if the rhythm it rocks to beats out, with every blow of the beating delivered to Matthew Shepard's skull, a counterpoint to the melody's sacred hymn to the meaning of life. That meaning, continuously affirmed as it is both in and as cultural narrative, nonetheless never can rest secure and, in consequence, never can rest. The compulsive need for its repetition, for the drumbeat by which it pounds into our heads (and not always, though not infrequently, by pounding in a Matthew Shepard's) that the cradle bears always the meaning of futurity and the futurity of meaning, testifies to something exceeding the meaning it means thereby to assure: to a death drive that carries, on full-fledged wings, into the inner sanctum of meaning, into the reproductive mandate inherent in the logic of futurism itself, the burden of the radically negative force that sinthomosexuality names.

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Impact self regulation


Politics of futurism condemn us to a self administered regulation which cedes our life for the faceless future generations Lee Edleman, No Future: queer theory and the death drive, 2004 p. 134-5 SRM
For the politics of reproductive futurism, the only politics we're permitted to know, organizes and administers an apparently selfregulating economy of sentimentality in which futurity comes to signify access to the realization of meaning both promised and prohibited by the fact of our formation as subjects of the signifier. As a figure for the supplementarity, the logic of restitution or compensation, that sustains our investment in the deferrals demanded by the signifying chain, the future holds out the hope of a final undoing of the initiating fracture, the constitutive moment of division, by means of which the signifier is able to pronounce us into subjectivity. And it offers that hope by mobilizing a fantasy of temporal reversal, as if the future were pledged to make good the loss it can only ever repeat. Taking our cue from de Man's account of Walter Benjamin's "The Task of the Translator," we might note that the future can engage temporality only in the mode of figuration because futurity stands in the place of a linguistic, rather than a temporal, destiny: "The dimension of futurity," according to de Man, "is not temporal but is the correlative of the figural pattern and the disjunctive power which Benjamin locates in the structure of language." That structure, as de Man interprets it, requires the perpetual motion of what he calls "a wandering, an errance," and "this motion, this errancy of language which never reaches the mark," is nothing else, for Benjamin, than history itself, generating, in the words of de Man, "this illusion of a life that is only an afterlife." 2 7 Confusing linguistic with phenomenal reality, that illusion, which calls forth history from the gap of the "disjunctive power" internal to the very "structure of language," names the fantasy of a social reality to which reproductive futurism pledges us all.

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Impact - fascism
Ceding politics to the name of the future justifies the worst forms of fascist control Lee Edelman. No Future: Queer Theory and Death Drive. 2004 pp. 148-152 SRM
Cathy, Eppie, Tiny Tim, the constandy multiplying children of Eve with the hopes that get put in their outstretched hands and the dreams that get read in their always wide eyes: dare we see, in the end that's forbidden to be one, this endless line of childrena genetic line, a narrative line, stretched out to the crack of doomas itself the nightmare of history from which we're helpless to awake? For these "innocent" children, who blind us to futurism's implication in the blindness of the drive, reproduce a collective fantasyone that touches, in refusing the negativity it opposes to the nature these children affirm, the depths of that negativity in the violence that informs the refusal itself. Doesn't Benjamin, in his "Conversations with Brecht," seem to recognize something similar when he recalls his response to Brecht's telling him that life, despite Hitler, goes on, there will always be children. . . . But then, still as an argument for the inclusion of the "Children's Songs" in the Poems jrom Exile, something else asserted itself, which Brecht expressed as he stood before me in the grass, with a passion he seldom shows. "In the fight against them nothing must be omitted. Their intentions are not trivial. They are planning for the next thirty thousand years. Monstrous. Monstrous crimes. They stop at nothing. They hit out at everything. Every cell flinches under their blows. That is why not one of us can be forgotten. They deform the baby in the mother's womb. We must under no circumstances leave out the children." While he spoke I felt a force acting on me that was equal to that of fascism; I mean a power that has its source no less deep in history than fascism.48 Its sources in history no less deep because not different from those of fascism, this "force" that acts on Benjamin, this unidentified "power," might well be seen as what I've called "the fascism of the baby's face," which subjects us to its sovereign authority as the figure of politics itself (of politics, that is, in its radical form as reproductive futurism), whatever the face a particular politics gives that baby to wearAryan or multicultural, that of the thirty-thousand-year Reich or of an ever expanding horizon of democratic inclusivity. Which is not to say that the difference of those political programs makes no difference, but rather that both, as political programs, are programmed to reify difference and thus to secure, in the form of the future, the order of the same. And this, as we saw in North by Northwest, occasions the emergence of history through the dialectic of desire, producing a remporalization that generates, like the "structure of allegory" according to de Man, narrative as the constant movement of and toward intelligibility.44

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Impact scapegoating
Futurism ensures violence and scapegoating are inevitable Lee Edelman. No Future: Queer Theory and Death Drive. 2004 pp. 153-154 SRM
In what he called a "monotonous low hum," whose drone might recall the "monotonous response" of Silas Marner's loom, in the "strange artificial" sound that brings Hitchcock's film to its "useless" "finish," we hear, if not the siren song, then the birdcall of futurity. The engine revs; the machine purrs on; the family drives through danger; and something implacable, life-negating, inimical to "our" children, works to reduce the empire of meaning to the static of an electric buzz. We, the sinthomosexuals who figure the death drive of the social, must accept that we will be vilified as the agents of that threat. But "they," the defenders of futurity, buzzed by negating our negativity, are themselves, however unknowingly, its secret agents too, reacting, in the name of the future, in the name of humanity, in the name of life, to the threat of the death drive we figure with the violent rush of a jouissance, which only returns them, ironically, to the death drive in spite of themselves. Futurism makes sinthomosexuals, not humans, of us all. We shouldn't dismiss as coincidence, then, that the catchphrase best expressing our current captivity to futurism's logic and serving as a bridge between left and right in the American political scene, is one that sinthomosexuals, like Hitchcock's birds, could endorse as well: "Leave no child behind." In repeating it, though, sinthomosexuals bring out what's "impossible, inhuman" within it: a haunting, destructive excess bound up with its pious sentimentality, an overdetermination that betrays the place of the kernel of irony that futurism tries to allegorize as narrative, as history. The political regime of futurism, unable to escape what it abjects, negates it as the negation of meaning, of the Child, and of the future the Child portends. Attempting to evade the insistent Real always surging in its blood, it lovingly rocks the cradle of life to the drumbeat of the endless blows it aims at sinthomosexuals. Somewhere, someone else will be savagely beaten and left to diesacrificed to a future whose beat goes on, like a pulse or a heartand another corpse will be left like a mangled scarecrow to frighten the birds who are gathering now, who are beating their wings, and who, like the drive, keep on coming.

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Impact post politics


Post-politics results in exceptionalism and violent exclusion. Swyngedouw, Dept of Geography, School of Environment and Development, Manchester University, 2006. [Eirk, Impossible Sustainability and the Post-Political Condition, Forthcoming in: David Gibbs and Rob Krueger (Eds.) Sustainable Development, http://www.liv.ac.uk/geography/seminars/Sustainabilitypaper.doc] Difficulties and problems, such as environmental concerns that are generally staged and accepted as problematic need to be dealt with through compromise, managerial and technical arrangement, and the production of consensus. Consensus means that whatever your personal commitments, interests and values may be, you perceive the same things, you give them the same name. But there is no contest on what appears, on what is given in a situation and as a situation (Rancire, 2003; 4). The key feature of consensus is the annulment of dissensus .. the end of politics (Rancire, 2001; 32). The most
utopian alternative to capitalism left to our disposal is to develop post-political alternatives to creating a more just and sustainable society, since it would not make any economic sense not to do so. Of course, this post-political world eludes choice and freedom (other than those tolerated by the consensus). And in the absence of real politicization of particulars, the only position of real dissent is that of either the

traditionalist (those stuck in the past who refuse to accept the inevitability of the new global neo-liberal order) or the fundamentalist. The only way to deal with them is by sheer violence, by suspending their humanitarian and democratic rights. The post-political relies on either including all in a consensual pluralist order and on excluding radically those who posit themselves outside the consensus. For them, as Agamben (20005) argues, the law is suspended; they are literally put outside the law and treated as extremists and terrorists.

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Impact sham jouissance


The guilt-laden subject can experience only fake joy and beauty the impact is a lessened value to life. Joan Copjec in 2006 (Department of English, Comparative Literature, and Media Study at the University of Buffalo, where she is the Director of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture: Lacan: the silent partners; May 68, the Emotional Month) SRM
To continue translating into the terms of the present discussion: guilt takes flight from the enigma of our jouissance-being, not from the jouissance as such. The guilt-laden, anxiety-relieved subject still experiences jouissance, but this jouissance is characterized by Lacan in Seminar XVII as a 'sham', as counterfeit. The fraudulent nature of this jouissance has everything to do with the fact that it gives one a false sense that the core of ones being is something knowable, possessable as an identity, a property, a surplus-value attaching to one's person. Shame jouissance intoxicates on with the sense that all our inherited, unchosen identities - racial, national, ethnic - root us in an actual past that may be lost, but is not for all that inaccessible in so far as we can have knowledge about it, and about how to restore it in an ideal future. What anxiety exposes as ungraspable or unclaimable jouissance is that which the guilty shamelessly grasp for in the obsequious respect they pay to a past sacralized as their future. The feverish pursuit of this future conceived both as their due and as repayment of their (unpayable) debt to the past - is the poor substitute, the Sweet 'n' Low, the guilty acceptance in the place of the real sweetness of jouissance.

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Impact queer violence


The discourse that vilifies the concept of saving the world for the next generation, while simultaneously condemning the present population of earth for destroying the cradle of the next generation, parallels the dangerous discourse that justifies the pervasive societal violence against queers. Lee Edelmen, No Future: Queer Theory and Death Drive. 2004 pp. 29-30
Bernard Law, the former cardinal of Boston, mistaking (or maybe understanding too well) the degree of authority bestowed on him by the signifier of his patronymic, denounced in 1996 proposed legislation giving health care benefits to same-sex partners of municipal employees. He did so by proclaiming, in a noteworthy instance of piety in the sky, that bestowing such access to health care would profoundly diminish the marital bond. "Society," he opined, "has a special interest in the protection, care and upbringing of children. Because marriage remains the principal, and the best, framework for the nurture, education and socialization of children, the state has a special interest in marriage."3 1 With this fatal embrace of a futurism so blindly committed to the figure of the Child that it will justify refusing

health care benefits to the adults that some children become, Law lent his voice to the mortifying mantra of a communal jouissance that depends on the fetishization of the Child at the expense of whatever such fetishization must inescapably queer. Some seven years later,
after Law had resigned for his failure to protect Catholic children from sexual assault by pedophile priests, Pope John Paul II returned to this theme, condemning staterecognized same-sex unions as parodic versions of authentic families, "based on individual egoism" rather than genuine love. Justifying that condemnation, he observed,

"Such a 'caricature' has no future and cannot give future to any society."3 2 Queers must respond to the violent force of such constant provocations not only by insisting on our equal right to the social order's prerogatives, not only by avowing our capacity to promote that order's coherence and integrity, but also by saying explicitly what Law and the Pope and the whole of the Symbolic order for which they stand hear anyway in each and every expression or manifestation of queer sexuality: Fuck the social order and the Child in whose name we're collectively terrorized; fuck Annie; fuck the waif from Les Mis; fuck the poor, innocent kid on the Net; fuck Laws both with capital Is and with small; fuck the whole network of Symbolic relations and the future that serves as its prop. We might like to believe that with patience, with work, with generous contributions to lobbying groups or generous participation in activist groups or generous doses of legal sawy and elecroral sophistication, the future will hold a place for usa place at the political table that won't have to come at the cost of the places we seek in the bed or the bar or the baths. But there are no queers in that future as there can be no future for queers, chosen as they are to bear the bad tidings that there can be no future at all: that the future, as Annie's hymn to the hope of "Tomorrow" understands, is "always) A day/ Away." Like the lovers on Keats's Grecian urn, forever "near the goal" of a union they'll never in fact achieve, we're held in thrall bya future continually deferred by time itself, constrained to pursue the dream of a day when today and tomorrow are one. That future is nothing but kid stuff, reborn each day to screen out the grave that gapes from within the lifeless letter, luring us into, ensnaring us in, reality's gossamer web. Those queered by the social order that projects its death drive onto them are no doubt positioned to recognize the structuring fantasy that so defines them. But they're positioned as well to recognize the irreducibilty of that fantasy and the cost of construing it as contingent to the logic of social organization as such. Acceding to this figural identification with the undoing of identity, which is also to say with the disarticulation of social and Symbolic form, might well be described, in John Brenkman's words, as "politically self-destructive."3 3 But politics (as the social elaboration of reality) and the self (as mere prosthesis maintaining the future for the figural Child), are what queerness, again as figure, necessarily destroysnecessarily insofar as this "self" is the agent of reproductive futurism and this "politics" the means of its promulgation as the order of social reality. But perhaps, as Lacan's engagement with Antigone in Seminar 7 suggests, political self-destruction inheres in the only act that counts as
one: the act of resisting enslavement to the future in the name of having a life. If the fate of the queer is to figure the fate that cuts the thread of futurity, if the jouissance, the corrosive enjoyment, intrinsic to queer (non)identity annihilates the fetishistic jouissance that works to consolidate identity by allowing reality to coagulate around its ritual reproduction, then the only oppositional status to which our queerness could ever lead would depend on our taking seriously the

place of the death drive we're called on to figure and insisting, against the cult of the Child and the political order it enforces, that we, as Guy Hocquenghem made clear, are "not the signifier of what might become a new form of 'social organisation,' " that we do not intend a new politics, a better society, a brighter tomorrow, since all of these fantasies reproduce the past, through displacement, in the form of the future. We choose, instead, not to choose the Child, as disciplinary image of the Imaginary past or as site of a projective identification with an always impossible future. The queerness we propose, in Hocquenghem's words, "is unaware of the passing of generations as stages on the road to better living. It knows nothing about 'sacrifice now for the sake of future generations' . . . [it] knows that civilisation alone is mortal."3 4 Even more: it delights in that mortality as the negation of everything that would define itself, moralistically, as pro-life. It is we who must bury the subject in the tomb-like hollow of the signifier, pronouncing at last the words for which we're condemned should we speak them or not: that we are the advocates of abortion; that the Child as futurity's emblem must die; that the future is mere repetition and just as lethal as the past. Our queerness has nothing to offer a Symbolic that lives by denying that nothingness except an insistence on the haunting excess that this nothingness entails, an insistence on the negativity that pierces the fantasy screen of futurity, shattering narrative temporality with irony's always explosive force. And so what is queerest about us, queerest within us, and queerest despite us is this willingness to insist intransitivelyto insist that the future stop here.

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Impact death drive (1/3)


What constitutes the modern subject is hardly green pastures and eternal bliss but rather the endless drive to fulfill our final desires. We call this drive the death drive a constant search which can never be completed. This drive is fed by the proliferation of the small quick fix promises known as the object a. The plan is one such object it promises to make our every dream come true just by signing a ballot Daly, 2004, (Glyn, Risking the Impossible, http://www.lacan.com/zizek-primer.htm) SRM
Zizek affirms that psychoanalysis is the direct descendant of German idealism and that it articulates this dimension of self-relating negativity in terms of the idea of death drive (Zizek, 1999: 65-66). Death drive is the existential consequence of the very gap in the order of Being identified in German idealism. It is neither a cancellation nor any kind of physical death but is rather a certain excessive impulse that persists beyond mere existence or biological life. As Zizek argues: "Human life is never just life, it is always sustained by an excess of life" (Zizek, 2001b: 104). The human being is precisely that entity that is sustained by a "more than human". It is this "inhuman" excess - born of a fundamental alienation - which is the death drive and which is constitutive of humanity as such. Death drive is a constant impulse to resolve the gap, or heal the wound, in the order of Being; to overcome dislocation and establish the full presence of subjectivity by finding its ultimate name/place in the world. In this context - and against the grain of standard postmodern thinking - Zizek insists on the validity of the notion of subject (Zizek, 1999: 158-59). The subject is neither a positive entity nor an identifiable locus but is thoroughly de-substantialised - it is precisely "this empty nothing" of which Hegel speaks. This is why the Lacanian mark for the subject is $ (S-barred, the empty place or void that cannot be filled out in an ultimate sense). In the earlier works of Zizek, the subject is presented in terms of an inherent point of failure (the limit) in all forms of subjectivity - the bone stuck in the throat of signification - that shows the ontological gap of Being. The subject is the subject of the signifier precisely because of its status of void/impossibility that is the very condition of possibility for an infinitude of signification (Zizek, 1989: 175). Subject and subjectivity exist in a symbiotic and dynamic relationship. Subjectivity will be more or less stable according to context. Under the impact of a traumatic experience, however, we experience a certain "night of the world" where coherence and cohesion become radically undermined: that is, the condition of subject. In later works, Zizek gives an added twist to the notion of subject. Thus the subject is not simply the gap/void in the order of Being, it is also "the contingent-excessive gesture that constitutes the very universal order of Being" (1999: 160). As in Russell's paradoxical set of sets, the subject also functions as an excluded particularity that nonetheless generates the frame of universality as such. The frame of subjectivity is not constituted against an external force (the elimination of which would yield true subjectivity) but through an inherent blockage which is the subject (Zizek, 1999: 159). We might say that the subject gets caught in an impossible attempt to produce a framework of subjectivity (to find its name/place), but from which it is already ontologically excluded. In this sense, the subject marks the site where an irresolvable economy of lack and excess are played out. This economy is perhaps best illustrated by the relationship between subject and its objects a (objets petit a - objects small Other). Lacan's object a refers to the object-cause of desire: that which is in the object more than the object and which makes us desire it in the first place. It alludes to the originally lost object (the missing element that would resolve drive and "restore" fulfilment) and, at the same time, functions as an embodiment of lack; as a loss positivised (Zizek, 1997: 81; Zizek, 1999: 107). Object a bears witness to an empty structure of desire - a structure that can never be filled out. Desire is always elsewhere and alludes to an absence whose central reference is a fundamental void around which drive constantly circulates and constantly misses its target. It is in this sense that Zizek refers to object a in terms of a Kantian "negative magnitude": something that acts as a stand-in for Nothingness (Zizek, 1999: 107). There exists a metonymy of lack whereby any empirical object can act as this stand-in. Object a is doubly paradoxical in that it refers to an original "lost" object (of completion/unity) that never existed, and also in that its own existence depends on its very unattainability. The subject subsists in a kind of diabolical symmetry with its object(s) a wherein the latter (partially) embodies the lack designated by the former; a lack that constantly strives to be recognised/resolved in positive terms but which can never be fully achieved - subject and object never coincide. A well known e-mail circular is illustrative. A mock audit of staff morale is sent as an attachment in which the final exercise is one where you are asked to "click here" if you want a bigger salary, better conditions and so on. Of course, when you move your cursor to the relevant box, the "click here" simply moves and pops up somewhere else on the screen no matter how quickly or stealthily you try to approach it. In this sense, fulfilment (the satisfaction of desire) is always just a click away; a promise that is sustained by the very lack/impossibility of (total) fulfilment.

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Impact death drive (2/3)


[continues, no text omitted] The subject strives for a fullness in the object that it lacks. This accounts for the passionate attachment to certain objects and toward which people may risk everything. Q. Tarantino's film, Pulp Fiction, is illustrative. In the boxer's story, the Bruce Willis character refuses to take a dive in a fixed fight and as a result falls foul of a local gangster. Instead of leaving town immediately, however, Bruce returns to his apartment to pick up his (dead) father's watch - thereby risking his life. Why do this? The answer is that this particular watch represents object a: a partial embodiment of the lost parent-child unity. It is this watch, and no other, that holds the promise of an ultimate reconciliation (to restore "lost" unity) and, at the same time underscores the fact that such reconciliation is always lacking; always a "click" away. Every object a is a reminder/remainder of a kind of pre-big bang consummate unity that has never existed. It is here that both lack (subject) and excess (identifications) - every "pathological" gesture to positivise void - may be said to coincide (Zizek, 1999: 107). The "many" identifications and forms of collective objective life are made possible through the persistence of the "one" of radical negativity. The infinitude of signification is the result ultimately of the one true signified...void. For Zizek this is the starting point of a new approach to politics We are political animals not in the sense of Aristotle who understood by this a certain capacity to recognise a pre-existing order of the good, but the opposite. It is precisely because there is no pre-existing order that we are "condemned" to be political animals. Without an ecology of Being, we are confronted with what Zizek, in his discussion of Schelling (1997), calls an unbridgeable abyss of freedom; an abyss that is simultaneously the source of universal rights and ethnic cleansing.

