Slavoj Žižek on the US Elections and SYRIZA

[Transcript below video] For me the victory of Trump is the big return of the repressed of the academic left  – class struggle came back, in the sense of class tension. I hope that, precisely because it is a horror, that it, on the left, will break this Clinton consensus, which was not a real consensus. The price of this consensus was the neutralisation of Bernie Sanders. I hope it will revitalise a little bit[ …]

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[ …]

The Sexual is Political

Segregated toilet doors are today at the center of a big legal and ideological struggle. On March 29, 2016, a group of 80 predominantly Silicon Valley-based business executives, headlined by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook, signed a letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory denouncing a law that prohibits transgender people from using public facilities intended for the opposite sex. “We are disappointed in your decision to sign this discriminatory legislation[ …]

The Universal Exception (Preface)

The big Other between violence and civility Slavoj Zizek   The ‘universal exception’, according to Lacan, is the fundamental feature of the symbolic order (the ‘big Other’) as the order of universality: each universality is grounded in its constitutive exception. This feature is to be supplemented with its no less paradoxical obverse, the so-called ‘not-All [pas tout]’: an order (or rather, a field, a signifying space) with no exception that is eo ipso not-all, and[ …]

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[ …]

Where to Look for a Revolutionary Potential?

Today, there are many candidates for the position of “universal individual,” the particular group whose fate stands for the injustice of today’s world: Palestinians, Guantanamo prisoners . . . Palestine is the site of a potential event precisely because all the standard ‘pragmatic’ solutions to the Middle East crisis repeatedly fail, so that a utopian invention of a new space is the only ‘realistic’ choice. Furthermore, Palestinians are a good candidate on account of their[ …]

The Two Totalitarianisms

A small note – not the stuff of headlines, obviously – appeared in the newspapers on 3 February. In response to a call for the prohibition of the public display of the swastika and other Nazi symbols, a group of conservative members of the European Parliament, mostly from ex-Communist countries, demanded that the same apply to Communist symbols: not only the hammer and sickle, but even the red star. This proposal should not be dismissed[ …]

The Free World … of Slums

Although Timothy Garton Ash is my political opponent, I’ve always admired his wealth of precise observations and found him a reliable source on the vicissi-tudes of post-Communist Eastern Europe. In his new book, The Free World: America, Europe and the Suprising Future of the West, Ash applies his signature bitterly witty approach to the growing tensions between key Western European states and the United States. His aperçus about the relations among the United Kingdom, France[ …]

Knee-Deep

The fate of a Slovene Communist revolutionary serves as a perfect metaphor for the twists of Stalinism. In 1943, when Italy capitulated, he led a rebellion of Yugoslav prisoners in a concentration camp on the Adriatic island of Rab: 2000 starving prisoners disarmed 2200 Italian soldiers. After the war, he was arrested and put in a prison on Goli otok (‘Naked Island’), a notorious Communist concentration camp near Rab. While he was there, he and[ …]