what is encryption?

a quote on encryption=entombing. antigone about her brother: “as rumour saith, it hath been published to the town that none shall entomb him or mourn, but leave unwept, unsepulchred, a welcome store for the birds, as they espy him, to feast on at will.” http://classics.mit.edu/Sophocles/antigone.html

creon: “Eteocles, who hath fallen fighting for our city, in all renown of arms, shall be entombed, and crowned with every rite that follows the noblest dead to their rest.”

creon continues: “But for his [also antigone’s] brother, Polyneices,-who came back from exile, and sought to consume utterly with fire the city of his fathers and the shrines of his fathers’ gods,-sought to taste of kindred blood, and to lead the remnant into slavery;-touching this man, it hath been proclaimed to our people that none shall grace him with sepulture or lament, but leave him unburied, a corpse for birds and dogs to eat, a ghastly sight of shame.”

antigone encrypting her brother against the law http://ilaydaust.edublogs.org/files/2013/01/Constant_Polynice-x7cyui.jpg


what is encyption?

suture: encryption is what antigone demanded the right to

suture: encryption is what marx calls circulation or what makes circulation possible

suture: encryption is what people call gentrification

suture: encryption has to do with math, with language, with existence, with processing power, with some kind of proportionality


observe the uncanny alliance of political correctness and public/private key cryptography




The positive expression of this ambivalence toward the other’s fantasmatic enjoyment is the obsessive attitude that one can easily detect in what is usually referred to as “PC,” political correctness: the compulsive effort to uncover ever new, ever more refined forms of racial and/or sexual violence and domination (it is not PC to say that the president “smokes a peace-pipe” since this involves a patronizing irony toward Native Americans, etc., etc.). The problem, here, is simply “how can one be a white, heterosexual male and still retain a clear conscience”? All other positions can affirm their specificity, their specific mode of enjoyment, only the white-male-heterosexual position must remain empty, must sacrifice its enjoyment. The weak point of the PC attitude is thus the weak point of the neurotic compulsion: the problem is not that it is too severe, too fanatic, but quite on the contrary that it is not severe enough. That is to say, at first glance, the PC attitude involves the extreme self-sacrifice, the renunciation of everything that sounds sexist and racist, the unending effort to unearth traces of sexism and racism in oneself, an effort not unworthy of the early Christian saint who dedicated his life to discovering in himself ever new layers of sin. [1]

Yet all this effort should not dupe us; it is ultimately a stratagem whose function is to conceal the fact that the PC type is not ready to renounce what really matters: “I’m prepared to sacrifice everything but that” — but what? The very gesture of self-sacrifice. In other words, the PC attitude implies the same antagonism between the enunciated content and the position of enunciation that Hegel denounced apropos of the ascetic self-humiliation: it conceals a patronizing elevation over those whose injuries from discrimination are allegedly compensated. In the very act of emptying the white-male-heterosexual position of all positive content, the PC attitude retains it as a universal form of subjectivity. As such, the PC attitude is an exemplary case of the Sartrean mauvaise foi of the intellectuals: it provides new and newer answers in order to keep the problem alive. What this attitude really fears is that the problem will disappear, i.e., that the white-male-heterosexual form of subjectivity will actually cease to exert its hegemony The guilt displayed by the PC attitude, the apparent desire to get rid of “incorrect” elements, is therefore the form of appearance of its exact opposite: it bears witness to the inflexible will to stick to the white-maleheterosexual form of subjectivity. Or, to put it in clear, old-fashioned political terms: far from being a disguised expression of the extreme Left, the PC attitude is the main ideological protective shield of the bourgeois liberalism against a genuine leftist alternative. [2]

[1] This Christian background of the PC attitude is further confirmed by the recurrent motif of the look as a form of “sexual harassment”: insofar as one can be guilty of the “provocative” look, guilt is located in the subject’s desire, not in his actual deeds – in accordance with the Christian motto that those who sin in their minds are no less guilty than those who actually commit a sin.

[2] The hysterical counterpoint to this American obsessional attitude is the position of the traditional European “critical intellectual” tormented by the question: which legitimate power should I be allowed to obey with a clear conscience? In other words, the traditional European Left intellectual is, even more than Jane Eyre, this ultimate example of the female hysteric, in constant search of a Good Master: he wants a Master, but a Master whom he could dominate, who would follow his advice. This attitude provokes a hysterical reaction, a reaction of “This is not that!”, whenever the hysteric’s side comes to power: he undertakes a desperate search for reasons that would legitimate his continuing disobedience (an exemplary case is provided by the French Left intellectuals after the electoral victory of Mitterrand’s socialists in 1981: they were quick to discover in the socialist government features which made it even worse than the preceding liberal-conservative government, including signs of protofascist nationalism!).

Slavoj Žižek 1993 Tarrying With The Negative


a random signature generator


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