In this paper I bring the thinking of Slavoj Zizek and Peter Sloterdijk together to offer an alternative vision to paths forward that are bound to lead the followers into the neck chains in Plato’s Cave. Neo-liberalism, surveillance capitalism, and Harari’s trans-humans are the ideological dangers and the most logical paths forward given the frame of mind of “if we can we must.” The alternative to these dangers is an attempt to stay out of the cave by embracing Zizek’s “The only truth is the inconsistent edifice of the logical interconnection of all possible illusion” and following Sloterdijk’s argument for change by changing the way humans learn and live through practice. This paper argues that by responding to his/her primordial traumatic wound and then over-compensating for the wound through practice human beings would be developing particular qualities enough to find and share human value with others doing similarly: Voila Nietzsche’s acrobats. The results may be diverse enough but also camaraderie that would create membership in what Zizek call the fragile absolute and challenge obstacles frustrating access to the commons: ecology, biology, public spaces, intellectual property. In particular, the paper will draw on Zizek’s Less than Nothing and Sloterdijk’s You Must Change Your Life to map out the ideas in the two texts could revolutionize arts education and the revaluation of passions, talents, and their obstacles and develop a common bond to make easy access to the common resources that the spaceship Earth and humans provide.
Rich Murphy’s credits include books, Asylum Seeker, Body Politic, Americana won Prize Americana 2013. Voyeur 2008 Gival Press Poetry Award (Gival Press), and The Apple in the Monkey Tree 2007 (Codhill Press); chapbooks, Great Grandfather, Family Secret, Hunting and Pecking, Rescue Lines, Phoems for Mobile Vices, and Paideia. His critical essays have been published in The International Journal of the Humanities, Journal of Ecocriticism; Reconfigurations: A Journal for Poetics Poetry / Literature and Culture; and New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing; among others. Rich lives in Marblehead, MA.