The Phenomenal Slavoj Zizek

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Um, how do you mean 'real'? I'm sure it's every bit as real as any other intangible thing, like languages, emotions, the periodic table and the number 6.

Or do you mean, are there such things as Ideologies to which people adhere, or are they just handy descriptive terms for people whose opinions on certain matters happen to be similar, the way some people happen to like a certain food, football club, style of music or whatever? In which case, I'd go mainly with the former, as there are certain ideologies that people consciously associate themselves with; liberal, Marxist, anarchist or whatever - to say nothing of religious ideologies.
 

josef k.

Dangerous Mystagogue
Maybe I should be more specific.

Zizek's critique of ecology is that it functions as an ideological palliative - the aim of his own argument, accordingly, is to short-circuit (and Zizek is in fact the editor of the book series "Short Circuits") this process, to stop it from functioning smoothly.

The intervention he is making, in other words, is an intervention into ideology... he wants to effect change from there. He thinks if he can, through the power of his own discourse, convince people to think differently about something, then change follows from that.

Or perhaps better... he only needs to confront people with ecology's ideological aspects, and then, the discourse changes, somehow, and I guess becomes more progressive...

I don't know. I'm babbling. Maybe this should be a new thread.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
OK, that make some sense. But where does he actually stand on ecological issues? Does he want to people to stop making small, personal, tokenistic 'consumer choice' type actions so they can concentrate on massive political change instead, with the ultimate goal of (amongst other things) preventing catastrophic climate change? Does he think climate change isn't important, or is much less important than economic inequality, war and so on? Or does he think there's nothing we can do about it, so it's better to concentrate on things we can actually change?
 

josef k.

Dangerous Mystagogue
I'm not sure that Zizek himself knows.

He says (at the end of The Parallax View) that people should stop supporting good causes, in order to concentrate on the Revolution. His fundamental and basic stated aim is bringing down capitalism through a bloody, violent revolution; anything which doesn't contribute to that is, at least as far as I understand Zizek, part of the problem.
 

josef k.

Dangerous Mystagogue
To surmise, insofar as Zizek may be said to have a position today, it seems to amount to a vague summons to violence.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Hmm. To be honest, it's hard not to get the impression he's a bit of a dick.

*awaits Dresden-scale flaming*
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
I'm not sure that Zizek himself knows.

He says (at the end of The Parallax View) that people should stop supporting good causes, in order to concentrate on the Revolution. His fundamental and basic stated aim is bringing down capitalism through a bloody, violent revolution; anything which doesn't contribute to that is, at least as far as I understand Zizek, part of the problem.
Couldn't that be seen as a bit of an ideological pallative in itself? It kind of smacks of the old religious line of "don't worry about trying to better your lot on earth, if you're good and do what you're told you'll have eternal bliss to look forward to when you pop your clogs.' So long as the revolution is sufficiently distant and improbable, you're basically able to sit around and theorize and discuss and lecture and never worry that you aren't actually doing anything to make the world a better place.
 

CHAOTROPIC

on account
I'm not sure that Zizek himself knows.

He says (at the end of The Parallax View) that people should stop supporting good causes, in order to concentrate on the Revolution. His fundamental and basic stated aim is bringing down capitalism through a bloody, violent revolution; anything which doesn't contribute to that is, at least as far as I understand Zizek, part of the problem.
All sounds a bit Trotskyist. He's hilariously funny though. My friend fancies the pants off him.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"All sounds a bit Trotskyist. He's hilariously funny though. My friend fancies the pants off him."
Apparently he tends to avoid "the usual masturbation with a living partner" so that may be unrequited.
 

Tweak Head

New member
Hmm. To be honest, it's hard not to get the impression he's a bit of a dick.

*awaits Dresden-scale flaming*
It's impossible not to get that impression if you read the Q&A in the Guardian.

I confess I had never heard of the guy before, so I am unable to give a critique of his views on ecology, capitalism or anything. However, I think I am qualified to say that the guy is so far up himself that he can never come back. Either that or he has the driest sense of humour ever. But I don't think so. Makes a change from the usual Q&A platitudes though.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
i thought his answers in the Q & A were great :eek:
Yeah, love is well shit, innit.

*goes back to listening to Nine Inch Nails*

Edit: although, when all's said and done, ludicrous misanthropy *is* at least a bit more thought-provoking than platitudes, even if it is expressed to be self-consciously provocative. He seems to represent a sort of bogeyman figure, in that his views, while they may be contradictory or barking, are nonetheless a valuable input into contemporary dialogue. At least, people round here who seem sane enough appear to find them valuable. Is this fair? Virtually all I know about the guy has come from what people on here say about him - does this ring tru with anyone who actually knows something about the guy?
 
Last edited:

vimothy

yurp
Just watched his piece (anyone see it?) on that dystopian UK film --Children of Men -- and had a thought....

Is Zizek's 'problem' that he sees this dystopian future as the product of (something called) 'capitalism', (rather than, say, vice versa) and so sees history as some kind of choice? Some kind of personal choice even? It's ideology driving the conspiracy, sure, but there's definitely something driving -- a bullet in the right place...
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Zizek = Galloway

:rolleyes:
He still reckons we should give it another shot, though (Zizek, I mean, in the Q&A). Third time lucky, I guess?

Also, this is spray-painted (with a stencil!) on the underside of a bridge over the Regent's Canal in Hackney:

BEWARE
GEORGE GALLOWAY
IS THE NEXT HITLER

:D
 
Top