Zizek and the ideological role of eastern thought

This article has links to my own life (self-awareness/self-criticism) more than it has links to the rest of the blog. Nevertheless some people may find it interesting:

It concerns the possible ideological role of 'eastern' ideas especially in the context of 'future shock':

One should mention here the well-known concept of "future shock" that describes how people are no longer psychologically able to cope with the dazzling rhythm of technological development and the social changes that accompany it. Things simply move too fast, and before one can accustom oneself to an invention, it has already been supplanted by a new one, so that one more and more lacks the most elementary "cognitive mapping."


Here is the conclusion:

The difference between the authentic fundamentalists and the perverted
Moral Majority fundamentalists is that the first (like the Amish in the
United States) get along very well with their American neighbors since
they are simply centered on their own world and not bothered by what
goes on out there among "them," while the Moral Majority fundamentalist
is always haunted by the ambiguous attitude of horror/envy with regard
to the unspeakable pleasures in which the sinners engage. The reference
to Envy as one of the seven deadly sins can thus serve as a perfect
instrument enabling us to distinguish authentic fundamentalism from its
Moral Majority mockery: authentic fundamentalistsdo not envy their neighbors their different jouissance.

Envy is grounded in what one is tempted to call the "transcen-dental
illusion" of desire, strictly correlative to the Kantian transcendental
illusion: a natural "propensity" in the human being to (mis)perceive
the object which gives body to the primordial lack as the object which
is lacking, which was lost (and, consequently, possessed prior to this
loss); this illusion sustains the longing to regain the lost object, as
if this object has a positive substantial identity independently of its
being lost.

The conclusion to be drawn from this is a simple and radical one: Moral
Majority fundamentalists and tolerant multiculturalists are two sides
of the same coin: they both share a fascination with the Other. In the
Moral Majority, this fascination displays the envious hatred of the
Other's excessive jouissance, while the multiculturalist
tolerance of the Other's Otherness is also more twisted than it may
appear—it is sustained by a secret desire for the Other to remain
"other," not to become too much like us. In contrast to both these
positions, the only truly tolerant attitude towards the Other is that
of the authentic radical fundamentalist.

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