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Impact death drive (3/3)


The death drive is an instinctual repetition that traps us into error replication and prevents the actualization of idealized fantasy Lee Edelman. No Future: Queer Theory and Death Drive. 2004 pp. 8-10
The drivemore exactly, the death driveholds a privileged place in this book. As the constancy of a pressure both alien and internal to the logic of the Symbolic, as the inarticulable surplus that dismantles the subject from within, the death drive names what the queer, in the order of the social, is called forth to figure: the negativity opposed to every form of social viability. Lacan makes clear that the death drive emerges as a consequence of the Symbolic; indeed, he ends Seminar 2 with the claim that "the symbolic order is simultaneously non-being and insisting to be, that is what Freud has in mind when he talks about the death instinct as being what is most fundamentala symbolic order in travail, in the process of coming, insisting on being realized."9 This constant movement toward realization cannot be divorced, however, from a will to undo what it thereby instituted, to begin again ex nihilo. For the death drive marks the excess embedded within the Symbolic through the loss, the Real loss, that the advent o f the signifier effects. Suzanne Barnard expresses this well in distinguishing between the subject of desire and the subject of the drive: "While the subject of the drive also is 'born' in relation to a loss, this loss is a real rather than a symbolic one. As such, it functions not in a mode of absence but in a mode of an impossible excess haunting reality, an irrepressible remainder that the subject cannot separate itself from. In other words, while desire is born of and sustained by a constitutive lack, drive emerges in relation to a constitutive surplus. This surplus is what Lacan calls the subject's 'anatomical complement,' an excessive, 'unreal' remainder that produces an ever-present jouissance."1 0 This surplus, compelling the Symbolic to enact a perpetual repetition, remains spectral, "unreal," or impossible insofar as it insists outside the logic of meaning that, nonetheless, produces it. The drive holds the place of what meaning misses in much the same way that the signifier preserves at the heart of the signifying order the empty and arbitrary letter, the meaningless substrate of signification that meaning intends to conceal. Politics, then, in opposing itself to the negativity of such a drive, gives us history as the continuous staging of our dream of eventual self-realization by endlessly reconstructing, in the mirror of desire, what we take to be reality itself. And it does so without letting us acknowledge that the future, to which it persistently appeals, marks the impossible place of an Imaginary past exempt from the deferrals intrinsic to the operation of the signifying chain and projected ahead as the site at which being and meaning are joined as One. In this it enacts the formal repetition distinctive of the drive while representing itself as bringing to fulfillment the narrative sequence of history and, with it, of desire, in the realization of the subject's authentic presence in the Child imagined as enjoying unmediated access to Imaginary wholeness. Small Small wonder that the era of the universal subject should produce as the very figure of politics, because also as the embodiment of futurity collapsing undecidably into the past, the image of the Child as we know it: the Child who becomes, in Wordsworth's phrase, but more punitively, "father of the Man." Historically constructed, as social critics and intellectual historians including Phillipe Aries, James Kincaid, and Lawrence Stone have made clear, to serve as the repository of variously sentimentalized cultural identifications, the Child has come to embody for us the telos of the social order and come to be seen as the one for whom that order is held in perpetual trust.

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Impact death drive (4/4)


The death drive, while impossible to define drives all human action toward a goal. That goal is the maintenance of human life. All of our actions are executed as part of an ideological chain tied to the future. The textual violence exerted upon those who are not explicitly interested in the future is inevitable as long as that chain continues to bind our fates to the future. Lee Edelman. No Future: Queer Theory and Death Drive. 2004 pp. 22-23
As the name for a force of mechanistic compulsion whose formal excess supersedes any end toward which it might seem to be aimed, the death drive refuses identity or the absolute privilege of any goal. Such a goal, such an end, could never be "it"; achieved, it could never satisfy. For the drive as such can only insist, and every end toward which we mistakenly interpret its insistence to pertain is a sort of grammatical placeholder, one that tempts us to read as transitive a pulsion that attains through insistence alone the satisfaction no end ever holds. Engaged in circulation around an object never adequate to fulfill it, the drive enacts the repetition that characterizes what Judith Butler has called "the repetitive propulsionality of sexuality." 2 4 The structural mandate of the drive, therefore, could be seen to call forth its object or end, indeed, the whole register of sexuality itself, as a displacement of its own formal energies, as an allegorization of its differential force. But that force can never be separated from, can never be imagined as existing before, the Symbolic order of the signifier that it functions to transgress, which is why Lacan argues that " if everything that is immanent or implicit in the chain of natural events may be considered as subject to the so-called death drive, it is only because there is a signifying chain."2 5 One way to approach the death drive in terms of the economy of this "chain of natural events" thus shaped by linguistic structuresstructures that allow us to produce those "events" through the logic of narrative historyis by reading the play and the place of the death drive in relation to a theory of irony, that queerest of rhetorical devices, especially as discussed by Paul de Man. Proposing that "any theory of irony is the undoing, the necessary undoing, of any theory of narrative," de Man adduces the constant tension between irony as a particular trope and narrative as a representational mode that allegorizes tropes in general. Narrative, that is, undertakes the project of accounting for trope systematically by producing, in de Man's rehearsal of Schlegel, an "anamorphosis of the tropes, the transformation of the tropes, into the system of tropes, to which the corresponding experience is that of the self standing above its own experiences." In contrast, as de Man makes clear, "what irony disrupts (according to Friedrich Schlegel) is precisely that dialectic and reflexivity." The corrosive force of irony thus carries a charge for de Man quite similar to that of the death drive as understood by Lacan. "Words have a way of saying things which are not at all what you want them to say," de Man notes. "There is a machine there, a text machine, an implacable determination and a total arbitrariness... which inhabits words on the level of the play of the signifier, which undoes any narrative consistency of lines, and which undoes the reflexive and dialectical model, both of which are, as you know, the basis of any narration." The mindless violence of this textual machine, so arbitrary, so implacable, threatens, like a guillotine, to sever the genealogy that narrative syntax labors to affirm, recasting its narrative "chain of . . . events" as a "signifying chain" and inscribing in the realm of signification, along with the prospect of meaning, the meaningless machinery of the signifier, always in the way of what it would signify. Irony, whose effect de Man likens to the syntactical violence of anacoluthon, thus severs the continuity essential to the very logic of making sense.

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Alternative: the aff can never access it


We must recognize the unrepresentational nature of the real all efforts that attempt to construct a social order will fail thus their perm and link turn arguments get them nowhere STAVRAKAKIS VISITING FELLOW IN GOV'T, UNIV. OF ESSEX '99, Yannis, Lacan and the Political, pg. 86 SRM
In the face of the irreducibility of the real we have no other option but to symbolise; but such a symbolisation can take at least two forms: first, a fantasmatic one which will attempt to repress the real and to eliminate once and for all its structural causality. Psychoanalysis favours the second and more complex one: the articulation of symbolic constructs that will include a recognition of the real limits of the symbolic and will attempt to symbolically institutionalise real lack. Let me illustrate this point by returning to one of the examples I used earlier, that of nature. The crucial question regarding our access to the natural world becomes now: how can we then, if in fact we can, approach nature before it becomes Nature, the real before it becomes reality, before its symbolisation? This is the question posed by Evernden: how can we return to things before they were captured and explained, in which transaction they ceased to be themselves and became instead functionaries in the world of social discourse [?] (Evernden, 1992:110). How can we encounter the pre-symbolic Other in its radical otherness, an otherness escaping all our representations, if he is always beyond? (ibid.: 118). Well, in fact we cant; what we can do, however, is acknowledge this failure, this constitutive impossibility, within our symbolisations. Trapped as we are within the world of social meaning, all our representations of reality are doomed to fail due to their symbolic character. Every attempt to construct what is impossible to be constructed fails due to our entrapment within the world of construction. The only moment in which we come face to face with the irreducible real beyond representation is when our constructions are dislocated. It is only when Nature, our construction of external reality, meets a stumbling block, something which cannot be symbolically integrated, that we come close to the real of nature. Nature, constructed Nature, is nothing but a mode of concealment, a cloak of abstractions which obscures that discomforting wildness that defies our paranoid urge to delineate the boundaries of Being (Evernden, 1992:132). Only when these boundaries collapse, in that minute intermission before we draw new ones, can we sense the unheimlich of real nature. It is in that sense thatas argued in Chapter 2Lacanian theory opens the road to a realist constructionism or a constructionist realism; it does so by accepting the priority of a real which is, however, unrepresentable, but, nevertheless, can be encountered in the failure of every construction. One final point before concluding this section: when applied to our own discourse isnt this recognition introducing a certain ethical principle? Recognising at the same time the impossibility of mastering the real and our obligation to recognise this impossibility through the failure of our attempts to symbolise it, indeed seems to introduce a certain principle which cannot be by-passed. Of necessity this is a principle affecting the structure of knowledge and science in late modern societies.

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Alternative: Shame
The concept of anxiety splits itself into two emotions: guilt, as per the anxiety of the affirmative, and shame. We can coerce the judge to sign the ballot because we feel guilty of what will happen were the affirmative not to be passed. Our alternative asks you to instead reflect upon the 1AC and feel shame. Shame cannot be avoided nor can it cannot be balanced. When one feels shame there is no option but to abandon that which the shame is directed to. Much like the government in Washington, as another faceless senator in congress, the affirmative produces guilt to achieve an end vis--vis a violent aggression towards reality Joan Copjec in 2006 (Department of English, Comparative Literature, and Media Study at the University of Buffalo, where she is the Director of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture: Lacan: the silent partners; May 68, the Emotional Month) SRM
It is only against this background that Lacans call to shame makes any sense. His is a recommendation not for a renewed prudishness but, on the contrary, for relinquishing our satisfaction with a shame jouissance in favor of the real thing. The real thing jouissance can never be dutified, controlled, regimented; rather, it catches us by surprise, like a sudden, uncontrollable blush on the check. It is not possible here, in this brief conclusion, to do justice to the concept of shame, as I am doing elsewhere. I do not want, however, to end quite so abruptly as Lacan ends his seminar, so I will say a few more words only. Alain Badiou has identified a dominant trait of the last century as its passion for the Real, its frenzied desire to remove every barrier that frustrates our contact with the Real. If this has a familiar ring, it is because a similar diagnosis was proffered by Nietzsche, who complained that our age was one in which we sought to see through everything. Nietzsche further characterized this passion as a lack of reverence or discretion, a tactless desire to touch, lick, and finger everything. The passion for the Real treats every surface as an exterior to be penetrated, a battier to be transgressed, or a veil to be removed. The violence of this passion insists in each penetration, transgression, and removal, which is only exacerbated by the fact that each arrives on the other side, only to find that the Real has fled behind another barrier. It is hard not to recognize in this logic subtending the University Discourse as Lacan presents it in Seminar XVII. Nor is it difficult to see, in this contest, that the antidote of shame which Lacan proposes also follows Nietzsches leads, in addition to Freuds. Shame is, as Freud put it, a mental dam against the aggressive instinct or the destructive passion for the Real. Unlike guilt, shame does not seek to penetrate surfaces or tear away veils; rather, it seeks comfort in them, hides itself in them as in a safe haven. Our relationships to the surface change in shame, as compared to guilt; we become fascinated with its maze-like intricacies, its richness and profundity. This is where Lacans hontology, his suturing of ontology and shame, comes in, as if in answer to Levinas. Shame is not a failed flight from being, but a flight into being, where being the being of surfaces, of social existence is viewed as that which protects us from the ravages of anxiety, which risk drowning us in its borderless enigma. Unlike the flight or transformation of guilt, however, shame does not sacrifice jouissances opacity, which is finally what keeps it real. True jouissance never reveals itself to us, it remains ever veiled. But instead of inhibiting us, this opacity now gives us that distance from ourselves and our world that allows us creatively to alter both; it gives us, in other words, a privacy, an interiority unbreachable even by ourselves.

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Alternative do nothing
The alternative is to do nothing, rather than simply rejecting the affirmative, we need to align ourselves with queer negativity rather than take a stance for the sake of promoting a set of social values, we must accept the value of our position for the sake of the position. Lee Edelman. No Future: Queer Theory and Death Drive. 2004 pp. 4-6
Rather than rejecting, with liberal discourse, this ascription of negativity to the queer, we might, as I argue, do better to consider accepting and even embracing it. Not in the hope of forging thereby some more perfect social ordersuch a hope, after all, would only reproduce the constraining mandate of futurism, just as any such order would equally occasion the negativity of the queerbut rather to refuse the insistence of hope itself as affirmation, which is always affirmation of an order whose refusal will register as unthinkable, irresponsible, inhumane. And the trump card of affirmation? Always the question: If not this, what? Always the demand to translate the insistence, the pulsive force, of negativity into some determinate stance or "position" whose determination would thus negate it: always the imperative to immure it in some stable and positive form. When I argue, then, that we might do well to attempt what is surely impossibleto withdraw our allegiance, however compulsory, from a reality based on the Ponzi scheme of reproductive futurismI do not intend to propose some "good" that will thereby be assured. To the contrary, I mean to insist that nothing, and certainly not what we call the "good," can ever have any assurance at all in the order of the Symbolic. Abjuring fidelity to a futurism that's always purchased at our expense, though bound, as Symbolic subjects consigned to figure the Symbolic's undoing, to the necessary contradiction of trying to turn its intelligibility against itself, we might rather, figuratively, cast our vote for "none of the above," for the primacy of a constant no in response to the law of the Symbolic, which would echo that law's foundational act, its self constituting negation. The structuring optimism of politics to which the order of meaning commits us, installing as it does the perpetual hope of reaching meaning through signification, is always, I would argue, a negation of this primal, constitutive, and negative act. And the various positivities produced in its wake by the logic of political hope depend on the mathematical illusion that negated negations might somehow escape, and not redouble, such negativity. My polemic thus stakes its fortunes on a truly hopeless wager: that taking the Symbolic's negativity to the very letter of the law, that attending to the persistence of something internal to reason that reason refuses, that turning the force of queerness against all subjects, however queer, can afford an access to the puissance that at once defines and negates us. Or better: can expose the constancy, the inescapability, of such access to jouissance in the social order itself, even if that order can access its constant access to jouissance only in the process of abjecting that constancy of access onto the queer. In contrast to what Theodor Adorno describes as the "grimness with which a man clings to himself, as to the immediately sure and substantial," the queerness of which I speak would deliberately sever us from ourselves, from the assurance, that is, of knowing ourselves and hence of knowing our "good."4 Such queerness proposes, in place of the good, something I want to call "better," though it promises, in more than one sense of the phrase, absolutely nothing. I connect this something better with Lacan's characterization of what he calls "truth," where truth does not assure happiness, or even, as Lacan makes clear, the good.5 Instead, it names only the insistent particularity of the subject, impossible fully to articulate and "tending] toward the real."6 Lacan, therefore, can write of this truth: The quality that best characterizes it is that of being the true Wunsch, which was at the origin of an aberrant or atypical behavior. We encounter this Wunsch with its particular, irreducible character as a modification that presupposes no other form of normalization than that of an experience of pleasure or of pain, but of a final experience from whence it springs and is subsequently preserved in the depths of the subject in anirreducible form. The Wunsch does not have the character of a universal law but, on the contrary, of the most particular of lawseven if it is universal that this particularity is to be found in every human being.7 Truth, like queerness, irreducibly linked to the "aberrant or atypical," to what chafes against "normalization," finds its value not in a good susceptible to generalization, but only in the stubborn particularity that voids every notion of a general good. The embrace of queer negativity, then, can have no justification if justification requires it to reinforce some positive social value; its value, instead, resides in its challenge to value as defined by the social, and thus in its radical challenge to the very value of the social itself.

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Alternative radical realignment (environment)


The only way to deal with the political hijacking of environmental issues is to radically realign the symbolic coordinates within which we exist. Only by radically altering our symbolic coordinates can we break out of the post-political hold over liberal ideologies. Swyngedouw, Dept of Geography, School of Environment and Development, Manchester University, 2006. [Eirk, Impossible Sustainability and the Post-Political Condition, Forthcoming in: David Gibbs and Rob Krueger (Eds.) Sustainable Development, http://www.liv.ac.uk/geography/seminars/Sustainabilitypaper.doc]
Slavoj iek and Chantal Mouffe, among others, define the post-political as a political formation that actually forecloses the political, that prevents the politicization of particulars (iek 1999a: 35; 2006; Mouffe, 2005). A situation or an event becomes political when a particular demand (cutting greenhouse gases, stopping the exploitation of a particular resource and so on) starts to function as a metaphoric condensation of the global opposition against Them, those in power, so that the protest is no longer just about that demand, but about the universal dimension that resonates in that particular demand. . What post-politics tends to prevent is precisely this metaphoric universalization of particular demands: post-politics mobilizes the vast apparatus of experts, social workers, and so on, to reduce the overall demand (complaint) of a particular group to just this demand, with its particular content no wonder that this suffocating closure gives birth to irrational outbursts of violence as the only way to give expression to the dimension beyond particularity (iek 1999b: 204). In Europe and the US, in particular, such post-political arrangements are largely in place. Postpolitics reject ideological divisions and the explicit universalisation of particular political demands. Instead, the post-political condition is one in which a consensus has been built around the inevitability of neo-liberal capitalism as an economic system, parliamentary democracy as the political ideal, humanitarianism and inclusive cosmopolitanism as a moral foundation. As iek (1999b: 198) puts it: In post-politics, the conflict of global ideological visions embodied in different parties which compete for power is replaced by the collaboration of enlightened technocrats (economists, public opinion specialists, ) and liberal multiculturalists; via the process of negotiation of interests, a compromise is reached in the guise of a more or less universal consensus. Postpolitics thus emphasizes the need to leave old ideological visions behind and confront new issues, armed with the necessary expert knowledge and free deliberation that takes peoples concrete needs and demands into account Post-politics is thus about the administration of social or ecological matters, and they remain of course fully within the realm of the possible, of existing socio-ecological relations. The ultimate sign of post-politics in all Western countries, iek (2002: 303) argues, is the growth of a managerial approach to government: government is reconceived as a managerial function, deprived of its proper political dimension. Post-politics refuses politicisation in the classical Greek sense, that is, as the metaphorical universalization of particular demands, which aims at more than negotiation of interests: [T]he political act (intervention) proper is not simply something that works well within the framework of existing relations, but something that changes the very framework that determines how things work . [A]uthentic politics is the art of the impossible it changes the very parameters of what is considered possible in the existing constellation (emphasis in original) (iek, 1999b: 199) A genuine politics, therefore, is the moment in which a particular demand is not simply part of the negotiation of interests but aims at something more, and starts to function as the metaphoric condensation of the global restructuring of the entire socials space (iek 1999b: 208). It is about the recognition of conflict as constitutive of the social condition, and the naming of the socio-ecological spaces that can become. The political becomes for iek and Rancire the space of litigation (iek, 1998), the space for those who are not-All, who are uncounted and unnamed, not part of the police (symbolic or state) order. A true political space is always a space of contestation for those who have no name or no place. As Diken and Laustsen (2004: 9) put it: Politics in this sense is the ability to debate, question and renew the fundament on which political struggle unfolds, the ability to radically criticise a given order and to fight for a new and better one. In a nutshell, then, politics necessitates accepting conflict. A radical-progressive position should insist on the unconditional primacy of the inherent antagonism as constitutive of the political. (iek 1999a: 29). Post-political parliamentary rule, in contrast, permits the politicization of everything and anything, but only in a non-committal way and as non-conflict. Absolute and irreversible choices are kept away; politics becomes something one can do without making decisions that divide and separate (Thomson, 2003). A consensual post-politics arises thus, one that either eliminates fundamental conflict (i.e. we all agree that climate change is a real problem that requires urgent attention) or elevates it to antithetical ultra-politics.

