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Skena politika e Kosovës është duke përjetuar momentet e saja më sublime të perverzitetit, i cili është bërë normë dhe kusht i ekzistencës së saj.  Por, si duhet të lexohet perverzioni? Ai nuk është thjeshtë dhe vetëm, ashtu siç e mendonte Freud-i, si formë e sjelles ose aktit seksual, që devijon nga norma heteroseksuale e marrëdhënies. Në Seminarin 1, Lacan shkruan:

 

Çka është perversion? Ajo nuk është thjeshtë shmangie/devijim në raport me kriteret sociale, anomali e kundërt me moralin, edhe pse ky regjistër nuk mungon, e as nuk është në a-tipikalitetin e vet sipas kritereve normale, që dmth se ajo pak a shumë derogon nga finaliteti reproduktin i bashkimit seksual. Ajo është diçka tjetër ne vet strukturën e vet.

 

Në këtë kontekst, duhet të bëhet shumë qartë dallimi ndërmjet akteve perverze, dhe strukturës perverse, që e nënkupton këtë. Thënë ndryshe, përderisa ka akte seksuale perverse, të cilat në instancë të fundit, akti seksual perverz devijon nga norma gjithmonë-tashmë e pranuar shoqërisht, ato nuk janë domosdoshmërisht të lidhura me strukturën e tillë: struktura perverze mbetet e tillë edhe kur aktet e asociuara me te janë shoqërisht të pranuara. Lacan identifikon dy mënyra për identifikimin e strukturave perverze: 1) fallusi dhe mohimi/shmangja/mospranimi, dhe 2) nxitja. Dhe kjo e fundit është e rëndësishme në këtë kontekst, përkatësisht, për mënyrën se si subjekti e vendos vetveten në marrëdhënie me nxitjen/shtysën (seksuale). Nëpërmjet përmbysjes ose sjelljes së matemës së fantazisë, mund të thuhet që perverti nuk e ndjekë aktivitetin për hir të kënaqësisë së tij/saj, por për kënaqësinë e Tjetrit të madh. Thënë ndryshe, përverti e supozon vetveten në pozicionin e objektit-instrument të “vullnetit-për-t’u-kënaqur”. Nëse kjo përmbledhet, atëherë perverzioni ka të bëjë me struktrurën, në vend se me aktin, dhe me shmangjen, në vend të ndrydhjes. Si do të dukej kjo formulë e aplikuar në skenën politikë të Kosovës?

         Skena politike është objekti-instrumenti i kënaqësisë së Tjetrit të madh, i cili në vendin tonë, merr forma dhe shfaqët nëpermjet trajtave të ndryshme: nga strukturat neo-imperialste në vend, tek forca asgjësuese e marrëdhënieve në prodhim (natyrisht, po flasim për klasat e shtypura dhe stratat e tjera të dominuara të shoqërisë, që padyshim se e përbëjnë shumicën numerike të vendit – e cila assesi nuk duhet të lexohet si kolektivitet potencialisht politik), e deri tek fetishizimi (formë e perverzionit, ose “perversion i perverzioneve” S4, 194) i popullit dhe glorifikimi i tij në Tjetrin e madh. Ky është momenti i komplikimit të situatës në Kosovë: hapësira shoqërore është e hegjemonizuar nga këto dy ideologji predominuese, të cilat, në dukje të parë, duken si antagoniste. Fusha hegjemonike e ideologjiksë së sotme na imponohet nëpërmjet prezentimit të kontradiktës së vet themelore si kontradikte univerzale. Në termonologjinë e Mao TseTung, kjo kontradiktë (ndërmjet liberalëve dhe identitarëve) është kontradiktë false: fusha ideologjike në të cilën ngritet kjo kontradiktë, është pikërisht fusha e cilat duhet të vendoset në kontradiktë me elementin tjetër. Thënë ndryshe, marrëdhëniet dhe aktet që burojnë dhe operojnë brenda asaj fushe (pavarësisht se çfare janë), janë gjithmonë-tashmë perverze, ose janë kontradikta jo-antagoniste (në instancë të fundit). Si rrjedhojë, fusha në të cilat këto kontradikta jo-antagoniste (në instancë të fundit) duhet të hudhet poshtë dhe të mohohet si e tillë. Marrëdhëniet ndërmjet liberalëve postmodern (ose, autokratëve) në skenën e tanishme politike, janë dy anët e se njejtës medalje, sepse njëra është reaksion i tjetrës dhe vice versa.

         Në filozofinë e Alain Badiou-së, thënë përafërsisht dhe pa saktësi të madhe metodologjike, boshllëku është rendi i parë ontologjik, si është “qenien e të gjitha prezentimeve-të-shumëfishta”. Ajo është emri për inkonsistencën e situatës, e cila në vetvete nuk mund të prezentohet. Në kryeveprën e tij, Qenia dhe Ngjarja, Badiou shkruan se “në mënyrë që boshllëku të ndalohet nga prezentimi, është e domosodhme që struktura të jetë e strukturuar” (BE, f.93). Duke e percjellur të njejtën logjikë, mund të thuhet se kjo është “gjendja e situatës.” Gjendja është gjithmonë gjendje e situatës, sepse ajo “që prezenton, nën shenjën e Njëshit, si shumësi konsistente, nga ana tjëtër është e kompozuar nga çka situata prezenton.” Kjo situatë (ose, gjendje e situatës), është sistem i shtrëngesave dhe pamundësisë – ajo e përcakton limitin e pamundësisë përbrenda dhe në situatë.

         Në Kosovë, gjendja e situatës (metastruktura) është e “struktuar në dominim” (Althusser) nga ekonomia e kapitaliste dhe komprador-borgjezia e vendit (partneri junior i korporatave të dështura të tregut global kapitalist), shtrengimet dhe limitet e imponuara nga intervenimet neo-imperialiste dhe partnerëve të tyre lokal (qeveri të kriminalizuar dhe korruptuar), etj. Andaj, ç’të bëjmë në një rrethanë kur alternativa e vërtetë emancipuese është inekzistente? Si duhet intervenuar në fushën ideologjike të sotme?

