Zizek’s Publications in Academic Journals

Zizek's Publications in Academic Journals
Zizek’s Publications in Academic Journals

2016, Sexuality in the Posthuman Age, Stasis. Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 54-69.

Abstract: The article begins with a critique of the prevalent interpretation of Platonov’s novels from the 1920s. These novels supposedly present a critical depiction of the Stalinist utopia and its catastrophic consequences. The article argues against such an interpretation by demonstrating that the aforementioned novels do not present a critique of Stalinism but rather a critique of the gnostic-materialist utopia against which late Stalinism reacted in the early 1930s. The article critically confronts various aspects of this utopia of “biocosmism” as the forerunner of today’s technognosis, focusing primarily on its tendency to surpass sexuality as the last stronghold of the bourgeois counterrevolution. This aspect of the critique of the gnostic-materialist utopia is also at work in Platonov’s essay “The Anti-Sexus,” conceived as an advertisement for a masturbatory device. The text discusses this device in the context of the proliferation of gadgets (what Lacan called les lathouses), the “undead” organs which are not mere supplements of the human organism but rather provide the key to the sexuation of human beings as beings of language.
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2012 February, Hegel versus Heidegger, e-flux 32.

One of the standard critiques of Hegel, first formulated already by the “young Hegelians,” concerns the apparent contradiction between Hegel’s dialectical method and his system. While Hegel’s method approaches reality in its dynamic development, discerning in every determinate form the seeds of its own destruction and self-overcoming, his system endeavors to render the totality of being as an achieved order in which no further development is in view. With the twentieth century interpreters of Hegel who stand under Heidegger’s influence, this contradiction between the “logical” and the “historical” acquires a deeper radical underpinning: what they try to outline is a more fundamental ontological frame that is both the source of Hegel’s dialectical systematizing, and is, simultaneously, betrayed by this systematizing. The historical dimension is here not simply the unending evolution of all life forms. It is also not the life-philosophical opposition between the young Hegel trying to grasp the historical antagonisms of social life and the old Hegel compulsively steamrolling all content with his dialectical machine, but the inherent tension between Hegel’s systematic drive of notional self-mediation (or sublation) and a more original ontological project that, following Heidegger, Alexandre Koyre describes as the historicity of the human condition oriented towards future. The root of what Hegel calls “negativity” is (our awareness of) future: future is what is not (yet), the power of negativity is ultimately identical to the power of time itself, this force that corrodes every firm identity.
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2010 July-August, A Permanent Economic Emergency, New Left Review 64.

As the Eurozone’s sovereign-debt crisis deepens, Slavoj Žižek calls for an internationalist response that would transcend the defence of a failing status quo, to invent new transitional strategies.
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2009, Legal Luck, International Journal of Zizek Studies. Vol. 3, No. 1.

Kant grounds what he calls the “transcendental formula of public law” (…) in the obvious reason that a secret law, a law unknown to its subjects…
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2009, A Short Clarification, International Journal of Zizek Studies. Vol. 3, No. 1.

A new text by Ian Parker (…) which begins with the claim that, towards the end of the 1980s (…) I acted as a “commissar” monitoring and controlling dissident activity…
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2009 May-June, How to Begin from the Beginning, New Left Review 57.

Mountaineering lessons from the Bolsheviks’ master strategist provide a metaphor for regroupment in hard times. Slavoj Žižek identifies the principal antagonisms within contemporary capitalism, as the basis for positing anew the ‘communist hypothesis’.
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2009, …’I will move the underground’ Slavoj Zizek On Udi Aloni’s Forgiveness, International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies. Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 80-83.

A hybrid of realism and fantasy, “Forgiveness” is a psychological examination of the tragedies of the Middle East. David, a young American-Israeli, returns to Israel to join the army, only to find himself in a catatonic state after accidentally shooting a Palestinian girl while on patrol. He is committed to a mental institution which sits on the ruins of a Palestinian village that had been attacked by Israeli forces in 1948. The head psychiatrist offers medication for David’s tortured guilt-ridden amnesic withdrawal, while another patient in the hospital, a Holocaust survivor ironically named Muselmann, tries to redeem David by encouraging him to respond to the child ghost that haunts him, to acknowledge his crime and to bear his guilt as a prerequisite for reparation and forgiveness.
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2008 Winter, Confessions of an Unrepentant Leninist, International Journal of Zizek Studies.

