According to Žižek, the subject is a “crack” in the universal field or substance of being, not a knowable thing (see 4d). As Žižek highlights in his analyses of the political discontents in former Yugoslavia following the fall of communism, each national or political community tends to claim that its sublime Thing is inalienable, and hence utterly incapable of being understood or destroyed by enemies. A properly Marxist critique doesn’t just look at what a text says, but what it does, and to whom it’s speaking. Fantasy, as we saw in 2a, operates to structure subjects’ beliefs about the jouissance which must remain only the stuff of imagination, purely “virtual” for subjects of the social law.

If the objet petit a is not looked at from a particular, subjective perspective—or, in the words of one of Žižek’s titles, by “looking awry” —it cannot be seen at all. Examples of the voice as object petit a include the persecutor’s voice in paranoia, or the very silence that some TV advertisements now use, and which captures our attention by making us wonder whether we may not have missed something. However false such a sense of freedom is, Žižek insists that it is nevertheless a political instance of what Hegel called an essential appearance. Žižek knowingly and polemically positions his writings against virtually all other contemporary theorists, with the significant exception of Alain Badiou. It is deeply revealing, from Žižek’s perspective, that the very perspective which allows the Kantian subject in the “dynamic sublime” to resignify its own finitude as itself a source of pleasure-in-pain (jouissance) is precisely one which identifies with the supersensible moral Law, before which the sensuous subject remains irredeemably guilty, infinitely striving to pay off its moral debt. […] Kriss, “Building Norway: A Critique of Slavoj Žižek.” and “Why Slavoj Žižek Is Wrong About the Syrian Refugee Crisis—And […], […] UN ALTRO ARTICOLO SULLO STESSO TEMA DI SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK APPARSO SU IN THESE TIMES UNA CRITICA DURA E ARGOMENTATA DEL BLOGGER SAM KRIS ALL’ARTICOLO DI SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK […], […] tragic humanitarian catastrophe. Žižek’s critical position is that this apparent freedom ideologies thereby allow subjects is finally a lure. Yet Žižek predominantly argues, that the market driven consumerism of later capitalist subjects is characterized by a marketing discourse which—like totalitarian ideologies—does not appeal to subjects in the name of any collective cause justifying individuals’ sacrifice of jouissance. No less than Machiavelli, Žižek is acutely aware that the act that founds a body of Law is never itself legal, according to the very order of Law it sets in place. Yet he insists that we are not living in a post-ideological world, as figures as different as Tony Blair, Daniel Bell or Richard Rorty have claimed. ; but if Adam and Eve were not purely innocent when the snake lured them, in what sense was this a fall at all? According to Žižek, all successful political ideologies necessarily refer to and turn around sublime objects posited by political ideologies. The only manner in which we can explain the origin of language is within language, Žižek notes in For They Know Not What They Do.

Each political regime has a body of more or less explicit, usually written Laws which demand that subjects forego jouissance in the name of the greater good, and according to the letter of its proscriptions (for example, the US or French constitutions). Individuals will only turn around when the Law hails them, Žižek argues, insofar as they are finally subjects also of the unconscious belief that the “big Other” has access to the jouissance they have lost as subjects of the Law, and which they can accordingly reattain through their political allegiance (see 2b). This is, to put it mildly, strange behaviour for a self-described communist. However, as Žižek argues, Kant withdraws from the strictly diabolical implications of this position.

In The Sublime Object of Ideology, Žižek cites Blaise Pascal’s advice that doubting subjects should get down on their knees and pray, and then they will believe. Today’s typical first world subjects, according to Žižek, are the dupes of what he calls “ideological cynicism.” Drawing on the German political theorist Sloterdijk, Žižek contends that the formula describing the operation of ideology today is not “they do not know it, but they are doing it”, as it was for Marx. Žižek’s work is infamously idiosyncratic. No less than the Wolf Man’s false transposition of himself back into the primal scene that was to explain his origin, Žižek argues that the attempt of any political regime to explain its own origins in a political myth that denies the fundamental, extralegal violence of these origins is fundamentally false.

But it has been widely disputed in the humanities that there could ever be any One such theoretically accessible Truth. Then, so the theory runs, subjects will become aware of the political shortcomings of their current regimes, and be able and moved to better them.