         Gjëja e parë është kjo: njohja e karakterit dhe funksionit tejet subverziv të humorit. Humori nuk është thjeshtë një procedurë e thjeshtë çliruese; në kushtet e një ideologjie të vërtetë, ironia e sarkazma mund të funksionojë shumë mirë si elemente ku subjekti ndjehet plotësisht i lirë. Humori, komedia, ironia e sarkazma, të aplikuara në skenën dhe domenin politik, e kryejnë funksionin e përtej-identifikimit. Përtej-identifikimi me një normë, ose linjë të dhënë ideologjike, është forma më e mirë e pahtësimit të karakterit reaksionar, ose të lapërdhishëm të po asaj norme ose tendence ideologjike. Në kushtet e lapërdhishmërisë dhe reaksionit ideologjik si normë, përtej-identifikimi është forma më subverzive e rezistencës, ose më saktë, e përpjekjes për çarjen e rendit ideologjik. Andaj, kjo është linja në të cilën duhet lexuar dhe kuptuar ekzistencën dhe aktivitetin e Partisë së Fortë. Ajo nuk është shfaqje humoristike, dhe as sarkazëm për hir të sarkazmës. Nuk është as ndërmarrje humoristike si e tillë. Ajo që e bën Partinë e Fortë të duket e tillë është pikërisht akti i përtej-identifikimit që ajo i bën dy tendencave kryesore ideologjike në Kosovë. Partia e Fortë nëpërmjet sarkazmës, vetëm se po e shpërfaqë karakterin e lapërdhishëm të politikës së Kosovës, e cila si objekt humori na ka të gjithë ne. Këtu qëndron forca subverzive e kësaj partie; forcë materiale ideologjike e cila mund të shndërrohet në një rrymë dhe tendencë të fortë emancipuese në këtë vend.

 

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The agreement on the ‘normalisation of relations’ signed by the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia has been praised by almost everyone as a ‘historical agreement’. And indeed it is historic – but apparently for completely different reasons than those the EU and other bureaucrats praise it for. From the EU’s gaze and perception of the Balkans, everything that is not an outburst of our primitive ethnical passions is indeed a historic achievement. Peace is almost considered a state of exception. In this regard, the mere fact that the Kosovo and Serbian Prime Ministers have met is a major victory over the primitive tendencies keeping the Balkans as it is: in the permanent state of pre-war explosion. In this respect, what is historic about Thaçi-Dačič agreement?

         Lets put things in a rather schematic manner. With this agreement, the dream of EU integration for a multiethnic Kosovo has been demolished. By imposing this agreement, the European Union has violated its own principles and values, which it otherwise promotes and/or imposes on us. However, it is crucial to note here that their dream has very little to do with reality: far from engaging in some kind of apologetic cry, I maintain that the basic knowledge of the history of the Albanian-Serbian question proves this dream to be a fake. The Serbian-Albanian question is not ethnical (two nations having conceptual problems with the existence of the other, because of which  each of them has to be trained in tolerating the other, etc.), but it is a political question. Over-emphasising this issue is of crucial importance, because, to put it rather simply, by breaking away from this tendency the entire ideological edifice, imposed on us from 1999 onwards, would shamelessly collapse. This way our perspective on the problem would change and the site for political intervention would appear in its ‘basic dimension’ – the colonised against the coloniser. The struggle against multi-ethnicity should perhaps be one of the top-priorities in the Republic of Kosovo. On this note, it should be said that according to the political-legal documents of Kosovo, the people of this country are reduced to ethnical groups, deprived of any political subjectivity whatsoever.

         In this regard, the struggle against the multiethnic conception of the Republic of Kosovo, as well as the struggle against the “historic agreement” signed in April 19th (and its ratification by Kosovo Parliament last week), would be the struggle for the re-politicisation of the Albanian-Serbian question. To summarise the essence of the agreement, I would argue that if it were implemented, the effect would be twofold:

1)   it will create a parallel or autonomous ‘province’ within the borders of the Republic of Kosovo. This will be an ethnic ‘province’, with executive and (up to a point) legislative competences of the “Association of Serbian Municipalities.” The closest comparison (albeit not totally accurate) would be that of the Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2)   It will necessitate ethnically based solutions for the rest of the region. By dividing the country on ethnical lines, in the name of the ‘co-existence between different cultures, religions and ethnicities’, it make it impossible to prevent further division of the country, which will lead to changes in the borders of (at least) a few neighbouring countries.

Having said this, we should point out that there has been opposition to this agreement, both in Prishtina and Belgrade. Nevertheless, this opposition has come from the defenders or promoters of particularist or identitarian politics. They are the pro-EU partisans and the nationalists. Clearly, there is an opposition between the two, but the antagonism is a false one. It obfuscates the clear demarcation line between truly antagonistic tendencies. The true antagonism should be between the very field in which this (false) opposition takes place, and the third part: the radical emancipatory left. The non-existence of the left (marginal intellectual groups are not to be counted here) is the reason why there is no real opposition against this agreement.

     Kosovo is arguably the poorest country in Europe, with an unemployment rate of 48-50%, with serious constraints on its state sovereignty, and it remains the most isolated country in the region. In this regard, the country is vulnerable to all sorts of neo-imperial experiments. On the other side, Kosovo is still subjected to the hegemonic tendencies of the state of Serbia. In this sense, the struggle for the right to unconditional self-determination (by which one should understand ‘a deliberate, emancipatory and inclusive process of collective self-determination’, Hallward) is liberating on both levels: not only the people of Kosovo would be able to ‘make the way by walking in it’ (Marx), but also the people of Serbia would be liberated from the dominating character of their state. The dominators should be liberated from their domination.

         Taking all this into account, the agreement between Thaçi and Dačič is indeed historical, precisely because it negates the emancipatory potential, and promotes the existing state of the situation, that of an ethnically divided country and so forth. Its historical importance relies on another missed chance for the true liberating and emancipatory acts in this region. In short, Kosovo has had enough of being the West’s ‘privileged’ site of fantasy investment.

