This issue continues the discussion between Slavoj Žižek, Alenka Zupancic, Mladen Dolar, Keti Chukhrov, Aaron Schuster, and Oxana Timofeeva, which took place in Ljubljana in May 2014. The idea for this discussion was inspired by the short essay “The Anti-Sexus,” written by Andrey Platonov in 1926. In contemporary capitalism, the economy of sex has again become a problem, but the stakes are different. They vary from a wide movement of sexual liberation on the level of private and individual freedoms in Western countries, to puritanism or growing restrictions and prohibitions in countries like Russia; from the widespread commodification of pleasure (the “society of enjoyment”) to asexuality as an identity or individual choice. New moral dilemmas appear when one prefers to masturbate rather than encounter another human being in a potentially destructive (non-)relation. Can or should sexuality be liberated? Can sexuality liberate? Can or should one liberate oneself from sexuality? Why should sexuality be conceived as a uniquely troublesome point of human existence? From our historical experience, relating to the sexual heritage of revolutionary struggles of the past century, and in light of contemporary forms of solitude and libidinal malaise, we raise and discuss these questions.
This issue of STASIS deals with the topic of “political theology.” Although the term has a wide range of meanings, the articles presented here deal with the more radical forms of both politics and religion. The catch that emerges is that such radicalism may be either reactionary, seeking to restore a lost and mythical Golden, or it may seek a progressive and revolutionary overthrowing of the current situation. This tension within radicalism pertains not merely to politics, but very much to religion itself. So, how does one assess such a tension? The articles in this issue do so by means of either theoretical interventions or case studies.
This issue is devoted to the discussion of the work of a great Russian contemporary philosopher, Vladimir Bibikhin (1938-2004). Virtually unknown to the English-speaking audience, Bibikhin is one of the most widely respected thinkers in Russia. His open lecture courses gathered full auditoria in the 1990s. Bibikhin simultaneously translated and imported 20th century German philosophy to Russia. He is also an author of original philosophical essays and treatises that continue and enrich the Russian intellectual tradition. His books are devoted to key philosophical notions, such as world, property, and energy, as well as to some specific phenomena that he elevated into the rank of concepts, such as Wood(s). All of his works are written in a virtuoso style and build upon a thorough knowledge of the history of thought. All of them incessantly circulate between issues of contemporary relevance and metaphysical arguments. This voluminous issue is the first attempt to introduce Bibikhin’s thought to the international audience. It includes a fragment from Bibikhin’s own work, followed with articles by Bibikhin’s friends, disciples, and commentators.