Thinking Too Much and Not Enough


“…It is said that Spinoza kept his coat with a hole pierced by an [assassin’s] knife thrust as a reminder that thought is not always loved by men. While sometimes happens that a philosopher ends up on trial, rarely does a philosopher begin with an excommunication and an attempt on his life.” (Spinoza: Practical Philosophy)

I was also reminded of Zizek who in the past few years has come under scrutiny by partisans of the Left, who have both put him on trial and excommunicated him within certain factions. Strange how even his friends and admirers have also become part of that scrutiny… I was reading this today by Adam Kotsko : Would not the most radical political intervention for Zizek be precisely to STOP?! . Kotsko says,

Slavoj Zizek needs to stop writing political columns. He is not good at it. Some readers are still making heroic efforts to construe his political columns positively, but if you need a supporter to write a 2000+ word defense of your pithy political intervention — indeed, if most readers construe it as meaning the opposite of what is intended — then you are doing it wrong.

I’ve done it in the past, too. So, am as guilty… Maybe we need to rethink this issue?

2 thoughts on “Thinking Too Much and Not Enough

  1. Good analogy. I kinda put it like this: i dont go into my devout catholic grandmother who dying of cancer and discuss with her how Jesus, Mary and the Saints are not wAiting to welcome her in heaven.


  2. Zizek will probably never stop writing and speaking his opinions. He’s too high energy and prolific. Sure everyone wants to earn a living, both well-fed left and right. He’s got some of that Eric Hoffer “true believer” in him. This combined with post-modern obscurantism requires heroic re-interpretation of his right leaning on certain positions. So be it. He’s a firebrand provoking thought reaction and pushing moral hot buttons. Good for him and good for us. Another alternative for the ultra-left would be shunning, banning, boycotting, however that’s not going to happen. He’s too interesting of a personality.

    “Hoffer identifies three main personality types as the leaders of mass movements, “men of words”, “fanatics”, and “practical men of action.” No person falls exclusively into one category, and their predominant quality may shift over time.

    “Mass movements begin with “men of words” or “fault-finding intellectuals” such as clergy, journalists, academics, and students who condemn the established social order (such as Gandhi, Trotsky, Mohammed, and Lenin). The men of words feel unjustly excluded from or mocked and oppressed by the existing powers in society, and they relentlessly criticize or denigrate present institutions. Invariably speaking out in the name of disadvantaged commoners, the man of words is actually motivated by a deep personal grievance. The man of words relentlessly attempts to “discredit the prevailing creeds” and creates a “hunger for faith” which is then fed by “doctrines and slogans of the new faith.”[19] A cadre of devotees gradually develops around the man of words, leading to the next stage in a mass movement.”

    John Searle question to Michel Foucault: “Why do you write so badly”? Answer: “In France it would be regarded as somewhat childish and naïve. In France you have to have 10% incomprehensible or else people will not believe it’s sophisticated enough.”

    Liked by 1 person

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