 

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Whither Iran?

Below I am posting a text that has been written by an Iranian friend of mine. 

 

We have to start from where? This is always maybe the most difficult of questions. Depending on what kind of analysis we are aiming at, our point of departure ought to change, after all we have structural limits, and we also have, maybe, excess.

I will try to mélange the two into one, that way we will all be happier, for things are always irritatingly intertwined, and one cannot know.

Starting from roughly 2010, when the Green movement had been comprehensively repressed, we heard the news of a possible breakthrough in the nuclear negotiations between the Iranian state and its global orderly interlocutors. News emerged that even a deal has been agreed between the parties. Apparently the Iranian negotiator, on behalf of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had accepted the deal proposed by 5+1, whatever it may have been, after all who cares? Yet things got nasty when the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, nullified the deal by declaring, out and loud, that only he and no one but him had the right to accept such a deal. The first symptoms of a possible deviation of paths between the master and the stooge were manifesting themselves, though maybe their seeds had been sown a lot earlier, who knows?

So in the wake of this non conformity, in the three years that followed that first exposure, what we witnessed was nothing but the gulf separating the two former allies getting wider and wider. And as people cannot fully grasp things without having others, first, grasping them on their behalf, and as ideology is indispensable in any social apparatus, here, too, we got the ideological representation of this clash in the following manner: Ahmadinejad and a number of his allies, understood that what had hindered their deal with the Order was not so much the supreme leader personally, but his idea that Iran is nothing but a part within a broader plan to spread Islam to further parts of the world. And that to hamper this vision of his, it was necessary to introduce a new vision for Iran, where Iran would no longer be just one element among others, but instead would sit at the very center of the world. And so was born the latest version of Iranian nationalism, for we have had many, and maybe the least truthful of them all, though not necessarily, considering that many young Iranians have been forging imaginary identities, centered on old and new so called Persian symbols and personalities, that very often border on various kinds of fascism and ultra nationalism.

So from then on, the story was one of the contradictions between two visions getting from being agonistic to one of antagonistic, pitting Ahmadinejad and his clique fiercely against the supreme leader, culminating in various unprecedented incidents of temporary resignation, summoning to the parliament and interpellation and other heated exchanges. What was lurking behind all of these diatribes was, though, the specter of the silenced Green Movement, haunting all these real and pseudo quarrels. It was evident that Khamenei would not rely on winning the backing of the Greens, but Ahmadinejad did many things to maybe win their support, and this maybe then led Khamenei to think of possibly using Ahmadinejad himself as a scapegoat for all the shortcomings and absolute failures of the state in the preceding 7 years, political, economical and ideological.

So this was how it was until we got to the period close to the elections. There were attempts here and there to bring about a possible dialogue between the more conservative sections of the Green movement and the core of the regime, in order to maybe create a new alliance that could then maybe pave the way for the removal of Ahmadinejad from power. For the most parts though, it didn’t work out. It became more and more manifest that the extremist sections of the state would not let even Mohammad Khatami, the former president and the most conservative element of the more radical fraction of the Green movement, to run for the office. This having become obvious, the more moderate sections of the green movement started to take the initiative, this leading eventually to Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani announcing his nomination in the last day of the deadline for doing so. What then became evident was that a large portion of the partisans of the Green movement, if not many supporters of the state, seemed to be very happy for this to have taken place, maybe being the portent of a significant victory for Hashemi.

But first let me say briefly something on Hashemi. He was undoubtedly the most powerful figure in Iran prior to the election of Khatami to presidency in 1997. Before 97, despite being the president, he had clear hegemony over Khamenei, who had become the supreme leader mostly through the support and stratagems of Hashemi himself but who had far less an impact on Iran’s domestic and foreign affairs. Through out his reign as president, Hashemi was responsible for huge waves of privatization and liberalization, this leading to the creation of a whole group of technocrats, amid an incredible level of disparity of wealth across the various strata of society. Towards the end of his presidency though, as the voices critical of his policies were getting more vocal, this seems to have led to Khamenei becoming more and more powerful. This led to the two of them, for the first time, at least so far as we know, taking totally different paths in the 97 elections. Where as Rafsanjani supported Khatami, probably with an eye to the back then famous liberal doctrine that economic liberalization ought to lead to political freedom, Khamenei put his support behind a different candidate. In that election, Khatami won with a remarkable margin, producing maybe the first significant political event in more than 10 years in Iran. The gravity of this event was due to the fact that those who supported Khatami in that election, people coming from various economical backgrounds, and mostly younger people, could by no means be reduced to any already defined political orientation. What was clear was that they had seen in Khatami a different personality, who could maybe help them by acting as the carrier of what was erupting in them, to my eyes an undeniably genuine force.

The authenticity of the 97 election can be certified perhaps via its attitude towards Hashemi Rafsanjani. In spite of the latter supporting Khatami and not letting any rigging to take place in the election, a considerable segment of the people who voted for Khatmai, nonetheless, considered Rafsanjani to be responsible more than anyone else for all the horrors and misdeeds of the past, and rightfully so. This led to huge and numerous public attacks on Hashemi,

culminating in a number of books which meticulously narrated his mischievous exploits. All of these were coming from the reformists, that is to say those who had voted for Khatami, where as the supporters of Khamenei, though in public critical of these censures directed against one of the pillars of the regime, maybe silently enjoyed Hashemi being depicted as The Evil, by those whom he himself had supported. Yet as Hashemi got weaker, it was Khamenei who gained more power. And the more we moved towards the end of Khatami’s presidency, what was becoming crystal clear was that it was no longer Hashemi but Khamenei who had become the main barrier to the march forward of the reformist cause in Iran. Notwithstanding that this reformist cause itself, by having more and more reduced the force that had been created at its birth in 97, to a statist force, striving to absorb it completely within the institutionalized forms, actually played the most important part in undermining itself.

