Establishing a Fact is neither Establishing a Faked nor Establishing a Fucked — Işık Barış Fidaner

To be able to establish facts, two consecutive tests are needed. The first test determines whether the fact is a faked. A faked is simply false, so you cannot ‘establish a faked’. This test is fairly commonly accepted, both right-wing and left-wing circles use the term ‘fake news’ to refer to the necessity of this test of truth.

But there is also a second test which determines whether the fact is a fucked. A fucked is incompatible with establishing it, because declaring “We are fucked!” does not amount to an intervention. So ‘establishing a fucked’ is a contradiction in terms, it’s an illusion of knowledge where there is a non-knowledge. In contrast to the well-known first test of truth, this second test is never applied in practice; so both right-wing as well as left-wing circles constantly ‘establish fuckeds’ all the time.

Moreover, the neglect of the second test plays a part in the application of the first test. The (il)logic goes like this: If a fact is a ‘fucked’, this proves that it’s not a ‘faked’. If a fact is more ‘fucked’ than any other fact, this is even more proof that it cannot be a ‘faked’. Thus the fuckedness of a fact is supposed to falsify its possible fakedness. Since this way of proving does not work, the first test is a bad measure of truth when the second test is neglected.

The fairly common ‘establishing of fuckeds’ explains conspiracy theories and paranoia in right-wing circles & catastrophism and fatalism in left-wing circles. As an example of the latter, in Abolishing Freedom (2016), Frank Ruda directly advocates fatalism and proposes his readers to establish the following fuckeds [1]:

Start by expecting the worst!
Act as if you did not exist!
Act as if you were not free!
Act in such a way that you accept the struggle you cannot flee from!
Act in such a way that you never forget to imagine the end of all things!
Act as if the apocalypse has already happened!
Act as if everything were always already lost!
Act as if you were dead!
Act as if you were an inexistent woman!

Of course Ruda’s assumption of the ‘worst’ refers to the substance of enjoyment. The problem with Ruda’s left-wing fatalism is that the enjoyment of being fucked is used in order to prove the truth of being fucked. This strategy doesn’t work because establishing the truth of a fact is something other than the enjoyment of ‘establishing a fucked’. The establishing of a fact must separate the truth of desire from the real of enjoyment. A truth is something that is supposed to deserve our desire [2]. Being fucked is something that gets in the way of truth by ‘abolishing’ the desire, erasing its separation from enjoyment. Alenka Zupančič’s modest addition to Ruda’s list nicely renders the separation of desire from enjoyment, properly establishing a fact [3]:

The world will surely end, but it won’t be the end of our troubles.


Işık Barış Fidaner is a computer scientist with a PhD from Boğaziçi University, İstanbul. Admin of Yersiz Şeyler, Editor of Žižekian Analysis, Curator of Görce Writings. Twitter: @BarisFidaner


[1] Here Ruda intends to follow Žižek’s wager to out-fate fate: “What if the message of this story is not that a man‘s demise is impossible to avoid, that trying to twist free of it will only tighten its grip, but rather its exact opposite, namely that if one accepts fate as inevitable and one can break its grasp?” (“We have an appointment with death”)

[2] See “True-False : Right-Wrong = Desire : Intention”

[3] See “The End” Alenka Zupančič


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