Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Revolution of the Mind (Adults Only)

A few words here at the beginning of the third month of this blog: on the theoretical emphasis, text resources and the nature of its content. There has been a n "interesting" development. I find from my work station in Beijing I can no longer access my site because of censorship. As a result many of my links will come to you via a proxy server and anyone living in China must be referred to my blog by proxy such as here. I wish the regime could see I am actually working for Maoist China.

I just changed the title to "Stefandav - Revolution of the Mind". This is a reference to the idea from Alain Badiou that the next phase of fidelity to the communist hypothesis, a third stage in its historical development, is taking place - "it will involve a new relation between the political movement and the level of the ideological". The initial introduction to the idea and links to text resources was provided at the entry McBama? No, the Communist Hypothesis. As this suggests, the nature of the blog content includes the use of contemporary events references as a vehicle to introduce theoretical emphasis. Likewise, Badiou text quotes and links can be found in entries concerning the current financial crisis and various contemporary revolutionary movements (most notably Chinese People: The Regime is Corrupt) . Currently much discussion among Marxists continues about the ideas in his latest book Logics of Worlds.

The other contemporary Marxist thinker prevalently featured throughout the entries is Savoj Zizek. Badiou and Zizek are closely aligned in the line of Marxism through Louis Althusser (links to his Marxist archive)and the psychoanalytic school of Jacques Lacan. While Badiou provides a theory rooted in his notion of "Event" and the required subsequent allegiance to the "Truth" revealed therein whereby a new world becomes actual from its initial virtual state (also presented in his minimalist mathematics, ontology=mathematics); Zizek, in his own way emphasizes a direction in fidelity to the communist hypothesis which seeks to recover what should not be lost - as detailed in his latest major work In Defence of Lost Causes. Zizek is an inexhaustable source of analysis of contemporary events accross many disaplines within the arts as well as within political science and philosophy and, psychoanalysis. His inimitable speaking style may be viewed in several videos embedded in the Stefandav TV widget at the sidebar ( I just added a new video interview on his just published small book, Violence.

I don't know really what specific findings in ongoing review of contemporary events and writings will inspire posts in the coming days. Besides the themes recently introduced from Badiou, on my mind are certain themes in Zizek's "Lost Causes" I read for the first time about a month ago. This includes especially his projections regarding world antagonisms that are most likely to be sources of revolutionary praxis internal and external to both society and nature: internal to society is the complex legal problems of intellectual property; external to society is the events developing in the slums juxtaposed to gated communities; internal to nature are the profound ethical issues of genetic engineering; and external to nature from the register of ecology, the world-ending threat of sustainable development.

I have not even began to digest very fully the contents of Badiou's "Logics of Worlds, only in the last year translated from the French. Also there lurking is Sam Gillespie's book on Badiou's ontology=mathematics, The Mathematics of Novelty. I mention so briefly all these ideas from Badiou and Zizek I hope to understand, and can only direct you to the wealth of text resources available through my Delicious bookmarking system linked on the sidebar. There you will also find links to many primary and secondary site resources on revolutionary events underway as well as sources of academic writings on the theories being examined. Especially useful is the link to The International Journal of Zizek Studies.

Here is a listing of entries for the first two months of the blog for an easy overview and convenient access:

Blog Guide:
A discussion of blog features and primary topic content may be found at the initial entry. The first few entries give a good idea of how best to use the blog, especially for the tagging and social bookmarking at my external Delicious site, and for instructions regarding the Stefandav TV widget.

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