Slavoj Žižek on why Trump won, interview with RT

[Transcript below video]

Machine of manufacturing consent no longer works.

10 years from now, and it’s not a joke, I claim, rape will be called ‘well, why not enhanced seduction technique.’

I think Trump is disgusting, like, you know, with Trump I become a racist.

It will a kind of big awakening – new political processes will be set in motion.

Without further ado, let’s talk to the man himself. Slavoj Zizek joins us live from New York. Thanks for joining us here at RT, glad to have you with us today. You’ve said many unflattering things about the US president-elect, Donald Trump. Yet you also said you’d vote for him. Why do you say that?

It’s not that I favour him for what he positively stands. What I’m afraid of is the status quo consensus here. People are… people seem to be getting used to ‘things don’t really change, the same situation just drags on’ and we are, I claim, slowly drifting towards ecological catastrophe, maybe a new world war, new racial tensions and so on and so on. And the democrats were in this election the pure party of the establishment of the ruling consensus. So, disgusted as I am with Donald Trump, I hope that precisely the shock of electing him will maybe trigger some restructuring of the entire political space, where new options will maybe emerge – like and authentic leftist movement around Bernie Sanders and others. I think it’s not enough to, if Hillary were to win, that would … it’s not enough to say ‘Oh, we avoided the catastrophe’ and so on. No! The real catastrophe is the status quo! Everything appears ok, and so on and so on, but we are slowly drifting towards a catastrophe. We need an awakening!

In the run up to the election, most mainstream media as well as most mainstream polls were predicting overwhelmingly a Hillary Clinton victory. Why did they fail to see this coming?

I have … I think there are a couple of reasons. But maybe the most interesting one is that, I think, the democratic strategists totally misread why and in what way people identify with Trump. Most of us who were observing the electoral process remember how often left liberal media claimed ‘Now we got Donald Trump with his pants down, in an open embarrassment.’ When he said something improper or made a mistake and they thought ‘Now this is his end, he committed suicide.’ No! Not only he didn’t, this even helped him. Because ordinary people didn’t identify with and ideal Trump. They perceived him as ‘one of us’ precisely through is vulgarity, mistakes, and so on and so on. That’s how political identification works. That’s a big lesson.

Some of Trump’s ideas though, they are regarded as very dangerous, backwards, xenophobic, certainly by many of the people are protesting against him right now. Isn’t that enough to make Clinton a better choice for America? Many would say so.

Again, although I think not all Trump’s ideas are radically bad, of course I am terrified at his racism, some of his economic ideas. Even more, in my old age I am…

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[Appeared on Twitter on November 15th 2016. It seems there were some technical difficulties, so the video ends abruptly in the middle of Zizek’s answer. However, by now RT has published the full interview on their YouTube channel.]

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