OK, so enough Zizek for one day … clearly a student of Jacques Lacan is about as “foggy froggie” / PoMo as one can get, but cheeky with it. Hard work, but valuable on balance.
Picked-up the Peter Sloterdijk link in my earlier reference to Zizek. Found this review of his “Critique of Cynical Reason” by Stefan Lorenz Sorgner entitled “In Search of Lost Cheekiness“. A good read.
The Cynic / Kynic distinction is between the Cynic (in the modern sense) who lives with the hypocrisy of working a system in which they do not actually believe, rationalizing the irrational, whereas the Kynic in the Diogenes sense who actually makes a statement out of living outside the system in which they do not believe, refusing to engage in the flawed system of argument. The hypocritical style of cynicism as a “necessary” part of institutional life in both business and science is not new here – Maxwell’s scientific empiricism neurosis, Brunsson & Argyris organizational hypocrisy.
Sloterdijk is more an observer than a philosopher. Clearly the hypocritical cynic is effectively living with a mental illness for life whereas the Kynic is truer to themselves, cheeky with positive intent, but as he also observes there can never be a “majority” outside society’s norms, so long as society as a whole has any norms. The situation can only exist temporarily and/or locally, in carnivals, universities and bohemia. Depressingly the majority must live with rationalizing the irrational, and Sloterdijk offers no alternative formula. Globalization of institutions is itself the problem – the memes win.
Does anybody actually have anything new to say ?