Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fidelity to Truth

This is my comment to Jodi Dean's post, "No Time for Politics":

Hello Ms Dean,

It is a little bit late, but Happy Birthday!

My birthday was April 2nd. As an ordinary celebration I spent my 32nd birthday by contemplating on the path my life, on how the forms of social relations ironically consumes the content of proper communication, our capacity for full speech, the field of political interaction (Here I mean something very fundamental other than real politics. Political in the sense of a praxis that interferes in the connection of two people), namely, I dwell on how this non-stop bombardment of “empty gestures”, ear-splitting prattle of “empty speech”, all those hysterical exchange of links, You-Tube videos, SMS massages, etc. etc. leads to an all-embracing isolation.

I think there are two connected features of the contemporary excessive communication or the “communicative capitalism”: The first one is the hyperactive exchange of “empty gestures”, images, jokes, slogans and the most stereotyped expression of language, etc. to prevent something that will probably disintegrate our dispassionate purity in this sheltered space. As Zizek describes as, “people not only act in order to change something, they can also act in order to prevent something from happening”. And the second one is this obsessive exchange of “empty speech” does not only provide an escape from “full speech” which verbalizes a truth about our desires in the boundaries of present, but also provides a blockade that prevent us to lie about ourselves since lies generally disclose the depth of truth more explicitly than sincere and straightforward statements. Thus the concealed silence beneath this communicative uproar signifies our or their anxiety to accidentally reveal an unbearable truth of ourselves. She or he consistently avoids proper communication to prevent the outbreak of any evidence that would possibly expose a disturbing truth: I have the right to remain silent. Here we need Hillary and Barak to sustain our counter-revolutionary hyperactivity by handing over the entertaining demonstration of the leakage of truth from the crack of “empty speech”.

“The Soviets--they had stamina, the stamina for politics”. I agree. The Soviets had stamina for politics in the conditions of specific political dimensions. In the present, I think we must attach another quality to this essential precondition to deal with politics. As Badiou pointed out, no matter how unbearable and impossible they seem, we also need a decisive fidelity to political truths: Fidelity to disclose them with every possible manner.

I will publish this comment on my blog.


Jodi said...

Happy Birthday, back!

So you understand the communicative uproar as a kind of defense formation, defending against the inadvertent lie, weakness, or lack. I wonder whether another factor also comes in to play in the way that this is the formation the defense takes, the impulse to media/mediate, to communicate, to connect, to make oneself be not alone.

Renegade Eye said...

Mehmet: You are still a youngster. Lighten up. I'm way older than you.

Mehmet Çagatay said...

Thank you Jodi,

There is a passage in Grundrisse where Marx asserts that the hunger satisfied by cooked meat eaten with a knife and fork is different from which devours raw meat with hands and teeth. There might be an analogous reciprocal determination here: Different methods to eliminate modern types of loneliness also shape and reproduce the subjects that consume novel tools of communication.

Mehmet Çagatay said...

I don't know Ren. Like in Dylan's song, I feel as if everything is broken.

Renegade Eye said...

See this written by my friend Nadia.