Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Žižek’s Cultural Capitalism

This from NellaLou of the blog Smiling Buddha Cabaret, in a post called "Zizek’s Cultural Capitalism, Trungpa’s Concept of Idiot Compassion and Lifestyle Activists Massaging Conscience" [though I've 'extracted' just Žižek's Cultural Capitalism part]:
We are encouraged to believe that tokens of charity benefit those who suffer. Rather than look at the cause of problems, an overbearing system, deluded social psychology, personal abdication of responsibility and faulty philosophical worldview all of which try to alleviate problems of it’s own making using the same methodology that creates and sustains these problems, we simply work the dysfunctional system harder and faster. It’s Ouroboros on every level. The circle gets smaller and smaller as the beast feeds on itself. As social, material, psychological and spiritual resources are consumed fear and panic rise which compels further rigidity and clinging to this outmoded and damaged methodology.
If you view the viddy below you get a general idea of Žižek's thoughts on capitalism as it is today with regard to charitable enterprise in Britain (with it being very very much the same in America.



I guess my complaint isn't with Slavoj Žižek's way of framing the problem, but with his failure to offer a solution. The solution from SafeGround [with its Movement], Loaves & Fishes, tiny SHOC, Francis House and Sacramento Housing Alliance [The communitarian five], is that they push (or support, passively) the CATASTROPHE that Zizek mentions, a do-again of 20th Century Communism. Truly, outside of regulating capitalism, I don't see the whiff of a solution, anywhere.

So, let us regulate capitalism better! Yes, we will need to put up with some hypocrisies and ongoing weirdnesses and inefficiencies and fake (or, idiot) compassion, but everything else is worse. MUCH worse.

Where we might improve things is getting the public better involved in understanding how charities operate, making it less culturally OK to give money without being aware of what's going on. The media, too, have a role in being courageous, which, in Sacramento, they certainly are not.

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