All in all, in the 2005 presidential election, as the result of which Ahmadinejad became the president for the first time, this latter shamelessly acted as if it was still Hashemi who was pulling the strings in Iran. And a considerable portion of conspiratorial Iranians, who were unaware of the fact that Hashemi had already been comprehensively weakened and his power eroded, out of pure ignorance, or else out of the incredible belief that this would quicken the out and out disintegration of the state by helping to raise to power of an extremist figure, voted for Ahmadinejad in the second round of 2005 presidential elections, where Ahmadinejad effectively managed to paint the main contradiction, which up until then was the supreme leader against the reformist agenda, as one of Hashemi the bad guy against himself as the champion of the poor.

It ought to be noted that the Iranian working class was not stupid in this; in the first round of that election, Ahmadinejad only secured a very low portion of votes, mostly organized through the systematic mobilization of the Revolutionary guards and Basij militants by the supreme leader. However, in the second round, having seen him pitted against Hahsemi, and being unaware of the details of what had happened, either abstained from participating or else opted for Ahmadinejad, something for which they can’t really be blamed for given the bleak record of Hashemi vis-à-vis working class people during his tenor as president.

Now back to the present, it seemed as if Hashemi would win an outright victory; no one could any longer accuse him of anything given that he had become really an underdog in the complex Iranian political structure, two of his children having spent short terms in prison for their parts in the uprisings of the four years earlier. If anything, he was now a lot more on the side of people than the state, even tough many, including myself, still would look at him with some doses of suspicion. However, he wasn’t permitted to run, the Guardian Council of the constitution, an organ representing more than anything else the direct interests of the supreme leader, and which is responsible for vetting the candidates, blocked his entrance in the actual race, apparently pressured by military and security lobbies of the state, some even speculated that this happened against the will of some of the Council’s own though more moderate members. This intervention was justified in anticipation of Hashemi’s likely glaring victory and that containing him was a lot easier now than in the wake of such an electoral gain.

Meanwhile Ahmadinejad, whose problems with the supreme leader and other conservative sections of the ruling elites had gone from being implicit to very explicit, was hoping to have a close friend of his, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, succeeding him, relying more and more on his rhetoric of nationalism and Iranianism, to the point of even talking of the necessity of speaking of the Iranian version of Islam and no longer of Islam, as the latter was more and more, in his eyes, representative of a backward worldwide trend as opposed to the former which, again in his eyes, was representative of everything good in Islam. Yet the blocking of Rafsanjani also helped to reduce the likely ramifications of the blocking of Mashai. Before the entry of Rafsanjani in the race, many of us, totally disappointed with anything potentially progressive to emerge from this election, were hoping to see at least a fierce and possibly devastating power struggle between Ahmadinejad and the other segments of the reigning establishment, bearing in mind that in this election, in contrast to the former, there was no harmony between the president, responsible for holding the election, and the Council of Guardians, responsible for overseeing its legitimacy and authenticity.

So it seemed that Rafsanjani had committed a grave mistake, that is not only he himself, contrary to expectations, was not permitted to run, but the impediment of his entry also helped to diminish the effect of the obstruction of Mashai, as well. Ahmadinejad suddenly found himself in a predicament, for as Rafsanjani opted for remaining silent, the conservatives started to say that now that Rafsanjani has remained silent, who is Mashai to object to the verdict, effectively accusing Ahmadinejad of an act of treason and menacing him differently were he to protest against his candidate being kicked out of the race.

As such, everything seemed to be ready for a non-election, all 8 candidates had quite neutral and servile attitudes towards the main contradictions prevailing in Iran, none of them posing any serious threat to the power block which seemed to have utterly accumulated power in its hands. Yet what was overlooked, and has only now become clear in retrospect, was the blocking of another candidate, Kamran Bagheri Lankarani, who was running on behalf of Jebheye Paydari (Resistance Front), a group which was very influential in the raising to power of Ahmadinejad and who had nevertheless distanced itself from him in the light of the antagonisms that had emerged. This group, the most extremist and the most hypocritical of political groups, in the guise of its extreme stance on foreign policies, as is evident from its name, nonetheless has many big bourgeois among its main ranks, thus effectively making fortunes out of the current impasse in the Iranian domestic and international political sphere. What the obstruction of their candidate from running has made clear, only now though, is that a big part of Iranian conservative politicians, which we wouldn’t be far from truth to call the Iranian version of bourgeois, stood up to this group.

Three phenomena, from the day that the 8 eligible candidates were announced, to the day that the official results were declared, might be the keys to surmise what may have happened. The first one was what I just said, that is the blocking of Bagheri Lankarani, Resistance Front’s candidate from running and thus forcing them into throwing their support behind one of the 8 remaining candidates, Saied Jalili, the current nuclear negotiator and the most hardline of them all. The second was the alleged news that Ghasem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Ghods Army, and perhaps by far the most prominent personality in the Revolutionary Guards, had supported not Jalili, but Ghalibaf, a more moderate candidate. What this meant was maybe that even the Army was hoping for some sort of breakthrough in the relations with the Global Order and that it was not looking forward to a likely war, a n episode which seemed to be a lot more plausible were Jalili to be selected as the president.

The last but not least seems to be the fact that many in the ruling cliques give the impression of not being very unhappy about Rohani having become the president, and that all of them were responsible in ensuring that no rigging of the same scale as the preceding election would take place this time around.

So all in all, what should we make up of Rohani’s becoming the president? First of all let me say that after the 8 eligible candidates were announced, most of us thought that Jalili was certain to become the president. The prospects of such an outcome seemed to really bother many Iranians, maybe young girls for fear of even stricter social policies, or those who were better informed fearful of the outbreak of a war. Still, a survey of the medias with link to the hardliners seem to reveal that most of the votes that have been cast in favor of Rohani actually come from working and lower class Iranians and that many partisans of the Green movement had decided not to vote at all. This shows that beyond any fear of war or of more restrictions on liberties, those who have voted for Rohani have done so for economical reasons, a choice which means that they have effectively abandoned the camp of the supreme leader in order to maybe substantiate a better material life for themselves. To my eyes, this is a very good news, in the sense that it demonstrates that the working classes are emancipated from their entanglement within an ideology which had captivated them for many years, preventing them from taking a more progressive and direct stance on Iran’s political and economical trajectories.

