Monsters

A spectre is haunting society — the spectre of society! - The Joker?

I made a stupid Twitter thread thinking about monsters. Copy/pasted:

given that monsters usually represent social anxieties, i think there’s value in nevertheless representing monsters as supernatural beings rather than physical real creatures which live and breathe

like, i think that’s the point where you get into suspicious territory

OR you represent physical monsters as deflated or pitiful or cute, like something that doesn’t deserve violence or vitriol which you would rather find other solutions for their annoyances instead

I don't necessarily mean anything moralist by it except as a matter of preference and appropriateness. I want to research more about this kind of shift in fantasy/ideology/whatever, where the image of social disorder is projected onto human subjects. Is this true? Does the fantasy of social disorder precede its projection onto people? Does the image of the zombie (modern sense), the vampire, or the lagoon creature precede the fantasy of retribution against non-"fantastical" humans?

Given the nature of fantasy, of course images are easily swapped and replaced and so on. For example, the fantastic object of antisemitism and the figure of the goblin are often interchangeable and mutually informative. This is objet petit a bullshit: it'll be harder to locate the original starting point of the anxiety than it is to see how all these images serve to perpetuate and tantalize the same anxiety-fantasy. Whatever.

Someone replied to my thread:

I think it depends a lot on the social anxiety. 

Even within vampires alone there are antisemitic caricature vampires AND exploitative aristocratic vampires. Not all cultural anxieties are morally equal.

I think there's a lot of value in reminding folks that despite their immense wealth and insidious influences aristocrats are but meat and bone. Heck its not even subtle you have to cut their heads off

Meanwhile for monsters born of bigotry a shape of water type deal seems better

I'm not super interested in the moral validity of fantasies beyond "this makes me uncomfortable" or "this is reprehensible", but this piqued my interest because of how the same fantasy (i.e. the vampire) was said to apply to different social anxieties (antisemitism and [pseudo-]anticapitalism).

There is such a thing as a psychic parallax effect, whereby the same nondescript/arbitrary object can be transubstantiated into different imaginary objects from the vantages of different subjects. I don't think this is that.

There's a phrase called structural antisemitism: since antisemitism is a fantasy which obscures the antagonisms of capitalism by singling out the antagonistic figure of the Jew, there exist fantasies which obscure the same anxiety against other scapegoats (e.g. globalists, lizardpeople, etc) within the very structure of antisemitic fantasy.

Does the vampire in its various dimensions as antisemitic caricature and aristocratic monster really represent different fantasies? I think not. The fantasy of the vampire as wealthy person mythologizes the wealthy person into an excess of human being. It precisely fantasizes that the wealthy person "despite their immense wealth and insidious influences [...] are but meat and bone". The antagonisms of capitalism are captured as an image and projected onto a flesh and blood individual whose head must be cut off by obligation of the fantasy. Like the antagonist of antisemitism, the vampire obscures the spectral/invisible relations which constitute capitalism by endowing a flesh-and-blood monster with the excesses of capitalism.

One vampiric fantasy is morally deficient compared to the other, but they're part of the same set of fantastic objects which stand in for the anxiety of capitalism or whatever. No wonder the vampire can be interchanged between the two: the vampire does not underlie both fantasies, but it's part of the same set of fantastic objects {vampire, lizardman, globalist, jew} ⊆ a which tantalize the fantasy of antisemitism/pseudo-anticapitalism. That's the point of the objet a.

Here's a cool quote by Lacan from his Seminar VII:

In offering the imitation of an object, [works of art] make something different out of that object. Thus they only pretend to imitate. The object is established in a certain relationship to the Thing and is intended to encircle and to render both present and absent.

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