Brexit, the crisis of the Left, and the future of Europe (with Benjamin Ramm)

Slavoj Žižek is animated about Brexit. “You know, popular opinion is not always right”, he insists. “Sometimes I think one has to violate the will of the majority”. This sentiment may surprise some of his admirers, but our discussion highlights his long-standing ambivalence about democracy. The despair and confusion of the past week has only reinforced his outlook. Reflecting on the Leave voters who were alarmed to learn that their side had actually won, Žižek quips: “The worst surprise is to get[ …]

Disorder under the heaven

Late in his life, Freud asked the famous question “Was will das Weib?”, “What does a woman want?”, admitting his perplexity when faced with the enigma of the feminine sexuality. A similar perplexity arouses today, apropos the Brexit referendum: what does Europe want? The true stakes of this referendum become clear if we locate it into its larger historical context. In Western and Eastern Europe, there are signs of a long-term re-arrangement of the political[ …]

Could Brexit Breathe New Life Into Left-Wing Politics?

Late in his life, Freud asked the famous question “Was will das Weib?”, “What does a woman want?”, admitting his confusion when faced with the enigma of the feminine sexuality. A similar perplexity arouses today, apropos the Brexit referendum—what does Europe want? The true stakes of this referendum become clear if we locate it into its larger historical context. In Western and Eastern Europe, there are signs of a long-term re-arrangement of the politica. Until recently,[ …]

Dear Britain: Elena Ferrante, Slavoj Zizek and other European writers on Brexit

Dear Britain, When Stalin was asked in the late 1920s which is worse, the right or the left, he snapped back: “They are both worse!” And this is my first reaction to the question of whether or not to leave the EU. I am not interested in sending love letters to the British public with the sentimental message: “Please stay in Europe!” What interests me is ultimately only one question. Europe is now caught in[ …]