Tuesday, November 17, 2009

zizek on sacrifice

"what IS sacrifice? The most elementary notion of sacrifice relies on the notion of exchange: I offer to the Other something precious to me in order get back from the Other something even more vital to me (the "primitive" tribes sacrifice animals or even humans so that God will repay them by sending enough rainfall, military victory, etc.)

The next, already more intricate level is to conceive sacrifice as a gesture which does not directly aim at some profitable exchange with the Other to whom we sacrifice: its more basic aim is rather to ascertain that there IS some Other out there who is able to reply (or not) to our sacrificial entreaties.

Even if the Other does not grant my wish, I can at least be assured that there IS an Other who, maybe, next time will respond differently: the world out there, inclusive of all catastrophies that may befall me, is not a meaningless blind machinery, but a partner in a possible dialogue, so that even a catastrophic outcome is to be read as a meaningful response, not as a kingdom of blind chance."

from zizek


  1. The Thing From Inner Space:
    here is the link: