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Thread: The Phenomenal Slavoj Zizek

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokse vektaire xeven View Post
    i know people who feel genuinely salvationary and oppositional because they ride a bike and grew a turnip in their window box once. it is a pacifier of sorts and to that degree i take his point.
    The thing about all this DIY eco-friendly stuff like energy-efficient bulbs, cycling, recycling and all the rest of it is that it actually would make a pretty big difference to the country's overall GHG emissions *if* everyone did it. That's the thing, though - efforts like this will remain tokenistic for as long as they're voluntary, because people en masse are lazy and short-sighted and won't do it if they don't have to.
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    yes yes, we all know that. the point is what it gives people in a transactory sense. similar i suppose to the fairtrade debate that was had on here a while ago

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    What using energy efficient lightbulbs gives people is the same as what reading Zizek gives people though?

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    "What using energy efficient lightbulbs gives people is the same as what reading Zizek gives people though?"
    A headache?

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    But if people are making a (small) difference, why shouldn't they feel good about it? I'm getting really fed up with the self-satisfied doom-mongering of people who've 'seen through it all' and are seemingly happy for the whole world to go to hell because it's our just deserts for being so profligate and consumerist. (Hello, gek-opel!)

    The worst thing about this attitude is that if we're not careful it's going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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    It depends what the aim is.

    Some people think that making a small individual difference to climate change is pissing in the wind because ultimately what has to change is the economic system. Others think that it is precisely that incremental beavering away which can create a culture where it becomes the norm or is at least much higher on the agenda.

    It is undeniable though that the green movement in the UK has been a lightning rod for middle class puritans who like to look down their noses at poorer people who are less "enlightened" and more "materialistic".

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleRich View Post
    A headache?
    Ha, I saw John's comment and was gonna say "some kind of brain-damaging radiation".
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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    It is undeniable though that the green movement in the UK has been a lightning rod for middle class puritans who like to look down their noses at poorer people who are less "enlightened" and more "materialistic".
    Things is, though, stuff like changing to energy-efficient bulbs actually *saves* you money. Sure, they cost a few quid to start with, but they last forever and pay for themselves in a few months in reduced energy bills.

    I think a lot of people in this country - and, I have to say, a lot of poor(er)/working class/unemployed people - seem to be pretty crap at considering the long-term consequences of short-term expenditure. Look at the mess so many people are in with credit card debt, hire purchase, 0% finance and all the rest - in fact it's likely the massive unchecked growth of these industries in recent years has brought this about this situation. Sp like a lot of things, it's a case of a small initial investment of cash or effort to reap a long-term benefit.
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    Perhaps but you have to factor in the huge industries which have sprung up to encourage people to consume vast quantities of crap and get into debt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    Perhaps but you have to factor in the huge industries which have sprung up to encourage people to consume vast quantities of crap and get into debt.
    Yeah yeah, that's what I meant by the unchecked growth of companies whose purpose is to encourage people to piss their money away and then pay it back twice a few years down the line. It's a bad situation and it should be more tightly regulated, but at the same time I think people ought to take more responsibility over their own finances. If you can't afford something, you probably shouldn't buy it.
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    Our Great Economy relies on a credit/housing bubble, tho.

    You're not trying to suggest that we get rid of all this Amazing Financial Growth that has made everyone middle class recently are you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    I'm getting really fed up with the self-satisfied doom-mongering of people who've 'seen through it all' and are seemingly happy for the whole world to go to hell because it's our just deserts for being so profligate and consumerist.
    I agree with this - and think that there is a sense in which Zizek gives to his readers the same thing that he says that ecology gives to its advocates; this is, the sense that they are resisting, that they are doing something, and so on... so that they can then look down there noses at the people earnestly buying energy saving light bulbs, for example...

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    What using energy efficient lightbulbs gives people is the same as what reading Zizek gives people though?
    i'm imagining an "if" after the first what here (right?) therefore making a similar point to JK's above...and to some extent this is a valid criticism, though it can be applied to most theoreticians. However i would say that Zizek seems to me too provocative and scattergun to induce a sense of comfort. he might not offer solutions but he might also encourage people to go and investigate issues for themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by josef k. View Post
    Iso that they can then look down there noses at the people earnestly buying energy saving light bulbs, for example...
    no one looks down their noses on the act itself. it's something which in a best case scenario would be normative. it's the insidious marketing and context that allows people to think they are therefore "doing their bit". as i said a pacifier of sorts. Also

    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    It is undeniable though that the green movement in the UK has been a lightning rod for middle class puritans who like to look down their noses at poorer people who are less "enlightened" and more "materialistic".
    this shit right here^^^

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    "I think a lot of people in this country - and, I have to say, a lot of poor(er)/working class/unemployed people - seem to be pretty crap at considering the long-term consequences of short-term expenditure."
    Yeah, but if you can't afford to make the short term outlay for the long term saving then it's not that easy. It's obviously better value to buy a year long bus pass but there are lots of Londoners who can't afford that so they get fifty-four weekly ones instead - it's not that they don't realise that it's more expensive or that they are stupid or something, it's just that in any given paypacket they won't have the necessary x hundred pounds left over to buy the year pass.

  15. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    Our Great Economy relies on a credit/housing bubble, tho.

    You're not trying to suggest that we get rid of all this Amazing Financial Growth that has made everyone middle class recently are you?
    Actually, asset bubbles rely on monetary policy (they don't simply spring from "Our Great Economy"), and the monetary policy that encourages bubbles (intead of, say, more unemployment) is generally regarded as leftist/liberal/progressive and the do-nothing liquidationists (a la Mellon) are generally thought of as being very conservative. 'Kay?

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