Class struggle

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As Žižek himself admits, this might sound rather abstract but he is able to provide a concrete example of the way his theory works in terms of class struggle. For Žižek, the ]]class struggle]] belongs to the Order of the Real. We do not encounter it directly in ]]reality]], but only via its Symbolization. As the class struggle is Real, it forms a blockage in the Symbolic which manifests itself in different attempts to Symbolize it, to recuperate it within reality. These attempts index the antagonistic character of the class struggle, by which Žižek means to convey that the class struggle is the constitutive split which forms society. The class struggle is what holds society together, it is our mutual bond, but at the same time it is what prevents society from forming an organic whole, it is what drives a wedge between us all. The very visible absence of class struggle right now is, for Žižek, evidence of a struggle in which one side has (temporarily) won. The class struggle does not objectively exist-we can only see it or not see it from a particular, subjective or ideological point of view.

In terms of Žižek's theory, then, the spectre of ideology conceals the failed Symbolization of the antagonism of class struggle in the Real. To put it another way, ideology fills out the abyss of the antagonism-it patches over the hole in reality (the Symbolic Order).[1]

See Also