Atoms’n’Void Blues: The Heartaches of a Materialist
Materialism is not only a mentality or metaphysical orientation. It is also an ontological mood – the peculiar sense of the world and oneself that is highly personal yet at the same time it imbibes all the metaphysical propositions of materialist with rather well defined pathology. This pathology, we claim is the source and the purpose of materialist metaphysics and materialist life, while the systemic form it builds for itself, be it Communism, scientism or something entirely different is quite secondary.
To explain what we mean, we focus on the statements of one old fashioned dialectical materialist: Slavoj Žižek, wherein he explains his worldview. From there we proceed to outline both the psychology and the mentality of materialist, noting in the process that the underlying obsession with tropes of death, emptiness and sex in the form peculiar to materialism is not as prevalent today as it used to be few decades ago.
For this purpose we employ some examples of this mentality taken from the last days of Communist Yugoslavia and point out one seldom noticed characteristic of the George Orwell’s 1984, i.e. raw sexuality as both weapon and the purpose of protagonist’s rebellion and its ultimate futility.
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Note: as audio of Žižek’s statement we produce (taken from the documentary Žižek!) is not of the best quality, here we provide the verbatim quote:
What would be my – how should I call it – spontaneous attitude towards the universe? It’s a very dark one. The first one – the first thesis would have been – a kind of total vanity. There is nothing, basically. I mean it quite literally. Like, ultimately – ultimately – there are just some fragments, some vanishing things, if you look at the universe it’s one big void. But then, how do things emerge? Here, I feel a kind of spontaneous affinity with quantum physics, where, you know, the idea there is that the universe is a void, but a kind of a positively charged void, and then particular things appear when the balance of the void is disturbed. And I like this idea spontaneously very much, the fact that it’s not just nothing, things are out there. It means something went terribly wrong, that what we call creation is a kind of a cosmic imbalance, a cosmic catastrophe, that things exist by mistake. And I’m even ready to go to the end and claim that the only way to counteract this is to assume the mistake and go to the end. And we have a name for this, it’s called “love.” Isn’t love precisely this kind of a cosmic imbalance? I was always disgusted with this notion of “I love the world, universal love.” I don’t like the world. I’m basically someone in between I hate the world or I’m indifferent towards it. But the of whole of reality, it’s just it, it’s stupid. It is out there. I don’t care about it. Love for me is an extremely violent act. Love is not “I love you all.” Love means, I pick out something, and you know, again it’s this structure of imbalance, even if this something is just a small detail, a fragile individual person, I say “I love you more than anything else.” In this quite formal sense love is evil.
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