Donald Trump’s topsy-turvy world

The most depressing aspect of the post-electoral period in the US is not the measures announced by the President-elect but the way the bulk of the Democratic Party is reacting to its historic defeat. Notably, its supporters oscillate between two extremes: the horror at the Big Bad Wolf called Trump and the obverse of this panic and fascination — the renormalization of the situation, the idea that nothing extraordinary happened, that it is just another[ …]

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[ …]

Slavoj Zizek on Clinton, Trump and the Left’s Dilemma

José Saramago’s Seeing tells the story of the strange events in the unnamed capital city of an unidentified democratic country. When the election day morning is marred by torrential rains, voter turnout is disturbingly low, but the weather breaks by mid-afternoon and the population heads en masse to their voting stations. The government’s relief is short-lived, however, when vote counting reveals that over 70 percent of the ballots cast in the capital have been left[ …]

Reply to My Critics, Part Two (re: The Sexual is Political)

Two general observations about my numerous critics seem pertinent to me. First, the large majority of attacks on my text follow the rules of the tweet culture with short snaps, retorts, sarcastic or outraged remarks, and with no space for the multiple steps of a line of argumentation. One passage (a sentence, or even a part of it) is cut out and reacted to. For example, many critics countered my analysis of the anti-Semitic figure[ …]

The Sexual is Political

Segregated toilet doors are today at the center of a big legal and ideological struggle. On March 29, 2016, a group of 80 predominantly Silicon Valley-based business executives, headlined by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook, signed a letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory denouncing a law that prohibits transgender people from using public facilities intended for the opposite sex. “We are disappointed in your decision to sign this discriminatory legislation[ …]

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[ …]

Zizek’s jokes in The Universal Exception

Recall the old joke about a man suspected of smuggling: every day for twenty years a man pushed a wheelbarrow full of sand across the border-crossing. The customs inspector would dig through the sand but never discovered any illegal goods. He nevertheless remained convinced that he was dealing with a smuggler. On the last day before his retirement, the inspector asked the smuggler what he had been smuggling all these years and how he did[ …]

The Matrix, or, the two sides of perversion

[Delivered at the Inside the Matrix: International Symposium at the Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, on October 28th 1999.] When I saw The Matrix at a local theatre in Slovenia, I had the unique opportunity of sitting close to the ideal spectator of the film – namely, to an idiot. A man in the late 20ies at my right was so immersed in the film that he all the time disturbed other spectators with loud exclamations,[ …]

The Greek Apocalypse: Versailles or Brest-Litovsk?

When my essay on Greece after the referendum “The Courage of Hopelessness” was republished by In These Times, its title was changed to “How Alexis Tsipras and Syriza Outmaneuvered Angela Merkel and the Eurocrats.” The substance of what I wrote however, was far less optimistic. Yet I have been attacked by many on the Left because I refuse to think of Tsipras’s acceptance of the EU terms as a simple defeat, because I refuse to[ …]

Thanks to the EU’s villainy, Greece is now under financial occupation

my short essay on Greece after the referendum “The Courage of Hopelessness” was republished by In These Times, its title was changed into “How Alexis Tsipras and Syriza Outmaneuvered Angela Merkel and the Eurocrats”. Although I effectively think that accepting the EU terms was not a simple defeat, I am far from such an optimist view. The reversal of the NO of referendum to the YES to Brussels was a genuine devastating shock, a shattering painful[ …]