Is Political Correctness a Solution — or a Desperate Cover-Up?

[Transcript below video.] I know that there is a lot of sexual harassment, racism and so on in our lives, and I don’t doubt that the majority of people who promote political correctness mean it sincerely. I’m not saying that. I’m not saying in the way of right-wing paranoia that they are evil people who want to destroy American way of life. I’m just saying this that the way they approach the problem is that[ …]

Slavoj Žižek on Castro’s death (+ transcript)

[Transcript below video.] RT: Joining me live now here on the programme on RT International Slavoj Žižek – a philosopher and international director at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. Great to see you today. Thanks for coming on the programme. Let’s discuss the breaking news here, Mr. Žižek, that over the death of Fidel Castro, the age of 90. Socialist ideas seem to be gaining traction around the world. Take the rise of Bernie[ …]

This Guy Is So Smart, He’s Got His Own Academic Journal

Slavoj Žižek is part philosopher, part international phenomenon. And if that seems impossible in this day and age, consider: Žižek, a Slovenian cultural theorist, has published more than 40 books in English, has starred in four films, and even has an academic journal (International Journal of Žižek Studies) dedicated to his work. Renowned for his gymnastic thinking and mastery of counterintuition, Žižek has been called “the most dangerous philosopher in the West” by the New Republic[ …]

Who is responsible for the US shutdown? The same idiots responsible for the 2008 meltdown

In April 2009 I was resting in a hotel room in Syracuse, hopping between two channels: a PBS documentary on Pete Seeger, the great American country singer of the left; and a Fox News report on the anti-tax Tea Party, with a country singer performing a populist song about how Washington is taxing hard-working ordinary people to finance the Wall Street financiers. There was a weird similarity between the two singers: both were articulating an[ …]

Some Bewildered Clarifications: A Response to Noam Chomsky by Slavoj Žižek

Since Noam Chomsky’s “Fantasies” (July 21, 2013) present themselves as a reaction to my reply to his interview with a critical dismissal of my work, a brief clarification is needed. What Chomsky refers to as my “reply” is a non-authorized and not accurate transcription of my answer to a question from the public during a recent debate at Birkbeck college in London. As it would be clear from a full transcription, at that moment I[ …]

The constitution is dead. Long live proper politics

Amish communities practise the institution of rumspringa. At 17 their children, until then subject to strict family discipline, are set free. They are allowed, solicited even, to go out and experience the ways of the modern world – they drive cars, listen to pop music, watch TV and get involved in drinking, drugs and wild sex. After a couple of years they are expected to decide: will they return to be full members of the[ …]

Paranoid Reflections

Everyone fears the possibility that the US attack on Iraq will have a catastrophic outcome – an ecological disaster of gigantic proportions, high American casualties, a terrorist attack in the West. If the war is over quickly (perhaps even by the time this is published) and if Saddam’s regime disintegrates, there will be a general sigh of relief, even among many critics of US policy. It is tempting to consider the hypothesis that the US[ …]

Are we in a war? Do we have an enemy?

When Donald Rumsfeld designated the imprisoned Taliban fighters ‘unlawful combatants’ (as opposed to ‘regular’ prisoners of war), he did not simply mean that their criminal terrorist activity placed them outside the law: when an American citizen commits a crime, even one as serious as murder, he remains a ‘lawful criminal’. The distinction between criminals and non-criminals has no relation to that between ‘lawful’ citizens and the people referred to in France as the ‘Sans Papiers’.[ …]

Against the Double Blackmail

[Extract. Appeared in New Left Review I/234, March-April 1999] The prize-winner in the contest for the greatest blunder of 1998 was a Latin American patriotic terrorist who sent a letter-bomb to a US consulate in order to protest against the Americans interfering in local politics. As a conscientious citizen, he wrote on the envelope his return address; however, he did not put enough stamps on it, so that the post office returned the letter to[ …]

Civil Society, Fanaticism, and Digital Reality: A Conversation with Slavoj Zizek, Interview with Geert Lovink

Geert Lovink: Let’s speak about the role of intellectuals. Before 1989, there was a strange relationship among intellectuals and those in power in Eastern Europe. Both bureaucrats and dissidents had some sort of relationship with politics. Even now, this is partly the case. In Western Europe this phenomenon disappeared and it is hard to see any relationship or even dialogue. What should be the role of intellectuals? Slavoj Zizek: Partially this is true. For me[ …]