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Tick the boxes May 14, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Reading the IT Weekend section what do I see but a review for a book by Rob Weatherill who it is noted…

[is] one of Ireland’s leading psychoanalysts, [and] has since the 1990s been writing sobering, forceful books that utilise psychoanalytic theory – primarily the work of Sigmund Freud and the poststructuralist Jacques Lacan – to probe the afflictions of modern society. The Anti-Oedipus Complex, his extraordinary new work, diagnoses a western culture blighted with anomie and desolation, and asks if anything can halt “the final seemingly unstoppable victory of the inhuman”.

Uh-huh. The subhead suggests that:

[he] argues the left is complicit in capitalism’s command to enjoy at all costs

So no surprise then to see that all the boxes are ticked.

Left = fascism?

At its most provocative The Anti-Oedipus Complex accuses liberals and progressives of abetting consumer capitalism’s degradation of humankind in the name of “enjoyment unto death”. Indeed, he traces the contemporary left’s strategies back to fascist origins. The unspoken aim of progressivist causes, Weatherill argues, is to clear the way for anti-Oedipal lives of unfettered enjoyment and irresponsibility.

Tick!

Environmentalism?

Concerns about ecological devastation are treated as little more than a neurotic delusion.

Tick!

Feminism?

Although the tone is cool and authoritative, anger here and there simmers behind a screen of irony. Feminism is not beyond criticism: “Just think of the many achievements to be notched up . . . 42 per cent of marriages in the UK end in divorce, mostly initiated by courageous, intelligent women who are free to live lives of sexual freedom again.”
Weatherill acknowledges the unbridled misogyny of the anti-Oedipal era but insists that the dismantling of patriarchy and the demonisation of men (whereby “white male” has become a derogatory phrase) have abetted capitalism’s nihilistic agency and intensified the “monstrous cold” of the contemporary.

Tick Tick!

Anti-Islam?

Even those who share Weatherill’s dismay at the shallowness of much progressivist discourse may find elements of his rhetoric objectionable. Avowedly anti-Islamist, he forgoes the complexity of thought elsewhere in evidence by cherry-picking citations that blithely affirm the Trumpian/Bannonist view that Islam is dangerous in itself, irrespective of geopolitical factors at play in the so-called war on terror.

Tick Tick Tick!

Perhaps it is unfair to assess a book on the back of one review, but it’s some review. And there’s the sinking feeling that what is on offer is the same overheated stew that so many in this era offer – catastrophe beckons, despite the actual catastrophes being those of neo and post fascists and yes, run of the mill conservatives and reactionaries coming to state power, it’s all the left’s fault (despite the left having relatively marginal inputs and the right having largely political and economic hegemony for forty odd years or more). But that rather inconvenient fact (and others – as the reviewer notes the waving away of the misogny of earlier years) obviously doesn’t deserve addressing.

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Comments»

1. Occasional lurker - May 14, 2017

Anti oedipal complex!

That really sums it all up.in much of the world today is mother’s day.

The mothers of the world will sleep easy tonight.

Liked by 1 person

2. Starkadder - May 15, 2017

Did anyone see that nauseating hagiography of Desmond Fennell Bob Quinn wrote in the IT a few days ago?

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WorldbyStorm - May 15, 2017

Just read it at break.Sheesh! BTW its no longer online but on Dublin Opinion blog Fennell crossed swords with the contributors. Was a thing if beauty to see him have to try to sustain Hus argument in the face if rationale critique. Funny thing is some of what he used to say was good and thought provoking but then it became the way the truth and the light

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