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[continues, no text omitted] Those who deny the realities of a dangerous climate change are blinded radicals that put themselves outside the legitimate social (symbolic) order. The same fundamentalist label is of course also put on those who argue that dealing with climate change requires a fundamental reorganisation of the hegemonic neo-liberal-capitalist order. The consensual times we are currently living in have thus eliminated a genuine political space of disagreement. However, consensus does not equal peace or absence of fundamental conflict (Rancire, 2005a: 8). Under a post-political condition, [e]verything is politicised, can be discussed, but only in a non-committal way and as a non-conflict. Absolute and irreversible choices are kept away; politics becomes something one can do without making decisions that divide and separate. When pluralism becomes an end in itself, real politics is pushed to other arenas (Diken and Laustsen, 2004: 7), in the present case to street rebellion and protest, and terrorist tactics (cfr animal lib movement in the UK). Difficulties and problems, such as environmental concerns that are generally staged and accepted as problematic need to be dealt with through compromise, managerial and technical arrangement, and the production of consensus. Consensus means that whatever your personal commitments, interests and values may be, you perceive the same things, you give them the same name. But there is no contest on what appears, on what is given in a situation and as a situation (Rancire, 2003; 4). The key feature of consensus is the annulment of dissensus .. the end of politics (Rancire, 2001; 32). The most utopian alternative to capitalism left to our disposal is to develop post-political alternatives to creating a more just and sustainable society, since it would not make any economic sense not to do so. Of course, this post-political world eludes choice and freedom (other than those tolerated by the consensus). And in the absence of real politicization of particulars, the only position of real dissent is that of either the traditionalist (those stuck in the past who refuse to accept the inevitability of the new global neo-liberal order) or the fundamentalist. The only way to deal with them is by sheer violence, by suspending their humanitarian and democratic rights. The post-political relies on either including all in a consensual pluralist order and on excluding radically those who posit themselves outside the consensus. For them, as Agamben (20005) argues, the law is suspended; they are literally put outside the law and treated as extremists and terrorists. The environment and debates over the environment and nature are not only perfect expressions of such a post-political order, but in fact, the mobilisation of environmental issues is one of the key arenas through which this post-political consensus becomes constructed, when politics proper is progressively replaced by expert social administration (iek, 2005: 117). The fact that Bush does not want to play ball on the climate change theme is indeed seen by both the political elites in Europe and by the environmentalists as a serious threat to the post-political consensus. That is why both political elites and opposition groups label him as a radical conservative. Bill Clinton, of course, embodied the post-political consensus in a much more sophisticated and articulated manner, not to speak of his unfortunate successor, Al Gore, who recently resurfaced as a newborn climate change warrior (The Independent, 22 May 2006). The post-political environmental consensus, therefore, is one that is radically reactionary, one that forestalls the articulation of divergent, conflicting, and alternative trajectories of future socio-environmental possibilities and of human-human and human-nature articulations and assemblages. It holds on to a harmonious view of nature that can be recaptured while re-producing if not solidifying a liberal-capitalist order for which there seems to be no alternative. Much of the sustainability argument has evacuated the politics of the possible, the radical contestation of alternative future socio-environmental possibilities and socio-natural arrangements, and silences the radical antagonisms and conflicts that are constitutive of our socio-natural orders by externalising conflict. In climate change, for example, the conflict is posed as one of society versus CO2. In fact, the sustainable future desired by sustainablity pundits has no name. While alternative futures in the past were named and counted (for example, communism, socialism, anarchism, libertarianism, liberalism), the desired sustainable environmental future has no name and no process, only a state or condition. This is as exemplified by the following apocalyptic warning in which the celebrated quote from Marxs Communist Manifesto and its invocation of the the spectre of communism that is haunting the world (once the celebrated name of hope for liberation) is replaced by the spectre of Armageddon: A specter is haunting the entire world: but it is not that of communism. .. Climate change - no more, no less than natures payback for what we are doing to our precious planet - is day by day now revealing itself. Not only in a welter of devastating scientific data and analysis but in the repeated extreme weather conditions to which we are all, directly or indirectly, regular observers, and, increasingly, victims (Levene, 2005).

Climate Change is of course not a politics, let only a political programme or socio-environmental project; it is pure negation, the negativity of the political; one we can all concur with, around which a consensus can be built, but which eludes conflict, evacuates the very political moment. By doing so, it does not translate Marxs dictum for the contemporary period, but turns it into its radical travesty.

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AT: Link turn


Our fantasies are not neutral their very conception necessitates an external other whose very existence threatens the destruction of our utopian vision McGowan, 2007, (Todd, Prof of English @ Univ of Vermont, The Real Gaze: Film Theory After Lacan, pp. 99100) SRM
Through fantasy, a subject does not experience its own enjoyment but experiences an imaginary enjoyment through fantasizing about the enjoying other. As Slavoj Zizek puts it in the The Plague of Fantasies, Fantasy provides a rationale for the inherent deadlock of desire: it constructs the scene in which the jouissance we are deprived of is concentrated in the Other who stole it from us.1 Because fantasy necessarily attributes our own enjoyment to the other, there is always a paranoid dimension to fantasy: underlying the typical fantasy scenario is the idea that the other enjoys in our stead because of a secret knowledge that she/he has illicitly obtained. The inherent paranoia of fantasy represents one of its chief dangers for the subject; it is one of the most difficult obstacles for the subject to overcome, simply because the subject rarely experiences the others lack or failure to enjoy, which would contradict it. This paranoia also leads to racism, sexism, homophobia, and so on. We fantasize enjoyment in the other, and then we want to destroy it because this enjoyment often appears to come at our expense. But the image of complete enjoyment we see in the other is our own fantasmatic image, and when we invest ourselves in it, we miss the enjoyment that we can derive from the path of desire.

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AT Robinson
Recognition of the constitutive lack spurs a radical democracy beyond the pitfalls of postmodernism and utopianism your arguments about the conservatism of Lacanian politics are wrong STAVRAKAKIS VISITING FELLOW IN GOV'T, UNIV. OF ESSEX '99, Yannis, Lacan and the Political, pg. 119-121 SRM
Similarly, the radicality and political importance of the Lacanian critique depends on its ability to keep its distance from fantasmatic politics, from politics in the traditional sense; which is not the same as saying that psychoanalysis is apolitical: in fact, it becomes political precisely by being critical of traditional politics, exactly because, as argued in the previous chapter, the political is located beyond the utopian or quasi-utopian sedimentations of political reality. One final point before concluding our argumentation in this chapter. There is a question which seems to remains open. It is the following: if we resist the reoccupation put forward by Homer and others does that mean that we accept the supposed political impotence of psychoanalytic political theory? Assuming that psychoanalytically inspired political theory is based on the recognition of the political as an encounter with the real (although he doesnt formulate it in exactly these terms), Rustin argues that it seems likely that a politics constructed largely on this principle will generate paranoid-schizoid states of mind as its normal psychic condition. If we prioritise the negative what kind of progressive political or social project can be built if the positivethat is concepts, theories, norms and consistent techniquesis to be refused as innately inauthentic? (Rustin, 1995:241-3). Political impotence seems to be the logical outcome. Homers argument seems finally vindicated. Yet this conclusion is accurate only if we identify progressive political action with traditional fantasmatic utopian politics. This is, however, a reductionist move par excellence. This idea, and Homers whole argumentative construction, is based on the foreclosure of another political possibility which is clearly situated beyond any reoccupations and is consistent with psychoanalytic theory instead of deforming it. This is the possibility of a post-fantasmatic or less-fantasmatic politics. The best example is democratic politics. It is true that democracy is an essentially contested term and that the struggle for a final decontestation of its meaning constitutes a fundamental characteristic of modern societies. It is also true that in the past these attempts at decontestation were articulated within an essentialist, foundationalist framework, that is to say, democracy was conceived as a natural law, a natural right, or even as something guaranteed by divine providence. Today, in our postmodern terrain, these foundations are no longer valid. Yet democracy did not share the fate of its various foundations. This is because democracy cannot be reduced to any of these fantasmatic positive contents. As John Keane, among others, has put it, democracy is not based on or guided by a certain positive, foundational, normative principle (Keane, 1995:167). On the contrary, democracy is based on the recognition of the fact that no such principle can claim to be truly universal, on the fact that no symbolic social construct can ever claim to master the impossible real. Democracy entails the acceptance of antagonism, in other words, the recognition of the fact that the social will always be structured around a real impossibility which cannot be sutured. Instead of attempting this impossible suture of the social entailed in every utopian or quasi-utopian discourse, democracy envisages a social field which is unified by the recognition of its own constitutive impossibility. As Chaitin points out, democracy provides a concrete example of what we would call a post-fantasmatic or less-fantasmatic politics: most significant [in terms of Lacans importance for literary, ethical and cultural theory and political praxis], perhaps, is the new light his analysis of the interaction of the universal and the particular has begun to shed on the question of maintaining a democratic social order which can safeguard universal human rights while protecting the difference of competing political and ethnic groups. (Chaitin, 1996:11) Thus, a whole political project, the project of radical democracy, is based not on the futile fantasmatic suture of the lack in the Other but on the recognition of its own irreducibility. 20 And this is a political possibility totally neglected by Homer. 21 Today, it seems that we have the chance to overcome or limit the consequences of traditional fantasmatic politics. In that sense, the collapse of utopian politics should not be the source of resentment, disappointment or even nostalgia for a supposedly lost harmony. On the contrary, it is a development that enhances the prospects for radicalising modern democracy. But this cannot be done for as long as the ethics of harmony are still hegemonic. What we need is a new ethical framework. This cannot be an ethics of harmony aspiring to realise a fantasy construction; it can only be an ethics that is articulated around the recognition of the ultimate impossibility of such an idea and follows this recognition up to its politicaland, in fact, democratic consequences. In the next chapter I will try to show that Lacanian theory is absolutely crucial in such an undertaking. Not only because some Lacanian societies tend to be more democratic than other psychoanalytic institutions (the cole Freudienne de Paris was, in certain of its aspects, an extremely democratic society) nor because psychoanalysis is stigmatised or banned in almost all anti-democratic regimes. Beyond these superfluous approaches, Lacanian ethics can offer a non-fantasmatic grounding for radical democracy.

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AT: Robinson
Robinson is an epic fail the politics that bases itself upon a solid foundation is one that inevitably loses its revolutionary and radical status instead we must constantly engage in interruption NEWMAN PF POLISCI @ UNIV. OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA '4 Saul, Interrogating the Master: Lacan and Radical Politics Psychoanalysis, Culture, & Society, 2004, 9, (298314) SRM
So it would appear that the event that can intervene in the transitional spaces between discourses is always potentially dangerous, and that this would only seem to confirm Lacans original warning about radical politics that it will inevitably end up invoking a new master. However, one could suggest here that rather than succumbing to the temptation to pass to the act, immediately seeking to reinscribe the political event within the discourse of the master as a way of stabilizing the revolution, perhaps instead one could remain faithful to its constitutive openness and its radically contingent possibilities. This would imply a radical political ethics of suspension and indeterminacy that refuses to be grounded in a concrete ontological order. Indeed, we might refer here to an anarchic politico-ethical position, one that distinguishes itself from classical anarchism by rejecting the ontological ground, essentialist identities and utopian structures that it is founded upon. Schurmann (1987, p 10) characterizes an-anarchic action as action without a why? that is, action that is not grounded in absolute rationalist principles. In a similar way, we might characterize Lacanian ananarchic action as action without a master in other words, action that no longer invokes the master, instead remaining open to the indeterminacy of the political situation.

Robinsons characterization of Lacan is based on a flawed assumption of conservatism and imbedded in misreading Thomassen 2004 (Lesse, British Journal of Politics & International Relations, Volume 6 Page 558 - November 2004, Lacanian
Political Theory: A Reply to Robinson) SRM According to Robinson, Lacanian political theory is inherently conservative. Such assertions are only possible if we believe in the possibility of opposing exclusion to a situation of non-exclusion, which is exactly what post-structuralists have challenged. Moreover, the post-structuralist (and Lacanian) view does not necessarily preclude the removal of any concrete exclusion. On the contrary, the acknowledgement of the constitutivity of exclusion shifts the focus from exclusion versus non-exclusion to the question of which exclusions we can and want to live with. Nothing in the post-structuralist (and Lacanian) view thus precludes a progressive politics. There are similar problems with Robinson's characterization of iek's 'nihilistic variety of Lacanianism':, according to Robinson, 'reflects an underlying conservatism apparent in even the most radical-seeming versions of Lacanianism' (p. 268). Again, the constitutivity of exclusion and violence does not necessarily mean that 'the new world cannot be better than the old' (p. 268). The alternative to guaranteed progress is not necessarily conservatism or nihilism, and the impossibility of a perfect society does not exclude attempts at improvementwith the proviso that what counts, as improvement cannot be established according to some transcendental yardstick.

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AT: Ontology
This is a new link ontology reacts to the lack in a different way it still does not acknowledge it, instead it engages in endless study this is the wrong course, we must come to terms with the constitutive lack Edkins, Professor of International Politics, University of Wales, 1999, Jenny, Poststructuralism & International Relations pg. 141 SRM
To enact a repoliticization requires an acceptance of the impossibility of ontological fullness. 87 This ontological paradox appears in theoretical physics, where two complementary properties of a subatomic particle are mutually exclusiveit is only possible to know one or the other to the necessary degree of accuracy. This notion of complementarity is reflected in the way the subject is forced to choose and accept a certain fundamental loss or impossibility in a Lacanian act. 88 As iek puts it, My reflective awareness of all the circumstances which condition my act can never lead me to act: it cannot explain the fact of the act itself. By endlessly weighing the reasons for and against, I never manage to actat a certain point I must decide to 'strike out blindly.' 89 The act has to take place without justification, without foundation in knowledge, without guarantee or legitimacy. It cannot be grounded in ontology; it is this crack that gives rise to ethics: There is ethicsthat is to say, an injunction which cannot be grounded in ontologyin so far as there is a crack in the ontological edifice of the universe: at its most elementary, ethics designates fidelity to this crack.

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AT: Radicality
The affirmatives discourse of redemption and dissent does not create a radical break with the ontology of the state, but rather functions as business as usual. Much like the student led protests of may 68, the affirmative, composed of two unruly high school students, has tried to escape the state only to play right into its hands. Be aware, because the affirmatives call for a new master may very well be answered Joan Copjec in 2006 (Department of English, Comparative Literature, and Media Study at the University of Buffalo, where she is the Director of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture: Lacan: the silent partners; May 68, the Emotional Month) SRM
Emotions ran high in Paris in May '68, particularly among students in the universities. Sensing the peril of ignoring the groundswell of emotion, faculty responded immediately, but variously. Some conservative old fossils attempted to quash the rebellion, while more liberal-minded, avuncular types 'took to the barricades', casting their lot with the student radicals. Both camps permitted themselves a little more passion than usual, precisely because 'usual' seemed to have evaporated in the hurly-burly of dissent. In the upheaval, everything seemed to have been turned upside down and inside out, including reason, which - suddenly agitated - became clouded with roily sediment. Less cool-headed and clear, reason became crimson-faced. The response of Jacques Lacan did not fit, however, into either camp. Aligning himself neither against nor on the side of the student radicals, he simply accused them of not being radical enough, of behaving like unwitting flunkies of the university against which they imagined themselves to be in revolt. Detecting in their cries a plea for a new Master, he warned that they were on the verge of getting one. The monitory finger he held in their faces assumed the form of a year-long seminar, Seminaire XVII: L'envers de la psychanalyse [The Underside (or Reverse) of PsychoanalysisJ.1 In this seminar Lacan maintained that although the students wanted to believe they were abandoning the university for the streets, the university was not so easily abandoned; it had already begun to take them over - as well as the streets. Which is why even certain elements of their revolt reflected academic business as usual.

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AT: State/ Realism inevitable


This is a new link: to view the state as the inevitable outcropping of politics is wrong and dangerous it is when we legitimize the state through retro-active narrations that we erase the political. Instead, we must dwell in the moment of choice the moment of lack, the moment where politics has not yet penetrated it is only there that freedom exists Edkins, Professor of International Politics, University of Wales, 1999, Jenny, Poststructuralism & International Relations, pg. 7-9 SRM
For iek, the political moment can be seen as the moment of subjectivity. 33 We have seen how the moment of the political is a period where a new social and political order is founded, a moment that by definition takes place without the authority of any existing political system or community. It institutes that which will henceforth count as political community, and at the same time, as I discuss below, puts in place a narrative of its origins. At the time when the new order appears, however, its origins are completely without foundation. The political moment, described elsewhere as a nonfounded founding moment, is a turning point in history, a point when 'something is happening'open, undecidable. 34 It is a point at which the future is far from certain, a point at which anything can happen. Later, when a new social order has been established and the events that led up to it incorporated into history, these events may appear as part of some general historical development. At the time, however, far from the exposition of an underlying necessity, what happens is that participants find themselves confronted with responsibility, the burden of decision pressing upon [their] shoulders. 35 This situation is one in which people are forced to make decisions, to act, in a manner for which they can find no guarantee in the social framework. That same framework is precisely missing, suspended, because it is in the process of reinvention. It is only by presuming the new social order, by positing its presuppositions, that the new order is brought into being, retrospectively. iek refers to the October Revolution as a situation of this type, where the impassioned debates among the various protagonistsV. I. Lenin, Leon Trotsky, the Mensheviksdemonstrate that for them, at least, the outcome was certainly not as obvious as it appears when later described as arising out of a wider historical process. 36 Similar accounts of the radical contingency experienced at the time in contrast to a subsequent acceptance of the narration of events in a particular way can be found in relation to the events of 1989 in Europe. However much historians may deny it, it was not obvious at the time what the outcome would be. There was a moment of openness, a political moment, in which the absence of one social order had not yet been succeeded by the presence of another, and at that time acts were precisely that: acts in the Lacanian senseunsupported by any foundation of legitimacy in the social order. It is at this point that subjectivity arises. In iek's words: This 'impossible' moment of openness constitutes the moment of subjectivity: 'subject' is a name for that unfathomable X called upon, suddenly made accountable, thrown into a position of responsibility, into the urgency of decision in such a moment of undecidability. 37 Thus, moments of transition, where there is a sense of openness, of decision, are both moments of the political and moments in which subjectivity is
called into play. They are also moments that constitute the social or symbolic order. Or rather, moments at which, through the presupposition of the existence of a new social system, such a system is brought into being. Not only is the new society founded, but it is produced as inevitable, authoritative, and legitimate: as if it has always already existed or been prophesied. The contingency of its origin is concealed. At that moment, once the foundational myth of the new social or symbolic order is (re) instated, the subject as such disappears, and with it the politicalto be replaced by politics. What is more, the interregnum, where there was a brief openness, is forgotten: de-scribed or un-written by the writing of the history of the new state. The act of the subject succeeds by becoming invisibleby 'positivising' itself in a new symbolic network wherein it locates and explains itself as a result of historical process, thus reducing itself to a mere moment of the totality engendered by its own act. 38 This happens when events are read backward or retroactively: at that point it is easy to explain objectively why certain forces were effective and how particular tendencies won. Indeed the Lacanian definition of act is just this: a move that, so to speak, defines its own conditions; retroactively produces the grounds which justify it. 39

Once the new symbolic order is in place, the contingencies that gave rise to it are obliteratedthey disappearand a new version of social reality is established. The role of ideology here is to conceal the illegitimate, unfounded nature of what we call social reality, what iek calls social fantasy. Ideology supports the principle of legitimacy upon which the new state is founded and conceals its impossibility. It does this in part by defining politics as a subsystem of the social order and obliterating the politicalits unfounded founding moment: 'Politics' as 'subsystem,' as a separate sphere of society, represents within society its own forgotten foundation, its genesis in a violent abyssal actit represents, within the social space, what must fall out if this space is to constitute itself. 40 Or as iek expresses it more provocatively, Politics as subsystem is a metaphor of the political subject, of the Political as subject. 41 In other words, it is politics, viewed as one of the subsystems of all the systems that go to make up the social order, that enables us to escape or forget the lack of the political and the absence of the possibility of any political action. We are confined by this process to activity within the boundaries set by existing social and international orders, and our criticism is restricted to the technical arrangements that make up the politics within which we exist as subjects of the state. The political subject and the international subject, too, are safely caged and their teeth pulled.
This is where the notion of ideology as social fantasy, which I discuss in detail in Chapter 6, comes in.

