In Defense of Žižek and Lacan
Hello, it’s Michael Downs here. I am the author of The Dangerous Maybe. I just want to let all of my readers know about something very cool that just happened last Saturday night. Recently, Chris Cutrone (the founder of the Platypus Affiliated Society) went on my friend Theory Pleeb’s YouTube channel to discuss Adorno and Lenin. In this discussion, Cutrone said that he thinks young leftists are basically wasting their time studying Lacan, Žižek, McGowan, Deleuze, Heidegger, etc., and need to focus solely on Marx, Marxism and maybe some Kant and Freud. Cutrone also said that we need to stop treating Žižek like he came down from the sky. Well, if you’ve followed the video series that Theory Pleeb (Dave McKerracher) and I have been having on Lacan and Žižek, then you know that Dave and I strongly disagree with Cutrone’s position. However, we disagree while still having a profound respect for all the work Cutrone has done and continues to do.
A response to Cutrone was needed and so us “Young Žižekians” (Dave aka Theory Pleeb, Andrew aka Master Signified Bodies, Trey aka Telosbound and yours truly) decided to assemble, but we had a very special guest join us. The guest is none other than Todd McGowan himself (if you’ve know my blog, then you know how much Todd’s work has influenced mine). This turned out to be one of the greatest discussions I’ve ever had and Todd does an amazing job of explaining Žižek’s famous quote: “To be a Marxist today, one has to go through Lacan!” The entire conversation is essentially a defense of Žižek’s proclamation.
Also, after the main conversation concluded, Dave forced me to also share my thoughts on why Deleuze is, in my opinion, one of the most important metaphysicians of all time as well as what Heidegger meant by “Being”. I say Dave “forced me” because what I really wanted to do was go watch Stranger Things 4. Simply put, this conversation meant and means the world to me. I hope those of you who decide to go on this conversational journey get as much out of it as I did. Oh, and one last thing, did you see that thumbnail Dave made for the video?!?! WOW! I literally want it turned into a poster so I can hang it on my wall. Here’s the link to the discussion: