November 18, 2004

Reality itself is becoming paranoiac

As an additional footnote of sorts to Ccru's 'Who's Pulling YOur Strings?', this from Zizek...(well he might be a decadent western intellectual ;-), but he has one or two things to say pertinent to hyperstition):

'... [w]hen we are confronted with conspiracy theories, we should proceed in a strict homology to the proper reading of Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. We should neither accept the existence of ghosts as part of the narrative reality nor reduce them, in a pseudo-Freudian way, to the projection of the heroine's hysterical sexual frustrations.

Conspiracy theories are of course not to be accepted as 'fact'. However one should not reduce them to the phenomenon of modern mass hysteria. Such a notion still relies on the "big Other," on the model of "normal" perception of shared social reality, and thus does not take into account how it is precisely this notion of reality that is undermined today. The problem is not that ufologists and conspiracy theorists regress to a paranoid attitude unable to accept (social) reality; the problem is that this reality itself is becoming paranoiac.

Contemporary experience again and again confronts us with situations in which we are compelled to take note of how our sense of reality and normal attitude towards it is grounded in a symbolic fiction - how the "big Other" that determines what counts as normal and accepted truth, what is the horizon of meaning in a given society, is in no way directly grounded in the "facts" as rendered by scientific "knowledge in the real".

...One is tempted to claim, in the Kantian mode, that the mistake of the conspiracy theory is somehow homologous to the 'paralogism of pure reason,' to the confusion between ... two levels: the suspicion (of the received scientific, social, etc. common sense) as the formal methodological stance, and the positing of the suspicion in another all-explaining global para-theory.'

'The Matrix, or the two sides of Perversion' in The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real

Posted by mark k-p at November 18, 2004 06:12 AM




right, this is the essence of 'stupid hermuntics." As Paul Mann explains:

"Or to be more precise, a methodology: stupid
hermeneutics. All these facts can be collected, indexed,
cross-referenced, glossed and reglossed, woven into the
dense fabric of the final truth, the big one, the gnostic
Big Evil behind all the little viral evils that flicker
across the archivist's screen. Everything is evidence for
a truth that lies elsewhere; the slightest friction between
a number and a name can indicate the deep encryption of a
truth that holds the key to a truth that must be organized
with other truths that indicate this missing totality.
Without the slightest doubt the trajectory of evidence
leads to the certain proof of clandestine connections
between people in power and, what is more, between
seemingly distinct orders of reality: common, household
tools conceal super-advanced extraterrestrial technologies
linked with the real systems of power behind the apparent
political structures, and all these are linked with the
dark magic, the secret laws of nature behind those that
science pretends to offer us. Everything and everyone is
controlled from the outside. Everything is a matter of
coding and decoding: a semiocratic delirium. What Bataille
calls, in deadly earnest, *parody* as copula as the illicit
copulation of facts: this = this = this.... The chain of
evidence is endless and at every point it adds up to the
missing One."

From "Stupid Undergrounds"

Posted by: TheScuSpeaks at November 18, 2004 08:58 AM



So by "conspiracy theory" you're really talking about a paranoic grand unification theory that relentlessly weaves every detail into an elaborate monlithic apparatus of domination. The term "conspiracy theory" is itself misleading and painfully swollen with connotations as it immediately invalidates any possibility of truth. As such it has become a conveniently fascist buzzword used to gloss over any attempts at uncovering the festering lies inherent in a given hierarchy of power. For example, the state press repeatedly refers to claims of voter fraud in the 2004 US election as "conspiracy theories", thus framing them as lunacy and marginalising any possibility of truth within their cries. Thus branded, the populace is free to dismiss any other such claims on similar grounds. In a sense, the use of the term "conspiracy theory" now only seems to reinforce the paranoic fear of such a conspiracy.

Posted by: lvx23 at November 19, 2004 01:59 AM



"Conspiracy theories are of course not to be accepted as 'fact'. However one should not reduce them to the phenomenon of modern mass hysteria." We agree that conspiracy is not fact, but neither hysteria. Conspiracy is not totally anything. To claim so would imply an impossible totalizing, universalizing judgement as to what conspiracy is. And to dwell on this dichotomy, and say conspiracy has to be either / or is already misleading. Conspiracy cannot be reduced to anything.

However, this doesn't mean that there are no such things as facts or hysterias. And as such, why would it be impossible for facts and hysterias to contribute to the constitution ofconspiracies? Facts can be presented hysterically, can be produced hysterically, can produce hysteria. But perhaps the point being made above is that it is not mass anxiety that produces conspiracy. I.e. that conspiracy is not rooted in reality nor group fantasy.

The greater point this is leading to, based upon, circulating, is that there is no radical distinction between reality and fiction. Fictions serve as the basis of facts and vice versa. But this dichotomy, although in its radical form is false, still exists. Is there any way out of this double-bind? One answer may be found in 'Who's pulling your strings?': "Unbelief escapes all this by building a plane of potentiality, upon which the annihilation of judgment converges with real cosmic indeterminacy." I.e. through unbelief.

But what is it to unbelieve something? It sounds like an undoing, an unwrapping, a retro movement. Surely not. If we say that Bush is the President of the U.S.A, then we think you will believe us; if we say, however, that Bush is leading a secret campaign, on behalf of Masons or Jews, to dominate the world, then we think you will disbelieve us. Where is the unbelieving taking place?

From what we read here: if fact=believe and fiction=disbelieve, then hyperstition=unbelieve. Do you concord? Interested to pursue this further.

Posted by: tachiiru at November 19, 2004 02:24 AM



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