Jan 22, 2013
New audio uploaded on my resources page:
- Slavoj Žižek and Boris Gunjević- “2011: The Year of Dreaming Dangerously” & “God in Pain: Inversions of Apocalypse
- Richard Wolff- Competing Economic Theories: Neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian theories
- Roland Boer HBC interview on being a Calvinist communist
... and due to request, as well as the terrible lack of theology audio on the page: Jürgen Moltmann interviews from Emergent 2009 theological conference
I’ll be uploading audio from my previous semester's course on Žižek soon. Dr. Min's class was probably the best I've ever taken, and I'm particularly excited to clean up the audio on a session on class/gender/race antagonisms. I'll finish the edits soon.
Sep 5, 2012
We hear a lot of the third way in religion and politics today- usually from those who 1) realize the standard model they have believed in no longer works but 2) out of naivety of options or fear of becoming the Other cannot settle upon a new position. Like the common misuse of deconstruct, the third way is a lofty-sounding term that acts as a pseudo-intellectual placeholder for an actual idea.
Consider the way American media relies on mass ignorance of political theory to present itself as always-balanced between two political perspectives. Somehow, it became noble to pretend to be above the fray with equal critique and disgust for all. The media wants to take a third way, a point of balance, between an imaginary left/Liberal/Democratic party and a right/Conservative/Republican party. This mythic structure works as long as the public never understands enough political theory to grasp that Liberalism already is (in theory) the center of the Left-Right spectrum, and (in practice, because of its dipolar nature of leftist individual rights and hegemonic rightist affirmation of capitalism) leans right. Obama is a perfect example of this- slightly left of center in idealism, slightly right of center in practice. So we end up with two candidates on the right side of the spectrum with nobody leaning left. The third way in this case - like the 2 options you are supposed to equally disregard or identify with- is firmly capitalist, which means there never was a serious second option given. And really, why would the 1% want the 99% to be able to grasp something so simple?
“According to the media, when - at a recent meeting of the leaders of the great Western powers, dedicated to the politico-ideological notion of the ‘Third Way’ - the Italian Prime Minister Massimo d’Alema said that one should not be afraid of the word ‘socialism’, Clinton - and, following him, Blair and Schröder - could not restrain themselves, and openly burst out laughing. This anecdote tells us a lot about the problematic character of today’s talk about the Third Way. Crucial here is the curious enigma of the second way: where is the second way today? That is to say: did not the notion of the Third Way emerge at the very moment when - at least in the developed West - all other alternatives, from true conservatism to radical Social Democracy, lost out in the face of the triumphant onslaught of global capitalism and its notion of liberal democracy? Is not the true message of the notion of the Third Way therefore simply that there is no second way, no actual alternative to global capitalism, so that, in a kind of mocking pseudo-Hegelian negation of negation, this much-praised ‘Third Way’ brings us back to the first and only way - the Third Way is simply global capitalism with a human face, that is, an attempt to minimize the human costs of the global capitalist machinery, whose functioning is left undisturbed.”
- Slavoj Žižek, The Fragile Absolute - or, Why is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting For? , pp 62-3
For more on this, I recommend dowloading Žižek's lecture "The Struggle for European Legacy" - #2 on the Resources page.
Jul 31, 2012
I posted a course on philosophy of religion for anyone to download on my Resources page. Lectures #83-106.
I'm beginning my PhD program in philosophy of religion this fall, but since being back home for a summer break, I've been getting all these questions about what is even studied in my field. The series is a pretty good primer on the history of the discipline.
And always, I like to remind you all that I have audio on or by almost every significant philosopher in the discipline's history, most in only half-hour bites. The page is terribly deficient in theology lectures, but I'm adding to the page regularly. Share it.
Apr 30, 2012