This article traces a brief genealogy of the concept of ideology, focusing on the way that this is a modern concept which presents a break with the traditional philosophical concerns with unmasking delusions and displaying the reality behind them. Ideology pertains to the very reality behind the illusions by virtue of a structural necessity, thus producing a redoubled or reflected illusion. Such was the focus of the classical ideology critique, but recent developments produced a new turn whereby the ideological construction does its own unmasking, preempting the critique. The obscene underside now comes to the fore, lifting the veil by which it was concealed, but this process doesn’t mean that we can now see the plain truth. Lifting the veil is an advanced form of obfuscation whereby the repression itself gets repressed.
Lifting the Veil
Mladen Dolar is Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana. His principal areas of research are psychoanalysis, modern French philosophy, German idealism, and art theory. Having lectured extensively at universities in the US and across Europe, he is the author of over hundred and fifty papers in scholarly journals and collected volumes. Apart from fourteen books in Slovene his book publications include most notably A Voice and Nothing More (2006, translated into eight languages) and Opera’s Second Death (with Slavoj Žižek, 2001, also translated into several languages). His new book The Riskiest Moment is forthcoming with Duke University Press. He is one of the founders of the “Ljubljana Lacanian School.”
Mladen Dolar; Lifting the Veil. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2020; 119 (4): 671–680. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-8663566
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