I, personally, decided to vote for two major reasons. First of all I thought that in all previous elections, the rationale for abstaining from casting vote was to expose the division between the Iranian people and the Iranian state both to other Iranians and equally to those outside of Iran. Yet this line of reasoning had no pertinence in this election. On the one hand, the chasm separating the Iranian state from the people was so wide that it would have necessitated an incredible dose of stupidity and ignorance not to see it. The incredible level of political and social restrictions were so conspicuous that not to discern them could only come from those who considered no role for the people apart from salad dressing what was actually decided elsewhere. But more importantly, the level of tension and hostility between the Iranian state and the global order had risen to such alarming degrees, that it was not clear what could the declaration of this separation to the outside states mean other than maybe encouraging them to attack Iran, something that any sane person would be very opposed to and do everything possible to stop it from getting materialized. Besides, this extreme

animosity between the states had totally overdetermined the Iranian domestic political sphere, casting its gloomy shadows on the events which were taking place within Iran, henceforth obstructing any possibility of immanent critique or strategy to be exercised by those inside Iran.

My argument, thus, in favor of voting, was to help bring back the unfolding of politics within the borders of Iran, thus once more helping us to have the people as an actor and no longer talking of states tout court. So what was important for me was not so much that the votes were going to be read or not, whether the election would once again be rigged or not, but that this would perhaps be the last warning to the ruling elites that we were not supporting them in their quest against the foreign states, that for us that duality was indeed a double blackmail and that what we needed was at least to dissipate the thereat of war and to make it feasible to look to the future turns of events without having the possible onset of a war overdetermining every attempt at speculation and endeavors for alternative forms of organization of the people.

To cut a long story short, with the exception of a non-negligible component of Iran’s middle class, it was actually, and to our surprise, the working classes who voted for Rohani, thus very likely repeating what was once a common thread of many European countries in the 19the century, the working classes helping the weak bourgeoisie in its quests to overcome its more ideological and more backward enemies.

It would not be very apt to venture a prediction of what may emerge. On the one hand, it seems to me that a large section of the Iranian bourgeoisie, and I emphasize, don’t think of these as liberals, but in fact conservatives with direct links to the state apparatus ergo the Islamic republic of Iran’s version of bourgeoisie, deliberately or not stood up to the hardliners who wanted to preserve the present state of enmity between the Iranian state and its foreign interlocutors. Hardliners who are not by any means naïve or simply upholders of a backward ideology, given the presence, I repeat, of a considerable number of moguls and tycoons in their ranks, something that they don’t even tend to conceal. And this facing up to their more backward comrades is not necessarily a bad thing, if only it helps us to get over the false dichotomy which has imposed itself on Iran for the most of the past twenty something years.

Moreover, in spite of what I just said, in the aftermath of this election, what we have seems to me to be a very fractured state, with many conflicting interests and no easy way of resolving them, so many things are still possible.

The question that the more radical, in the genuine sense of this word, factions of the Green movement now face is one of either pushing ahead with their radical aims, thus doing all their best to radicalize those who are happy with the results, and preventing the Green movement from getting absorbed and consumed by the emerging moderate government of Rohani, or else to wait patiently, maybe for the antagonism of the Iranian state and its external enemies to wither away, and then striving for the radicalization of the Green movement, which should undoubtedly augment its bias towards the causes which more faithfully conform to those of non-employed  underemployed and working class people, if not a large population of Afghani immigrants who contribute massively to Iran’s economical status but who enjoy near to zero political integration.

It might seem obvious that the first option ought to be embraced, only if we are to accept that the Green movement, itself, needs some sort of self purification. The present alliance, between very haphazard forces, is not necessarily fruitful, given that it consists of those who have strong predilections for neoliberal policies in Iran. Considered at such, the Green movement, if it wants to be radical, should really be so with no apology by not accepting any curtailing of the Real of what it is, thus even at the level of language employing a lexicon which heralds the newness of what its Real, beyond any intervention of no matter what sort of Imaginary idea, is capable of. It is thus up to each and every member of the Real of the movement that started four years ago to either literally take on itself the great task of remaining faithful to its original novelty, or else perhaps be honest enough to evade pseudo-radicalism, that is to say treading a path towards an already existing order which the current Iranian state, despite all its discords, might be also dawdling on. In the last analysis, an emancipatory politics has no notion of slow or fast repetition.  

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Antonio Garcia is editing a volume on Slavoj Žižek’s work and its relation to education. It will come out in 2014 by Sense. I will be contributing with a response to Randall Terrada’s chapter on Zizek and Marxism

This unique collection of essays examines how the work of Slovenian philosopher and cultural theorist Slavoj Zizek enters the domain of education through philosophy and cultural studies.
Part 1 introduces the reader to Zizek and understanding his theoretical apparatus in order to ground the reader for part 2, which provides essays on how scholars have interpreted and “rendered” Zizek in educational philosophy, policy, curriculum, and pedagogy. Each chapter is followed by a brief response in order to move the reader through the thoughts and, at times, difficult language/terminology employed.