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AT: Doesnt apply to the social


Psychoanalytic theory is a vision of the subject that understands a subjects relation to the social STAVRAKAKIS VISITING FELLOW IN GOV'T, UNIV. OF ESSEX '99, Yannis, Lacan and the Political, pg. 14 SRM
This is not the case only with poststructuralism. It seems that the Lacanian subject can fill a lot of lacks and that lacks are increasingly proliferating around us (or maybe today we are becoming more aware of their presence and alert to their persistence). To provide only a few examples, giving particular attention to those having some political relevance, Rosalind Coward and John Ellis point out that Lacans subject is therefore this new subject of dialectical materialism. The emphasis on language provides a route for an elaboration of the subject demanded by dialectical materialism (Coward and Ellis, 1977:93). Michele Barrett, for her part, argues that psychoanalysis [and she is mainly referring to Lacan] is the place one might reasonably start to correct the lamentable lack of attention paid to subjectivity within Marxisms theory of ideology (Barrett, 1991:118-19, my emphasis), while Mark Bracher concludes that Lacanian theory can provide the sort of account of subjectivity that cultural criticism needs (Bracher, 1993:12). To sum up, the core idea of this argument is that Lacan is relevant for contemporary socio-political analysis because of his vision of the human subject. As Feher-Gurewich states propos of social theory: Lacans psychoanalytic approach is founded on premises that are in sharp contrast to the ones which have led to the failure of an alliance between psychoanalysis and social theory. And what are these premises? Lacan provides social theory with a vision of the human subject that sheds new light on the relations between individual aspirations and social aims (Feher-Gurewich, 1996:154). Psychoanalytic interpretations of law have not tended to be popular among lawyers or within the conventional parameters of the legal discipline. n10 It is beneficial, therefore, at the outset, to acknowledge and address the resistance or defenses that a psychoanalytic jurisprudence is likely to encounter. Principal among these defenses is the simple argument that psychoanalysis is irrelevant to law. Opponents will claim that psychoanalysis concerns the private and subjective realm of personal relations and individual beliefs. With its emphasis upon dreams, sexuality, symbols, and the unconscious, it belongs - in a sense like morality and religious belief - to a domain anterior to law, a realm of subjectivity or interiority with which secular law is not and never has been concerned. According to this argument, law governs the external acts of a conscious and responsible subject because "the intent of a man cannot be tried, for the devil himself knows not the intent of a man." n11 Although this depiction of law as an objective technology is common both within the profession and in popular perception, claiming that legal governance is exclusively exterior and objective is historically untenable and theoretically absurd.

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AT Permutation
The perm is net worse the inclusion of their method into our alternative prevents radical criticism MCGOWAN PF CRIT. THEORY @ U. VERMONT '4, Todd, The End of Dissatisfaction?: Jacques Lacan and the Emerging Society of Enjoyment, pg. 5-6 SRM

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AT: Permutation
Absolute rejection is key to prevent the kernel of the problem from proliferating STAVRAKAKIS VISITING FELLOW IN GOV'T, UNIV. OF ESSEX '99, Yannis, Lacan and the Political, pg. 14-15 SRM
Simply put, the Lacanian conception of subjectivity is called to remedy the shortcomings or supplementthis term is not used here in its strictest Derridean sense, although a deconstructionist flavour is not entirely absentpoststructuralism, social theory, cultural criticism, theory of ideology, etc. But isnt such a move a reductionist move par excellence? Although our own approach, as it will be developed in the following chapters, is clearly located beyond a logic of supplementation, it would be unfair to consider the Lacanian subject as the point of an unacceptable reduction. This would be the case only if the Lacanian notion of subjectivity was a simple reproduction of an essentialist subject, of a subject articulated around a single positive essence which is transparent to itself and fully representable in theoretical discourse. But this essentialist subject, the subject of the humanist philosophical tradition, the Cartesian subject, or even the Marxist reductionist subject whose essence is identified with her or his class interests, is exactly what has to be questioned and has been questioned; it cannot be part of the solution because it forms part of the initial problem. The Lacanian subject is clearly located beyond such an essentialist, simplistic notion of subjectivity. Not only is Lacan obviously the most distant from those who operate with essentialist categories or simplistic notions of psychic cause or origin (Barrett, 1991:107), but the Lacanian subject is radically opposing and transcending all these tendencies without, however, throwing away the baby together with the bath water, that is to say, the locus of the subject together with its essentialist formulations.

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AT: Permutation (environment)


The affirmative distracts from effective politics, only a radical action can solve. Swyngedouw, Dept of Geography, School of Environment and Development, Manchester University, 2006. [Eirk, Impossible Sustainability and the Post-Political Condition, Forthcoming in: David Gibbs and Rob Krueger (Eds.) Sustainable Development, http://www.liv.ac.uk/geography/seminars/Sustainabilitypaper.doc]
The Post-Political condition articulates, therefore, with a populist political tactic as the conduit to instigate desirable change. Environmental politics and debates over sustainable futures in the face of pending environmental catastrophe are a prime expression of the populist ploy of the post-political post-democratic condition. In this part, we shall chart the characteristics of populism (see, among others, Canovan (1999); Laclau (2005); Mouffe (2005); iek (2005) and how this is reflected in mainstream environmental concerns. First, populism invokes THE Environment and THE people if not Humanity as whole in a material and philosophical manner. All people are affected by environmental problems and the whole of humanity (as well as large parts of the non-human) is under threat from environmental catastrophes. At the same time, the environment is running wild, veering off the path of (sustainable) control. As such, populism cuts across the idiosyncrasies of different human and non-human natures and their specific acting outs, silences ideological and other constitutive social differences and papers over conflicts of interests by distilling a common threat or challenge to both Nature and Humanity. Second, populism is based on a politics of the people know best (although the latter category remains often empty, unnamed), supported by an assumedly neutral scientific technocracy, and advocates a direct relationship between people and political participation. It is assumed that this will lead to a good, if not optimal, solution, a view strangely at odds with the presumed radical openness, uncertainty and undecidability of the excessive risks associated with Becks or Giddens second modernity. The architecture of populist governing takes the form of stakeholder participation or forms of participatory governance that operates beyond-the-state and permits a form of self-management, self-organisation, and controlled self-disciplining (see Dean, 1999; Swyngedouw, 2005; Lemke, 1999; Crouch, 2004), under the aegis of a non-disputed liberal-capitalist order. Third, populism customarily invokes the spectre of annihilating apocalyptic futures if no direct and immediate action is taken. The classic racist invocation of Enoch Powells notorious 1968 Streams of Blood speech to warn of the immanent dangers of unchecked immigration into the UK has of course become the emblematic populist statement as are many of the slogans assembled in Table 1. If we refrain from acting (in a technocratic-managerial manner now), our worlds future is in grave danger. Fourth, populist tactics do not identify a privileged subject of change (like the proletariat for Marx, women for feminists, or the creative class for competitive capitalism), but instead invoke a common condition or predicament, the need for common humanitywide action, mutual collaboration and co-operation. There are no internal social tensions or internal generative conflicts. Instead the enemy is always externalised and objectified. Populisms fundamental fantasy is of an Intruder, or more usually a group of intruders, who have corrupted the system. CO2 stands here as the classic example of a fetishised and externalised foe that requires dealing with if sustainable climate futures are to be attained. Problems therefore are not the result of the system, of unevenly distributed power relations, of the networks of control and influence, of rampant injustices, or of a fatal flow inscribed in the system, but are blamed on an outsider. That is why the solution can be found in dealing with the pathological phenomenon, the resolution for which resides in the system itself. It is not the system that is the problem, but its pathological syndrome (for which the cure is internal). While CO2 is externalised as the socio-climatic enemy, a potential cure in the guise of the Kyoto principles is generated from within the market functioning of the system itself. The enemy is, therefore, always vague, ambiguous, socially empty or vacuous, and homogenised (like CO2 ); the enemy is a mere thing, not socially embodied, named, and counted. Fifth, populist demands are always addressed to the elites. Populism as a project always addressed demands to the ruling elites; it is not about changing the elites, but calling the elites to undertake action. A non-populist politics is exactly about obliterating the elite, imagining the impossible nicely formulated in the following joke: An IRA man in a balaclava is at the gates of heaven when St Peter comes to him and says, 'I'm afraid I can't let you in'. 'Who wants to get in?' the IRA man retorts. 'You've got twenty minutes to get the fuck out.'

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[continues, no text omitted] Sixth, no proper names are assigned to a post-political populist politics (Badiou, 2005a). Post-political populism is associated with a politics of not naming in the sense of giving a definite or proper name to its domain or field of action. Only vague concepts like climate change policy, biodiversity policy or a vacuous sustainable policy replaces the proper names of politics. These proper names, according to Rancire (1995) (see also Badiou (2005b)) are what constitutes a genuine democracy, that is a space where the unnamed, the uncounted, and, consequently, un-symbolised become named and counted. Consider, for example, how class struggle in the 19th and 20th century was exactly about naming the proletariat, its counting, symbolisation and consequent entry into the techno-machinery of the state. Seventh, populism becomes expressed in particular demands (get rid of immigrants, reduce CO2) that remain particular and foreclose universalisation as a positive socio-environmental project. In other words, the environmental problem does not posit a positive and named socio-environmental situation, an embodied vision, a desire that awaits its realisation, a fiction to be realised. In that sense, populist tactics do not solve problems, they are moved around. Consider, for example, the current argument over how the nuclear option is again portrayed as a possible sustainable energy future and as an alternative to deal both with CO2 emissions and peakoil. It hardly arouses the passions for what sort of better society might arise from this. In sum, post-political post-democracy rests, in its environmental guise, on the following foundations. First, the social and ecological problems caused by modernity/capitalism are external side-effects; they are not an inherent and integral part of the relations of gobal neo-liberal capitalism. Second, a strictly populist politics emerges here; one that elevates the interest of an imaginary the People, Nature, or the environment to the level of the universal rather than aspiring to universalise the claims of particular socio-natures, environments, or social groups or classes. Third, these side-effects are constituted as global, universal, and threatening: they are a total threat. Fourth, the enemy or the target of concern is thereby of course continuously externalised and disembodied. The enemy is always vague, ambiguous, unnamed and uncounted, and ultimately empty. Fifth, the target of concern can be managed through a consensual dialogical politics and, consequently, demands become depoliticised.

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AT: Speaking for the other


Their argument is going after the wrong culprit - speaking for the other is not possible in their type of liberal democracy because liberal democracy maintains a hegemony over discourse that eliminates the voice of the other Betancourt-Serrano PF POL. THEORY & POL. ECONOMY, UMASS-AMHERST '4 Alex, Let's bury a few liberals! (A Lacanian Gesture) The Symptom, Winter, http://www.lacan.com/gesturef.htm SRM
As it has been pointed out by a recent assessment of the postcolonial project, "subaltern voices emerge in the frontiers of cultural hybridity; in the margins of history and official languages; through the experience of cultural difference and of resistance to totalization; in the ambiguity of the nation and in the perplexity of living the finitude of the nation."5 Gayatri Spivak's work has been understood as an attempt from within the postcolonial approach to "recover the subaltern consciousness through a deconstruction of dominant historiography and the production of an effect of truth from the subaltern."6 Spivak points out how the postcolonial intellectual has to be aware of her own position. She insists on the distinction of speaking for someone (as in representative forms of government) and speaking about someone (as in philosophical traditions).7 Ultimately her position implies that the subaltern can speak, that in order for this voice to be heard, she has to pass through the hegemonic discourse before it can reach an agency in its own terms.8 The question is what is this hegemonic discourse through which the subaltern voice has to go through when it 'speaks'? In the West, such hegemony is nothing else than the coordinates of liberal-democracy. Let me briefly take then one of the latest attempts, from a well-known philosopher, to deal with the injustices committed against the 'Other'. In her recent book Women and Human Development, Martha C. Nussbaum takes as her point of departure the social, political, economic and domestic predicament of poor women in India. Her basic aim is to provide the "philosophical underpinning for an account of basic constitutional principles that should be respected and implemented by the governments of all nations, as a bare minimum of what respect for human dignity requires."9 Informed by John Rawls' theory and its Kantian motto of treating every individual as an end in itself and never as a mean, Nussbaum identifies a "list of central human capabilities, setting them in the context of a type of political liberalism that makes them specifically political goals and present them in a manner free of any specific metaphysical grounding."10 The politics that drive Nussbaum's interest are those whose concern is the presence of constitutional essentials and issues of basic justice. The Indian constitution, she argues, provides for most of measures necessary to secure equality to women. The problem relies on a basically misogynist culture and the lack of political will to enforce these constitutional essentials. But the most pervasive aspect is that there is a lack of "public reason". This is Rawls's notion, where public reason is to be the discourse of a political society essentially transparent, and that actively seeks the public good. Nussbaum also shares the Rawlsian commitment to the absence of a "comprehensive doctrine" in public matters. That is, a liberal society that should not promote any conception of the good, since that has to be left to the private realm. This kind of liberal approach to disadvantaged members of society is the most progressive discourse that we get nowadays in mainstream academia. When postcolonial theorists and historians acknowledge that in order for the voice of the other to be heard it has to pass through the hegemonic discourse, this liberal discourse is the path that claims of justice and recognition have to take. The problem is that although the expectation is that subaltern claims will point to the injustice of the system and that 'subaltern history' will give them recognition, there is here a deeper fantastic logic (in the sense of fantasy) operating here. A logic that the postcolonial position, which is presumably the most progressive when it comes to the subjugation of the 'Other', misses. This fantasy binds, whether they intended it or not, the postcolonial project to political liberalism. Let me resort to Freud to clarify my argument.

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AT: Speaking for the other


The affirmative asks us to accept all Others which means the rapist becomes equal to the victim, the state becomes the oppressed and we lose all rational and ethical decision making Jack M. Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law, Transcendental Deconstruction, Transcendent Justice-- Part II, 92 Mich. L. Rev. 1131, 1994, http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/jbalkin/articles/trans02.htm SRM
Derrida's ethics of Otherness has a second component: It employs a different sense of individuality and uniqueness. Under this view, justice requires one to speak in the language of the Other by trying to see things from the Other's point of view. (78) This conception of justice seems most attractive when we are the injurer or the stronger party in a relationship, or when we are in the position of a judge who is attempting to arbitrate between competing claims. For example, suppose that we are the State, the stronger party, the oppressor, or the injurer, or suppose that we are contemplating an action that might put us in such a position. It seems only just that we should try to understand how we have injured or oppressed the Other (or might be in a position to injure or oppress). We can only do this if we try to see the problem from the Other's perspective and understand her pain and her predicament in all of its uniqueness. The duty we owe to the Other is the duty to see how our actions may affect or have affected the Other; to fulfill this duty we must put away our own preconceptions and vocabulary and try to see things from her point of view. Similarly, if we are a judge in a case attempting to arbitrate between the parties, the ethics of Otherness demands that we try to understand how our decision will affect the two parties, and this will require us to see the matter from their perspective. Suppose, however, that we are not the injurer, but the victim; not the State, but the individual; not the strong, but the weak; not the oppressor, but the oppressed. Does justice require that we speak in the language of the person we believe is injuring or oppressing us? Must a rape victim attempt to understand her violation from the rapist's point of view? Does justice demand that she attempt to speak to the rapist in his own language - one which has treated her as less than human? Must a concentration camp survivor address her former captor in the language of his worldview of Aryan supremacy? We might wonder whether this is what justice really requires, especially if the injustice we complain of is precisely that the Other failed to recognize us as a person, refused to speak in our language, and declined to consider our uniqueness and authenticity.

This speaking for Others serves to ultimately reinscribe a hierarchy of civilizations triggering racism and imperialism, which ultimately overwhelms their attempts at improving the condition of the Other
Linda Alcoff, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies and the Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence at Syracuse University, The Problem of Speaking for Others, Cultural Critique, No. 20, Winter 1991-92, p. 5-32, UK: Fisher SRM 4. Here is my central point. In order to evaluate attempts to speak for others in particular instances, we need to analyze the probable or actual effects of the words on the discursive and material context. One cannot simply look at the location of the speaker or her credentials to speak, nor can one look merely at the propositional content of the speech; one must also look at where the speech goes and what it does there. Looking merely at the content of a set of claims without looking at effects of the claims cannot produce an adequate or even meaningful evaluation of them, partly because the notion of a content separate from effects does not hold up. The content of the claim, or its meaning, emerges in interaction between words and hearers within a very specific historical situation. Given this, we have to pay careful attention to the discursive arrangement in order to understand the full meaning of any given discursive event. For example, in a situation where a well-meaning First World person is speaking for a person or group in the Third World, the very discursive arrangement may reinscribe the "hierarchy of civilizations" view where the United States lands squarely at the top. This effect occurs because the speaker is positioned as authoritative and empowered, as the knowledgeable subject, while the group in the Third World is reduced, merely because of the structure of the speaking practice, to an object and victim that must be championed from afar, thus disempowered. Though the speaker may be trying to materially improve the situation of some lesser-privileged group, the effects of her discourse is to reinforce racist, imperialist conceptions and perhaps also to further silence the lesser-privileged group's own ability to speak and be heard. 14 This shows us why it is so important to reconceptualize discourse, as Foucault recommends, as an event, which includes speaker, words, hearers, location, language, and so on.

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Framework theory
Aff must defend against all arguments that link and all competing advocacies. In the context of our kritik, they have to defend their ontological assumptions and our micropolitical alternative Resolved is to reduce through mental analysis Random House Unabridged Dictionary 2006
(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/resolved)

Resolve: 1.To come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something): I have resolved that I shall live to the full. 2.to separate into constituent or
elementary parts; break up; cause or disintegrate (usually fol. by into). 3.to reduce or convert by, or as by, breaking up or disintegration (usually fol. by to or into). 4.to convert or transform by any process (often used reflexively).

5.to reduce by mental analysis (often fol. by into).

The colon focuses the readers attention on what to follow, and as a result, you should use it to introduce an idea that somehow completes the introductory idea. Thats Peck 96. The resolution doesn't have a tone associated with it so it's not a normative statement first and foremost, instead it's a question and it's your job to find an ethical position relative to it Best limits there are an infinite amount of incentive counterplans which the affirmative can never predict, but there are only a finite amount of philosophical alternatives. Not abusive - fairness is a product of time spent under the assumption that debate is a certain way, as long as there is evidence on both sides, the debate becomes fair because people will adapt to the new assumptions of debate. Their framework is based on a false distinction there is no difference between political assumptions and ontological assumptions. Their framework arbitrarily excludes arguments they dont want to debate. Our framework is more real world we dont have a magic wand to pass legislation because fiat is illusory. The way that you determine your knowledge is more important then asking what we should do. Education outweighs fairness a. Its the reason we debate nobody joined debate thinking wow, those arguments are predictable, or holy shit, this activity is so fair its scary, people debate because the activity is interesting and politically useful b. Fairness is only an internal link to education more fair debate is only good because it allows for more education, if we win their education is stupid theres no reason to keep debate fair c. If we win our impact turns to their framework then it proves that participating in debate destroys the potential for political agency and produces fascism means that even if everyone quit debate in our framework, it would be better than their framework

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AT: Framework
This is a major link - their framework arguments are used to justify exclusion in the name of an ideal realm of policy and discussion STAVRAKAKIS VISITING FELLOW IN GOV'T, UNIV. OF ESSEX '3, Yannis, Re-activating the Democratic Revolution: The Politics of Transformation Beyond Reoccupation and Conformism Parallax, v. 9, no. 2, ebsco SRM
Three further points are crucial here. First, the passage into a post-democratic terrain results in part, from the gradual colonization of democratic politics by the consumerist logic of advertising discourse. In a post-democratic regime, while elections continue to exist and can change governments, public electoral debate becomes a tightly controlled spectacle, managed by rival teams of professionals expert in the techniques of persuasion, and considering a small range of issues selected by those teams.25 Second, this colonization is what turns the market, at least in the form it takes in late capitalism (which is not the only possible form), from an ally to an adversary of democracy. As long as the utopian revolutionary option was still considered alive, the other two options of responding to negativity we have discussed, (the spirit of the democratic revolution and so-called free market liberalism) were more or less seen as distinct but allied in their fight against the spectre of revolutionary utopia and its excesses. As soon as this spectre collapsed the alliance was dissolved. Capitalist consumerism started colonizing democratic institutions in an unprecedented rhythm and crucially at a global scale, producing the hybrid of consumerist postdemocracy. If modern existing democracies have always involved the paradoxical articulation of individual liberty and pluralism, on the one hand, and popular sovereignty and equality on the second, as well as a continuous yet productive struggle between these two dimensions what Mouffe calls the democratic paradox26 then these recent developments threaten to re-signify democracy in a way that would make it synonymous with a post-democratic free market liberalism or liberal capitalism. Third, by adopting a quasi-utopian dynamic which domesticates rather than attempting to eliminate negativity and lack, consumerist post-democracy manages to avoid the extreme disasters caused by utopian reoccupations. Hence what Zizek calls without any irony the great achievements of liberal capitalism: probably, never in human history have so many people enjoyed such a degree of freedom and material standard of living as in todays developed Western countries.27 Indeed, even if one can argue that capitalism harms human beings, this is carried out through neglect rather than through terror. Compared to the personal will of a dictator, the structural violence of market forces appears benign.28 This picture is, of course, revealed as partial and limited, especially if one takes into account the various forms of collateral damage produced by consumerist post-democracy. As Alain Badiou has pointed out, Terror is [still] wielded against what is and should not be: the impoverished planet, the distant rebel, the non-Western and the immigrant nomad driven by radical abandonment towards affluent metropolises.29 Nevertheless, it constitutes a (partial) reality with hegemonic appeal, a horizon sustained by the hegemony of an administration of desire with seemingly unlimited resources.

