The practico-inertia of institutional practices

Mathias Hein Jessen

Abstract


In this article I seek to give an account of what I call the practico-inertia of institutional practices or the ideology of institutional practices. In the everyday functioning of our institutional, organizational and administrative practices there exists what Slavoj Žižek has termed objective violence, in the »often catastrophic consequences of the smooth function- ing of our economic and political systems«. This objective violence is often not questioned fundamentally because it is deeply embedded in our practices and thereby treated as some- thing given, something natural, as something necessary and beyond the control of human beings – it is ideology. In this article I examine the violence inherent in this ‘normal’ state of things and highlight the power that is inherent in institutional practices and the difficulty of changing it.

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