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Spanish Newspaper El Pais Says Slavoj Žižek is the 'viral philosopher'

In a recent piece, the Spanish Newspaper El Pais identifies Slavoj Žižek as the 'viral philosopher' due to his popularity through his video talks and interviews on YouTube. The piece was written on the occation when Žižek delivered a talk - "A Plea for Bureaucratic Socialism" (see the video of the talk below) - on Wednesday (June 30, 2017) outside the Círculo de Bellas Artes, a major cultural center in downtown Madrid.

Slavoj Žižek about Peter Sloterdijk: The revolution takes place, only differently

Peter Sloterdijk is one of the most accurate diagnosticians of our time. In his work "Wrath and Time", he offers an alternative history of the West as a starting point from the distinction between Eros (desire, ie, the desire to possess, ie the possession of objects) and thymos (pride, thus giving-will) History of anger administration. The "Iliad", its founding text, begins in fact with the word "anger." Homer calls the goddess to stand by him when he sing the song of the anger of Achilles. Although the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon concerns a woman - Agamemnon robbed Achilles of his slave girl Briseis - it is not about the loss of an erotic object, but about injured pride. And that is Sloterdijk's point.

While anger can explode in ancient Greece, he experiences a profound change, a sublimation, a postponement in the Jewish-Christian tradition. No longer we, but God is keeping a record of our transgressions, and decides on the Day of Judgment. The Christian prohibition of revenge is the exact counterpart to the apocalyptic scene of the last days. The idea of ​​a Last Judgment, in which all the accumulated debts are paid off and a world out of joint is corrected, lives in secularized form in modern leftist projects.

Now the judge is no longer God but the people. Left political movements in fact act like anger banks. They collect collective anger investment and, in turn, promise the people long-term revenge interest, thus establishing a more just world. Because, after the revolutionary anger explosion, the ultimate payment never takes place, and inequality and hierarchy always reappear, there is always an urge for the second - true, total - revolution. It is only to satisfy the disappointed and to bring the liberation to an end: in 1792 after 1789, October after February 1917.

And the revolution?

This leads us to the great problem of Western Marxism today: the absence of a revolutionary subject. Who can take the role of the proletarians? In the Third World, students and intellectuals, the excluded are presented. In the meantime, the refugees are to revive the European left, free according to the motto: If there is no real proletariat at this stage, the revolution is just being transferred to imported substitute subjects. This way of thinking is cynical through and through. It bears witness to a leftist paternalism, quite apart from the fact that it gives new impetus to the violence against immigrants.

The problem is that there is simply never enough spontaneous anger capital - so the leaders have been borrowed from other anger banks by the nation and the culture. In Fascism, the national anger prevailed, Mao mobilized in China's communism the cultural anger of the exploited peasants. In our time there are two main types of anger left: the anger of the Islamic modernist losers against capitalism as a decadent system, and the wrath of the right-wing populists, which is aimed at immigrants. In addition to this, Latin American populists, consumerists and other representatives are less resentful of the resentment that refuses to recognize globalization. The only thing that is clear here is: the situation is confusing, all the different forms of anger do not come together.

Sloterdijk now recommends overcoming resentment and renouncing a revolution, which never happens anyway. He is concerned to delegitimize the connection between intelligence and resentment in all its forms, including feminism and post-colonialism. In capitalism, he sees not only the problem, but also the solution - Sloterdijk pleads for a turn of capitalism against itself: Instead of accumulating still more wealth and consequently fearing the loss of the wealthy lifestyle, the inhabitants of the Western Crystal Palace As proud beings who rather give than take. This would be, so to speak, Sloterdijk's cultural revolution without a revolution. But is she really realistic - and more than a philosophical imagination?

Capitalism, according to Sloterdijk, is therefore capable of effecting a change from Eros to Thymos, from the perverse erotic logic of accumulation to public recognition and honor. If you think so, you must inevitably praise figures like Soros or Gates. In this optic, their charity is not merely a personal idiosyncracy; On the contrary, the new capitalists are supposed to work towards a new balance of welfare through their willingness to donate, without obeying the destructive logic of resentment and forced state redistribution. We must, therefore, learn to live in a meritocracy which respects civilized norms and personal rights, in a balance between elitism and egalitarianism.

But is Sloterdijk really a reason for his denunciation of any global emancipatory project as a case of envy and resentment? What if his urge to sense revenge and anger behind every form of solidarity is itself an expression of revenge and resentment? His envy dims the view that there is indeed a position of ethical universality that applies to all people. And which exerts its own fascination on more and more young people.