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AT: Framework
The affirmatives focus on mega-spheres of action and what the state can do to eliminate all harm eclipses questions of what we would do if we were simply ourselves, divorcing our own place in this violence and eliminating our ability to question the social fantasy. The impact is mental deputy politics. Kappeler 95 (Susanne, The Will to Violence: The politics of personal behavior, Pg. 10-11) SRM
Yet our insight that indeed we are not responsible for the decisions of a Serbian general or a Croatian president tends to mislead us into thinking that therefore we have no responsibility at all, not even for forming our own judgment, and thus into underrating the responsibility we do have within our own sphere of action. In particular, it seems to absolve us from having to try to see any relation between our own actions and those events, or to recognize the connections between those political decisions and our own personal decisions. It not only shows that we participate in what Beck calls 'organized irresponsibility', upholding the apparent lack of connection between bureaucratically, institutionally, nationally, and also individually organized separate competences. It also proves the phenomenal and unquestioned alliance of our personal thinking with the thinking of the major power mongers, For we tend to think that we cannot 'do' anything, say, about a war, because we deem ourselves to be in the wrong situation because we are not where the major decisions are made. Which is why many of those not yet entirely disillusioned with politics tend to engage in a form of mental deputy politics, in the style of 'what would I do if I were the general, the prime minister, the president, the foreign minister or the minister of defense?' Since we seem to regard their mega spheres of action as the only worthwhile and truly effective ones, and since our political analyses tend to dwell there first of all, any question of what I would do if I were indeed myself tends to peter out in the comparative insignificance of having what is perceived as 'virtually no possibilities': what I could do seems petty and futile. For my own action I obviously desire the range of action of a general, a prime minister, or a General Secretary of the UN - finding expression in ever more prevalent formulations like 'I want to stop this war', 'I want military intervention', 'I want to stop this backlash', or 'I want a moral revolution. 'We are this war', however, even if we do not command the troops or participate in co-called peace talks, namely as Drakulic says, in our non-comprehension': our willed refusal to feel responsible for our own thinking and for working out our own understanding, preferring innocently to drift along the ideological current of prefabricated arguments or less than innocently taking advantage of the advantages these offer. And we 'are' the war in our 'unconscious cruelty towards you', our tolerance of the 'fact that you have a yellow form for refugees and I don't'- our readiness, in other words, to build identities, one for ourselves and one for refugees, one of our own and one for the 'others.' We share in the responsibility for this war and its violence in the way we let them grow inside us, that is, in the way we shape 'our feelings, our relationships, our values' according: to the structures and the values of war and violence.

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Framework - Shame
The call for shame meets the race to the middle we interact with the states lack of shame by rejecting their faulty jouissance. Jodi Dean in 2006 (psychoanalyst, probably something in Sussex, a writer for Long Sunday, her article is titled For Shame written April 15, 2006) SRM
Joan Copjec's discussion of shame in the new collection, Lacan: The Silent Partners provides an valuable counterpoint to Taylor's remarks. I. Here is part of the article from the WSWS: Finally, Harry Taylor, seated in the balcony, was called on. He spoke slowly and soberly. You never stop talking about freedom, and I appreciate that, he told Bush. But while I listen to you talk about freedom, I see you assert your right to tap my telephone, to arrest me and hold me without charges, to try to preclude me from breathing clean air and drinking clean water and eating safe food. If I were a woman, youd like to restrict my opportunity to make a choice and decision about whether I can abort a pregnancy on my own behalf. You are Bush interrupted him, facetiously, Im not your favorite guy. Go ahead. Go on, whats your question? Taylor continued, Okay, I dont have a question. What I wanted to say to you is that Iin my lifetime, I have never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened by my leadership in Washington, including the presidency, by the Senate, and Some in the audience booed. Bush intervened, benevolently, No, wait a seclet him speak. Taylor went on, in the same deliberate fashion, And I would hopeI feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration, and I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself inside yourself. Taylor voices his own shame and in confronting Bush with this hopes to incite a sense of shame in the President. The President refuses--or is pathologically unable to feel any shame at all.II. Copjec's chapter on shame, anxiety, and affect, "May '68, The Emotional Month,' begins by recounting Lacan's plea that his students display some shame. She writes: The final aim of psychoanalysis, it turns out, is the production of shame. In fact, the analyst should herself provoke shame, be an agent of it. Thus, Copjec traces the topic of shame in Lacan's writing and finds that Shame marks not the social link as such, but that particular link which analysis is intent on forging. Indeed, For Lacan, shame is the subject's ethical relation towards being, his own and the other's. Avoiding shame is precipitated by superego, that is, by a transformation of anxiety into guilt and the accompanying provision of a sham jouissance (with this I've far too briefly encapsulated a more intricate argument--it involves in part the unbearableness of anxiety, an interesting discussion of the university discourse, and a critique of Levinas that is beyond the discussion I want to introduce here). At any rate, Copjec writes: Lacan's call to shame What anxiety exposes as ungraspable or unclaimable jouissance is that which the guilty shamelessly grasp for in the obsequious respect they pay to a past sacralized as their future. The feverish pursuit of this future ... is the poor substitute...the guilty acceptance in the place of the real sweetness of jouissance. She concludes that should thus be understood in terms of a call to relinquish our attachment to a sham jouissance. Shame is not a failed flight from being, but a flight into being, where being--the being of surfaces, of social existence--is viewed as that which protects us from the ravages of anxiety ... Unlike the flight or transformation of guilt, however, shame does not sacrifice jouissance's opacity, which is finally what 'keeps it real' ... But instead of inhibiting us, this opacity now gives us that distance from ourselves and our world that allows us creatively to alter both; it gives us, in other words, a privacy, an interiority unreachable even by ourselves. Harry Taylor attempts to induce in Bush a sense of shame. This attempt is an attempt to establish a different kind of social link, one that is more ethical, more in keeping with Bush's rhetoric regarding freedom. It is remarkable that Taylor confronts his own shame, taking responsibility for his position as a citizen within a country whose electoral procedures led to Bush. He doesn't simply blame the President. Nor does he engage him with a question. That is, he doesn't carry on the pretense of some kind of democratic deliberation--having already articulated the very factual reasons that democracy is clearly the wrong word for the politics that goes on in the US today. Instead, Taylor rejects the faulty jouissance offered by the President--and eagerly lapped up by the crowd and the msm as is described in the WSWS article--indicating the possibility of something more than what we have, something that was promised, something gestured to rhetorically, but missing nonetheless. The crudeness, the obscene, stupid cruelties of Bushs remarks are indications of his shamelessness. He has no interiority to speak of, to speak from, or to fasten a speaking that would not grasp for the horrifying future we see unfolding before us. We should take seriously the words spoken to Senator Joe McCarthy: "have you no shame sir, have you no shame?" But, what do we do when the answer is, "No--I have none"?

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Framework be the analyst


The very role of the analyst is to invoke shame placing ourselves in the position of the object cause of desire, the team who must be listened to whether to beat or to learn from, puts us in a position of respect. By utilizing this respect in an unfortunate position of power, we have created shame via our confrontation with the implications of the affirmatives speech act. Joan Copjec in 2006 (Department of English, Comparative Literature, and Media Study at the University of Buffalo, where she is the Director of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture: Lacan: the silent partners; May 68, the Emotional Month) SRM
For the most part, the reversals or upendings referred to in the seminar's title produce something other than psychoanalysis, another kind of discourse, namely, that of the Master, the Hysteric, or the University. That is, the specific operation of 'reversal' referred to in the title is that of the 'quarter-turns' or rotations which produce the four discourses, of which psychoanalysis is only one.2 Yet there is also a sense in which the reversal does take place within psychoanalysis itself, as Lacan turns classical Freudian theory upside down and inside out to produce a more revolutionary version of it, and thus to redefine the 'analytic discourse' as a new social bond. At the end of the seminar, this social tie is rendered in a distilled formula that exposes the intimate ambition of the analyst - who, in her impossible role as analyst, operates on the analysand - as rather unseemly. The final aim of psychoanalysis, it turns out, is the production of shame. That which Lacan himself describes as unmentionable, even improper to speech as such, is mentioned (and mentioned only) on the threshold of the seminar's close. The seamy underside of psychoanalysis, the backside towards which all the twists and turns have led, is finally shame: that affect whose very mention brings a blush to the face. 3 Why is shame given such a place of honour, if we may put it that way, in the seminar? And what should the position of the analyst be with respect to it? Should she try to reduce it, get rid of it, lower her eyes before it? No; Lacan proposes that the analyst make herself the agent of it. Provoke it. Looking out into the audience gathered in large numbers around him, he accounts for their presence in his final, closing remarks thus: if you have come here to listen to what I have to say, it is because I have positioned myself with respect to you as analyst, that is: as object-cause of your desire. And in this way I have helped you to feel ashamed. End of seminar.

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FrameworkThe Analyst
Engaging in the role of the analyst can displace social fantasy and begin to challenge stable notions of truth Shoshana Felman, professor of comparative studies at Yale university, Jacques Lacan and the Adventure of Insight: Psychoanalysis in Contemporary Culture, 1987, p. 43-44
In what sense, then, does the second scene in Poes tale, while repeating the first scene, nonetheless differ from it? In the sense, precisely, that the second scene, through the repetition, allows for an understanding, for an analysis of the first. This analysis through repetition is to become, in Lacans ingenious reading, no less than an allegory of psychoanalysis. The intervention of Dupin, who restores the letter to the queen, is thus compared to the intervention of the analyst, who rids the patient of the symptom. The analysts effectiveness, however, does not spring from his intellectual strength butinsists Lacanfrom his position in the repetitive structure. By virtue of his occupying the third positionthat is, the locus of the unconscious of the subject as a place of substitution of letter for letter (of signifier for signifier)the analyst, through transference, allows at once for a repetition of the trauma and for a symbolic substitution, and thus effects the dramas denouement . It is instructive to compare Lacans study of the psychoanalytical repetition compulsion in Poes text to Marie Bonapartes study of Poes repetition compulsion through his text. Although the two analysts study the same author and focus on the same psychoanalytic concept, their approaches are strikingly different. To the extent that Bonapartes study of Poe has become a classic, a model of applied psychoanalysis, I would like, in pointing out the differences in Lacans approach, to suggest the way in which those differences at once put in question the traditional approach and offer an alternative to it. i. What does a repetition compulsion repeat? Interpretation of difference as opposed to interpretation of identity. For Marie Bonaparte, what is compulsively repeated through the variety of Poes texts is the same unconscious fantasy: Poes sadonecrophiliac desire for his dead mother. For Lacan, what is repeated in the text is not the content of a fantasy but the symbolic displacement of a signifier through the insistence of a signifying chain; repetition is not of sameness but of difference, not of independent terms or of analogous themes but of a structure of differential interrelationships, in which what returns is always other. Thus, the triangular structure repeats itself only through the difference of the characters who successively come to occupy the three positions; its structural significance is perceived only through this difference. Likewise, the significance of the letter is situated in its displacement, that is, in its repetitive movements toward a different place. And the second scene, being, for Lacan, an allegory of analysis, is important not just in that it repeats the first scene, but in the way this repetition (like the transferential repetition of a psychoanalytical experience) makes a difference: brings about a solution to the problem. Thus, whereas Bonaparte analyzes repetition as the insistence of identity, for Lacan any possible insight into the reality of the unconscious is contingent on a perception of repetition, not as a confirmation of identity, but as the insistence of the indelibility of a difference. z. An analysis of the signifier as opposed to an analysis of the signified. In the light of Lacans reading of Poes tale as itself an allegory of the psychoanalytic reading, it might be illuminating to define the difference in approach between Lacan and Bonaparte in terms of the story. If the purloined letter can be said to be a sign of the unconscious, for Bonaparte the analysts task is to uncover the letters content, which she believesas do the policeto be hidden somewhere in the real, in some secret biographical depth. For Lacan, on the other hand, the analysts task is not to read the letters hidden referential content, but to situate the superficial indication of its textual movement, to analyze the paradoxically invisible symbolic evidence of its displacement, its structural insistence, in a signifying chain. There is such a thing, writes Poe, as being too profound. Truth is not always in a well. In fact, as regards the most important knowledge, I do believe she is invariably superficial.18 Espousing Poes insight, Lacan makes the principle of symbolic evidence the guideline for an analysis not of the signified but of the signifierfor an analysis of the unconscious (the repressed) not as hidden but on the contrary as exposedin languagethrough a significant (rhetorical) displacement.

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FrameworkThe Analyst
Analytic analysis of signifiers can reveal alternative textual modes of representation that can solve for unconscious violence Shoshana Felman, professor of comparative studies at Yale university, Jacques Lacan and the Adventure of Insight: Psychoanalysis in Contemporary Culture, 1987, p. 44-45
This analysis of the signifier, the model of which can be found in Freuds interpretation of dreams, is nonetheless a radical reversal of the traditional expectations involved in the common psychoanalytical approach to literature and its invariable search for hidden meanings. Indeed, not only is Lacans reading of The Purloined Letter subversive of the traditional model of psychoanalytic reading: it is, in general, a type of reading that is methodologically unprecedented in the history of literary criticism. The history of reading has accustomed us to the assumptionusually unquestionedthat reading is finding meaning, that interpretation can dwell only on the meaningful. Lacans analysis of the signifier opens up a radically new assumption, an assumption that is an insightful logical and methodological consequence of Freuds discovery: that what can be read (and perhaps what should be read) is not just meaning but the lack of meaning; that significance lies not just in consciousness but, specifically, in its disruption; that the signifier can be analyzed in its effects without its signified being known; that the lack of meaningthe discontinuity in conscious understandingcan and should be interpreted as such, without necessarily being transformed into meaning. Lets take a look, writes Lacan: We shall find illumination in what at first seems to obscure matters: the fact that the tale leaves us in virtually total ignorance of the sender, no less than of the contents, of the letter. (p. 57) The signifier is not functional. . . . We might even admit that the letter has an entirely different (if no more urgent) meaning for the Queen than the one understood by the Minister. The sequence of events would not be noticeably affected, not even if it were strictly incomprehensible to an uninformed reader. (p. 56) But that this is the very effect of the unconscious in the precise sense that we teach that the unconscious means that man is inhabited by the signifier. (p. 66) Thus, for Lacan, what is analytical par excellence is not (as is the case for Bonaparte) the readable but the unreadable and the effects of the unreadable. What calls for analysis is the insistence of the unreadable in the text.

Psychoanalysis can be a method of crafting new knowledge and challenging violent conceptions of subjectivity Shoshana Felman, professor of comparative studies at Yale university, Jacques Lacan and the Adventure of Insight: Psychoanalysis in Contemporary Culture, 1987, p. 76
Psychoanalysis is a pedagogical experience. As a process that gives access to new knowledge previously denied to consciousness, it affords what might be called a lesson in cognition (and in miscognition), an epistemological instruction. Psychoanalysis institutes in this way a unique and original mode of learning: original not only in its procedures but in the fact that it gives access to information unavailable through any other mode of learningunprecedented information, hitherto unlearnable. We learnt, writes Freud, a quantity of things which could not have been learnt except through analysis (SE 22.147). This new mode of investigation and learning has, however, a very different temporality from the conventional linearcumulative and progressive temporality of learning, as it has traditionally been conceived by pedagogical theory and practice. Proceeding not through linear progression but through breakthroughs, leaps, discontinuities, regressions, and deferred action, the analytic learning process puts in question the traditional pedagogical belief in intellectual perfectibility, the progressist view of learning as a simple one-way road from ignorance to knowledge. It is in effect the very concept of both ignorance and knowledgethe understanding of what to know and not to know may really meanthat psychoanalysis has modified, renewed. And it is precisely the originality of this renewal which is central to Lacans thought, to Lacans specific way of understanding the cultural, pedagogical and epistemological revolution implied by the discovery of the unconscious.

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FrameworkThe Analyst
Analysis investigates the basis for homogenous individual identity-it is a reflexive position which challenges violent relationships between self and other Shoshana Felman, professor of comparative studies at Yale university, Jacques Lacan and the Adventure of Insight: Psychoanalysis in Contemporary Culture, 1987, p. 60-61
What Lacan thus brings to light is the fact that what Freud s inaugural stephis constitutive procedureinaugurates and later institutes is a new and unprecedented mode of reflexivityof the process through which something turns back upon itself: a new mode of reflexivity that necessarily incorporates a passage through the Other, not as a reflection of the self but as a radical difference from the self, a radical difference to which, paradoxically, the very movement of reflexivity is addressed; a reflexivity whose self-reference, whose process of turning back upon itself, is not based on symmetry but on asymmetry: asymmetry between the self departed from and the self returned to; asymmetry between the turn and the return; a reflexivity, therefore, which, passing through the Other, returns to itself without quite being able to rejoin itself; a reflexivity which is thus untotalizable, that is, irreducibly dialogic, and in which what is returned to the self from the Other is, paradoxically, the ignorance or the forgetfulness of its own message; a reflexivity, therefore, which is a new mode of cognition or information gathering whereby Ignorance itself becomes structurally informative, in an asymmetrically reflexive dialogue in which the interlocutors through languageinform each other of what they do not know. What Lacan also points out for the first time is the way in which this new Freudian mode of reflexivity differs from the traditional humanistic mode of reflexivity, from the classical psychological and philosophical epistemology of self-reflection. Self-reflection, the traditional fundamental principle of consciousness and of conscious thought, is what Lacan traces back to the mirror stage, to the symmetrical dual structure of the Imaginary. Self-reflection is always a mirror reflection, that is, the illusory functioning of symmetrical reflexivity, of reasoning by the illusory principle of symmetry between self and self as well as between self and other; a symmetry that subsumes all difference within a delusion of a unified and homogenous individual identity. But the new Freudian mode of reflexivity precisely shifts, displaces, and unsettles the very boundaries between self and other, subverting by the same token the symmetry that founds their dichotomy, their clear-cut opposition to each other. By shifting and undercutting the clear-cut polarities between subject and object, self and other, inside and outside, analyst and analysand, consciousness and the unconscious, the new Freudian reflexivity substitutes for all traditional binary, symmetrical conceptual oppositions that is, substitutes for the very foundations of Western metaphysicsa new mode of interfering heterogeneity. This new reflexive modeinstituted by Freuds way of listening to the discourse of the hysteric and which Lacan will call the inmixture of the subjects (E 4i5)divides the subjects differently, in such a way that they are neither entirely distinguished, separate from each other, nor, correlatively, entirely totalizable but, rather, interfering from within and in one another.

