Zizek is cool but rude:

to Marxist-feminists, and Deleuze and Guattari:

"Let us take one of the commonplaces of the Marxist-feminist criticism of psychoanalysis, the idea that its insistence on the crucial role of the Oedipus complex and the nuclear-family triangle transforms a historically conditioned form of patriarchal family into a feature of universal human condition: is not this effort to historicize the family triangle precisely an attempt to elude the 'hard kernel' which announces itself through the 'patriarchal family'--the Real of the Law, the rock of castration?"

This passage struck me as problematic for a few reasons, provided that my face-value reading is correct. (In fact, I have a hard time trusting my reading precisely because Zizek is precise above all else in his minute taxonomies, and this passage seems oddly condescending.) Treating the oedipal theory and the nuclear/patriarchal family as bedrock of the human condition is a bit of a stretch, and an obvious point of contention for queer theorists, feminists, anthropologists, Deleuze and Guattari-ists, and cyborg supporters of all stripes. Zizek's insinuation that feminist attempts to contextualize Freud are in fact deluded and ignorant of the 'hard kernel' of human existence stung my newly rhizome-attuned sensibilities--is he really arguing for a Zizek/Freud/Lacan monumentality like I think he is? That they (I guess Marx can be the Crazy Horse addendum to their Mt. Rushmore rock of ages) can make claims to an authority that recasts detractors as nimbly bimbly agitators?

Can someone provide a more charitable reading? Is there a way in which the 'patriarchal family' as the articulation/form/Howard Cosell of the 'hard kernel' does not necessarily essentialize the patriarchal family and Oedipus as internal to all human experience? I guess Zizek's opening exposition of Freud's dream theory, and the way he wields the psychoanalytic tradition, should have flagged my attention earlier that this is a theory that Haraway, D&G et al. would contest.

sorry, the quote is from page 50.

I think the point is not that //Oedipal energies// are the bedrock of human psychosocial relations, just that they're one social fantasy meant to spackle over what the true bedrock is: faced with traumatic irruptions of the Lacanian real (e.g. the Law, the rock of castration), one historically particular ideology constructed a fantasy of the universal patriarchal family. By focusing all their energy on historicizing that category, Marxist-feminist critiques of psychoanalysis miss the very lack that was motivating it: traumatic contingency of the Law and interpellative castration. So if there is a bedrock, it's not Oedipus but the Real, a sort of substratal anxiety that spikes up throughout a history, at both the personal level (of the human analysand who must come to terms with irruptions of the Real throughout her life) and at the social level (of the particular culture that must come to terms with irruptions of the Real throughout its history). I think pointing out that 'it doesn't have to be that way,' that the narrative of patriarchal relations is historically contingent and separate from the social reality, is subversively inert in the same way that pointing out that value doesn't inhere in currency is: and note that even Harawayan cyborgs and rhizomatic individuals could potentially be read to behave 'cynically' with regard to their filial relations, 'not believing in them' but still 'behaving as if.' Zizek's line is going to be that until Marxist-feminist critics ask what trauma patriarchal relations were meant to socio-fantastically plaster over, they're sort of missing the point. (Which [I feel the need to reemphasize] isn't that Freud got it right and that Oedipal, patriarchal relations truly are our psychic spines, just that their claim to that position will lead us back to the Real if we're attentive [which Marxist-feminist critiques are not ((a sub-claim of all this is, of course, that to the degree that these critiques deflect our attention away from the Real, they serve the interests of ideology))]).

I may be wrong.

Also, I agree with you that Zizek hits below the belt, like that time that he mocks the theoretical misguidedness of postmodern poetics.

--Guattari Hero

I read Zizek/Lacan as illustrating a way in which historicization can function as a tool of the ideology it attempts to subvert. While the eternalization of social relations may nullify attempts to change them, over-rapid historicization can work to blind us to historical constants - the form of the Law, the form of the camp - and deceive us into believing things have changed when in fact the form has remained the same. My charitable reason revolves around the qualifier *over-rapid*-historicization. I have no idea where one would begin to draw the line between over-rapid historicization and well-paced historicization, but, as a general call to be wary of the ideological function of "that was then, this is now" thinking, I think it's valid.
Regarding Zizek's occasional snarkiness, I liked when he served post-structuralists on (155).

Does this post count as an example of Zizeckian repetition?

--Guattari Hero