Posts tagged with Zizek

Zizek’s SOME BEWILDERED CLARIFICATIONS”, in which he writes about the recent Chomsky/Zizek bickerings as of late, is a fantastic fucking response.

P.S. - Zizek on ideology is what’s up, yo.

P.S.S. - My blog is entirely political philosophy now. JK. :)

The price that some on the Left pay for ignoring this “complication” of class struggle is, among other things, an all-too-easy and uncritical acceptance of anti-American and anti-Western Muslim groups as representing “progressive” forms of struggle, as automatic allies: groups like Hamas and Hezbollah all of a sudden appear as revolutionary agents, even though their ideology is explicitly anti-modern, rejecting the entire egalitarian legacy of the French Revolution. (Things have gone so far here that some on the contemporary Left consider even an emphasis on atheism as a Western colonialist plot.) Against this temptation we should insist on the unconditional right to a conduct a public critical analysis of all religions, Islam included —and the saddest thing is that one should even have to mention this. While many a Leftist would concede this point, he or she would be quick to add that any such critique must be carried out in a respectful way, in order to avoid a patronizing cultural imperialism —which de facto means that every real critique is to be abandoned, since a genuine critique of religion will by definition be “disrespectful” of the latter’s sacred character and truth claims.
Slavoj Zizek, Living in the End Times (2010), [p. 137]

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This brings us to the proper base of ideology. When we read an abstract “ideological” proclamation we are well aware that real people do not experience it abstractly. In order to pass from abstract proposition’s to people’s “real lives,” it is necessary to add the unfathomable density of a lifeworld context. Ideology is not constituted by abstract propositions in themselves, rather ideology is itself this very texture of the lifeworld which “schematizes” the propositions, rendering them “livable.” Take military ideology for example: it becomes livable only against the background of the obscene unwritten rules and rituals in which it is embedded. Which is why, if there is an ideological experience at its purest, at its zero-level, then it occurs the moment we adopt an attitude of ironic distance, laughing at the follies in which we are ready to believe - it is at this moment of liberating laughter, when we look down on the absurdity of our faith, that we become pure subjects of ideology, that ideology exerts its strongest hold over us. This is also why if one wants to observe contemporary ideology at work, all one need do is watch a few of Michael Palin’s travel programs on the BBC: their underlying attitude of adopting a benevolent ironic distance towards different customs, taking pleasure in observing local pecularities while filtering out the really traumatic data, amounts to postmodern racism at its most essential. When we are shown scenes of starving children in Africa, with a call for us to do something to help them, the underlying ideological message is something like: “Don’t think, don’t politicize, forget the true causes of their poverty, just act, contribute money, so that you will not have to think!” Rousseau already understood perfectly the falsity of multiculturalist admirers of foreign cultures when, in Emile, he warned of the “philosopher who loves Tartars in order to be dispensed from loving his neighbors.”
Slavoj Zizek, Living in the End Times (2010); verso books.

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It is often said that today, with our exposure to the media, culture of public confessions and instruments of digital control, private space is disappearing. One should counter this: it is the public space proper that is disappearing.

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I admit it, there is a clownish aspect to me, as the NYT said, like the Marx Brothers. Maybe I flirt with that but nonetheless I am getting tired of it because I noticed that when there stupid reports or reactions to me, there is a terrible urge to make me appear as a kind of a ‘funny man’, and so on. The true question would be: where does that come from? Why is there this necessity to portray me this way? Even my publishers buy into it… You know, my book on Lenin was almost turned down by Verso. Why? Well, they always used to hint that I only make jokes. So then I told them, now, you have a book on Lenin. Then, their approach was: ‘Where are the jokes? Nobody will buy this book!’ Much more than may appear is going on here. It’s quite a complex phenomenon. I’m almost tempted to say that making me popular is a resistance against taking me seriously. And I think it’s my duty to do a kind of public suicide of myself as a popular comedian, or whatever.
Slavoj Žižek. (via warzonetourism)

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Alexis Tsipras & Slavoj Žižek /// The Role of the European Left ||| 15th May 2013 (by SkriptaTV)

Slovenian political philosopher Slavoj Zizek and Member of Parliament in Greece’s Hellenic Parliament, and aspiring prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, engage in a conversation. This is super informative. Tsipras calls for a “Mediterranean Spring” to fix this “barbarian situation” Greece finds itself in.

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Let’s just be aware that we are dealing with a series of very serious problems (in his book, Living in the End Times, he categorizes them as a) economic, b) social divisions, c) ecological, d) biogenetics) which if we just leave the existing society to develop…following it’s inherent tendencies… will eventually lead to some kind of zero level catastrophic point.
Slavoj Zizek, interviewed by Riz Khan, for Al Jazeera, in Nov. 2010

Slavoj Zizek on the crises of our times:

Economic. Ecological. Biogenetic Revolution. Social Divisions.

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Some months ago, a small miracle happened in the occupied West Bank: Palestinian women demonstrating against the Wall were joined by a group of Jewish lesbian women from Israel. The initial mutual mistrust was dispelled in the first confrontation with the Israeli soldiers guarding the Wall, and a sublime solidarity developed, with a traditionally dressed Palestinian woman embracing a Jewish lesbian with spiky purple hair—a living symbol of what our struggle should be.
Slavoj Žižek - The Year of Dreaming Dangerously

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Imagine a scene from a dystopian movie depicting our society in the near future: ordinary people walking the streets carry a special whistle; whenever they see something suspicious—an immigrant, say, or a homeless person—they blow the whistle, and a special guard comes running to brutalize the intruders … What seems like a cheap Hollywood fiction is a reality in today’s Greece. Members of the Fascist Golden Dawn movement are distributing whistles on the streets of Athens—when someone sees a suspicious foreigner, he is invited to blow the whistle, and the Golden Dawn special guards patrolling the streets will arrive to check out the suspect. This is how one defends Europe in the Spring of 2012. These anti-immigrant vigilantes are not the principal danger, however; they are merely collateral damage accompanying the true threat—the politics of austerity that has brought Greece to such a predicament.
Slavoj Zizek - The Year of Dreaming Dangerously

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