Electing Trump will ‘shake up’ the system, Interview with Mehdi Hasan

[Partial transcript below the video.] Mehdi Hasan: Slavoj Žižek, thanks for joining me on UpFront. Leftist, socialist, liberals, progressives all over the world, even moderate conservatives, are mourning the victory of Donald Trump. And yet you, one of the world’s best-known leftist philosophers, best-known Marxists, said you wanted him to win and you would have voted for him if you could. What on earth were you thinking? Surely, you must regret saying that now. Slavoj[ …]

Divine Violence in Ferguson

In August 2014, violent protests exploded in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, after a policeman shot to death an unarmed black teenager suspected of robbery: For days, police tried to disperse mostly black protesters. Although the details of the accident are murky, the poor black majority of the town took it as yet another proof of the systematic police violence against them. In U.S. slums and ghettos, police effectively function more and more as[ …]

Dictatorship of the Proletariat in Gotham City

The Dark Knight Rises attests yet again to how Hollywood blockbusters are precise indicators of the ideological predicament of our societies. Here is a (simplified) storyline. Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, the previous installment of the Batman saga, law and order prevail in Gotham City: under the extraordinary powers granted by the Dent Act, Commissioner Gordon has nearly eradicated violent and organized crime. He nonetheless feels guilty about the cover-up of[ …]

Best of 2011: Only Communism can save liberal democracy

1989 marked not only the defeat of the Communist State-Socialism, but also the defeat of the Western Social Democracy. Nowhere is the misery of today’s Left more palpable than in its “principled” defence of the Social-Democratic Welfare State: the idea is that, in the absence of a feasible radical Leftist project, all that the Left can do is to bombard the state with demands for the expansion of the Welfare State, knowing well that the[ …]

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[ …]

Deleuze and the Lacanian Real

Why is structuralism serious? For the serious to be truly serious, there must be the serial, which is made up of elements, of results, of configurations, of homologies, of repetitions. What is serious for Lacan is the logic of the signifier, that is to say the opposite of a philosophy, inasmuch as every philosophy rests on the appropriateness, transparency, agreement, harmony of thought with itself. There is always some part hidden, in a philosophy, an[ …]

Nobody has to be vile

Since 2001, Davos and Porto Alegre have been the twin cities of globalisation: Davos, the exclusive Swiss resort where the global elite of managers, statesmen and media personalities meets for the World Economic Forum under heavy police protection, trying to convince us (and themselves) that globalisation is its own best remedy; Porto Alegre, the subtropical Brazilian city where the counter-elite of the anti-globalisation movement meets, trying to convince us (and themselves) that capitalist globalisation is[ …]

A Revolution ne s’autorise que d’elle même

Which, then, is the dimension of the law that the law cannot admit publicly? The best way to discern it is through a logical paradox deployed by Jean-Pierre Dupuy in his admirable text on Hitchcock’s Vertigo: An object possesses a property x until the time t; after t, it is not only that the object no longer has the property x; it is that it is not true that it possessed x at any time. The[ …]

Reflections of Media and Politics and Cinema, Interview with Geert Lovink

Geert Lovink: You have been to Japan. What’s your opinion on the technological culture in this country? Slavoj Zizek: First I must say that I don’t have my own positive theory about Japan. What I do have, as every Western intellectual, are the myths of reference. There is the old, right wing image of the Samurai code, fighting to death, the absolute, ethical Japan. Then there is the leftist image, from Eisenschtein already: the semiotic[ …]