On Symbols and Reality

“In order to express our sense of reality, we must use some kind of symbol: words or notes or shades of paint or television pictures or sculpted forms.  None of those symbols or images can ever completely satisfy us because they can never be any more than what they are — a fragment of a reflection of what we feel reality to be.”

Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember (2003).

“The map is not the territory; the map doesn’t cover all of the territory; and the map is self-reflexive (it becomes part of the territory).”

Alfred Korzybski, Science and Sanity (1933).

“the distinction between appearance and essence has to be inscribed into appearance itself.”

Slavoj Žižek, Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism (2012).

“One sees in effect that if here the signifier is a melting pot in so far as it bears witness to a presence that is past, and that inversely in what is signifying, there is always in the fully developed signifier which the word is, there is always a passage, namely something which is beyond each one of the elements which are articulated, and which are of their nature fleeting, vanishing, that is the passage from one to the other which constitutes the essential of what we call the signfying chain, and that this passage qua vanishing, is this very thing which can be trusted”

Jacques Lacan, Seminar V.

Slavoj Žižek on Law

“The illegitimate violence by which law sustains itself must be concealed at any price, because this concealment is the positive condition of the functioning of law.  Law functions only insofar as its subjects are fooled, insofar as they experience the authority of law as ‘authentic and eternal’ and do not realize ‘the truth about the usurpation’.  That is why Kant is forced, in his Metaphysics of Morals, to forbid any question concerning the origins of legal power: it is by means of precisely such questioning that the stain of this illegitimate violence appears which always soils, like original sin, the purity of the reign of law.”

Slavoj Žižek, “The Limits of the Semiotic Approach to Psychoanalysis,” from Psychoanalysis and… (Feldstein and Sussman, eds., Routledge 1990).

Slavoj Žižek – A Note on Syriza: Indebted Yes, but Not Guilty!

Link to an article by Slavoj Žižek:

“A Note on Syriza: Indebted Yes, but Not Guilty!”

Bonus links: “The Greek Debt Interim Agreement: Necessary Step or Sell-Out?,” “Greece: Austerity for the Bankers,” “The Democratic Right to Cry ‘Enough’” and “Reading the Greek Deal Correctly”

Slavoj Žižek – In the Grey Zone

Link to an article by Slavoj Žižek on the Charlie Hebdo incident:

“In the Grey Zone”

Bonus links: “Laughter in the Dark” (“And here we confront Charlie Hebdo’s greatest failing, not that its cartoonists mocked the Prophet or skewered the Mullahs, but that the magazine became a tool of the ruling order, aiming its most savage work at the most vulnerable citizens of France: the weak, the marginalized and the dispossessed. In the end, Charlie Hebdo, like much of the French intelligentsia, became an agent of orthodoxy, a persecutor of the poor and the powerless, deaf to their desperation.”) and “The Red Flag and the Tricolore”