Populism as a way to disavow social antagonism (May 2017)

Student organization/freethinkers collective ‘t Zal Wel Gaan and Vooruit are bringing Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek to Ghent – as part of the Antagonistic Festival. He is affiliated with the University of Ljubljana, New York and London and has published numerous books on various topics such as German idealism, ideology criticism, film theory, psychoanalysis and even quantum physics.

The general public mainly knows Žižek for his analyses of popular culture and his criticism of capitalism. Using different frames of reference he hands us challenging insights and new perspectives. In Ghent, he will speak about social antagonism and populism.
How should we deal with the multitude of conflicting interests in a society? What can it mean for a political movement to acknowledge social antagonism? In times where (right-wing) populism finds so many supporters, we can ask ourselves whether progressive political movements should start using the same strategies if they want to be successful, but, according to Žižek, populism undermines social antagonism.

[Lecture delivered in Ghent (Belgium) on May 24th 2017.)