Žižek Impression

Today I visited the Post Office to send some letters to discover they had implemented a new system. At the door you took a number and then when your number was called out you went to the window to post your letter, or whatever you needed to do. But this is precisely the same as it is before with the queuing in lines – we are called in the order that we arrived, still have to wait just as long, especially at busy times. The difference is that we could wander around the comfortably seated area, maybe taking a walk around, or reading a leaflet until the number was called. And that a computer controlled the system, with pleasing graphics.

Is this not precisely the kind of authoritarian freedom one experiences in neoliberal capitalism? Queuing without queuing – the impression of freedom while you are still waiting in a well ordered line. There is no real difference between this queuing and the old system apart from the vague experience of freedom of movement a ticket system gives. It is the same system, the same problems, but with a new veneer.

11 thoughts on “Žižek Impression

  1. I should also add they had machines which did the whole process automatically of weighing and paying for a letter. Soon postoffices will just be these machines.

  2. Basically, I am going to use this illustration (with all due reference to blog and clever person) in as many lectures as humanly possible. Could we also work in some place for the Big Other? Maybe Pat…

  3. Because I don’t feel like spending time writing a post that I don’t see making a difference in this debate, choosing to work on other things I must get done (essays and translation), I’m a grey vampire. Fuck that noise.

  4. Can someone direct me to k-punks comments or were they made in a twitter post? When I go to his blog I can find no recent post on Zizek.

  5. You obviously don’t mind queueing in lines, which is an admirable quality.

    The lack of human contact (mentioned later in the comment box) is what would strike me. But I’d be very pleased to be able to stretch my legs, sit down, read a leaflet, and so on. Sounds like a great improvement.

  6. Thing is though, it doesn’t work. I was in there when it was busy and you still couldn’t walk around, what was worse was that you had nowhere definite or comfortable to stand!

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