See the table of contents:

 

Preface………………………………………………………………………………

Acknowledgments…………………………………………………………………

Foreword: Creston Davis………………………………………………………………

 

1. Introduction: Zizek at the Blackboard………………………………………………

2. The interview that started it all………………………………………………

Part 1: Zizekology

2.  Understanding Zizek and Lacan………………………………………………

            Dan Rose

Response to Dan Rose…………………………………………….………………

Todd McGowan

 

3.  What is Ziziekian for education? ………………………………………………………

Daniel Tutt

Response to Daniel Tutt………………………………………………………

 Joan Copjec

 

4.  Jesters, Saints, Nomads: The Public pedagogies of Lacan, Žižek, Deleuze; Between Mathemes and War Machines ……………………………………………………

jan agodzinzski

Response to jan jagodzinzski……………………………………………………

Fabio Vighi

 

5.  Zizek and Marxism………………………………………………………

Randall Terrada

Response to Randall Terrada………………………………………………………

Agon Hamza

 

6.  The Zizekian Hypothesis and the Orientation of the School…………………

Pensee Collective: Dennis Yao, Gabriel Tupinamba, and Srdjan Cvjeticanin

Response to Pensee Collective………………………………………………………

Peter McLaren

 

7.  There is no Wissentrieb………………………………………………………

       Gabriel Tupinamba

Response to Gabriel Tupinamba……………………………………………………

 

8.  On good authority: Zizek, Badiou, and Freire……………………………

Vincenzo Di Nicola

Response to Vincenzo Di Nicola…………………………………………………

           

 

9. A Return to Hegel in Education………………………………………………………

Nigel Tubbs

Response to Nigel Tubbs………………………………………………………

            Creston Davis

10. The Phatasmic Emergence of Narrative: Educational Fantasies in Zizek’s Atheist Theology. …………………………………………………………………………………

       Sam Rocha

Response to Sam Rocha………………………………………………………

            Adam Kotsko

 

Part 2 The Pervert’s Guide to Education

 11. WWZD? A young student’s reading of Zizek

            Garrett Busshart

Response to Garrett Busshart……………………………………………………

            Gert Biesta

 

12. An articulate puppet doing an excellent job of pretending to be an automaton: Benjamin, Ranciere, Zizek, and Curriculum……………………………………………

Peter Applebaum

Response to Peter Applebaum……………………………………………………

William Pinar

 

13. Is Education a Lost Cause? ……………………………………………………

            Aaron Cooley

Response to Aaron Cooley

 

14. An Embalmed Curriculum: Reanimating the Cadaver of Social Studies Education

            Mark Helmsing and Andrew Thomas

Response to Mark Helmsing and Andrew Thomas……………………………………

            Rob Helfenbein

 

15. The sublime objects of mathematics in schools. ……………………………………

            Tony Brown

Response to Tony Brown…………………………………………………………….

            Paola Valero

 

16. Contesting and Framing the Conceptual of Everyday Life: Antiphilosophy in Art education with Zizek, Duchamp, and Beuys…………………………………….

            Kristopher Holland and Antonio Garcia

Response to Kristopher Holland and Antonio Garcia……………………………….

            Boris Groys

 

17. A Plea for Full Frontal Multicultural Education…………………………………

            Antonio Garcia

Response to Antonio Garcia………………………………………………………..

 

18. (Drag) Mother (Monster) in the Mirror: Growing Up in the (Žižekian) Reflection of RuPaul and Lady Gaga………………………………………………………………..

            Tommy Mayberry

            Response to Tommy Mayberry……………………………………………….

            Dennis Carlson

 

19. Neoliberalism, Financial Aide, and Ideology

            Julie White

Response to Julie White

            Mike Cole

 

20. Occupy, Critical Pedagogy, and Zizek

            Karen Abney Korn

Response to Karen Abney Korn

            Glen Rikowski

 

21. Dialogs

Jennifer Milam and Debbi Sonu, and Peter Taubman

 

Afterword: Slavoj Zizek

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Protests in Kosovo

Here is a very short & informative piece that I have written on the recent developments in Kosovo. It was published by the Czech Socialist Workers and Socialist Worker Canada. Here is the the link

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This is a new book coming out from Matthew Flisfeder and Louis-Paul Willis, in which I contribute with a chapter. I copied from Matthew’s blog

 

ŽIŽEK AND MEDIA STUDIES: A READER

Žižek and Media Studies:  A Reader edited by Matthew Flisfeder and Louis-Paul Willis is now under contract to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in hardcover in 2014 and in paperback in 2015.

Check out the book’s Facebook Group.

The preliminary table of contents is as follows:

INTRODUCTION by Matthew Flisfeder and Louis-Paul Willis

PART I:  MEDIA, IDEOLOGY, AND POLITICS

CHAPTER 1:  “Žižek’s Reception:  Fifty Shades of Gray Ideology” by Paul A. Taylor

CHAPTER 2:  “Student Fantasies:  A Žižekian Perspective on the 2012 Quebec Student Uprising” by Louis-Paul Willis

CHAPTER 3:  “The Sublime Absolute:  Althusser and Žižek and the Critique of Ideology” by Agon Hamza

PART II:  POPULAR CULTURE

CHAPTER 4:  “The Priority of the Example:  Hegel Contra Film Studies” by Todd McGowan

CHAPTER 5:  “The Good Terror:  Fight Club as a Žižekian Act-ion Film” by Tim Walters

CHAPTER 6:  “Ideology and Contagion:  The Limits of the Contemporary Disaster Film” by Matthew Beaumont

CHAPTER 7:  “Hungry Eyes:  Žižek and the 80s Movie Song” by Graham Wolfe

CHAPTER 8:  “A Little Piece of the Reel:  Record Production and the Surplus of Prosthetic Vocality” by Mickey Vallee

PART III:  FILM AND CINEMA

CHAPTER 9:  “Žižek and Hollywood:  A Case of Love Before First Sight” by Fabio Vighi

CHAPTER 10:  “How to Kill Your Mother:  Heavenly Creatures, Desire and Žižek’s Return to Ideology” by Cindy Zeiher

CHAPTER 11:  “A Dialogue with American Scepticism:  Žižek and Cavell on Sexual Difference” by Keiko Ogata

CHAPTER 12:  “From Interpassive to Interactive Cinema:  A Genealogy of the Moving Image of Cynicism” by Tamas Nagypal

CHAPTER 13:  “CGI’s Evil Twin’: The Double-Deceptive Lure of Analog Special Effects” by Hugh Manon

PART IV:  SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE INTERNET

CHAPTER 14:  “The Real Internet” by Jodi Dean

CHAPTER 15:  “Enjoying Social Media” by Matthew Flisfeder

CHAPTER 16:  “Slavoj Žižek as Internet Philosopher” by Clint Burnham

CHAPTER 17:  “Is Torture Part of Your Social Network?:  Žižek, ‘Terror’, and The Guantanamo Files” by Tara Atluri

