This is an extract of our Zizek Mapping Ideology document, which we sell as part of our Sociological Theory Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Oxford students.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Sociological Theory Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Slavoj Zizek - Mapping Ideology Introduction: The Spectre of Ideology
1. Critique of Ideology, today?
* Ideology exists as a generative matrix that regulates the relationship between the imaginable and the non-imaginable, visible and non-visible
* in the 1970s, we took humanity's exploitative relationship with nature for granted, and imagined different forms of social organization (communism, fascism)
* now (1995) we take liberal capitalism for granted, but question our relationship with nature
# it is as if the end of the world is more plausible than the end of liberal capitalism
* we can see this matrix in the dialectical relationship between old and new
# i.e. where an event is heralded as the start of a new epoch, but is 'entirely inscribed in the logic of the existing order'; or the reverse, where an event that represents a new epoch is seen as a return to the past
* e.g. late capitalism is seen as a new epoch, when in fact it represents the same dynamics
* the new states in Eastern Europe are seen as a return to 19th century nation states, but in fact this concept is being withered away by ethnic nationalism, transnational links etc
* these relationships are dialectical - liberal capitalism and Eurasism are opposite poles, but each is inherent within the other, and to understand Eurasism we must dissect liberal capitalism
* Doesn't the critique of ideology presuppose some privileged position, above the turmoils of social life, where we can view the mechanism that regulates visibility and non-visibility?
* isn't this the most clear case of ideology?
* Ideology can consist in finding necessity in contingent events - seeing patriarchy as 'natural' but it can also consist in seeing necessary events as contingent
* e.g. in psychoanalysis, claiming your words were a slip of the tongue, without signification, or in economics, where a crisis that represents the inner logic of the system is represented as contingent
* so in law, the idea of personal guilt serves the ideological function of hiding the (necessary?) mechanisms that define the meaning of actions before they are even committed - this precludes an analysis of concrete conditions
# similarly the leftist focus on concrete conditions sees necessity where there is contingence
* The ambiguity between the concrete circumstances analysis of economics and the interpretive, desire-focus of psychoanalysis may be ideological
* viewing resistance to social relations as the acting out of psychic tensions can clearly be seen as ideological
* similarly attributing all to social conditions, and neglecting 'the real of his of her desire' is 'no less false'
* It is when we try to step out of ideology that we are most enslaved by it
* actions are ideological where they reflect actual relations of power
# thus ideology has no connection with illusion - ideology may be true or false: the
Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Sociological Theory Notes.