The Left’s Fidelity to Castro-ation

I am critical of Cuba not because I am anti-Communist but because I remain a Communist. We all remember the classic scene from cartoons: a cat walks over the precipice and magically goes on, floating in the air—it falls down only when it looks down and becomes aware that it has no ground under its feet. In the same way, one can say that, in the last decades, Cuban “socialism” continued to live only because[ …]

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[ …]

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[ …]

Hermeneutic Delirium

The same holds for capitalism: its dynamics of perpetual self-revolutionizing relies on the endless postponing of its point of impossibility (final crisis, collapse). What is for other, earlier, modes of production a dangerous exception, is for capitalism a sort of normality: crisis is in capitalism somehow internalized, taken into account, as the point of impossibility which pushes it to continuous activity. Capitalism is always structurally in crisis — this is why it is expanding all[ …]

Catastrophes Real and Imagined

In Minority Report, the Steven Spielberg film based on a Philip K. Dick story, three humans, through monstrous scientific experiments, have acquired the capacity to foresee the future. The police employ these clairvoyants to arrest criminals before they commit their crime. (The “minority report” from the title refers to those rare cases where one of these clairvoyants disagrees with the others about a crime to be committed.) If one transposes this premise to international relations,[ …]

Gerhard Schroeder’s Minority Report and Its Consequences

In The Minority Report (2002), Steven Spielberg’s last film based on a Phillip Dick short story, criminals are arrested before they commit their crime, since three humans who, through monstrous scientific experiments, acquired the capacity to foresee the future, can exactly predict their acts (the “minority report” from the title refers to those rare cases where one of the three mediums employed by the police disagrees with the other two about a crime to be[ …]