25 Nov 16:00 2022, Talk & Discussion: Samo Tomšič, The Joke’s On Us? Laughter, Aggressiveness, Populism

The Joke’s On Us? Laughter, Agressivenes, Populism, lecture by Samo Tomšič, Kvhb 2022

Samo Tomšič
The Joke’s On Us? Laughter, Agressivenes, Populism

Link to talk: mediathek.hfbk.net/lecture2go-portlet/player/iframe

The contribution will revisit some of the critical points in Freud’s theory of jokes. It will focus above all on the link between wit, renunciation of enjoyment, and satisfaction of aggressive impulses that Freud stumbles upon in his analysis of „obscene jokes“ and of the so-called „joke-work“ (the psychological mechanisms, which amount to the formation of a joke). This analytic framework, which detects the key features of a libidinal economy that deserves to be called capitalist, turns out surprisingly relevant for understanding the way, in which affects such as ressentiment feed into the enforcement of reactionary or rightwing movements, parties, and ideas. Therefore, the presentation will turn toward our crisis-ridden present in order to engage with the function of obscene jokes in the populist organisation of antisocial affects and impulses.

Samo Tomšič is currently an interim professor of philosophy at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg and a research associate at the Humboldt University Berlin. His research areas comprise political philosophy, theoretical psychoanalysis, critical theory, and contemporary European philosophy. Author of „The Capitalist Unconscious: Marx and Lacan“ (2015) and „The Labour of Enjoyment. Toward a Critique of Libidinal Economy“ (2019), he is currently working on a monograph, tentatively titled „The Antisociality of Capitalism“.