Wednesday, January 07, 2009


a Western BuddhistThe Wednesday quotation, part XI: Slavoj Zizek on the fetishistic mode of ideology.

"Western Buddhism" [. . .] perfectly fits the fetishist mode of ideology in our allegedly "post-ideological" era, as opposed to its traditional symptomal mode, in which the ideological lie that structures our perception of reality is threatened by symptoms qua "returns of the repressed," cracks in the fabric of the ideological lie. Fetish is effectively a kind of envers of the symptom. That is to say, symptom is the exception which disturbs the surface of the false appearance, the point at which the repressed truth erupts, while fetish is the embodiment of the Lie which enables us to sustain the unbearable truth. [. . .] In this sense, a fetish can play a very constructive role of allowing us to cope with the harsh reality: fetishists are not dreamers lost in their private worlds, they are thorough "realists," able to accept the way things are – since they have their fetish to which they can cling in order to defuse the full impact of reality. (Slavoj Zizek, "The Prospects of Radical Politics Today". International Journal of Baudrillard Studies 5.1 [January, 2008])

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