Apocalyptic Boredom

Žižek

Capital is the Real of our lives.
Capital is the Real of our lives.

This article is available in:

When we were fighting AIDS, hunger, water shortages, global warming, and so on, there always seemed to be time to reflect, to postpone decisions (recall how the main conclusion of the last meeting of world leaders in Bali, hailed as a success, was that they would meet again in two years to continue their talks ...). But with the financial meltdown, the urgency to act was unconditional; sums of an unimaginable magnitude had to be found immediately. Saving endangered species, saving the planet from global warming, saving AIDS patients and those dying for lack of funds for expensive treatments, saving the starving children ... all this can wait a little bit. The call to “save the banks!” by contrast, is an unconditional imperative that must be met with immediate action. The panic was so absolute that a transnational and non-partisan unity was immediately established, all grudges between world leaders being momentarily forgotten in order to avert the catastrophe. But what the much praised “bi-partisan” approach effectively meant was that even democratic procedures were de facto suspended: there was no time to engage in proper debate, and those who opposed the plan in the US Congress were quickly made to fall in with the majority. Bush, McCain and Obama all quickly got together, explaining to confused congressmen and women that there was simply no time for discussion – we were in a state of emergency, and things simply had to be done fast ... And let us also not forget that the sublimely enormous sums of money were spent not on some clear “real” or concrete problem, but essentially in order to restore confidence in the markets, that is, simply to change people’s beliefs!

Do we need any further proof that Capital is the Real of our lives, a Real whose imperatives are much more absolute than even the most pressing demands of our social and natural reality?

Slavoj Žižek, First As Tragedy, Then As Farce

Comments on the article “Žižek”

Displaying 1 - 10 of 12

Page 1 of 2

ArtX

If "the Real" means the value that frames the construction of reality, then Capital, and specifically profit -- the imperative that money makes money -- is undoubtedly the most Real thing in modern society.

ArtX

If "the Real" means the value that frames the construction of reality, then Capital, and specifically profit -- the imperative that money makes money -- is undoubtedly the most Real thing in modern society.

Anonymous

The shared dream that is our ever growing, fiat based economy is at the same time the most real part of our lives, and our greatest illusion. Should enough people wake up from this dream, and realize that the numbers don't comport with actual reality, with the facts enshrined in the disciplines of science that are not economics, and with their own experience, then the dream will fall apart, but do not be mistaken, the consequences of that dream's ending will be undeniably, painfully real.

Anonymous

The shared dream that is our ever growing, fiat based economy is at the same time the most real part of our lives, and our greatest illusion. Should enough people wake up from this dream, and realize that the numbers don't comport with actual reality, with the facts enshrined in the disciplines of science that are not economics, and with their own experience, then the dream will fall apart, but do not be mistaken, the consequences of that dream's ending will be undeniably, painfully real.

Anonymous

When you're thirsty and there's no one to buy from, your money's nothing more than paper. And that's all it's worth.

Anonymous

When you're thirsty and there's no one to buy from, your money's nothing more than paper. And that's all it's worth.

Anonymous

very true, fiat money as a store of value depends on confidence, and without that confidence is worth precisely nothing. however, as a means of exchange, how does a person earn a glass of water by utilising, for example, their service based skills such as computer programming? regarding the article, how much money does one carry on their person or under the mattress at any one moment in time, and indeed would it be worth anything at all. If the banks and consequently credit/debit cards, ATMs etc had gone under, all businesses and services closed, probably including health and police. i cannot think of a better description of the resulting panic and deathtoll than "hell on earth"

Anonymous

very true, fiat money as a store of value depends on confidence, and without that confidence is worth precisely nothing. however, as a means of exchange, how does a person earn a glass of water by utilising, for example, their service based skills such as computer programming? regarding the article, how much money does one carry on their person or under the mattress at any one moment in time, and indeed would it be worth anything at all. If the banks and consequently credit/debit cards, ATMs etc had gone under, all businesses and services closed, probably including health and police. i cannot think of a better description of the resulting panic and deathtoll than "hell on earth"

Anonymous

I agree with your point, there would have been a period of chaos if the banks were allowed to fail.

However are n't these same banks responsible for contributing to hell on earth. Is n't the Mexican drug war hell on earth? the proceeds of which the banks are happy to take and profit from. Are n't the slums in third world countries hell on earth? The poverty we find in those countries partly caused by banks siphoning off profits with off shore accounts to avoid any taxation. This means those countries can never build infrastructure from the taxes they should really be paid. Many banks have also been happy to take money from North Korea.

It seems our society worries about creating hell on earth in our own country but we have no problem with allowing it to happen in other poorer countries.

Anonymous

I agree with your point, there would have been a period of chaos if the banks were allowed to fail.

However are n't these same banks responsible for contributing to hell on earth. Is n't the Mexican drug war hell on earth? the proceeds of which the banks are happy to take and profit from. Are n't the slums in third world countries hell on earth? The poverty we find in those countries partly caused by banks siphoning off profits with off shore accounts to avoid any taxation. This means those countries can never build infrastructure from the taxes they should really be paid. Many banks have also been happy to take money from North Korea.

It seems our society worries about creating hell on earth in our own country but we have no problem with allowing it to happen in other poorer countries.

Pages

Add a new comment

Comments are closed.