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On Dictatorship of the Proletariat in Gotham City

August 16, 2012

Recently a fantastic analysis of the new Batman movie, attributed to Slavoj Žižek has surfaced on the internet. The piece Dictatorship of the Proletariat in Gotham City, explains how the film supports the new liberal agenda and its establishments, justifies its disciplinary apparatus over the revolutionary reign of terror, and how it not-surprisingly provides a ridiculous caricature of the Occupy Wall Street movement. But the piece ends with a recourse to a mode of representational theory that implies making the invisible visible – regardless of how absurd, derogatory and crude the visualization, and however incidental- is an indication of seismic tensions within the dominant representational order. While this mode kind of Lacanian jitterbug is hope inspiring, but one still wonders how calling out the absent center will keep it absent, and if not as such the piece will negates its own logic? While the insurgents in the film might be meant to represent the OWS, nevertheless, the reason behind Bane’s appetite for destruction remains unclear. The movie does read the call for equality as anarchy and bloodbath, but under a situation where the very possibility of equality is thrown out the window in the first place. The city will be destroyed, a time bomb is ticking and so it remains unclear why an apparatus of justice is put in place.

This recalls one of the tropes of contemporary art criticism where the artwork becomes either a ventriloquist of the oppressed, or an open podium reserved for the possibility of a future utterance. But one needs to consider for instance the representation of blackness in American, on the media and the entertainment industry to see the limitations of such line of discourse and its repercussions.

The villainization of the poor in the absence of the possibility of justice does not open up the conditions of representation, rather, it is part and parcel of the totalizing regime of the absence center of the Dark Knight Rises, and one that remains unnamed by the movie and the ideaology it propagates.

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