symbolic classes

from Repeating Lenin – Slavoj Zizek

My personal experience is that practically all of the “radical” academics silently count on the long-term stability of the American capitalist model, with the secure tenured position as their ultimate professional goal (a surprising number of them even play on the stock market). If there is a thing they are genuinely horrified of, it is a radical shattering of the (relatively) safe life environment of the “symbolic classes” in the developed Western societies. Their excessive Politically Correct zeal when dealing with sexism, racism, Third World sweatshops, etc., is thus ultimately a defense against their own innermost identification, a kind of compulsive ritual whose hidden logic is: “Let’s talk as much as possible about the necessity of a radical change to make it sure that nothing will really change!” Symptomatic is here the journal October: when you ask one of the editors to what the title refers, they will half-confidentially signal that it is, of course, THAT October – in this way, one can indulge in the jargonistic analyses of the modern art, with the hidden assurance that one is somehow retaining the link with the radical revolutionary past… With regard to this radical chic, the first gesture towards the Third Way ideologists and practitioners should be that of praise: they at least play their game in a straight way, and are honest in their acceptance of the global capitalist coordinates, in contrast to the pseudo-radical academic Leftists who adopt towards the Third Way the attitude of utter disdain, while their own radicality ultimately amounts to an empty gesture which obliges no one to anything determinate.

http://www.lacan.com/replenin.htm

lenin-cat-web

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