SPECTRAL PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY AND HAUNTOLOGY:LINKS.BY STEVEN BENSON

HAUNTOLOGY-this comes from Derrida’s “Spectres Of Marx”(1993).it is a complex concept aligned to the derridean idea of the “trace”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trace_(deconstruction).it Is the idea that, for instance the spectres/hauntology of Marx’s original thought have become “undone from time”; that is, the remants of uncorrupted Marxism float in an in-between,beyond time, space;neither alive nor dead(like a zombie if you like!), waiting to be re-animated in the future. This undead state is because of the failure of, for example, Stalinist revisionist “Communism”/command economy “Communism” generally/Brezhnevian stagnation;they are corruptions of the original tenets of Marx and Engels. After the end of the Warsaw pact countries, in 1989,all that remained/remains is this spectre that haunts the present and future.It is intrinsically a HOPEFUL concept; it strongly propounds that true Communism is not dead, and can be tried again, but sans distortion by, for example, individual ego and by state corruption.(In fact, theory aside , some practising communes give a slight weight to the ability of this tenet to be actualized, but hitherto on a small scale).

To talk on a more individual level, Zizek, influenced by our old friend Lacan,talked of Lacan’s “barred subject-a subject structurally out of joint”. I have already discussed, via Edelmann, how the lacanian model aspires to a trace-like never-to-be-attained “Real” state(barred from realization by an individual’s clinging on-often subconsciously-to the “Imaginary ” of child hood and, also, the “Symbolic Order” of restrictive, controlling hegemonic society; or via the fantasy-giving “fulfilment” of the accumulation of capital or capitalist goods, which proves, ultimately, to be empty:thus goods promise happiness instead of true self-actualisationhttps://towardsutopia.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/open-letter-to-lee-edelman-contdlacan-for-people-strugglingincluding-myself-an-attempt-at-understanding-in-a-simplified-form-by-steven-benson/)

Zizek, like Derrida,says that we are increasingly in a world of greater and greater virtuality(internet, multiple modes of communication, sometimes, in fact, HINDERING communication, etc etc):”a plague of phantasies-pseuso concrete images”(Zizek).So the hauntology lies in the false consciousness experienced by most uncritically thinking people who are brainwashed to think capitalism is the only way(forward), even though it is in a state of semi-failure anyway; the trace/spectre of an alternative lies outside their awareness and it is the job of the critical thinker to re-animate it into life by looking at alternatives to capitalism.(and it can be, of course, extrapolated beyond unrevisionist Marxism, and include-just as examples-Green issues, lgbt equality etc)

So, what is the inter-relationship between hauntology and spectral psychgeography?. Well,hauntology, as we have seen, works on both the macrocosmic, social level AND the (lacanian)microcosmic” subject”, ie individual, level. Spectral, in reference to the latter, is a SELF-ghosting(thanks to Dr. Christopher Madden for that word!), a self-spectrality(see this link for homospectralityhttps://towardsutopia.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/what-is-homospectrality-and-how-to-avoid-itby-steven-benson/),that is a sublimation or blocking off of parts of the self(cf the lacanian Imaginary stage and being stuck in it); but it is an individual’s psychological manifestation of the SOCIAL hauntology of a WIDESPREAD, societal NON-actualization of the traces of the true Marxism(equal distribution of wealth, which could be extrapolated to the total elimination of any vestiges of the idea of women as chattels, for instance); so that those traces remain suspended in space, not (yet) totally extinct but not re-vived enough to be, by any means , totally living(except in the isolated, fragile examples I have given).This can be extended, microcosmically(ie, the psycho part of psycho-social),to the difficulties encountered(leading to internalized cognitive dissonance) in mediating a society, which, excepting these small enclaves,does not allow for difference and idiosyncrasy, never mind, macrocosmically, anti-capitalist structures. The geography=the problematic hegemonic, normativizing social context; for instance the phsical and psychological geography of an lgbt unfriendly bar.

The parallel between hauntology and spectral psychogeography is that , if the safety of the individual is re-animated(from half-corpse/spectrality)by a filtering down to the individual level from social change, (FULFILLING the trace or haunting {already extant but unrealized}): then we have an overturning of the spectrality(on an individual level) and the hauntology of the trace of the uncorrupted thread-through history-so that spectral psychogeography and, more macrocosmically, hauntology are replaced and re-vivified by a new healthier , actualised alternative on a psycho-social  level.

…………………………………..
(Next, as well as getting back to “Place in the Country”, I want to make links between the idea of Derrida’s hauntology and Benjamin’s remnants of capitalism; I strongly sense there is an intrinsic link.)

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About decayetude

ENTHUSIASMS: CLASSICAL MUSIC, ESPECIALLY OBSCURE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS; BACH/HANDEL LITERATURE, ESPECIALLY THOUGHTFUL, WELL-WRITTEN(STYLISTICALLY)NOVELS W G SEBALD WALTER BENJAMIN THEODOR ADORNO(JUST BEGINNING!) AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHY GAY MEN'S WRITING;QUEER THEORY STIMULATING DISCUSSIONS(EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY) GOOD RICH THICK ESPRESSO MICHAEL PONTI SPRITUALITY/LIFE'S "AURA"(BENJAMIN), WHATEVER TRANSCENDENTAL THING YOU WANT TO CALL THIS MEMORY-the elusiveness thereof. LOST TIME AND AN ATTEMPT AT ITS REDEMPTION(NON THEISTICALLY/RELIGIOUSLY)
This entry was posted in Hauntology, psychogeography, queer geography, safer spaces(guidelines), safety for marginalised groups, safety for women, Self-actualisation, SPECTRAL PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY, Utopia, working outside hegemonies and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to SPECTRAL PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY AND HAUNTOLOGY:LINKS.BY STEVEN BENSON

  1. decayetude says:

    Thanks , Diana 🙂

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