Deceiving God and free circulation of knoweledge
Slavoj Zizek is one of the most popular contemporary philosophers, BBC considered him as the ‘Elvis Presley’ of Philosophy. He is considered to continue the tradition of the philosophy of Marx, Hegel and Lacan.
Žižek identifies the modern Cartesian Deceiving God in the face of Capitalism;
Slavoj Zizek has determined that late-modern capitalism has engendered a whole range of alternative seductions to keep the eye and brain off of the Real. The Real only exists as a fragment, fast receding on the horizon as fantasy and often phantasm intercede. These dreams and nightmares are systemic, structural neuroses, and they are part of the coordinates of the hegemonic. The hegemony – the prevailing set of coordinates – always seeks to ‘take over’ the Real, and, therefore, this contaminated Real must be periodically purged. (http://www.egs.edu/faculty/slavoj-zizek/biography/)
NewScientist recently published an interview with the “most dangerous philosopher in the west” Slavoj Žižek. In the interview he is suggesting that we should be critical of Science since it is entangled with capitalism and looses its objectivity. We should question it, because Science is also our only weapon to defend our existence against the threats of Nature.
Science is completely entangled with capital and capitalism. It is simultaneously the source of some threats (such as the ecological consequences of our industries or the uncontrolled use of genetic engineering), and our best hope of understanding those threats and finding a way to cope with them.
He believes that we are naive believing, that we are a threat to Nature, because that means that we underestimate our fragility; “in fact Mother Nature is not good – it’s a crazy bitch.” That of course does not mean that we should continue destroying the environment, in the contrary we should understand that what is on stake here is our own existence as a whole. We do not want to see that we do not control Nature; changing just our behavior is not going to save us because there is a point of no return.
I’m against the ecologists’ anti-technology stance, the one that says, “we are alienated by manipulating nature, we should rediscover ourselves as natural beings”
This is indeed a very interesting view for someone influenced by Marxists’ views, since he continues with;
We should alienate ourselves more from nature to be aware of our fragility
But following his thinking we can understand that, in the core, there is the argument of the ‘threatened’ Science; We cannot just denounce Science and its technological achievements just because Science is in crisis due to its entanglement to capitalism. We have to defend Science from being abused (identify what is “bad Science”, whose only purpose is profit at any cost) purify it and use it to really empower ourselves in all possible ways. Since capitalism is the “deceiving Deity” we should be very critical of the purposes of the scientific achievements, we need to read behind the lines… According to Zizek there is a guideline to this quest of good Science; the use of commons, knowledge is a common we collectively own it, and the more it circulates the more powerful it becomes. We should defend our right to open knowledge;
The problem for companies is how to prevent the free circulation of knowledge