An Irreducible Death-Drive or an Emancipative Event: Trauma and PTSD Recovery form Žižek-Badiou Perspective

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of English Language and Literature, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of English, Faculty of Language and Literature, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran

3 Department of English Language and Literature, Ershad Damavand University, Damavand, Iran

4 Department of English Language and Literature, Parand Branch, Islamic Azad University, Parand, Iran


Žižek supposes that traumas can turn into death-drives and offer the subject surplus jouissance. He warns that ideological systems can profit from traumas to further subjugate their citizens. Notwithstanding, Badiou construes that traumas can appear as tremendous moments of Truth/Events that betrays the voids of the Symbolic Order and actualizes the universal truths that postmodernism has constantly denied or endeavored to suppress. In so thinking, he hypothesizes that the Truth/Event will find/invent its own faithful subject that cooperate to actualize the suppressed or denied Real of their age. Badiou criticizes the Western Ethics for devising a secured mode of life that emasculates the subject of post capitalism age and deprives him of experiencing the sufferings that can confront him with the Real. Badiou states that the Western ethics deliberately ignores the positive effects of PTSD recoveries that can reveal a lot regarding the psychological and social weakness of the subject and the society as well. Defending the idea of traversing the fantasies and encountering the Real, Žižek, however, does not become convinced of the emancipatory force that Badiou attributes to traumatic Events. Instead, he announces that the subject’s fidelity to the Badiouian Truth/Event approximates to the devoted insurgents’ allegiance to the ‘mythic violence’ that enables them to disclaim responsibility for their deeds. Badiou himself is apprehensive of ever-present ‘simulacra’ that the sovereign ideology concocts to counterfeit the Truth/Event. What Žižek prescribes is an ‘Act’ that can be embodied in ‘divine violence’ that divulges the Symbolic Order’s void.