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FrameworkThe Analyst
The analytic process can detach textual knowledge from its social production Shoshana Felman, professor of comparative studies at Yale university, Jacques Lacan and the Adventure of Insight: Psychoanalysis in Contemporary Culture, 1987, p. 81
In anaylsis, what sets in motion the psychoanalytical apprenticeship is the peculiar pedagogical structure of the analytic situation. The analysand speaks to the analyst, whom he endows with the authority of the one who possesses knowledgeknowledge of what is precisely lacking in the analysands own knowledge. The analyst, however, knows nothing of the sort. His only competence, insists Lacan, lies in what I would call textual knowledge, so as to oppose it to the referential notion which only masks it (Scilicet zi). Textual knowledgethe very stuff the literature teacher is supposed to deal inis knowledge of the functioning of language, of symbolic structures, of the signifier, knowledge at once derived fromand directed toward interpretation. But such knowledge cannot be acquired (or possessed) once and for all: each case, each text, has its own specific, singular symbolic functioning and requires a different interpretation. The analysts, says Lacan, are those who share this knowledge only at the price, on the condition of their not being able to exchange it (Scilicet 59). Analytic (textual) knowledge cannot be exchanged, it has to be usedand used in each case differently, according to the singularity of the case, according to the specificity of the text. Textual or analytic knowledge is, in other words, that peculiarly specific knowledge which, unlike any commodity, is subsumed by its use value, having no exchange value whatsoever. Analysis thus has no use for ready-made interpretations, for knowledge given in advance. Lacan insists on the insistence with which Freud recommends to us to approach each new case as if we had never learnt anything from his first interpretations (Scilicet zo). What the analyst must know, concludes Lacan, is how to ignore what he knows.

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FrameworkThe Analyst
Only the analytic space can reveal the non-spoken elements of desire-such methods of speaking of the repressed can begin to fracture the ordering engendered in social fantasy Serge Leclaire, psychoanalyst and instructor at the institute du psychoanalytic Paris, A Child Is Being Killed: On Primary Narcissism and the Death Drive, 1998, pg. 58-59
I dont believe in the neutralizing illusion of the impassive mask and in this instance find no need to defend myself against what could be construed as seduction. Analytical listening implies bring ing into play the spot of silence that is the place of transference. What is given there is the space for an act of real intelligence in terms of the logic of exclusion, a passage beyond the web of representatives, a way of passing through the mirror. The analysts presence, kindness, neutrality, and silence are merely inadequate or approximate ways of marking this point of no resistance to which his own analysis must at least have brought him, with no turning back. Whether we call this, paradoxically, conscious awareness or describe it as the advent of the subject or the recognition of castration, what we can absolutely demand of an analyst is a knowledge of what speaking means, what decisive shadows words can hide, and how they can show the subject crossing their web. To have experienced it is to discover, in repeated phantasies, their forever new grains of origin. It is to set free what is locked up in our knowledge; in dealing with our analysands, to recognize without holding back what cuts to the quickin short, nothing less than to take account of the unaccountable, to perpetrate the death of the word-image and to undermine the all-powerful unconscious representative. These are necessary operations through which the (re)birth of the subject can be realized. Words are prey to the universal work of repression in which every family unit, group, or social order takes part, and they never stop reverting to muteness. Only by giving the most vigilant attention to questioning the unconscious representative, and above all by calling into question the tyrannical primary narcissistic representative, can speaking be kept alive. Here another side of the killing-the-child phantasy is revealed: by naming the child infans, the discourse of repression pounces on the fact that he does not use words, so it can make of him, unfairly, the one who does not speak. It is true that it would be convenient for princes, parents, and teachers of all sorts if each subject were only to repeat faithfully what he is told and if the child did not disturb the order of repression by speaking the truth. Be quiet, you dont know what youre saying is what the so-called analyst repeats in his own way when he orders magisterially, Speak, I know what you are saying! And yet, well before a child can put words together, he speaks and lays bare what speaking means, in an orgy of jubilation and rage, smiles and cries. The little interloper must be made to behave, to look, precisely like the picture of good behavior:5 a first killing perpetrated well-meaningly and in good conscience and whose result (the very image of a nonspeaking infans or rehearing parrot) will constantly have to be killed in order to retrieve what it represents through its fascinating image, in renewed power and engendering force.

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FrameworkThe Analyst
Psychoanalysis challenges the stable notion of the subject and its interaction with death Shoshana Felman, professor of comparative studies at Yale university, Jacques Lacan and the Adventure of Insight: Psychoanalysis in Contemporary Culture, 1987, p. 139-140
What, then, is psychoanalysis if not precisely a life usage of the death instincta practical, productive use of the compulsion to repeat, through a replaying of the symbolic meaning of the death that the subject has repeatedly experienced, and through a recognition and assumption of the meaning of this death (separation, loss) as a symbolic means of the subjects coming to terms not with death but, paradoxically, with life? The game is already played, the dice are already thrown, with this one exception, that we can take them once more in our hand and throw them once again (S 11.256). This is what a practical psychoanalysis is all about. And this is what Freud tells us in his later speculative narrative, which seeks its way beyond the pleasure principle, beyond his earlier discovery of wish fulfillment, beyond his earlier wish-fulfilling way of dreaming Sophocles. The Oedipus complex, says Lacan in one of those suggestive, richly understated statements (pronounced in an unpublished seminar), the Oedipus complex isa dream of Freuds. This apparently transparent sentence is in effect a complex restatement of the way psychoanalysis is staked in the discovery that The Interpretation of Dreams narrates: a complex restatement both of Freuds discovery of the theory of wish fulfillment as the meaning of dreams and of Freuds discovery of the narrative of Oedipus as validating the discovery of the theory. It was through his self-analysis, out of his own dream about his father which revealed to Freud his own Oedipal complexity, that Freud retrieved the founding, psychoanalytic meaning of the literary Oedipus. The Oedipus complex is a dream of Freuds. Now a dream (to a psychoanalyst, at least) is not the opposite of truth; but neither is it truth that can be taken literally, at face value. A dream is what demands interpretation. And interpretation is what goes beyond the dream, even if interpretation is itself nothing more than another dream, that is, not a theory, but still another (free-associated) narrative, another metaphorical account of the discourse of the Other.

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Framework psychoanalysis good: political


Only psychoanalysis addresses the gaze of the Other which makes possible political action. Jodi Dean. Enjoyment as a Category of Political Thought.Annual Meeting of American Political Science Association, September, jdeanicite.typepad.com/i_cite/files/aspa_05_enjoyment.doc 2005. Do not cite without permission Zizek also differs from Foucault with respect to the status or place of the subjectivized practices. Whereas Foucault accounts for the unity of disciplinary practices by referring to the dispersion of specific logics of power (logics around confession and speaking, observation and surveillance, examination and judgment as they take material form in architectures, urban planning, and designs for education and punishment, for example), Zizek addresses a peculiar fact about the subjects performance of its practices: the gaze before which it imagines itself performing. This gaze constitutes the Other who registers my acts in the symbolic network.19 Following Lacan, Zizek understands this gaze as the ego ideal, as a point of symbolic identification. The gaze is more than the product of a particular architecture intended to install normalizing judgment and discipline the behavior of the observed (for example, the panopticon as introduced by Jeremy Bentham and elaborated by Foucault). Instead, for Zizek, the gaze is a crucial supposition for the very capacity to act at all. Identifying with the gaze enables the subject to be active. The gaze is the point from which one sees ones actions as valuable and worthwhile, as making sense. Absent that gaze, one may feel trapped, passive, unsure as to the point of doing anything at all. This gaze, then, structures our relation to our practices. Instead of experiencing the state as myriad forms and organizations, branches, and edicts, presences and regulations, say, in our daily activities we posit the state as a kind of entity, an other, aware of what we are doing (a positing that, unfortunately, makes ever more sense as it is materialized in surveillance technologies). Similarly, we may posit an enemy assessing our every action. The point, then, is that through symbolic identification the subject posits the very entity it understands itself as responding to. And how it imagines this other will be crucial to the kinds of activities the subject can undertake.

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Framework psychoanalysis good: gender


Lacanian politics open up the space for the agency of the feminine Slavoj Zizek, professor of philosophy at university of Ljubljana, The Indivisible Remainder: An Essay on Schelling and Related Matters, 1996, pg. 157-158
This situation is analogous to the common notion of God as a person criticized by Spinoza: in their endeavour to understand the world around them by formulating the network of causal connections between events and objects, people sooner or later reach the point at which their understanding fails, encounters a limit, and God (conceived as an old bearded wise man, etc.) merely gives body to this limit we project into the personalized notion of God the hidden, unfathomable cause of all that cannot be understood and explained via a clear causal connection. The first operation of the critique of ideology is therefore to recognize in the fascinating presence of God the filler of the gaps in the structure of our knowledge that is, the element in the guise of which the lack in our positive knowledge acquires positive presence. And my point is that it is somewhat analogous to the feminine nonall: this non-all does not mean that woman is not entirely submitted to the Phallus; rather, it signals that she sees through the fascinating presence of the Phallus, that she is able to discern in it the filler of the inconsistency of the big Other. Yet another way to put it would be to say that the passage from S (A) to the big Phi is the passage from impossibility to prohibition: S(A) stands for the impossibility of the signifier of the big Other, for the fact that there is no Other of Other, that the field of the Other is inherently inconsistent; and the big Phi reifies this impossibility into the Exception, into a sacred, prohibited/unattainable agent who avoids castration and is thus able really to enjoy (the primordial Father, the Lady in courtly love).73

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Framework psychoanalytic terms


We must use the basis of understanding the universe in terms of the real and the symbolic because they are the driving force behind human experience Slavoj Zizek, professor of philosophy at university of Ljubljana, The Indivisible Remainder: An Essay on Schelling and Related Matters, 1996, pg. 227-228
Is not this virtual state of an electron which, upon admitting its mistake and acknowledging its unreality, returns to non-existence, equivalent to what Lacan describes as the state between the two deaths? An entity exists only so long as it does not register, take note of, its nonexistence like the proverbial cartoon cat which, although it has no ground under its feet, is unaware of this, and so calmly continues to walk in the air.. . . What is thereby attested is the discord between knowledge and being: knowledge always involves some loss of being and, vice versa, every being is always grounded upon some ignorance. The supreme example of this discord in psychoanalysis, of course, is the notion of symptom: a symptom, in its very painful reality, disappears as the result of a successful interpretation. In quantum physics, this same discord is in force not only at the level of micro-particles but also at the macro level: the hypothesis of quantum cosmology is that the universe as such resulted from a gigantic vacuum fluctuation the universe in its entirety, its positive existence, bears witness to some global pathological disturbed balance, to a broken symmetry, and is therefore doomed to return to a primordial Void. The difference between quantum cosmology and the New Age mythology of cosmic balance is insurmountable here: the New Age attitude engages us in an endeavour to set our derailed world right by re-establishing the lost balance of cosmic principles (Yin and Yang, etc.), whereas the ontological implication of quantum cosmology and its notion of vacuum fluctuation is that something exists at all only in so far as the universe is out of joint. In other words, the very existence of the universe bears witness to some fundamental disturbance or lost balance: something can emerge out of nothing (the vacuum) only via a broken symmetry. Quantum physics and cosmology are thus within the tradition of what Althusser called aleatoric materialism, the tradition that begins with Epicurus, according to whom the cosmos was born out of the declination fklinamen] of falling atoms. The lesson of Lacan (and of Hegel, pace the usual platitudes about the complementary relationship of opposites in dialectics) ultimately amounts to the same: hubris is constitutive; the bias of our experience accounts for its fragile consistency, balance is another name for death. Quantum physics therefore cuts off the very possibility of a retreat into the New Age mythology of natural balance: nature, the universe in its entirety, results from a pathological tilt; as such, it also is only in so far as it does not take note of its nonexistence.... That is to say: here, at this crucial point, we must draw all the consequences from the fundamental impasse of quantum cosmology: the wave function collapses that is to say, reality as we know it is constituted when the quantum event is registered in its surroundings, when an observer takes note of it; so how does this collapse take place when the event in question is the universe in its entirety? Who, in this casey is the observer? Here, of course, there is a strong temptation to introduce God in the role of this universal Observer: the universe actually exists because its existence is registered by Him.... The only consistent way to resist this temptation while remaining within the co-ordinates of the quantum universe is fully to embrace the paradox that the universe in its entirety is feminine: like Woman in Lacan, the universe in its entirety does not exist, it is a mere quantum fluctuation without any external boundary that would enable us to conceive it as actual.

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Framework symbolic order


The affirmative situates politics entirely within the state and ignores the crucial nature of psychology. Refusal to accept the nature of the symbolic order means their framework forecloses any productive political actions. Lee Edelman. No Future: Queer Theory and Death Drive. 2004 pp. 7-8
Like the network of signifying relations that forms the Lacanian Symbolic the register of the speaking subject and the order of the law - politics may function as the framework within which we experience social reality, but only insofar as it compels us to experience that reality in the form of a fantasy: the fantasy, precisely, of form as such, of an order, an organization, that assures the stability of our identities as subjects and the coherence of the Imaginary totalizations through which those identities appear to us in recognizable form. Though the material conditions of human experience may indeed be at stake in the various conflicts by means of which differing political perspectives vie for the power to name, and by naming to shape, our collective reality, the ceaseless conflict of their social visions conceals their common will to install, and to install as reality itself, one libidinally subtended fantasy or another intended to screen out the emptiness that the signifier embeds at the core of the Symbolic. Politics, to put this another way, names the space in which Imaginary relations, relations that hark back to a misrecognition of the self as enjoying some originary access to presence (a presence retroactively posited and therefore lost, one might say, from the start), compete for Symbolic fulfillment, for actualization in the realm of the language to which subjectification subjects us all. Only the mediation of the signifier allows us to articulate those Imaginary relations, though always at the price of introducing the distance that precludes their realization: the distance inherent in the chain of ceaseless deferrals and substitutions to which language as a system of differences necessarily gives birth. The signifier, as alienating and meaningless token of our Symbolic constitution as subjects (as token, that is, of our subjectification through subjection to the prospect of meaning); the signifier, by means of which we always inhabit the order of the Other, the order of a social and linguistic reality articulated from somewhere else; the signifier, which calls us into meaning by seeming to call us to ourselves: this signifier only bestows a sort of promissory identity, one with which we can never succeed in fully coinciding because we, as subjects of the signifier, can only be signifiers ourselves, can only ever aspire to catch up to whatever it is we might signify by closing the gap that divides us and, paradoxically, makes us subjects through that act of division alone. This structural inability of the subject to merge with the self for which it sees itself as a signifier in the eyes of the Other necessitates various strategies designed to suture the subject in the space of meaning where Symbolic and Imaginary overlap. Politics names the social enactment of the subject's attempt to establish the conditions for this impossible consolidation by identifying with something outside itself in order to enter the presence, deferred perpetually, of itself. Politics, that is, names the struggle to effect a fantasmatk order of reality in which the subject's alienation would vanish into the seamlessness of identity at the endpoint of the endless chain of signifiers lived as history.

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Framework language
Language has a dialectic relationship which mediates social relations of domination Slavoj Zizek, researcher at the institute for sociology at Ljubljana, The Sublime Object of Ideology, 1989, pg. 212
Ernesto Laclau was quite right to remark that it is language which is, in an unheardof sense, a Stalinist phenomenon' The Stalinist ritual, the empty flattery which holds together the community, the neutral voice, totally freed of all psychological remnants, which pronounces the confessions in the staged political processes they realize, in the purest form to date, a dimension which is probably essential to language as such. There is no need to revert to the pre-Socratic foundation if we want to penetrate the origins of language; the History of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) is more than sufficient. Where can the subject who is thus emptied find his objective correlative? The Hegelian answer is: in Wealth, in money obtained in exchange for flattery. The proposition Wealth is the Self repeats at this level the proposition The Spirit is a bone: in both cases we are dealing with a proposition which is at first sight absurd, nonsensical, with an equation the terms of which are incompatible; in both cases we encounter the same logical structure of passage: the subject, totally lost in the medium of language (language of gestures and gtimaces; language of flattery), finds his objective counterpart in the inertia of a non-language object (skull, money). The paradox, the patent nonsense of money this inert, external, passive object that we can hold in our hands and manipulate serving as the immediate embodiment of Self, is no more difficult to accept than the proposition that the skull embodies the immediate effectivity of the Spirit. The difference between the two propositions is determined solely by the difference in the starting point of the respective dialectical movement: if we start from language reduced to gestures and grimaces of the body, the objective counterpart to the subject is what at this level presents the total inertia the skullbone; but if we conceive language as the medium of the social relations of domination, its objective counterpart is of course wealth as the embodiment,

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AT: Pragmatism/ Rorty


Theory can cause mass social movements Rorty and the oppositional left would create a barrier to effectively criticizing politics BURCH ASSISTANT PF PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION, NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY '1 Kerry, The Significance of Critical Pedagogy for Cultural Studies Theory & Event, 5:3, pg. Projectmuse SRM
Giroux shows how some new Left theorists, while recognizing the importance of class, also "made visibleinterconnected forms of oppression organized against women, racial minorities, gay men and lesbians, the aged, the disabled, and others" (25). On this basis, Giroux argues that insurgent political movements in the United States during the 1960s and after were positively affected by theoretical work which initially emerged from the cultural realm but which evolved into a more classic political instantiation. According to Giroux, since Rorty and Gitlin privilege class at the exclusion of other sites of identity construction, they overlook the vital pedagogical relation which can potentially transform sites of cultural interpretation into a heightened political awareness, the obvious precondition for heightened political action. To support this position, Giroux points to the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACTUP) and to feminist theorists, both of whom broadened the scope of the political first through a cultural aegis. Giroux is persuasive in showing how Rorty and Gitlin's prescriptions, taken to their logical conclusion, would result in a deculturalization of politics. The danger in adopting such a constricted view of the political within the academy is that it tacitly erects a protective, curricular shield around the corporate narratives which increasingly govern the production of youth identity and desire. This discourse is troubling because it separates culture from politics and leaves little room for capturing the contradictions within dominant institutions that open up political and social possibilities for contesting domination, doing critical work within the schools and other public spheres, of furthering the capacity of students and others to question oppressive forms of authority and the operations of power (31, emphasis added).

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AT: Fantasies good/ alt solvency


We are not working to destroy fantasies, only to separate the fantasy of utopia from the kernels of desire that spur actions and recognize the truth: that ideology will fail and plans couched in ideology will never succeed McGowan, 2007, (Todd, Prof of English @ Univ of Vermont, The Real Gaze: Film Theory After Lacan, pp. 120-121) SRM
In contrast to the cinema of integration, psychoanalysis aims at normalizing subjects in the precise sense that Freud defines the term. The psychoanalytic process works not to eliminate fantasy, but to create the strict separation between desire and fantasy that will allow the subject to experience the gaze and that will stop fantasy from supplementing the subjects experience of social reality. Psychoanalysis brings subjects to the point where they can identity with the gaze and thus experience fully the failure of ideology. That is to say, normality as Freud understands it thus marks a threat to the functioning of ideology. Freuds normal subjects have an experience of the gaze as ideologys constitutive failure, and they see the point at which fantasy attempts to compensate for this failure.8 Whereas other subjects also experience this fantasmatic compensation, they do not recognize that it addresses an ideological failure. The cinema of integration feeds this ideological mode of subjectivity. In these films, we cannot see the point at which fantasy takes over for ideology and fills in the gaps of ideology, and as a result, we cannot see any indication of incompleteness within the ideological structure. Fantasy has the ability to function as a supplement to ideology only insofar as it remains unseen. This is why the cinema of fantasy developed by someone like Spike Lee actually undermines the power of fantasy over us: in exposing the fantasy, Lee deprives it of the obscurity within which it operates. But films that integrate desire and fantasy help to keep the ideological work of fantasy hidden. In this sense, they replicate and support our everyday experience, in which fantasy silently works to fill in the gaps within our social reality and to provide our experience with the image of coherence. In fact, the coherence of our experience depends on the extent to which fantasy supports this experience without our awareness. The cinema of integration works to further obscure the role that fantasy plays in our experience and thus to increase the sense of coherence in our experience. The fundamental feature of films within the cinema of integration is their coherence. They often disrupt the experience of the spectator through the type of shots they employ, the mise-en-scne, the use of sound, and the editing, but these disruptions always occur within a narrative and formal trajectory that promise the elimination of disruption as such. This produces an experience in which nothing is missing and nothing sticks out. Not only that, but this experience also assures spectators that any seeming incoherence in their lives outside the cinema will achieve the same kind of resolution. In this way, the cinema of integration helps subjects to live with the contradictions of ideology without experiencing them as contradictions. It teaches us to see and experience coherence where none actually exists. This is how fantasy provides an indispensable supplement to ideology. Without fantasy, we would come face to face with ideologys contradictions and have no means for sustaining a coherent sense of our own reality or identity. In the cinema of integration, even the gazethe object that stains the field of the visible and disrupts our visionbecomes an ordinary object that fits into our world of representation and meaning. By sustaining fantasys domestication of the gaze, film allows us to believe in the possibility of escaping trauma through recourse to ideology. For the cinema of integration, there is trauma in its filmic universe, but one can always find a way of resolving this trauma. And when we can resolve a trauma, trauma loses its ability to shake us loose from our immersion within ideology.

