Sexuality in the Posthuman Age

[Appeared in Stasis 2016, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 54-69 – pdf] It is the profound distrust of sexual love that is the main feature of Platonov’s work throughout the 1920s. His great novels from this period—Chevengur and especially The Foundation Pit—are usually interpreted as a critical depiction of Stalinist utopia and its disastrous consequences. Such a view of his work is deeply misleading. Why? The utopia Platonov stages in these two works is not[ …]

Ecology against Mother Nature: Slavoj Žižek on Molecular Red

On November 28, 2008, Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, issued a public letter titled “Climate Change: Save the Planet from Capitalism”. Here are its opening statements: Sisters and brothers: Today, our Mother Earth is ill. … Everything began with the industrial revolution in 1750, which gave birth to the capitalist system. In two and a half centuries, the so called “developed” countries have consumed a large part of the fossil fuels created over five[ …]

Liberalism as politics for a race of devils

For liberalism, at least in its radical form, the desire to subject people to an ethical ideal – which is regarded as universal and thus universally binding – is the mother of all crimes, “the crime which contains all crimes,” for it amounts to the brutal imposition of one’s own view onto others, and is thus the root cause of civil disorder. This is why, liberals claim, if one wants to establish civil peace and[ …]

Give BP a break

The entire ordeal has swung wildly from the sublime to the ridiculous. At first, there was the nightmarish direct gaze at the underwater wound. For weeks, our eyes were fixed on the hole at the bottom of the gulf spewing out crude oil – like a toilet gone mad, unstoppably throwing shit back up onto the surface. This traumatic scene was followed by the ridiculous spectacle of the executives of the three companies involved in[ …]

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[ …]

Rumsfeld and the bees

or the past two years, a mysterious disease has been wiping out honeybees in the US and Europe. This catastrophe could have a devastating effect on our food supply: about a third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80% of that pollination. This is how one should imagine a possible global catastrophe: no big bang, just a small-level interruption with devastating global consequences. There is an air[ …]

The Violence of the Liberal Utopia

[Appeared in Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 9-25 (pdf – paywall/subscription)] [Abstract:] While liberal capitalism presents itself as anti-utopia embodied, and today’s neoliberalism as the sign of the new era of humanity, which left behind the utopian projects responsible for the totalitarian horrors of the 20th century, it is now becoming clear that there is a utopian core in the liberal project itself- the violence that accompanies the victories of[ …]

The Prospects of Radical Politics Today

I. Introduction Today, in the time of continuous swift changes, from the “digital revolution” to the retreat of old social forms, thought is more than ever exposed to the tempta­tion of “losing its nerve”, of precociously abandoning the old conceptual coor­dinates. The media bombard us with the need to abandon the “old paradigms”: if we are to survive, we have to change our most fundamental notions of per­sonal identity, society, environment, etc. New Age wisdom[ …]

The depraved heroes of 24 are the Himmlers of Hollywood

n Sunday, the fifth season of the phenomenally successful television drama 24 will start in the US. Each season is composed of 24 one-hour episodes and the whole season covers the events of a single day. The story of the latest series is the desperate attempt of the LA-based Counter Terrorist Unit to prevent an act of catastrophic magnitude and the action focuses on the unit’s agents, the White House and the terrorist suspects. The[ …]

An Interview with Slavoj Zizek, Interview with The Believer

Slavoj Žižek is as paradoxical as his world-renowned work, as much a serious intellectual as a comedian. Were it not for his vivid examples drawn from popular culture, the tangential though insightful ideas in his many books would be lost on the world and limited to a select few. He is an expert in Lacan, Stalin, Hitchcock, and Christianity, and coming from Slovenia has a fresh, surprising response to Western consumer products. He is a[ …]