Sunday, 25 April 2010

These links provide background:

Parke Burgess on Violence
(6:18 minutes)

I think it would be fair to say that Žižek's take on Burgess' video, would probably be similar to his general dismissal of Buddhism which has often been a target of his fury. He labels it "the paradigmatic ideology of late capitalism". The idea here is that the Asiatic religion fails because its interior cultivation of detachment allows people to go with the flow without going nuts -- even if the flow is a horror show. I think though that that critique misses the depth of Parke Burgess's thinking about violence.

Slavoj Zizek on Violence
[10:00 minutes)

[It's difficult to find the time to watch the other 11 parts, but you might want to do that.

Go Deeper:

Our Tragic Flaw by Parke Burgess
Violence by Slavoj Zizek
Review of Violence by Burgess
Another review of Violence
The picture I use in this video is an exquisite corpse.


I've been thinking a lot about the machine within twenty-first century materialistic reductionism. Beginning with Descartes's automata theory and followed by
Julien Offray de La Mettrie's L'homme machine ("Machine man") materialistic machine represent a new kind of consciousness which in the eighteenth century began supplanting older ideas of religion and metaphysics.


  1. My 2 cents...
    What if we look at the progression of life on this planet as being analogous to the development of a human embryo? Starting from single, undifferentiated stem cells in the embryo and bacterial, single celled life forms on the planet which ultimately evolve into a multiplicity of cells in the body and life forms on the planet. Using this model, it then follows that what appears to be mindless, random acts of human violence and stupidity are, in fact, merely the results of an early developmental stage thus far lacking a central information sharing apparatus, i.e., brain and nervous system in the embryo which ultimately leads to a higher state of consciousness and computers and the internet bringing about similar connectivity and awakening on the planetary level. Where everyone is seeing imminent catastrophe and potential extinction, I suspect what we are witnessing is a paradigm shift both in consciousness, ecology, and technology. If one delves deeply into this perplexing matter of consciousness it soon becomes clearly apparent that the human species is not truly awake but rather is operating on automatic pilot, so to speak. A human being that is truly awake is incapable of violence, so wrestling with this issue is and, will remain, unproductive until we address the cause, being man's state of unconsciousness. I'm hopeful that the planet is beginning to awaken from its slumbers and instead of Armageddon I believe we may be entering the golden age of human history or, put another way, heaven on earth.

  2. I just learned from another of your videos that you are, or were, a writing teacher. YIKES!!
    I hope you'll forgive my total desecration of the art of writing (in my post above this one) as I know it must cause you to grimace in horror. Having no formal education beyond the six grade makes it extremely difficult to express one's ideas in a coherent fashion. Sorry if I offended your sensibilities....