Slavoj Zizek - bit.

“…our chains in the cave today are not those of traditional ideology. Robert Pippin recently pointed out this shift:

‘the complexity of our situation has created something quite unprecedented that only {Hegel’s} philosophy, with its ability to explain the positive role of the negative, and the reality of group agency and collective subjectivity, can account for. Life in modern societies seems to have created the need for uniquely dissociated collective doxastic states, a repetition of various characters in the drama of self-deceit narrated by the Phenomenology. This is one wherein we sincerely believe ourselves to be committed to fundamental principles and maxims we are actually in no real sense committed to, given what we do… The principles can be sincerely and consciously acknowledged and avowed, but, given the principles they are, cannot be integrated into a livable, coherent form of life. The social conditions for self-deceit in this sort of context can help show that the problem is not rightly described as one where many individuals happen to fall into self-deceit. The analysis is not a moral one, not focussed on individuals. It has to be understood as a matter of historical Geist.’

The key point in this passage is Pippin’s emphasis on the ‘positive’ role of the negative, and the ‘reality of group agency and collective subjectivity’: the negative, in this case, is the dissonance, the gap between explicit ideological texture and its actual practice in the real world. Its positive role means that this dissonance does not prevent the full implementation of an ideology but makes it ‘livable’, is a condition of its actual functioning – if we take away the negative side, the ideological edifice itself falls apart. The emphasis on ‘group agency and collective subjectivity’ means that we are not merely concertned with the imperfections of individuals; in that case, the guilt would be that of each person with her or his corruption and moral depravity, and the cure would be sought in their moral improvement. What we are dealing with is a dissonance inscribed the ‘objective’ social spirit itself, into the basic structure of social customs. Such collective forms of self-deceit function as ways of objective social being, and are this in some sense ‘true’ even although they are false.”

Slavoj Zizek

Like a Thief in Broad Daylight.