Slavoj Zizek on Clinton, Trump and the Left’s Dilemma

José Saramago’s Seeing tells the story of the strange events in the unnamed capital city of an unidentified democratic country. When the election day morning is marred by torrential rains, voter turnout is disturbingly low, but the weather breaks by mid-afternoon and the population heads en masse to their voting stations. The government’s relief is short-lived, however, when vote counting reveals that over 70 percent of the ballots cast in the capital have been left[ …]

Why Obama is more than Bush with a human face

How did Barack Obama win re-election? The philosopher Jean-Claude Milner recently proposed the notion of the “stabilising class”: not the old ruling class, but all who are committed to the stability and continuity of the existing social, economic and political order – the class of those who, even when they call for a change, do so to ensure that nothing really will change. The key to electoral success in today’s developed states is winning over[ …]

Slavoj Zizek and ‘The Year of Dreaming Dangerously’, interview with Anna Maria Tremonti

[Abstract from CBC:] Come with us on a journey, through the logic, the musings, and the divergent thoughts of a philosopher with rock star status. Slavoj Zizek examines the Occupy movement, the Arab Spring and everything from HBO’s ‘The Wire’ to Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. […] Anna Maria Tremonti: Now, you know, I’ve got another clip I want you to hear. I was in Victoria, British Columbia, where municipal officials from around the province[ …]

Occupy Wall Street: what is to be done next?

What to do in the aftermath of the Occupy Wall Street movement, when the protests that started far away – in the Middle East, Greece, Spain, UK – reached the centre, and are now reinforced and rolling out all around the world? In a San Francisco echo of the OWS movement on 16 October 2011, a guy addressed the crowd with an invitation to participate in it as if it were a happening in the[ …]

Democracy is the enemy

The protests on Wall Street and at St Paul’s Cathedral are similar, Anne Applebaum wrote in the Washington Post, ‘in their lack of focus, in their inchoate nature, and above all in their refusal to engage with existing democratic institutions’. ‘Unlike the Egyptians in Tahrir Square,’ she went on, ‘to whom the London and New York protesters openly (and ridiculously) compare themselves, we have democratic institutions.’ Once you have reduced the Tahrir Square protests to[ …]

Tunisia and Egypt expose hypocrisy of western liberalism

The cynical wisdom of western liberals – according to whom, in Arab countries, any genuine democratic sensibility is limited to small bunch of liberal elites, while the vast majority can only be mobilized through religious fundamentalism or vulgar nationalism – has been proven wrong. When a new provisional government was nominated in Tunis, it excluded Islamists and the more radical left. The reaction of smug liberals was: good, they are the basically same two totalitarian[ …]

Why fear the Arab revolutionary spirit?

What cannot but strike the eye in the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt is the conspicuous absence of Muslim fundamentalism. In the best secular democratic tradition, people simply revolted against an oppressive regime, its corruption and poverty, and demanded freedom and economic hope. The cynical wisdom of western liberals, according to which, in Arab countries, genuine democratic sense is limited to narrow liberal elites while the vast majority can only be mobilised through religious fundamentalism[ …]

The Audacity of Rhetoric

In January, when the United States remembered the tragic death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., an urban history professor at the University of Buffalo named Henry Louis Taylor Jr., bitterly remarked: “All we know is that this guy had a dream. We don’t know what that dream was.” Taylor was referring to an erasure of historical memory after King’s 1963 march on Washington, after he was cheered as “the moral leader of our[ …]