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[ …]

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[ …]

Slavoj Žižek on Castro’s death (+ transcript)

[Transcript below video.] RT: Joining me live now here on the programme on RT International Slavoj Žižek – a philosopher and international director at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. Great to see you today. Thanks for coming on the programme. Let’s discuss the breaking news here, Mr. Žižek, that over the death of Fidel Castro, the age of 90. Socialist ideas seem to be gaining traction around the world. Take the rise of Bernie[ …]

Disorder under the heaven

Late in his life, Freud asked the famous question “Was will das Weib?”, “What does a woman want?”, admitting his perplexity when faced with the enigma of the feminine sexuality. A similar perplexity arouses today, apropos the Brexit referendum: what does Europe want? The true stakes of this referendum become clear if we locate it into its larger historical context. In Western and Eastern Europe, there are signs of a long-term re-arrangement of the political[ …]

Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek warns about ‘New Invisible Walls’

He does not hold back when it comes to his criticism of Europe and he is considered a revolutionary by many for his ideas to transform the global economic order. Slavoj Žižek is a straight talking philosopher. We meet here in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and he is my guest in the Global Conversation. Sergio Cantone: Slavoj Žižek, according to you, globalisation is one of the primary sources of the current migration crisis. Slavoj Žižek: I think[ …]

Beyond Mandela Without Becoming Mugabe

[Transcript below video.] In view of the difficult situation in which we all, in Europe, are, now I have quite many things to say. So, let me begin. Today, the very idea of a radical social transformation appears as an impossible dream, but this term (impossible) should make us think. Impossible and possible are distributed in strange ways today. One the one hand, in the domain of personal freedoms and scientific technology, we are told,[ …]

The Guardian webchat

[Note: Some questions have been shortened and made more precise] You are defending Lenin and communism and you criticize capitalism, state and liberalism. But you reject the revolutionary potential of the world working class … Why? First, I’m not defending Lenin. I’m just saying that October Revolution was an authentic emancipatory event. But at the same time I’m well aware, that Stalinism was from the very beginning inscribed at least as a possibility in October[ …]

The west’s crisis is one of democracy as much as finance

In one of the last interviews before his fall, Nicolae Ceausescu was asked by a western journalist how he justified the fact that Romanian citizens could not travel freely abroad although freedom of movement was guaranteed by the constitution. His answer was in the best tradition of Stalinist sophistry: true, the constitution guarantees freedom of movement, but it also guarantees the right to a safe, prosperous home. So we have here a potential conflict of[ …]

Communist Absconditus (transcript)

[Transcript below video.] Schirmacher: If you don’t know him, you don’t live in this world. Obviously he is the one best-known philosopher in the world, the not the best but the best-known …. To say, the most dangerous one, you know. And he has already threatened us with his last 1000-page book, Hegel is coming towards us in my form you know, I will write all about the entire world, and that, he has already[ …]