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[ …]

Slavoj Zizek: Am I a Philosopher?

[Delivered at International Žižek Studies Conference on May 27th 2016. Download .pdf] In his perspicuous review of the volume Repeating Žižek, dedicated to my work, Jamil Khader notes how some contributors interrogate “Žižek’s credentials as a philosopher, especially in relation to Badiou’s critique of Lacan’s anti-philosophical position. Hamza points out, in fact, that philosophers who are Žižekian are always reminded that compared to Žižek, ‘it is not a difficult task to be a follower of Badiou, or a Badiousian[ …]

Choosing Our Fate

Item number PO 24.1999 in the Museum of Islamic Art is a simple 10th century earthenware circular dish from Nishapur or Samarqand; its diameter 43 cm, decorated with a (Farsi) proverb attributed to Yahya ibn Ziyad, written in black on white slip ground: “Foolish is the person who misses his chance and afterwards reproaches fate.” Such dishes were meant to solicit an appropriate conversation among the learned eaters during and after the meal; an old[ …]

The only church that illuminates is a burning church

Why is theology emerging again as a point of reference for radical politics? It is emerging not in order to supply a divine “big other,” guaranteeing the final success of our endeavours, but, on the contrary, as a token of our radical freedom, with no big other to rely on. Fyodor Dostoevsky was aware of how God gives us freedom and responsibility – he is not a benevolent master steering us to safety, but one[ …]

Soul of the party

Why is theology emerging again as a point of reference for radical politics? It is emerging not in order to supply a divine “big other”, guaranteeing the final success of our endeavours, but, on the contrary, as a token of our radical freedom, with no big other to rely on. Fyodor Dostoevsky was aware of how God gives us freedom and responsibility — he is not a benevolent master steering us to safety, but one[ …]

Mercy and its Transformations

[Appeared in Muzikološki zbornik, 2009, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 7-16. pdf] [Abstract:] Far from radiating the dignity of the severe but merciful rulers of Mozart’s early operas, Tito’s acts display features of hysterical self-staging. The falsity of his position is rendered by the music itself, which, in a supreme display of Mozartean irony, undermines the opera’s explicit ideological project. It is a very rare case that a (relatively) unpopular work like Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito[ …]

Q&A, Interview with Rosanna Greenstreet

lavoj Zizek, 59, was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, international director of the Birkbeck Institute for Humanities in London and a senior researcher at the University of Ljubljana’s institute of sociology. He has written more than 30 books on subjects as diverse as Hitchcock, Lenin and 9/11, and also presented the TV series The Pervert’s Guide To Cinema. When were you happiest? A few times when I[ …]

Descartes and the Post-Traumatic Subject

[Appeared in Filozofski vestnik, 2008, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 9-29. pdf] If the radical moment of the inauguration of modern philosophy is the rise of the Cartesian cogito, where are we today with regard to cogito? Are we really entering a post-Cartesian era, or is it that only now our unique historical constellation enables us to discern all the consequences of the cogito? Walter Benjamin claimed that works of art often function like shots taken[ …]

The new politics of truth

When, on 2 November 2004, the Dutch documentary filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam by an Islamist extremist (Mohammed Bouyeri), a letter was found stuck into a knife hole in van Gogh’s belly, addressed to his friend Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali member of the Dutch parliament known as a passionate fighter for the rights of Muslim women. If there ever was a “fundamentalist” document, this was it. The true pearl is hidden in the last[ …]

The Christian-Hegelian Comedy

A patient in a large hospital room with many beds complains to the doctor about the constant noise and cries other patients are making, which are driving him crazy. After the doctor replies that nothing can be done if the patients are like that, that one cannot forbid them from expressing their despair since they all know they are dying, the patient goes on: “Why don’t you then put them in a separate room for[ …]