Slavoj Žižek on the US Elections and SYRIZA

[Transcript below video]

For me the victory of Trump is the big return of the repressed of the academic left  – class struggle came back, in the sense of class tension.

That's all I meant with my, of course ironic, I'm not an idiot, support of Trump. Click To TweetI hope that, precisely because it is a horror, that it, on the left, will break this Clinton consensus, which was not a real consensus. The price of this consensus was the neutralisation of Bernie Sanders. I hope it will revitalise a little bit more authentic left. That’s all I meant with my, of course ironic, I’m not an idiot, support of Trump. Because I think it’s exaggerated this idea ‘Oh Trump, new fascism’ and so on and so on. No Trump is an absolute opportunist. I’m not so much afraid of this new situation. The only danger is what Trump will have to do to survive, not out of his own conviction – no, the pressure of conservative Republicans and so on. But I’m not such a pessimist at this level. Paradoxically. some good things, like a more authentic left, can come out of it.

The true message is not ‘we will be more protected’, but we want to get rid even of this relative protection of the European shield just to nakedly expose us to globalisation. This is clear from all these SETA and TTIP negotiations and so on and so on. So this brings me in conflict with many of my friends who fall in this ‘the only solution for the left is a stronger nation-state’ and so on and so on. I think this is suicide.

Yannis Varoufakis was the truly subversive element. Click To TweetAfter the referendum, when two days later the SYRIZA government capitulated, I think this was a genuine tragedy, you cannot say that simply they betrayed the peoples’ will. I think it’s a genuine tragic situation. What can you do? The lesson is that again … the only lesson shared with Brexit is that we have big problems, which you cannot resolve at the level of nation-state. It’s a very tragic situation, so I think that only some more internationalised left can save us. And that’s why I also, while I don’t agree with this type of capitulation of SYRIZA government, I also disagree with the left platform idea which would have done Grexit and so on. No! This would simply threw [throw] Greece out of European community, much more poverty and so on. I think that, although I don’t know if it was realistic or not, that Varoufakis’s idea to stay within Euro and to cause havoc there was the truly subversive one, which is why – you remember – he had to step down even before the referendum. There was even a parliamentary inquiry – they wanted to go a trial. He was the truly subversive element. This idea of not to go out – if you go out you are not a threat to anyone; but to remain within and cause havoc, cause trouble. I think that this is what the left has to reinvent. Don’t leave Europe, remain within Europe, establish links, connection there and so on.

[Appeared on AthensLiveGr Youtube channel on November 14th 2016. Video by Vas Panagiotopoulos.]