The Sublime Object of Ideology  

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"One of the most interesting, if not the most interesting, point that Zizek makes in The Sublime Object of Ideology is that ‘love is a forced choice.’ He explains this by simply pointing out that one cannot choose who one loves nor can one be forced into loving someone, instead what happens is that the loving subject realizes that they have fallen in love, having already choosen, only after the fact." --Naught Thought[1]

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Sublime Object of Ideology is a 1989 book by the Slovenian philosopher and cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek. The book, which Žižek believes to be one of his best, essentially makes thematic the Kantian notion of the sublime in order to liken ideology to an experience of something that is absolutely vast and forceful beyond all perception and objective intelligibility.

The first chapter begins with an analysis of "How did Marx Invent the Symptom?" Žižek compares the notion of symptom that works in both Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud in this section. He is against a simplistic reading of both the authors who are seen to have discovered the hidden "kernel" of meaning behind the apparently unconnected "forms" of commodities (by Marx) and dreams (by Freud). The kernel of the content of commodity being labour and the dream being its latent meaning. Žižek thinks the more important question is why did the latent content take this particular form? Thus, the dream-work and commodity-form itself requires analysis, according to both Freud and Marx, Žižek says.

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