The reactions to my Lenin-book for the most part move between the standard liberal anti-Communism – how do I dare to rehabilitate a mass murderer, etc…
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2008, Language, Violence and non-violence, International Journal of Zizek Studies. Vol. 2, No. 3.

In his “Critique of Violence,” Walter Benjamin raises the question: “Is any non-violent resolution of conflict possible?” His answer is that such a non-violent resolution of conflict is indeed possible in what he calls “relationships among private persons,” in courtesy, sympathy and trust: “there is a sphere of human agreement that is non-violent to the extent that it is wholly inaccessible to violence: the proper sphere of ‘understanding,’ language.’
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2008, Descartes and the post-traumatic subject, Filozofski Vestnik. Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 9-29.

If the radical moment of the inauguration of modern philosophy is the rise of the Cartesian cogito, where are we today with regard to cogito? Are we really entering a post-Cartesian era, or is it that only now our unique historical constellation enables us to discern all the consequences of the cogito? Walter Benjamin claimed that works of art often function like shots taken on a film for which the developer has not yet been discovered, so that one has to wait for a future to understand them properly. Is not something similar happening with cogito: today, we have at our disposal the developer to understand it properly.
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2008, The Violence of the Liberal Utopia, Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory. Vol 9, No. 2, pp.9-25.

While liberal capitalism presents itself as anti-utopia embodied, and today’s neoliberalism as the sign of the new era of humanity, which left behind the utopian projects responsible for the totalitarian horrors of the 20th century, it is now becoming clear that there is a utopian core in the liberal project itself- the violence that accompanies the victories of liberal capitalism is the price we are paying for this utopia. In describing this utopian core, the text proceeds in three steps. First, it focuses on today’s China, an exemplary case of the socially disruptive effects of global capitalism; then, it articulates the basic structure of the liberal utopia; finally, it outlines the dimension missing in this utopia.
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2008, Christ, Hegel, Wagner, International Journal of Zizek Studies. Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 1-12.

In pre-digital times, when I was in my teens, I remember seeing a bad copy of Vertigo – its last seconds were simply missing, so that the movie appeared to have a happy ending, Scottie reconciled with Judy, forgiving her and accepting her as a partner, the two of them passionately embracing… My point is that such an ending is not as artificial as it may seem: it is rather in the actual ending that the sudden appearance of the Mother Superior from the staircase below functions as a kind of negative deux ex machina, a sudden intrusion in no way properly grounded in the narrative logic, which prevents the happy ending. Where does the nun appear from? From the same preontological realm of shadows from which Scottie himself secretly observes Madeleine in the florist’s. And it is here that we should locate the hidden continuity between Vertigo and Psycho: the Mother Superior appears from the same void from which, “out of nowhere,” Norman appears in the shower murder sequence of Psycho, brutally attacking Marion, interrupting the reconciliatory ritual of cleansing.
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2008, The Prospects of Radical Politics Today, International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, Vol. 5, No. 1.

Today, in the time of continuous swift changes, from the “digital revolution” to the retreat of old social forms, thought is more than ever exposed to the tempta­tion of “losing its nerve”, of precociously abandoning the old conceptual coor­dinates. The media bombard us with the need to abandon the “old paradigms”: if we are to survive, we have to change our most fundamental notions of per­sonal identity, society, environment, etc. New Age wisdom claims that we are entering a new “posthuman” era; psychoanalysts hasten to concede that the Oedipal matrix of socialization is no longer operative, that we live in times of universalized perversion, that the concept of “repression” is of no use in our per­missive times; postmodern political thought tells us that we are entering a postindustrial society, in which the old categories of labor, collectivity, class, etc., are theoretical zombies, no longer applicable to the dynamics of modern­ization… Third Way ideology and political practice is effectively the model of this defeat, of this inability to recognize how the New is here to enable the Old to survive. Against this temptation, one should rather follow the unsurpassed example of Pascal and ask the difficult question: How are we to remain faithful to the Old in the new conditions? Only in this way can we generate something effectively New.
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