This “lab” is worth checking out, and it is especially interesting in light of the Lacanian Symbolic. I am thinking these “closed feedback loops” to be analogous with a Symbolic order sans Real. To de-jargonify, can we suppose that a virtual environment is an “ideal language,” a language without a single missing link, without paradox or contradiction?

Such an enclosed virtual Symbolic is wholly ossified and hermetically sealed. Suppose we generated a virtual space and then left the computer that was running the simulation alone for many years. Aside from the consumption of electricity, the virtual space would not have experienced any change because such a closed environment experiences no tension of any kind. The Real, qua disruptive gap, is not present. By being an entirely “dead” space, a virtual space is an entirely “full” space, it is seamlessly completed. Such a space is truely “timeless”, if time, as we experience it,  is simply the measurement of change.

The Paidia Institute also outlines, in their mission statement, the importance of elasticity and play, in its multiple meanings. Their site states, “Ideology itself—as an act of denomination—shares its semantic anatomy with play, ranging from a flexible system of widely accepted values to a rigid, bipolar structure of propaganda.” That is, propaganda is the purified Symbolic, and to extend my argument, it is the virtualization of the Real, rather than the realization of the virtual.

This is why dystopias like the one in The Matrix, despite its terrible script, are so chilling.  They ask the question, what if civilization became a virtual space, what if antagonism itself was completely repressed by a system of technology and authority?

“Antagonism, it’s worth fighting for”; I’m not sure if that phrase could function as a affected motto of the present counter-culture qua reborn Left, or as a cynical take on OWS’s failure to articulate concrete demands. Recalling the eternal Bards themselves, the Beastie Boys, “fight for your right to fight” is both viciously circular and absurdly accurate. Even as its future aims remain unclear, the OWS narrative is that we are currently fighting to be able to fight for that future.

And yet, this is precisely my problem with an attitude of “the alternative for its own sake“, the notion that to “think different”(trademark Apple Corporation) is enough. While I sympathize with Occupy, I am beginning to feel the need for a definitive project that can justify itself on its own grounds, without having to refer to The System in order to justify its “Resistance”. Resistance is, as Foucault thought, merely part of the regulative  functioning of power.  Resistance is not even disruptive in of itself, because its power  is actually predicated on the hegemonic power that it opposes. Part of the problem with OWS is that its future seems contingent on a deepened economic crisis, failing that, OWS may lose its momentum, unless it can tap into a Revolutionary “core”.

Meanwhile, the platform of mainstream politics is simply an attempt to “suture the gap”; to get things running smoothly, to add jobs, neutralize threats to American hegemony, and to otherwise virtualize the traumatic Real.