I. V.Demin

Main Page ~ Authors ~ I. V.Demin
  • 4, 2021

    • Ideology in the Era of Cynical Reason (Interpretation of Ideology in Slavoj Žižeks Works)

      The article is devoted to the critical analysis of the concept of ideology developed by Slavoj Žižek, the modern Slovenian philosopher. The author reveals the possibilities and limitations of Žižek’s approach to understanding the phenomenon of ideology and considers the initial presumptions and methodological assumptions that this approach is based upon. The article shows that despite the indisputable originality, Žižek’s theory is not devoid of contradictions, and the interpretation of ideology as an illusion and mystification, which is justified within the framework of Marxist political philosophy, loses its foundations in the context of the post-structuralist methodology.

      According to I.Demin’s conclusion, Žižek’s philosophical and political thinking falls prey to the scheme that Peter Sloterdijk defined as “mutual tracking of ideologies”. Criticism of ideology here implies criticism of one ideo logy from the standpoint of another, or criticism of “bad” ideology from the standpoint of “good” ideology. The “criticizing” ideology is not clearly articulated, but implicitly assumed. The fact that the “critic” of ideology prefers not to reveal his own bias constitutes an integral part of the strategy of ideological criticism, as opposed to scientific criticism.

      Ideology as the principle that structures social reality obtains an allencompassing character in Žižek’s interpretation, since it underlies all human actions and human thinking. However, if there is no way to separate ideology from scientific knowledge, to distinguish between ideology, philosophy and religion, it turns out that ideology is everything and nothing at the same time. With this interpretation, “ideology” becomes an unoperationalizable concept for Social and Political Sciences, and therefore useless. At the same time, a number of the provisions formulated by Žižek (on ideological “fastening”, on the role of the enemy figure in the ideological discourse, etc.) may be in high demand in the course of developing an adequate methodological strate gy for studying the phenomenon of ideology, which distances itself from both “naïve” objectivist doctrines and the extremes of the political anti-essentialism and anti-universalism.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2021-103-4-6-23

      Pages: 6-23