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AT: Lacan bad


Your criticisms miss transcendental turn in psychoanalysis: it is no longer a question of the individual or the psychoanalytic session. Instead, we choose to criticize the social and political and search for the links between those intangible categories and the self Daly, 2004, (Glyn, Risking the Impossible, http://www.lacan.com/zizek-primer.htm) SRM
The central point is that the Real is strictly inherent to reality. The relationship between the two is not spatial but dimensional; one of mutual contamination. As Zizek argues, while reality is produced through a certain "grimace of the Real" - a constitutive impossibility that becomes distorted into reality (like the blinding Sun that generates illumination through being beyond illumination and whose outline can only be perceived by "looking awry") - the Real itself is "nothing but a grimace of reality" (Zizek, 2002: xvii), that which shines through the distorted perspective we call reality. The Real is always that which is in reality more than reality. As with humanity itself, reality is sustained by an excess that cannot be incorporated within it (the indigestible bone in the throat). Returning to The Matrix, it is not that we have reality, on the one hand, and a potentially removable "splinter in your mind" that distorts it on the other. Rather reality itself is the very consequence of a mind splinter. Distortions in reality are always possible because of the basic distortion that is reality and which means that it can never be identical to itself; can never achieve an ontological fullness but always remains a perspectival orientation towards that which sustains and exceeds it. This perspective undercuts the standard criticisms of psychoanalysis as simply a product of its age (a symptom of Victorian/Viennese repression) and/or as something that may have some benefit in treating individuals but which has no bearing on the collective world. What Zizek demonstrates is that such criticisms already miss the (Kantian-Hegelian) transcendental turn of psychoanalysis whereby the individual/collective division no longer holds. As he puts it: "The focus of psychoanalysis is entirely different: the Social, the field of social practices and socially held beliefs is not simply on a different level from individual experience, but something to which the individual has to relate, something which the individual has to experience as an order which is minimally reified, externalized" (Zizek, 2002 : lxxii) The question is rather, how does the "objective world" have to be organised in order for something like "subjectivity" to be possible (and vice versa)? The psychoanalytic response is that both subjective and objective should be considered as (unstable) dimensions of a continuum that is traversed by the impossible Real. The basic human condition is that both objectivity and subjectivity are lacking towards an excess and against which they try to achieve homeostasis and mutual reassurance. This means that we can never stand on neutral ground. We are always minimally engaged in some kind of orientation in respect of the Real; one that necessarily involves the repression/exclusion of alternative potential orientations. To reiterate, the human being is a political animal precisely because there is no pre-given/substantialist reality and that this always has to be forged as a matter of delusional consistency. It is in the context of this essential delusional (in)consistency of reality that Zizek has developed a thoroughgoing critique of ideology.

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AT: Foucault
Foucault misreads Lacan your critique misunderstands psychoanalysis Slavoj Zizek, professor of philosophy at university of Ljubljana, The Indivisible Remainder: An Essay on Schelling and Related Matters, 1996, pg. 1-2
One can see here how Lacan (and, indeed, Freud) belies Foucaults insertion of psychoanalysis in the line of development that begins with the Christian practice of confession his assumption that in the course of the psychoanalytic cure the subjectanalysand discloses, probes into, brings to light, the truth about himself hidden deep in his unconscious: what the subject encounters in the
unfathomed depths of him- or herself is, on the contrary, a primordial lie. Psychoanalysis therefore emphasizes the obverse of Vaiclav Havels famous dissident motto life in truth: the natural state of the human animal is to live in a lie. Freuds uncanny encounter condenses, as it were, two closely connected Lacanian theses: the Master is unconscious, hidden in the infernal world, and he is an obscene impostor the

version of the father is always a pere-version. In short, the lesson for the Ideologiekritik is that there is no Herrschaft which is not supported by some phantasmic enjoyment.

Lacan and Foucault are describing the same phenomena-they utilize the same basis to discuss events-there is no link to your criticism Slavoj Zizek, professor of philosophy at university of Ljubljana, The Indivisible Remainder: An Essay on Schelling and Related Matters, 1996, pg. 106-107
In order to gain an apprehension of what is effectively at stake in this Hegelian reversal of the reversal, one should relate it to the key alternative of the contemporary poststructuralist debate, epitomized by the couple AithusserFoucault. The very proximity of the Althusserian notion of Ideological State Apparatuses to the Foucauldian notion of the micro-practices of power renders visible the gap that separates them: in both cases, we are dealing with a drill which compels the subject directly, bypassing the level of Meaning; the crucial difference resides in the fact that in Althusser the big Other the transferential relationship to the ideological Subject is always-already here; whereas the whole point of the Foucauldian micro-physics of power is to demonstrate that Power doesnt exist (in strict analogy to Lacans Woman doesnt exist) there is no Power, only a dispersed, plural, non-all network of local practices lacking reference to a central totalizing agency. We must be careful here not to miss the elegant paradox of Foucault: when he asserts that Power doesnt exist that power relations form a feminine, non-all, nontotalizable collection he thereby undertakes to apply to the domain of power relations the conceptual apparatus usually activated to account for the very absence of power in a network of relations to put it succinctly, he treats power as non-power (within the traditional approach, at least, the imposition of the One as the exception which totalizes the dispersed collection of relations is the very definition of Power). In short, Foucault strives to accomplish in the domain of power relations what the Lacanian notion of lalangue (language) accomplished in the domain of language: to delineate the contours of a non-all complex network of contingent and inconsistent procedures not yet caught in the logic of totalization-through castration, that is, through the exception of One the One (the Lacanian big Other) is merely a secondary spectre which should be deduced from the immanent functioning of micro-practices. This is why as a careful reading of The Archaeology of Knowledge, Foucaults discourse on method, makes clear Foucault is not a structuralist: the Foucauldian episteme is not a formal differential system, a structure whose terms are defined through their negative relationship to all other terms (identity as a bundle of differences), but a collection of contingent singularities, of the rules of their emergence and disappearance in contrast to the structuralists strict conceptual realism, Foucault is a radical conceptual nominalist. In short, Foucaults problem is: how are we to conceive the rule of the emergence of singular events which is not yet a law (in the precise sense of the formal structure of differential mediations)?

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Affirmative AT: lack


Lacans Lack is merely a secondary after-effect to the illusions of ego and meaning there is no lack inherent in reality. Holland 1999 (Eugene, Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the Ohio State University; Deleuze and Guatarris Anti-Oedipus and introduction to Schitzoanalysis) Pg 51-52 SRM
Yet as virulent as the Lacanian critique of the unified subject has appeared (and as much of a stir as it may have occasioned among ego-psychologists), there is an important sense in which Lacan nonetheless maintains the perspective of the ego albeit in the form of a split subject constructed at the intersection of the Imaginary and Symbolic registers over and against the perspective of the body and bodily desire. First of all, Deleuze and Guattari point out, there is lack only with respect to the illusions of self-mastery and meaningful plenitude, not in itself; lack is merely a secondary after-effect of the illusions of ego and meaning, not an original condition and the latters cause and ground. This is a first reason for bisecting the Lacanian schema: nothing is lacking at the start of the process, in the top half of the schema, where indeterminate subjectivity entertains polyvocal relations with partial-objects in accordance with the legitimate use of connective syntheses.41 Lack is instead an effect of developments leading to the bottom half of the schema, where the ego and the mother and then the father are constituted as whole-objects in the Imaginary register and assigned stable roles and fixed meanings in the Symbolic Order. This represents an illegitimate use of connective syntheses, Deleuze and Guattari insist, inasmuch as the syntheses are global and specific rather than partial and non-specific: In the [former], desire at the same time receives a fixed subject, an ego specified according to sex, and complete objects defined as global persons (70/83). These determinations then react back on the original top half of the schema, transforming partial-objects into whole-objects, and subjects as well as objects of desire into global persons.

The Lack isnt real desire is not lacking needs rather needs are derived FROM desire Holland 1999 (Eugene, Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the Ohio State University; Deleuze and Guatarris Anti-Oedipus and introduction to Schitzoanalysis) Pg 62 SRM
Desire does not lack anything....[For] the objective being of desire is the Real in and of itself....Desire is not bolstered by needs, but rather the contrary; needs are derived from desire: they are counter-products within the real that desire produces. Lack is a countereffect of desire; it is deposited, distributed, vacuolized within [the] real[when social] organization deprives desire of its objective being. (267/345) Desire is not based on some primordial lack; nor does it derive from needs: it is instead socially organized anti-production that superimposes needs and lack on productive desire. Without the application of this corrective to psychoanalysis (and Western psychology in general), as Deleuze and Guattari put it, all resignations are justified in advance (74/88). The point of comparing various modes of social-production is to understand the conditions under which, and the different ways in which, anti-production introjects needs and/or lack into desiring-production.

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Affirmative AT: lack


Positioning desire in relation to lack creates actions devoid of benevolence or purpose and prevents checks against the worst of atrocities Deleuze and Guattari 1972, Anti-Oedipus, 342 SRM Let us recall the major traits of a molar formation or of a form of gregariousness (herd instinct). They effect a unification, a totalization of the molecular forces through a statistical accumulation obeying the laws of large numbers. This unity can be the biological unity of a species or the structural unity of a socius: an organism, social or living, is composed as a whole, as a global or complete object. It is in relation to this new order that the partial objects of a molecular order appear as a lack, at the same time that the whole itself is said to be lacked by the partial objects. In this way desire will be fused to lack. The myriad breaks-flows that determine the positive dispersion in a molecular multiplicity are fitted over vacuoles of lack that perform this fusion in a statistical constellation of a molar order. Freud demonstrated clearly in this respect how one went from psychotic multiplicities of dispersion, founded on the breaks or schizzes, to large vacuoles determined globally, of the neurosis and castration type: the neurotic needs a global object in relation to which the partial objects can be determined as a lack, and inversely.:" But on a more general level, the statistical transformation of molecular multiplicity into a molar constellation is what organizes lack on a large scale. Such an organization belongs essentially to the biological or social organism-species or socius. There is no society that does not arrange lack in its midst, by variable means peculiar to it. (These means are not the same, for example, in a despotic type of society, or in a capitalist society where the market economy raises them to a degree of perfection unknown before capitalisrn.) This welding of desire to lack is precisely what gives desire collective and personal ends, goals or intentions-instead of desire taken in the real order of its production, which behaves as a molecular phenomenon devoid of any goal or intention.

Lack and desire based on the law destroy productive desire and becomes the ethics of fascism and totalitarianism Deleuze and Guattari 1972 (Gilles and Felix; Anti-Oedipus) 111-112 SRM
From the moment lack is reintroduced into desire, all of desiring-production is crushed, reduced to being no more than the production of fantasy; but the sign does not produce fantasies, it is a production of the real and a position of desire within reality. From the moment desire is welded again to the law-we needn't point out what is known since time began: that there is no desire without law-the eternal operation of eternal repression recommences, the operation that closes around the unconscious the circle of prohibition and transgression, white mass and black mass; but the sign of desire is never a sign of the law, it is a sign of strength (puissance). And who would dare use the term "law" for, the fact that desire situates and develops its strength, and that wherever It IS, it causes flows to move and substances to be intersected ("I am careful not to speak of chemical laws, the word has a moral aftertaste")? From the moment desire is made to depend on the signifier, it is put back under the yoke of a despotism whose effect is castration, there where one recognizes the stroke of the signifier itself; but the sign of desire is never signifying, it exists in the thousands of productive breaks-flows that never allow themselves to be signified within the unary stroke of castration. It is always a point-sign of many dimensions, polyvocity as the basis for a punctual semiology.

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Affirmative AT: Fantasy


Lacanian psychoanalysis constructs its own theory of the fantasy based on the false assumptions of the lack as a true fact and desire as negative. But desire doesnt lack anything its the thing that lacks desire. Pushed to the end psychoanalysis destroys desire and leaves us trapped in a world without action stifling movements. This turns the alternative Deleuze and Guattari 1972 (Gilles and Felix; Anti-Oedipus) 25-27 SRM
In point of fact, if desire is the lack of the real object, its very nature as a real entity depends upon an "essence of lack" that produces the fantasized object. Desire thus conceived of as production, though merely the production of fantasies, has been explained perfectly by psychoanalysis. On the very lowest level of interpretation, this means that the real object that desire lacks is related to an extrinsic natural or social production, whereas desire intrinsically produces an imaginary object that functions as a double of reality, as though there were a "dreamed-of object behind every real object," or a mental production behind all real productions. This conception does not necessarily compel psychoanalysis to engage in a study of gadgets and markets, in the form of an utterly dreary and dull psychoanalysis of the object: psychoanalytic studies of packages of noodles, cars, or "thingumajigs." But even when the fantasy is interpreted in depth, not simply as an object, but as a specific machine that brings desire itself front and center, this machine is merely theatrical, and the complementarity of what it sets apart still remains: it is now need that is defined in terms of a relative lack and determined by its own object, whereas desire is regarded as what produces the fantasy and produces itself by detaching itself from the object, though at the same time it intensifies the lack by making it absolute: an "incurable insufficiency of being," an "inability-to-be that is life itself." Hence the presentation of desire as something supported by needs, while these needs, and their relationship to the object as something that is lacking or missing, continue to be the basis of the productivity of desire (theory of an underlying support). In a word, when the theoretician reduces desiring-production to a production of fantasy, he is content to exploit to the fullest the idealist principle that defines desire as a lack, rather than a process of production, of "industrial" production. Clement Rosset puts it very well: every time the emphasis is put on a lack that desire supposedly suffers from as a way of defining its object, "the world acquires as its double some other sort of world, in accordance with the following line of argument: there is an object that desire feels the lack of; hence the world does not contain each and every object that exists; there is at least one object missing, the one that desire feels the lack of; hence there exists some other place that contains the key to desire (missing in this world)."29 If desire produces, its product is real. If desire is productive, it can be productive only in the real world and can produce only reality. Desire is the set of passive syntheses that engineer partial objects, flows, and bodies, and that function as units of production. The real is the end product, the result of the passive syntheses of desire as autoproduction of the unconscious. Desire does not lack anything; it does not lack its object. It is, rather, the subject that is missing in desire, or desire that lacks a fixed subject; there is no fixed subject unless there is repression. Desire and its object are one and the same thing: the machine, as a machine of a machine. Desire is a machine, and the object of desire is another machine connected to it. Hence the product is something removed or deducted from the process of producing: between the act of producing and the product, something becomes detached, thus giving the vagabond, nomad subject a residuum. The objective being of desire is the Real in and of itself.* There is no particular form of existence that can be labeled "psychic reality." As Marx notes, what exists in fact is not lack, but passion, as a "natural and sensuous object." Desire is not bolstered by needs, but rather the contrary; needs are derived from desire: they are counter-products within the real that desire produces. Lack is a counter-effect of desire; it is deposited, distributed, vacuolized within a real that is natural and social. Desire always remains in close touch with the conditions of objective existence; it embraces them and follows them, shifts when they shift, and does not outlive them. For that reason it so often becomes the desire to die, whereas need is a measure of the withdrawal of a subject that has lost its desire at the same time that it loses the passive syntheses of these conditions. This is precisely the significance of need as a search in a void: hunting about, trying to capture or become a parasite of passive syntheses in whatever vague world they may happen to exist in. It is no use saying: We are not green plants; we have long since been unable to synthesize chlorophyll, so it's necessary to eat. . .. Desire then becomes this abject fear of lacking something. But it should be noted that this is not a phrase uttered by the poor or the dispossessed. On the contrary, such people know that they are close to grass, almost akin to it, and that desire "needs" very few things-not those leftovers that chance to come their way, but the very things that are continually taken from them-and that what is missing is not things a subject feels the lack of somewhere deep down inside himself, but rather the objectivity of man, the objective being of man, for whom to desire is to produce, to produce within the realm of the real.

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Affirmative AT: Fantasy


Traversing the fantasy is a nihilistic alternative which cannot end oppression, only shift its object from one group to another ending in suicide Robinson and Tormey, School of politics at the University of Nottingham, 2004
(Andrew and Simon, Zizek is not Radical, http://homepage.ntlworld.com/simon.tormey/articles/Zizeknotradical.pdf) SRM The Act thus reproduces in the socio-political field the Lacanian concept of traversing the fantasy. Traversing the fantasy involves accepting that there is no way one can be satisfied, and therefore a full acceptance of the pain ... as inherent to the excess of pleasure which is jouissance, as well as a rejection of every conception of radical difference. 68 It means, contra Nietzsche, an acceptance of the fact that there is no secret treasure in me,69 and a transition from being the nothing we are today to being a Nothing humbly aware of itself, a Nothing paradoxically made rich through the very awareness of its lack.70 It involves being reduced to a zero-point or ultimate level similar to that seen in the most broken concentrationcamp inmates,71 so the role of analysis is to throw out the baby... in order to confront the patient with his dirty bathwater,72 inducing, not an improvement, but a transition from Bad to Worse, which is inherently terroristic.73 It is also not freedom in the usual sense, but prostration before the call of the truthevent,74 something violently imposed on me from the Outside through a traumatic encounter that shatters the very foundation of my being.75 In true Orwellian fashion, Zizek claims that in the Act, freedom equals slavery; the Act involves the highest freedom and also the utmost passivity with a reduction to a lifeless automaton who blindly performs its gestures.76 So the Act is a rebirth - but a rebirth as what? The parallel with Lacans concept of traversing the fantasy is crucial, because, for Lacan, there is no escape from the symbolic order or the Law of the Master. We are trapped in the existing world, complete with its dislocation, lack, alienation and antagonism, and no transcendence can overcome the deep structure of this world, which is fixed at the level of subject-formation; the most we can hope for is to go from incapable neurosis to mere alienated subjectivity. In Zizeks politics, therefore, a fundamental social transformation is impossible. After the break initiated by an Act, a system similar to the present one is restored; the subject undergoes identification with a Cause,77 leading to a new proper symbolic Prohibition revitalised by the process of rebirth,78 enabling one effectively to realize the necessary pragmatic measures,79 which may be the same ones as Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals reprinted in M. L. Morgan (ed.), Classics of Moral and Political Theory, Indianapolis 1992, p. 1233. today, e.g. structural adjustment policies.80 It is possible to start a new life by replacing one symbolic fiction with another.81 As a Lacanian, Zizek is opposed to any idea of realising utopian fullness. Any change in the basic structure of existence, whereby one may overcome dislocation and disorientation, is out of the question. However, he also rejects practical solutions to problems as a mere displacement.82 So an Act neither solves concrete problems nor achieves drastic improvements; it merely removes blockages to existing modes of thought and action. It transforms the constellation which generates social symptoms,83 shifting exclusion from one group to another, but it does not achieve either drastic or moderate concrete changes. It means that we accept the vicious circle of revolving around the object [the Real] and find jouissance in it, renouncing the myth that jouissance is amassed somewhere else.84 It also offers those who take part in it a dimension of Otherness, that moment when the absolute appears in all its fragility, a brief apparition of a future utopian Otherness to which every authentic revolutionary stance should cling.85 This absolute, however, can only be glimpsed. The leader, Act and Cause must be betrayed so the social order can be refounded. The leader, or mediator, must erase himself [sic] from the picture,86 retreating to the horizon of the social to haunt history as spectre or phantasy.87 Every Great Man must be betrayed so he can assume his fame and thereby become compatible with the status quo;88 once one glimpses the sublime Universal, therefore, one must commit suicide - as Zizek claims the Bolshevik Party did, via the Stalinist purges (When the Party Commits Suicide).

