Is Lacan An Anti-Philosopher? (2/3 – Slavoj Žižek) + transcript

[Transcript by Thomas Matthews below video.] Difficult to follow, I hope you hear me, glad to be here, glad to be with Alain. Of course in this 20 minute form it’s just a little bit too little time to really develop a line of thought- all one can do is more trace, define positions, oppositions, and so on. I would nonetheless like to begin with reference to what is going on recently in your territory,[ …]

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?[ …]

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 Cologne attacks were an obscene version of carnival

Who are the “hateful eight” in Quentin Tarantino’s film of the same name? The ENTIRE group of participants – white racists and the black Union soldier, men and women, law officers and criminals – they are all equally mean, brutal and revengeful. The most embarrassing moment in the film occurs when the black officer (played by the superb Samuel L. Jackson) narrates in detail and with obvious pleasure to an old Confederate general how he[ …]

We need to talk about Turkey

There is something weird about the solemn declarations that we are at war against the Islamic State – all the world’s superpowers against a religious gang controlling a small patch of mostly desert land… This doesn’t mean that we should not focus on destroying Isis, unconditionally, with no “but…”. The only “but” is that we should REALLY focus on destroying it, and for this much more is needed than the pathetic declarations and appeals to[ …]

The Paris attacks and a disturbance in a cupola

Yes, the Friday 13th Paris terrorist attacks should be unconditionally condemned, but… no, no alleviating circumstances, it is just that they should be REALLY condemned, for which more is needed than the simple pathetic spectacle of solidarity of all of us (free, democratic, civilized people) against the murderous Muslim Monster. In the first half of 2015, Europe was preoccupied by radical emancipatory movements (Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain), while in the second half the[ …]

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[ …]

Rotherham child sex abuse: it is our duty to ask difficult questions

The outline of what happened in Rotherham is now more or less clear: at least 1,400 children were subjected to brutal sexual exploitation between 1997 and 2013; children as young as 11 were raped by multiple perpetrators, abducted, trafficked to other cities, beaten and intimidated. The perpetrators were (almost exclusively) of Pakistani origin, and their victims were often white schoolgirls. Reactions were predictable. The left exhibited the worst of political correctness, mostly via generalisations: perpetrators[ …]

The politics of Batman

The Dark Knight Rises shows that Hollywood blockbusters are precise indicators of the ideological predicaments of our societies. Here is the storyline. Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, the previous instalment of Chris­topher Nolan’s Batman series, law and order prevail in Gotham City. Under the extraordinary powers granted by the Dent Act, Commissioner Gordon has nearly eradicated violent and organised crime. He nonetheless feels guilty about the cover-up of the crimes of[ …]

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[ …]