Three Stances Against Exigency — Işık Barış Fidaner

One always thinks in order to authorize oneself with some kind of knowledge [1] and there is a vital exigency behind every curiosity for knowledge [2]. You could call this exigency success, survival, death, sex, castration or anything else, depending on how you think it. In any case, everything depends on the stance one takes in the face of this exigency. To get authorized is to function as a user, and one’s stance against the exigency also shapes one’s position with regard to the negation of use: abuse. As per usual, there are three possible stances: neurotic, pervert and psychotic.

The neurotic represses the vital exigency. (S)he refuses to think it and the exigency returns in symptoms. This is the usual difficulty and failure of authorization that’s called a crisis [3]. When a situation is articulated as a shared crisis and people are told that they are “all in the same boat”, this generalized appearance of difficulty and failure is a symptom of a passion to ignore the underlying exigency. In states of relative stability, it becomes a crisis of obsession, in states of disorder it becomes a crisis of hysteria. The ignorance of exigency also shapes the authorized users’ relation to abuse: As people identify with the shared difficulty, they also repress and refuse to think potential abuse, and the identification with the crisis opens the neurotics to manipulation by political impostors who can manage to alienate them via images and symbols [4]. It’s modern managers’ job to manage these alienations. Postmodern managers of alienation are called influencers.

The pervert disavows the vital exigency. So instead of suffering a crisis like a neurotic, (s)he enjoys a fluke, (s)he identifies with his/her good luck, even if it doesn’t exist. Disavowing the exigency is like playing lottery or gambling. Every choice (s)he makes feels like a game of slots [5]. This “positive relation to the universe” creates a sense of freedom albeit untrue. The side-effect of this pervert stance is that (s)he also disavows potential abuse, even if it’s committed by himself/herself. For him/her there can be no exploitation, it’s just that some people get lucky and enjoy the flukes. This is the stance commonly taken by the influencers and managers of imaginary and symbolic alienations. The authorization of the pervert user is an imposture and a trick insofar as (s)he uses his/her disavowal in order to alienate the neurotics into a perceived crisis and difficulty [6].

The psychotic forecloses the vital exigency. It’s neither a crisis nor a fluke. Instead, every authorization is a hack for the psychotic, since (s)he also forecloses the possibility of potential abuse. The foreclosed vital exigency reappears in the real, which means that nothing happens without an (evil) purpose (according to him/her). Everywhere are abusers out to get him/her, unless (s)he gets the jump on them and hacks them first. It’s hack or be hacked. This stance characterizes an entwinement of (1) the practice of conspiring to hack others and (2) a paranoia about getting hacked by other conspirators. In contrast to the neurotic, (s)he is unable share a crisis with anyone; in contrast to the pervert, (s)he is unable to believe in luck. This makes him/her immune to the usual ideologies and alienations, but the price of this immunity is just too high and not worth it. Unable to immerse in alienation, the psychotic loses reality altogether and takes refuge in delusions [7].

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] See “Life, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis”

[2] See “Curiosity and the Passion of Ignorance”

[3] See “‘Crisis of Masculinity’ is a Manifestation of the General Crisis of Authorization”

[4] See “Imaginary Alienation (Posturing Wholeness) and Symbolic Alienation (Posturing Allness)”

[5] The third axiom of probability which says that distinct events are disjoint embodies this disavowal of exigency in the theory of probability. See “The so-called ‘Third Axiom of Probability’ is false”

[6] The documentary Social Dilemma (2020) is mostly about the neurotics’ crises being exploited by the perverts’ flukes.

[7] The documentary The Great Hack (2019) somehow approaches this topic of the psychotic world of hacks and conspiracies.

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