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Affirmative AT: alternative


The alternative fails: Lacan under-develops the connection between individual psyches and universal understandings. They will not be able to explain how one person thinking about the mysterious Act will change society. Robinson (PhD Political Theory, University of Nottingham) 05 (Theory and Event, Andrew, 8:1, The Political Theory of Constitutive Lack: A Critique).
Lacanian analysis consists mainly of an exercise in projection. As a result, Lacanian "explanations" often look more propagandistic or pedagogical than explanatory. A particular case is dealt with only in order to, and to the extent that it can, confirm the alreadyformulated structural theory. Judith Butler criticizes iek's method on the grounds that 'theory is applied to its examples', as if 'already true, prior to its exemplification'. 'The theory is articulated on its self-sufficiency, and then shifts register only for the pedagogical purpose of illustrating an already accomplished truth'. It is therefore 'a theoretical fetish that disavows the conditions of its own emergence'52. She alleges that Lacanian psychoanalysis 'becomes a theological project' and also 'a way to avoid the rather messy psychic and social entanglement' involved in studying specific cases53. Similarly, Dominick LaCapra objects to the idea of constitutive lack because specific 'losses cannot be adequately addressed when they are enveloped in an overly generalised discourse of absence... Conversely, absence at a "foundational" level cannot simply be derived from particular historical losses'54. Attacking 'the long story of conflating absence with loss that becomes constitutive instead of historical'55, he accuses several theorists of eliding the difference between absence and loss, with 'confusing and dubious results', including a 'tendency to avoid addressing historical problems, including losses, in sufficiently specific terms', and a tendency to 'enshroud, perhaps even to etherealise, them in a generalised discourse of absence'56. Daniel Bensad draws out the political consequences of the projection of absolutes into politics. 'The fetishism of the absolute event involves... a suppression of historical intelligibility, necessary to its depoliticization'. The space from which politics is evacuated 'becomes... a suitable place for abstractions, delusions and hypostases'. Instead of actual social forces, there are 'shadows and spectres'. The operation of the logic of projection is predictable. According to Lacanians, there is a basic structure (sometimes called a 'ground' or 'matrix') from which all social phenomena arise, and this structure, which remains unchanged in all eventualities, is the reference-point from which particular cases are viewed. The "fit" between theory and evidence is constructed monologically by the reduction of the latter to the former, or by selectivity in inclusion and reading of examples. At its simplest, the Lacanian myth functions by a short-circuit between a particular instance and statements containing words such as "all", "always", "never", "necessity" and so on. A contingent example or a generic reference to "experience" is used, misleadingly, to found a claim with supposed universal validity. For instance, Stavrakakis uses the fact that existing belief-systems are based on exclusions as a basis to claim that all belief-systems are necessarily based on exclusions58, and claims that particular traumas express an 'ultimate impossibility'59. Similarly, Laclau and Mouffe use the fact that a particular antagonism can disrupt a particular fixed identity to claim that the social as such is penetrated and constituted by antagonism as such60. Phenomena are often analysed as outgrowths of something exterior to the situation in question. For instance, iek's concept of the "social symptom" depends on a reduction of the acts of one particular series of people (the "socially excluded", "fundamentalists", Serbian paramilitaries, etc.) to a psychological function in the psyche of a different group (westerners). The "real" is a supposedly self-identical principle which is used to reduce any and all qualitative differences between situations to a relation of formal equivalence. This shows how mythical characteristics can be projected from the outside, although it also raises different problems: the under-conceptualization of the relationship between individual psyches and collective phenomena in Lacanian theory, and a related tendency for psychological concepts to acquire an ersatz agency similar to that of a Marxian fetish. "The Real" or "antagonism" occurs in phrases which have it doing or causing something. As Barthes shows, myth offers the psychological benefits of empiricism without the epistemological costs.

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Affirmative AT: alternative


Alternative fails Lacanian alternatives are radically conservative, resulting only in a codification of social violence Robinson, PhD in political theory at the University of Nottingham, 2005
(Andrew, The Political Theory of Constitutive Lack, Johns Hopkins University Press, 8/1) SRM iek's anti-capitalism has won him friends in leftist circles, but the capitalism to which he objects is not the capitalism of classical Marxist critique. One could, indeed, question whether iek is attacking capitalism (as opposed to liberalism) at all. His "capitalism" is a stultifying world of suffocating Good which is unbearable precisely because it lacks the dimension of violence and antagonism. It is, he says, 'boring', 'repetitive' and 'perverse' because it lacks the 'properly political' attitude of 'Us against Them' 20. It therefore eliminates the element of unconditional attachment to an unattainable Thing or Real, an element which is the core of humanity 21. It delivers what iek fears most: a 'pallid and anaemic, self-satisfied, tolerant peaceful daily life'. To rectify this situation, there is a need for suffocating Good to be destroyed by diabolical Evil22. 'Why not violence?' he rhetorically asks. 'Horrible as it may sound, I think it's a useful antidote to all the aseptic, frustrating, politically correct pacifism'23. There must always be social exclusion, and 'enemies of the people'24. The resulting politics involves an 'ethical duty' to accomplish an Act which shatters the social edifice by undermining the fantasies which sustain it25. As with Mouffe, this is both a duty and an acceptance of necessity. 'By traversing the fantasy the subject accepts the void of his nonexistence'26. On a political level, this kind of stance leads to an acceptance of social exclusion which negates compassion for its victims. The resultant inhumanity finds its most extreme expression in iek's work, where 'today's "mad dance", the dynamic proliferation of multiple shifting identities... awaits its resolution in a new form of Terror' 27. It is also present, however, in the toned-down exclusionism of authors such as Mouffe. Hence, democracy depends on 'the possibility of drawing a frontier between "us" and "them"', and 'always entails relations of inclusion-exclusion'28. 'No state or political order... can exist without some form of exclusion' experienced by its victims as coercion and violence29, and, since Mouffe assumes a state to be necessary, this means that one must endorse exclusion and violence. (The supposed necessity of the state is derived from the supposed need for a master-signifier or nodal point to stabilize identity and avoid psychosis, either for individuals or for societies). What is at stake in the division between these two trends in Lacanian political theory is akin to the distinction Vaneigem draws between "active" and "passive" nihilism30. The Laclauian trend involves an implied ironic distance from any specific project, which maintains awareness of its contingency; overall, however, it reinforces conformity by insisting on an institutional mediation which overcodes all the "articulations". The iekian version is committed to a more violent and passionate affirmation of negativity, but one which ultimately changes very little. The function of the iekian "Act" is to dissolve the self, producing a historical event. "After the revolution", however, everything stays much the same. For all its radical pretensions, iek's politics can be summed up in his attitude to neo-liberalism: 'If it works, why not try a dose of it?'31. The phenomena which are denounced in Lacanian theory are invariably readmitted in its "small print", and this leads to a theory which renounces both effectiveness and political radicalism.

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Affirmative - AT: session


Psychoanalysis is a method of persuasion this means two things. 1) There is no real solvency on the alternative, and 2) if at the end of the round we still believe in the presentation and context of the aff we win because the session has been a failure. Hoenisch 06 (Steve, PhD, The Myth of Psychoanalysis: Wittgenstein Contra Freud, http://www.criticism.com/md/tech.html) SRM
Psychotherapy may in fact produce a cure, but it stems not from insight, as Freud would probably argue in general terms, but from "persuasion," as Wittgenstein puts it in his argument against Freud's view. The psychoanalyst's art, then, lies in finding, based on available information obtained from the patient and through transference, the most persuasive argument for the patient to see his problems in a different light -- to be persuaded to see the world and his relation to it differently. In this change of perspective, brought about by argument, not insight, lies the cure. Or, to put it another way, the cure lies not in the insight but in being persuaded that the insight is right. What, though, allows the patient to be persuaded that the insight is correct? Bouveresse responds to this question from Wittgenstein's corner: "The success of the psychoanalytic explanations would be inexplicable if these explanations did not have a particular `charm'."18 The success of the argument, so to speak, is in turn due more to the charm of the insight than the insight itself. Wittgenstein explains: "If you are led by psycho-analysis to say that really you thought so and so, or that really your motive was so and so, this is not a matter of discovery, but of persuasion."19 Thus, for Wittgenstein, it is not an insight at all that leads to the cure, but being persuaded to adopt a particular point of view. "In a different way," Wittgenstein says, "you could have been persuaded of something different. Of course, if psychoanalysis cures your stammer, it cures it, and that is an achievement. One thinks of certain results of psychoanalysis as a discovery Freud made, as apart from something persuaded to you by a psychoanalyst, and I wish to say this is not the case."20 But just what is persuaded to the patient by the therapist? What form, in other words, does the insight take? Bouveresse supplies an answer: "Wittgenstein himself thinks that the psychoanalyst is primarily in search of a `good' story that will produce the desired therapeutic effect once it is accepted by the patient, and yet neither the patient's assent nor therapeutic success in itself proves that this story is true or even should be true."21

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Affirmative - permutation

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Affirmative generic
Lacanian theory is a faade: the lack isnt real and the Real isnt impossible the claims of Lacan make sense only in the world of the conscious during therapeutic sessions. This also makes the perm impossible because DnG operate in the framework of the living apposed to the perspective of consciousness taken by Lacan. Holland 1999 (Eugene, Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the Ohio State University; Deleuze and Guatarris Anti-Oedipus and introduction to Schitzoanalysis) Pg 53 SRM
But there is a third and far more important reason for bisecting the L-schema; it involves the Symbolic and Imaginary diagonals and their impact on the nature of the relations mapped in the top half of the diagram. We mentioned above that Lacans Symbolic and Imaginary form an illegitimately exclusive disjunction (of the closed form: either this or that) because of his exclusion of the Real, because he declares the real to be impossible (27/35). But the Real can be impossible only from the perspective of consciousness. Insofar as consciousness is defined linguistically, as purely differential, and the Real is defined correlatively as pure substantiality, the Real is indeed impossible for consciousness. But it cannot be impossible for life. From the perspective of living beings, the Real is not only not impossible, it is in fact absolutely necessary. This is the fundamental difference separating Deleuze and Guattari from Lacan: he (for perfectly understandable pragmatic reasons: as a training analyst) takes the perspective of consciousness, and the talking cure; they, following Marx and Nietzsche, take the perspective of life, and the production of life. From this perspective, the original top half of the schema (the relation designated by < ---- > represents simply the desiring-production of the Real, inasmuch as the objective being of desire is the Real in and of itself (267/34). Thus Lacans admirable theory of desire appears to have two poles: one related to the object small-a as a desiring-machine, which defines desire in terms of a real productionand the other related to the great Other as a signifier, which reintroduces[the] notion of lack. (27n./34n.) It is the productiveconstitutive relation of desire to the Real that always forms the point of departure for schizoanalysis, against which to measure the superimposition of lack by social forces. (And these social forces do not always amount to the Oedipus but rather vary historically, as we shall see in the next chapter.) Several important consequences follow. For one thing, the partial-objects relations constitutive of the Real are not just inevitable, as I suggested above, but fundamental: even if they are not always accessible to consciousness and never fully or accurately attain representation, the operations of the connective synthesis of production form the basis of human existence for schizoanalysis (in much the same way that will-to-power does for Nietzsche44). The productive relations linking desire with the Real are not impossible or lacking: it is rather consciousness that is incomplete or lacking or impossible with respect to them. Desire actively produces the Real; consciousness merely re-constructs it in representations, and it is these representations that are lacking with respect to the activity of desiring-production.

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Affirmative aff is better than the alt


The 1AC is an attempt to change law this attempt may be facile but it is important: it is in working to change the law that gives up fantasy support and frees the subject. The plan is net better than the alternative CARLSON, Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, 1999 David Gray, The Columbia Law Review, DUELLISM IN MODERN AMERICAN JURISPRUDENCE November, p. Lexis-Nexis SRM
Schlag is very hard on law professors who give advice to judges. He mocks their work as mere "pretend-law," n313 mere journalism. n314 "One need only pick up a judicial opinion, a state statute, a federal regulation, or a law review article to experience an overwhelming sense of dread and ennui." n315 Meanwhile, judges are not even paying attention to legal scholarship n316 - which, experience teaches, is disappointingly true. Vicarious participation in litigation or legislation can nevertheless be defended as a participation in culture itself. Law professors can contribute to that culture by making law more coherent, and in this sense their project is at least as worthy as any that philosophy, history or astrophysics [*1951] could devise. Law has an objective structure that exceeds mere subjectivity. This objective structure can be altered by hard work. An altered legal world, however, is not the point. Evidence of consequential impact is gratifying, but this is simply what mere egotism requires. It is in the work itself that the value of legal scholarship can be found. Work is what reconciles the failure of the unhappy consciousness to achieve justice. Work is, in Hegel's view, desire held in check, fleetingness staved off... work forms and shapes the thing. The negative relation to the object becomes its form and something permanent... This negative middle term or the formative activity is at the same time the individuality or pure being-forself of consciousness which now... acquires an element of permanence. n317 Hegel, then, gives a spiritual turn to that worthy slogan "publish or perish." By working the law, lawyers, judges, private citizens, and even academics can make it more permanent, more resilient, more "existential," n318 but, more to the point, they make themselves more resilient, more "existential." n319 Work on law can increase freedom - the positive freedom that relieves the worker of "anxiety" - fear of disappearance into the Real. n320 When work is done, the legal universe swells and fills itself out - like an appetite that "grows by what it feeds on." n321 But far more important, the self gains a place in the world by the very work done. Work is the means of "subjective destitution" or "narcissistic loss" n322 - the complete externalization of the subject and the surrender of the fantasy support upon which the subject otherwise depends. In Lacanian terms, "subjective destitution" is the wages of cure at the end of analysis.

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Affirmative psychoanalysis = despotism


The logic of psychoanalysis justifies despotism Deleuze and Guattari 1972, Anti-Oedipus, 304-5 SRM
Consequently, the ambiguity of psychoanalysis in relation to myth or tragedy has the following explanation: psychoanalysis undoes them as objective representations, and discovers in them the figures of a subjective universal libido; but it reanimates them, and promotes them as subjective representations that extend the mythic and tragic contents to infinity. Psychoanalysis does treat myth and tragedy, but it treats them as the dreams and the fantasies of private man, Homo familiaand in fact dream and fantasy are to myth and tragedy as private property is to public property. What acts in myth and tragedy at the level of objective elements is therefore reappropriated and raised to a higher level by psychoanalysis, but as an unconscious dimension of subjective representation (myth as humanity's dream). What acts as an objective and public element-the Earth, the Despot-is now taken up again, but as the expression of a subjective and private reterritorialization: Oedipus is the fallen despot-banished, deterritorialized-but a reterritorialization is engineered, using the Oedipus complex conceived of as the daddy-mommy-me of today's everyman. Psychoanalysis and the Oedipus complex gather up all beliefs, all that has ever been believed by humanity, but only in order to raise it to the condition of a denial that preserves belief without believing in it (it's only a dream: the strictest piety today asks for nothing more). Whence this double impression, that psychoanalysis is opposed to mythology no less than to mythologists, but at the same time extends myth and tragedy to the dimensions of the subjective universal: if Oedipus himself "has no complex," the Oedipus complex has no Oedipus, just as narcissism has no Narcissus.* Such is the ambivalence that traverses psychoanalysis, and that extends beyond the specific problem of myth and tragedy: with one hand psychoanalysis undoes the system of objective representations (myth, tragedy) for the benefit of the subjective essence conceived as desiring-production, while with the other hand it reverses this production in a system of subjective representations (dream and fantasy, with myth and tragedy posited as their developments or projections). Images, nothing but images. What is left in the end is an intimate familial theater, the theater of private man, which is no longer either desiring-production or objective representation. The unconscious as a stage. A whole theater put in the place of production, a theater that disfigures this production even more than could tragedy and myth when reduced to their meager ancient resources.

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Affirmative AT: Thomassen


Thomassens attack on Robinson is contradictory and just plain wrong Andrew Robinson, "Accepting Contingency, or Imposing Authority? A Reply to Thomassen," The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 6 (4), 2004, p. 562564. SRM
Thomassen then makes two contradictory criticisms: firstly, that I think I can read off a politics from Lacanian ontology, which in terms of post-structuralism I cannot do, because these spheres are separate and incommensurable; and, secondly, that I mistakenly separate the ontological and political spheres and therefore must believe in essentialist separations. This suggests a certain confusion regarding what exactly is wrong with the relationship I suggest operates in Lacanian political theory. As regards the first of these criticisms, I did not suggest that a politics can be derived in a simplistic manner from Lacanian ontology, but only that adoption of this ontology limits the politics one can hold. I would accept the weaker claim that theoretical interpretation is contestable, but Thomassen appears to be suggesting that, for post-structuralists, there is no relationship between ontology and politics. Without discussing the problems which a consideration of the work of (say) Lyotard or Deleuze would here introduce, suffice it to say that Mouffes denouncements of liberal egalitarianism, the Third Way and so on would have little force were it not for the derivation of their political inadequacy from their alleged ontological refusal of lack and contingency. Most post-structuralists who write about politics attempt to link a rejection of contingency to authoritarian and/or impotent politics, thereby clearly linking ontology and politics in a manner incompatible with the thesis of incommensurability. As regards the second criticism, since the political is a category of (social) ontology a logic permeating society in its entiretyand since it is frequently articulated with politics in various ways, the ontology-politics overlap, and also the conceptual separation, are immanent features in Mouffes work.
Thomassen misrepresents Mouffes concept of the political by simply identifying it with contingency. It does mean contingency, but also negativity, antagonism and lack, a conflation which is confusing. The concept also refers to the repressive response to contingency which restores order by imposing a master-signifierin Mouffes language, by taking a decisionan approach which puts Mouffe on a collision course with the perpetual openness to the other demanded, for instance, by Derridean/ Levinasian ethics (Mouffe 2000, 129130). Thus, the function of social organization is to reduce the margin of undecidability (Mouffe 1993, 141) by constructing an undecidable decided (Mouffe 1993, 152), and to deny the special primacy of the state is to deny the political (Mouffe 2000, 5152). It is this distinct combination of elements, which both renders Mouffe a Lacanian (rather than simply a post-structuralist, a category which also includes Derrideans, Deleuzians and others) and renders her politics inherently conservative. The originally cited passages (Mouffe 2000, 43, 105, 129132) all refer explicitly to the Schmittian decision, and thereby confirm Mouffes Hobbesian statism. It is the insistence that the chaotic state of nature of contingency be subsumed or repressed in an arbitrary act of closure by a sovereign state, which is expressed through her use of this concept. Thus, for Mouffe as for Schmitt, there is a danger of a loss of common premises, an exacerbation of differences and disintegration of society and a multiplication of particularisms threatening social order (Mouffe 2000, 55 and 1993, 147, 150). Against this chaotic scenario, Mouffe demands a new form of bond to restore order (1993, 139), and to form such a bond, she suggests that Lacan has shown the necessity of a mastersignifier to which individuals submit, which is founded only on itself and which introduces a non-founded violence without which the [discursive] field would disintegrate (Mouffe 2000,

138). It is therefore imperative to construct new exclusions and new frontiers, to generate the needed passions to produce social unity (Mouffe 1993, 6). Ethics is thus to emanate from and be oriented to the state (1993, 131). The Hobbesian implications of radical democracy are even clearer in an earlier piece by ErnestoLaclau and Lilian Zac (1994), where Hobbes is directly invoked and social order is presented as a primary, transcendent good which should trump specific concerns. Such Hobbesianism is in contradiction with a belief in contingency, because the state is given an extra-contingent, transcendental significance as the expression of an ontological necessity, as if it is itself above contingency. It is precisely this endorsement of arbitrary state power, which produces the switch from an attempt to overcome social exclusion to a more restricted discussion about which exclusions we can and want to live with. It should be recalled that, for Mouffe, the we of such a discussion is itself constructed by an arbitrary decision, and indeed, is defined by the exclusions it embraces. I maintain that this altered perspective is conservative because of the way an unjust and oppressive state is rendered inevitable and thus something to be accepted. Since a just, non-oppressive state is dismissed as a totalitarian fantasy, and since a stateless society would be a foreclosure of the moment of decision, this conclusion is a necessary outcome of Mouffes work. The discursive effects are clearly conservative, because they blunt the force of opposition to oppression. In particular, the unconditional intolerability of oppression or injustice for its victims is something, which cannot be articulated as a basis of transformative politics, because exclusion is taken to be an ontological necessity. Since Mouffes theory logically implies that state violence, exclusion, injustice and oppression are in and of themselves unobjectionable, it removes a major basis for transformative politics and places barriers in the way of emancipatory claims. It also means a transformed, radical-democratic world can only be marginally better than the present, because the problems of the present would either be unresolved or merely displaced in the form of new, equally violent exclusions.