Edward Said

It is the weekend, and we are definitely singing. Ridwan has a picture of Edward Said on his blog with the quotation “I have been unable to live an uncommitted or suspended life.”

I think that was what Reeducation wanted — something very bland and Protestant somehow. I also tried to do this, but I was not suited to it.


5 thoughts on “Edward Said

  1. A lot of Deleuze & G are about opposing this kind of therapy. Interesting that like Mary Daly they see that therapy tends to have a priestly status and mode of operation, and that what it often achieves conformity to safe notions about existence — a kind of numbing. I think that finally we can come to a conclusion as to how conformity is generally achieved. Whereas you and I had earlier speculated that it had something to do with being on conventional train tracks during the early conditioning process (and D&G acknowledge that this is true), a lot of numbing also seems to be part of the process that engenders conformity. So, if you are “anoedipal” (to use D&G’s term), that is, if your mode of thinking does not conform to the dynamics that arise out of bourgeois historical circumstances, wherein the nuclear family is the fundamental power unit of society, then you will be anoedipal and will not inwardly relate to the processes of conventional psychoanalysis. I suppose that in this case, the therapist may try to numb you to get you to conform to a reality that is dominated by thinking in terms of this particular power structure — the nuclear family. Once internalised, this metaphor can be extended outwards by consciousness, so that everything in life seems to reflect this concept of the nuclear family — even your angry boss, who might seem more benign under the influence of this projection.

    But, numbness seems to be what is aimed at (perhaps sometimes even by the patient themselves) when the internalisation of dynamics leading to inward acceptance of bourgeois ideology fails.

  2. I really need to read D&G. I am vulnerable to the theory that it’s not your boss who’s the problem, its your projection onto them of your issues with your Oedipal figures.

    I am under an order to be numb at work and it isn’t good for me. What I need isn’t that, it’s backing.

  3. Classic blame the victim stuff.

    Also, it’s Christian and it’s fascist. D&G make both of these points. They do not make feminist points as strong as Mary Daly does, although they side with feminists as being outside of this mode of reasoning. D&G see that it is Christian because the Oedipal triangulation represents the Christian trinity. It is fascist, obviously, because you are supposed to defer to power and obtain your true self realisation in realising that it is right for others to have power over you.

    I would add that this Oedipal triangulation causes the real world to disappear, so that it becomes difficult if not impossible to represent it. According to D&G, one is permitted only to see the replication of the triangular pattern. The unconscious as a productive mechanism (rather than as a source of origin for this repetitive triangle), along with the imagination , are “castrated” by this logic of Oedipus. The free human being is rendered a penitent sinner, who must resolve his crisis within the meanings available to him according to the bourgeois order.

  4. That is really interesting. And one of my main oppressors is a major acolyte of D&G!

    “I am a great sacrificer and penitent.” [Popol Vuh]

  5. Adherents of any philosophy can become persecutory, especially when they turn the philosophy into an ideology. I can see how D&G might lend themselves to a position of self-righteous nihilism. It’s a shame that most people cannot understand that discourse cannot take place in a vacuum, and that there is no such thing as D&G’s position without psychoanalysis.

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