desire demands the greatest possibility of loss
Consumer capitalism is thoroughly eroticized in that it depends on women’s “boundless capacity to capitulate” to desires which fuel the consumption of commodities themselves defined by the social construction of desire as heterosexual and feminine (cosmetics, diet, and fashion, for example). Yet consumption is also deeply erotophobic precisely because it is constructed along that value axis which locates femininity in opposition to masculinity and hence defines it exclusively in terms of male heterosexual pleasure and female sexual passivity.
As he said, love, “…promises a way out of our suffering. We suffer from our isolation in our individual separateness. Love reiterates: ‘If only you possessed the beloved one, your soul sick with loneliness would be one with the soul of the beloved.’ Partially at least this promise is a fraud. but in love the idea of such a union takes shape with frantic intensity…(Bataille, 1986: 20) Yet this promise is also intimately tied in with violence and violation: ‘Only in violation, through death if need be, of the individual’s solitariness can there appear that image of the beloved object which in the lover’s eyes invests all being with significance. For the lover, the beloved makes the world transparent’ (Bataille, 1986: 21). This violence is not that which Girard identifies at the heart of human society-that is violence linked with conflict and revenge-but a violence that is perpetrated upon us by the fact of our being born. It is this that is inherent to our nature: creation itself is a fundamentally violent act and it is only through the further violence of death that the breach it institutes can be repaired.
Seductions of the Impossible
Love, the Erotic and Sacrifice in Surrealist Discourse