zizek   1372

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The most dangerous philosopher in the West? | America Magazine
In The Courage of Hopelessness, Zizek challenges the reader to act without relying on the false certainties of ready-made discourses. Global capitalism, he notes, is increasingly losing its link to Western democracy. Nondemocratic regimes like China’s have proven that they can function within the world of global capitalism. This economic system is capable of adapting to various political systems, and in so doing it puts at stake what Zizek refers to as “the commons.” This includes issues like ecology, immigration, access to information and health care. As common spaces of living and communication become more and more privatized, the question of who gets to have access to them creates more worldwide tensions. Increases in migration and reactions against it, like calls to “build that wall,” are some examples of these tensions.

In the face of this hopeless situation, Zizek argues that we should avoid the temptation of identity politics. Since capitalism excels at appropriating all kinds of cultures and identities for consumerist gains, politicizing particular non-Western cultures and identities will not prevent its negative expansion. Though identity politics may mobilize many on the left, for Zizek this happens in full conformity with the way neoliberalism capitalizes on different cultures. Since capitalism cashes in on a certain free market of identities, identity politics does not, then, offer any serious challenge to the current state of affairs.

To develop these points, Zizek analyzes the Syriza movement in Greece, Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Trump-Clinton election in the United States. For him, Donald Trump is the “symptom” of Hillary Clinton’s politics, which focused on issues of cultural and sexual identity. She succeeded in uniting “Wall Street and Occupy Wall Street,” and in this sense her message to her liberal supporters was: “we can concede all your cultural demands...without endangering the global market economy.” These improvements in cultural and identity recognition are positive achievements in Zizek’s view, but he says they betray a fear that many political liberals have of actual change. Identity politics becomes a way of promising generalized change while allowing the neoliberal economic system to remain the same.

Writ large, this book is an extended argument that a hopeless situation can be a fertile ground for acts of courage, provided one dares to think outside of the usual right-wing/left-wing labels
zizek  politics  capitalism  identity  seminar 
13 days ago by jstenner
Three Variations on Trump: Chaos, Europe, and Fake News - The Philosophical Salon
We can now see what those who bemoan the “death of truth” really deplore: the disintegration of one big Story more or less accepted by the majority, a story, which used to bring ideological stability to a society. The secret of those who curse “historicist relativism” is that they miss the safe situation where one big Truth (even if it was a big Lie) provided basic “cognitive mapping” to all. In short, it is those who deplore the “death of truth” that are the true and most radical agents of this death: their motto is the one attributed to Goethe, “besser Unrecht als Unordnung,” better injustice than disorder, better one big Lie than the reality of a mixture of lies and truths. One thing is clear: there is no return to the old ideological hegemony. The only way to return to Truth is to reconstruct it from a new cognitive interest in universal emancipation.
zizek  politics  fake_news  international 
7 weeks ago by jstenner
Slavoj Žižek: Why 'Political Correctness' Gets In Its Own Way | Big Think
Žižek explains the first things to go were the dirty jokes and "shared obscenity" he had enjoyed with so many of his disparate friends growing up. People define others by what makes them different. Political correctness enforces this notion with a chilled air of politeness. Žižek would prefer a society in which social pressures encouraged folks to seek out common ground, even if the methods were somewhat obscene
multiculturalism  zizek  best-of-2018 
april 2018 by elrob
Quasi Duo Fantasias: A Straussian Reading of “Black Panther” - Los Angeles Review of Books
WE WERE WAITING for a film like Black Panther, but Black Panther is not the film we were waiting for. [1] The first sign of ambiguity is the fact that the movie was enthusiastically received all across the political spectrum: from partisans of black emancipation who see in it the first big Hollywood assertion of black power, through liberals who sympathize with its reasonable solution — education and help, not struggle — up to some representatives of the alt-right, who recognize in the film’s “Wakanda forever” another version of Trump’s “America first” (incidentally, this is why Mugabe, before he lost power, also said some kind words about Trump). When all sides recognize themselves in the same product, we can be sure that the product in question is ideology at its purest — a kind of empty vessel containing antagonistic elements.
film  zizek  race  neoliberalism 
march 2018 by jstenner

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