CHAPTER 18:  “Shoot it on your Smartphone!:  Mobility of the Gaze and the Visual Displeasure” by Richard Bégin

AFTERWORD

By Slavoj Žižek

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Protesta dy ditëve kundër shtrejtimit të faturave të rrymës, pahtëson një seri të problemeve në këtë vend, të cilat në të vërtetë shkojnë përtej menjëhershmërisë së nervozës së masave. Në fakt, nervozizmi dhe dëshprimi i masave, akumulimi i pakënaqësisë si tillë, asnjëherë nuk është premisë për një fillim të ri; madje, ajo nuk është premisë e një momenti kthese, apo një premtimi për ndryshim, revoltë, emancipim. Thënë Deleuze-iançe, ajo nuk është shenjë, e cila në vetvete, prezenton një krijim të ri. Sido që të jetë, kontradiktat që ky mllef e dëshprim i shpërfaqi, duke flirtuar me terminologjinë e Deleuze-it, janë interesante për t’u analizuar. Këto protesta pahtësuan dhe shpërfaqën dy probleme serioze të shoqërisë sonë: 1) mosekzistencën e asaj kategorie (trupi, subjekti) të cilës disa i referohen si popull, dhe 2) impotencën arrogante të spektrit politiko-ideologjik të vendit.

1)            Në fillim të viteve të 70ta, Jacques Lacan e prezentoi njërën ndër tezat më kundërthenëse të tij: gruaja nuk ekziston, ose nuk ka diçka të tillë si gruaja. Këtu Lacan mendon për gruan e cila i nënshtrohet logjikës se “jo-të-tërës.” A nuk vlenë e njejta për konceptin ose kategorinë e shoqërisë? Disa vite më vonë, Lous Althusser e formalizon njërën ndër Tezat e tij kryesore, poashtu njejtë kundërthënëse sikurse kjo e Lacan: lufta klasore i paraprinë klasave. Kjo do të thotë që pozicionimi klasor është gjithmonë-tashmë efekt dhe rezultat i luftës klasore. Në këtë kontekst, për Althusserin, klasat shoqërore nuk janë pjesë e rendit pozitiv shoqëror, pjesë konstitutive e gjendjes së situatës, por ato janë pjesë apo kategori të luftës së vërtetë klasore, që thënë në gjuhën e Lacan-it, e pamundësojnë “totalizimin” e shoqërisë. Lacan thoshte gruaja nuk ekziston. Në terminologjinë e tij, mund të thuhet se ekzistenca e klasave është emri i mos-ekzistencës së shoqërisë qua popull. Sado skematike që është kjo paraqitje (për arsye të formatit të këtij ‘intervenimi’), teza themelore mbetet po ajo: populli nuk ekziston dhe si pasojë, nuk ka diçka të tillë si popull jo-politik. Së këndejmi, referimi në konceptin popull është referim në nocion të zbrazët, ose siç thuhet poetikisht, ecje në ajër. Populli nuk është i konstitueshëm, pikërisht për shkak të materialitetit të luftës klasore. Ai gjithmonë-tashmë paraqet një mistifikim ideologjik, nëpërmjet tij shprehet manipulimi dhe oportunizmi klasik politik, i shprehur në mënyrë arrogante nëpërmjet fjalive të tipit “populli din”, “populli ka gjithnjë të drejtë.” Nëse populli din, atëherë si është e mundur që predikamenti ynë (global) është aq i errët, si është e mundur që gjendja e situatës në Kosovë është aq depresive dhe pothuajse e pashpresë? Kjo dërgon në pikën tjetër që protesta shpërfaqi.

2)            Alain Badiou i definon partitë politike si “fushat e paaftësisë arrogante”.[1] Këtu nuk kemi mundësi tjetër përveç se identifikimit të plotë me këtë diktum. Koncepti i avant-gardës, apo udhëheqjes ose përfaqësimit (që është në thelbin e ekzistencës së partive politike), është negacion i çfarëdo politike në kuptimin gjenuin të kësaj të fundit. Politika merr kuptim vetëm nëse është element konstituiv/pjesëmarrës i luftës klasore. Pra, thënë ndryshe, politika ekziston vetëm në luftën klasore. Duke e përcjellur një linjë të mendimit Althusserian- Žižekian, mund të thuhet se pasi politika konstituohet në dhe nga lufta klasore, këtu ekonomia nuk duhet të kuptohet si sferë e rendit pozitiv të qenies, si aktivitet administrues, etj – dhe kjo është kështu pikërisht për shkak të faktit se ekonomia është gjithmonë-tashmë politike.[2] Partia politike (pavarësisht orientimit ideologjik) është pjesë e sistemit aktual politik (ndonëse tenton ta ndryshojë atë), sepse për të, horizonti përfundimtar i politikës realizohet në fushën e kapital-parlamentarizmit.

