Every morning I wake up on

The wrong side of capitalism

“There was never so much belief as there is today”

I was reminded of Žižek’s claim by a passage I came across in Iain Banks’s Inversions (the narrator here is a member of the pseudo-medieval society that forms the book’s setting):

“Yes, but what do you personally believe?”

I frowned at her, an expresion such a graceful, gentle face did not deserve to have directed at it. Did the Doctor really imagine that everyone went around believing different things? One believed what one was told to believe, what it made sense to believe.

And I wonder if belief isn’t a modern phenomenon tout court, at least in the sense of personal belief. If that’s right, the paradoxical belief through purported non-belief that Žižek often identifies in contemporary ideology would be the structure of belief in general. Deleuze and Guattari write of psychoanalysis and its relation to myth:

Psychoanalysis and the Oedipus complex gather up all beliefs, all that has ever been believed by humanity, but only in order to raise it to the condition of a denial that preserves belief without believing in it (it’s only a dream: the strictest piety today asks for nothing more).

What I wonder is: has anything “ever been believed by humanity” in the sense of belief that we nowadays posit in order to deny? Or is the past simply the ultimate screen for the cynic’s projection: the pre-moderns are made to believe so that we don’t have to.

 

2 comments

  1. People believe what they want to believe….a bit glib but think about it…
    Porkbeast

    Snort!

    Comment by Porkbeast @ 7/11/2006 8:51 pm

  2. Zizek on philosophy:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=WDNXS3NrVdE

    Comment by TonyPro @ 7/30/2006 1:18 pm

Leave a comment

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.