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[ …]

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[ …]

Electing Trump will ‘shake up’ the system, Interview with Mehdi Hasan

[Partial transcript below the video.] Mehdi Hasan: Slavoj Žižek, thanks for joining me on UpFront. Leftist, socialist, liberals, progressives all over the world, even moderate conservatives, are mourning the victory of Donald Trump. And yet you, one of the world’s best-known leftist philosophers, best-known Marxists, said you wanted him to win and you would have voted for him if you could. What on earth were you thinking? Surely, you must regret saying that now. Slavoj[ …]

The Breakdown of Rational Argumentation

By Michael Marder and Slavoj Žižek Since Hamid Dabashi is pursuing his slanderous campaign against Slavoj Žižek and his colleagues, from Michael Marder to Santiago Zabala, repeatedly spreading claims which were demonstrated to be clear lies, all we can do is repeat the facts. Dabashi begins his last text with: “‘Fuck you, Walter Mignolo!’ With those grandiloquent words and the gesture they must have occasioned and accompanied, the distinguished and renowned European philosopher Slavoj Žižek[ …]

Slavoj Zizek: Am I a Philosopher?

[Delivered at International Žižek Studies Conference on May 27th 2016. Download .pdf] In his perspicuous review of the volume Repeating Žižek, dedicated to my work, Jamil Khader notes how some contributors interrogate “Žižek’s credentials as a philosopher, especially in relation to Badiou’s critique of Lacan’s anti-philosophical position. Hamza points out, in fact, that philosophers who are Žižekian are always reminded that compared to Žižek, ‘it is not a difficult task to be a follower of Badiou, or a Badiousian[ …]

Stranger Danger: To Resolve the Migrant Crisis We Must Recognize the Stranger Within Ourselves

The big news of the last week was the deal between Turkey and European Union on how to contain and regulate the flow of refugees. It brought a sigh of relief: The crisis is over. Europe succeeded in stemming the Muslim invasion without betraying humanitarian compassion. But did it? To see clearly what is wrong with this deal, let us reach back to one of our great classics. In Canto VI of Inferno (lines 77-89), Dante[ …]

Ecology against Mother Nature: Slavoj Žižek on Molecular Red

On November 28, 2008, Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, issued a public letter titled “Climate Change: Save the Planet from Capitalism”. Here are its opening statements: Sisters and brothers: Today, our Mother Earth is ill. … Everything began with the industrial revolution in 1750, which gave birth to the capitalist system. In two and a half centuries, the so called “developed” countries have consumed a large part of the fossil fuels created over five[ …]

Who can control the post-superpower capitalist world order?

To know a society is not only to know its explicit rules. One must also know how to apply them: when to use them, when to violate them, when to turn down a choice that is offered, and when we are effectively obliged to do something but have to pretend we are doing it as a free choice. Consider the paradox, for instance, of offers-meant-to-be-refused. When I am invited to a restaurant by a rich[ …]

The ‘fake’ Mandela memorial interpreter said it all

Our daily lives are mostly a mixture of drab routine and unpleasant surprises – however, from time to time, something unexpected happens which makes life worth living. Something of this order occurred at the memorial ceremony for Nelson Mandela last week. Tens of thousands were listening to world leaders making statements. And then …it happened (or, rather, it was going on for some time before we noticed it). Standing alongside world dignitaries including Barack Obama[ …]