Why insist, against all hope, on the communist idea? Is such insistence not an exemplary case of the narcissism of the lost cause? And does such narcissism not underlie the predominant attitude of academic Leftists who expect a theoretician to tell them what to do?—they desperately want to commit themselves, but not knowing how to do so effectively, they await the answer from a theoretician. Such an attitude is, of course, in itself false, as if a theory will provide the magic formula, capable of resolving the practical deadlock (Žižek, First as Tragedy, then as Farce, 88).
There were a number of excellent papers at the Waiting for the Political Moment conference in Rotterdam last month, among which were keynotes from Benjamin Noys (which he’s put on line) and Jodi Dean (some of the key arguments of which are in this blog post). These two papers are interestingly read together, I think. Jodi argues that our concern about complexity and the difficulty of knowing enough functions as a kind of theoretical alibi for political inactivity: Read more↴