We Must Rise from the Ashes of Liberal Democracy

Donald Trump’s January 20 inaugural address was ideology at its purest, its simple message relying on a series of obvious inconsistencies. At its most elementary it sounded like something that Bernie Sanders could have said: I speak for all you forgotten, neglected and exploited hardworking people. I am your voice. You are now in power. However, beyond the obvious contrast between these proclamations and Trump’s early nominations (Rex Tillerson, the voice of exploited, hardworking people?),[ …]

On the rise of Trump, the fall of the Democratic party, and the future of the global left

http://ga.video.cdn.pbs.org/videos/tavis-smiley/ac903ddf-eabd-4ab4-8d5e-136739ac5862/286524/hd-mezzanine-16×9/1b40cb54_tasm_20170301-16×9-mp4-baseline.mp4 Tavis Smiley: Good evening from Los Angeles. I’m Tavis Smiley. The role of the public intellectual in our society is arguably more important now than ever before. Believing that political issues are too important to be left only to politicians, Slavoj Žižek is considered a global rock star when it comes to philosophical debates. Whether it’s through the rerelease of his text, In Defense of Lost Causes or his forthcoming work, Lenin 2017, the Slovenian[ …]

Philosopher Slavoj Žižek settles the “Is it OK to punch a Nazi?” question once and for all

“Is it OK to punch a Nazi?” is a question that has ricocheted around Twitter ever since Jan. 20, when “alt-right” provocateur and American white supremacist Richard Spencer got slugged on video by a masked protester during Donald Trump’s US presidential inauguration. Footage of the punch spread quickly around the internet, where it became a topic of much debate, a website and even a meme.  […] Quartz: So, is it OK to punch a Nazi?[ …]

Is Political Correctness a Solution — or a Desperate Cover-Up?

[Transcript below video.] I know that there is a lot of sexual harassment, racism and so on in our lives, and I don’t doubt that the majority of people who promote political correctness mean it sincerely. I’m not saying that. I’m not saying in the way of right-wing paranoia that they are evil people who want to destroy American way of life. I’m just saying this that the way they approach the problem is that[ …]

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (transcript/subtitles)

They Live (1988) I’ll give you a choice: either put on these glasses or start eating that trashcan. I already am eating from the trashcan all the time. The name of this trashcan is ideology. The material force of ideology makes me not see what I am effectively eating. It’s not only our reality which enslaves us. The tragedy of our predicament when we are within ideology is that when we think that we escape[ …]

Zizek! (transcript/subtitles)

What would be my… how should I call it, spontaneous attitude towards the universe? It’s a very dark one. The first thesis would have been a kind of total vanity: there is nothing, basically. I mean it quite literally, like… ultimately…there are just some fragments, some vanishing things. If you look at the universe, it’s one big void. But then how do things emerge? Here, I feel a kind of spontaneous affinity with quantum physics,[ …]

Refugees, Conservatism, and Cultural Incompatibility

[Transcript below video.] We who try to be decent people are bombarded by some kind of moral political pressure from two sides. First there is the worst one, of course, this anti-immigrant populist side; like, ‘why should we even allow refugees in; it’s their fault; third world travel and so on, there are enough poor people here; they come from another civilization; it means conflict,’ and so on and so on. So there is all[ …]

Slavoj Žižek on Cuba and Yugoslavia

Q: You’ve lived through the Cold War the, fall of the Soviet Union, the disintegration of Yugoslavia – did you think that in 2016 there would still be a Castro in power in Havana? Slavoj Žižek: No, I didn’t. But let me add two points. First, you know there are so many surprises, for me the big surprise was not that communism disintegrated in 1990. People usually say who would have imagined this happen even[ …]

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[ …]

Why There Are No Viable Political Alternatives to Unbridled Capitalism

[Transcript below video.] I still believe in the saying of this old Frankfurt School fellow traveler Marxist Walter Benjamin who said that behind every rise of fascism there is a failed revolution. I think that even if we strategically, I’m not sure about it, accept this term Islam0-fascism for Islamic fundamentalists, this so called Islamic fundamentalism is strictly relative with the disintegration of secular Islamic left, which was pretty strong in the ’50s, ’60s and[ …]