The Spectre Is Still Roaming Around! (Introduction)

The first, automatic reaction of today’s enlightened liberal reader to The Communist Manifesto is: Is the text not simply wrong on many empirical accounts, with regard to the picture it gives of the social situation, as well as with regard to the revolutionary perspective it sustains and propagates? Was there ever a political manifesto that was more clearly falsified by subsequent historical reality? Is The Communist Manifesto not, at best, an exaggerated extrapolation of certain tendencies discernible in the[ …]

The Revolt of the Salaried Bourgeoisie

How did Bill Gates become the richest man in America? His wealth has nothing to do with Microsoft producing good software at lower prices than its competitors, or ‘exploiting’ its workers more successfully (Microsoft pays its intellectual workers a relatively high salary). Millions of people still buy Microsoft software because Microsoft has imposed itself as an almost universal standard, practically monopolising the field, as one embodiment of what Marx called the ‘general intellect’, by which[ …]

The Parallax View

[Extract. Appeared in New Left Review 25, January-February 2004] Abstract: The philosophical basis for social action, as recast in Kojin Karatani’s striking Transcritique. On Kant and Marx. Slavoj Žižek investigates the irreducible antinomies of production and circulation—or economics and politics—as envisioned from the gap in between. In today’s English, ‘pig’ refers to the animals with which farmers deal, while ‘pork’ is the meat we consume. The class dimension is clear here: ‘pig’ is the old Saxon[ …]

Why We All Love to Hate Haider

[New Left Review 2, March-April 2000 – pdf] Abstract: What is the significance of the EU’s boycott of the new Austrian government? Beyond the Tartuffery of official reactions to Haider in the West, Slavoj Zizek dissects the political function of the new rectitudes of the Third Way. The entry of Jörg Haider’s Freedom Party into a coalition government in Austria has been greeted with expressions of horror from the entire spectrum of the ‘legitimate’ democratic political bloc[ …]