Thursday 4 July 2024

Can you be a leftist, and still find enjoyment?

“Leftist libertarians see enjoyment as an emancipatory power: every oppressive power has to rely on libidinal repression, and the first act of liberation is to set the libido free.
    "Puritan Leftists are, on the contrary, inherently suspicious of enjoyment: for them, it is a source of corruption and decadence, an instrument used by those in power to maintain their hold over us, so the first act of liberation is to break its spell.
    "The third position is that taken by [Alain] Badiou: jouissance is the nameless ‘infinite,’ a neutral substance which can be instrumentalised in a number of ways.”
~ Slavoj Žižek, from his book Living in the End Times. Hat tip Stephen Hicks, who reckons an interesting exercise would be to think of the leftists one knows or knows about, and to discover into which category they fit.



SteveD said...

"Leftist libertarians?"

Isn't that an oxymoron?

Peter Cresswell said...

@SteveD: Well, yes. But they exist. A left-libertarian would generally favour greater social freedom but no property rights. So in other words, communes, people's cooperatives, and a govt protecting some people's legitimate rights while happy to trample others. Murray Bookchin would be an example.

And to be fair, the libertarian label began in the nineteenth century with anarchists, then associated pre-WWII with left-libertarians, before being adopted post-WWII by promoters (like myself) of social freedoms, laissez-faire capitalism and strong property rights.