Pas krejt kësaj, duhet thënë se politika është gjithmonë aktivitet (ose, siç shkruan Badiou, procedurë) kolektive, e papërkthyeshme në numra (elektoral). masa këtu ka kuptimin e njerëzve (potencialisht të shndërrueshëm në subjekte) që e krijojnë dhe përfaqësojnë një premisë univerzale, ose jehona e së cilës mund dhe duhet të afirmohet univerzalisht. Nëse kjo riformulohet, atëherë mund të thuhet se shumica nuk është a priori kolektiviteti.[3] Kolektiviteti është ajo që është menjëherë e univerzalizueshme, shkruan Badiou.[4] Kjo është dëshmia e limitit të protestave të dy ditëve të shkuara, të cilat në analizë të fundit, zhvillohen në horizontin liberal. Protestat në Prishtinë nuk kishin premisa (ose, shenja) të univerzalitetit – këtu duhet shmangur çdo keqkuptim eventual. Masat protesuese ishin e dezorientuar, rizomatike. Kërkesat e vetme të artikuluara ishte simptomat e arsyes reale të situatës së krijuar. Nëse vendoset një paralele me fillimin e këtij teksti, e vetmja gjë që është premtuese në gjithë këtë situatë është gadishmëria për të vazhduar me protesta, organizuar më mirë dhe politikisht në qëndrime dhe kërkesa e artikulim. Si secila premisë e angazhimit liberal, premisa e këtyre protestave ishte jo-politike, duke e transpozuar një problem politik në atë teknik dhe korruptiv. Ajo që liberalët e harrojnë (ose, duan ta harrojnë, ose shtypin) është fakti që në marrëdhëniet ekzistuese të prodhimit, korrupsioni është element konstituiv i tyre. Depolizimi dhe teknikalizimi i një padrejtësie ekonomike-sociale është specialitet i liberalëve. Ata kanë qejf të merren me individin, duke e harruar sistemin, strukturat, marrëdhëniet ekonomiko-politike që e konstituojnë po atë individ që këta synojnë ta luftojnë/ndërrojnë.[5] Andaj, kundër liberalëve, duhet insistuar në atë që paraqet objektin e makthit të tyre: kritikën e ekonomisë politike, dhe më saktë, konceptin e akumulimit primitiv të kapitalit.[6] Në këtë kontekst, duke insistuar në këtë koncept, i bëjmë edhe një të mirë ‘teorisë se kritikës së ideologjisë’: e braktisim konceptin neoliberalizëm, i cili tashmë nuk është nocion kritik, por ideologjik.

Çka është akumulimi primitiv i kapitalit? Në fillim të kapitullit për këtë çështje, Marx-i thotë se në Ekonominë Politike, akumulimi primitiv i kapitalit luan rolin e njejtë që mëkati fillestar e luan në teologji.[7] Kjo nuk është aspak poetike, apo idilike siç shprehet vet Marksi, sepse ky proces është në vetvete i dhunshëm, pikërisht sepse nënkupton shkëputjen apo ndarjen e punëtorit nga mjetet e vet-riprodhimit të pronës(isë). Ose, në Grundrisse ai shkruan se akumulimi primitiv është procesi në të cilin paraja ose vlera-në-vetvete që fillimisht bëhet kapital, për kapitalistin presupozon akumulim.[8] Këtu nuk ka asgjë metafizike: akumulimi primitiv (ose, fillestar) është proces historik i ndarjes së punëtorit nga mjetet e prodhimit. Ajo që po ndodhë në nivel global, që nga kriza e vitit 2008 është shembulli më i mirë për këtë: politikat e implementuara pas krizës (shkurimet buxhetore, etj) nuk janë thjeshtë politika neoliberale; këto politika nënkuptojnë rifillimin e një cikli të ri në marrëdhëniet kapitaliste të prodhimit, dhe akumulimi i kapitalit është i domosdoshëm për këtë.

Por, a nuk është pikërisht kjo ajo që po ndodhë në Kosovë nëpërmjet privatizimit? Këtu duhet shmangur një keqkuptim i zakonshëm për konceptin e akumulimit primitiv: ai nuk ndodhë vetëm në fillimet e shfaqjes së marrëdhënieve kapitaliste të prodhimit, apo i krijimit të “proletarëve të lirë.” Procesi i privatizimit të gjithçkaje ekzistuese në Kosovë nuk është proces natyror (siç na prezentohet nga ‘ideologët profesionistë’), por proces i dhunshëm i akumulimit të kapitalit, që David Harvey e quan nëpërmjet shpronësimit.[9]

Në këtë kuptim, privatizimi i gjithçkaje ekzistuese (duke përfshirë këtu edhe KEK-un), është “mëkati fillestar” i situatës aktuale. Nëse kjo protestë nuk del përtej horizontit (si limit) të vet liberal, dhe nuk angazhohet në kritikë (dhe rrjedhimisht, kërkesa) më të thella se ato të nivelit të teknikaliteteve, asnjë rezultat solid nuk do të arrihet. Ky është udhëkryqi në të cilën gjendet kjo iniciativë,[10] perspektiva e së cilës nuk po duket premtuese (së paku, tani për tani). Megjithatë, në një shkretëtirë politike-ideologjike dhe krizë kreativiteti, kjo protestë duhet përkrahur fuqishëm.


[1] Alain Badiou, Infinite Thought, ed.&përk.O.F & J.C., Continuum, London&New York, 2004, fq.127

[2] Kujto nëntitullin e Kapial-it të Marksit: “kritikë e ekonomisë politike”

[3] Për shembull, në revoltat popullore të vitit 2011, të cilat e rrëzuan ish-presidentin Mubarak nga pushteti në Sheshin Tahrir në Egjipt, nuk ishte shumica si numër, por ata mijëra pjesëmarrës në revoltë ishin kolektiviteti egjiptian; ose, ata ishin egjiptianët të cilët me ngjarjen politike, ‘përfaqësonin’ vendin si tërësi.

[4] Alain Badiou, Theoretical Writings, ed.&përk.A.T & R.B, Continuum, London/New York, 2010, fq.155

[5] Konstituimi i individit nga marrëdhëniet në prodhim nuk duhet të lexohet në dritën e paradhënies së Marx-it në Rreth Kritikës së Ekonomisë Politike; parathënie në të cilën Marx-i është në njërin nga momentet e tij më të ulëta teorike.

[6] Cf. Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol.1, trans.B.Fowkes, Pengun, New York, 1977.

[7] Ibid, fq.873.

[8] Karl Marx, Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy, trans.Martin Nicolaus, Penguin, New York, 1973, p.459

[9] Për analizë të jashtëzakonshme të akumulimit primitiv të kapitalit (që shkon përtej dhe më thellë se Harvey), shih Gavin Walker, Primitive Accumulation and the Formation of Difference: On Marx and Schmitt, Rethinking Marxism, Vol.23, Nr.3 (July, 2011), p.384-404.

[10] Aspekti më pozitiv i së cilës është përjashtimi a priori i secilit ndikim apo infiltrim partiak.

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