2. (2012/02/06 Robert Hullot-Kentor @ UofC)
The figure is necessarily comic, though not funny. The sacral –giving in order to get– at the altar became the pieties of the surrendered laboring day that amounts to working in order to buy. What satisfies guilt in the individual payment of the debt, an act of defense, is a moment in the reproduction of the guilt of the whole in the form of the structurally renewed demand for more sacrifice on all sides. The exchange across the counter top mediates itself as do tit for tat, an equivalence of retaliation that demonstrates the primitive content of all equivalence. All that there is to remember of that life is a fright barely kept at bay. What holds it together, tears it apart and masks the toll taken. Nothing is remembered, because all that there is to remember is the calculation of every event in terms of the need to obliterate what preceded it. That is the uncanniness of the collective antagonistic memory in the perception of the “present” under our own eyes. History repeats itself not because the lessons of history have gone unlearned, but because to date history has only taught one lesson: that of sacrifice as the form of self-assertion; as the only technique –the concept of technique itself– by which what is weaker can master what is more powerful in making itself like what was once terrifying. Every exchange quotes up the actual reoccurrence –and not as any return to the past– of the primordial sacrifice in which a nascent humanity was first overwhelmed by what it beheld, and, to master itself, inflicted on itself what it was at the mercy of. —Robert Hullot-Kentor. SEVERE CLEAR – Sacrifice and Right Wishing.
3. (2012/02/10 AA Bronson @ UofC)
4. (2012/02/25 Thomas Ankersmit @ Graham Foundation)