Corbyn shall judge

Jeremy Corbyn, this dry, impish British labor leader, represents precisely such an attitude - with success. From the establishment, he is regarded as an idiot, a jihadist, an anti-Semitic, in short, as an unseemable, but this does not touch him, he remains faithful to himself. Of course, Corbyn is a nuisance - and yes, with his position of global solidarity and justice, he will prevent Labor in the foreseeable future from winning the majority in Great Britain. But that is not the point. For Corbyn represents the actor of a radical social change for the boys beyond the British Isles. Corbyn is an eminent representative of those who are serious about an ethical turn in politics - and the vulgarization of political speech in public turn. Propriety and argument were once bourgeois virtues, but these were long ago betrayed by the populist bourgeoisie. Now it seems to be on the left, to demand exactly these virtues by the fact that they live the same way.

Corbyn, however desperate and naive he appears, speaks of the important problems that ordinary people deal with, from economic necessities to the threat of terrorists. He is politically incorrect, not self-righteous, not off-hand, no blender - and above all, he speaks without anger and resentment. His performances are worthy, he preserves a basic decree. It is precisely because he acts like a politician from another time, that he is well received by the boys. Would Sloterdijk be prepared to recognize, in the success of figures like Jeremy Corbyn, the expression of a new social force that is not just beyond capitalist logic, but also beyond anger and resentment? We older men should remain attentive. I wish Peter Sloterdijk all the best for his 70th birthday.

From, June 26, 2017

Watch the conversation with Zizek and Assange moderated by M.I.A.

Here are some video recordings available on the conversation between Slavoj Zizek, Julian Assange and M.I.A. at the Meltdown Festival, 2017:

Another one:

Slavoj Žižek along with Julian Assange will Talk at Meltdown Festival hosted by M.I.A. on June 11th

Slavoj Žižek will give a talk at Meltdown Festival hosted by M.I.A. along with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who would be speaking remotely over a live link. The discussion, titled “What’s Coming Next,” will “cover the complexities of global activism and art in a changing world.” From 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. on June 11 at the Weston Roof Pavilion of the Royal Festival Hall in the Southbank Centre.

Thinking in Cambridge on the left or right

Staying at the manor house on the outskirts of Cambridge, wake up in the morning by sheep's barking. It is completely knocked out by whiskey of those who engaged in establishing the Japanese Constitution, which is related to this land, and sunlight rarely hurts in the UK. Looking at the chase of the lamb from the window, it seems that sheep are dancing in front of a few sheep.

Aside from the whiskey that left a headache for a week after that , I thought about "right or left" while staring at the car window from Cambridge to Oxford. Brexit of last year, the birth of the Trump regime, and the British general election scheduled to be held in June this year. The French presidential election in May also shook the world if Marine Li Pen's "extremely right" administration is born.

Žižek's New Interview: "I object to the overwhelming power of the company, but the advent of robots is progress"

Slavoj Žižek has recently been interviewed in Italian Magazine "The Corriere". Here is what he said:

The Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek declares hostage of Norway, confined to the Svalbard islands, where he was on vacation and where, in a sense, has never returned. "I do not mean to sound paranoid, but every time I open my inbox or go on a search engine sticking out travel deals, hotel discounts, tips on what to do in Norway. There I was with my son, a nice trip, yes, is now finished! What I mean? We do not realize how much data we give and how we are being spied by the big digital companies" Žižek says to the Courier.

Eventful & Busiest Month of May for Slavoj Žižek

May, 2017 was one of the busiest and eventful month for Slavoj Žižek. He delivered the NSK Inaugural Public Lecture on "The Courage of Hopelessness" on Thursday, 11 May 2017 at AULA MAGNA, Tolentini Iuav University of Venice. There is no official release of video of the lecture. The following was released by someone on Facebook:

Political Correctness: You also defend your privileges by Slavoj Žižek

The well-trained champions of politically correct speaking celebrate colorfulness, diversity and the great inclusion. In truth, they merely establish a new norm of domination - and discriminate minorities who have little to say.

Political correctness is a serious matter. The noble aim of the new correct speech is to involve all individuals in the discourse and not to discriminate against anyone, or, more precisely, to give no one reason to feel offended. The world of the correct is therefore deadly, irony absolutely forbidden.

Often, however, the political correctness now produces new paradoxical effects , which show that something fundamental is wrong with it. It establishes new norms, excludes new minorities - and above all: the highly correct, serious usage of language kicks into its opposite and acts involuntarily funny.

The radiant power of love

Some time ago, I was in Vancouver and followed in my hotel room the live broadcast of the local Pride parade. "The power of love shone," as the mainstream media called it. The whole city was on its feet, hundreds of thousands of people who were either moving around (at the head of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who stole the show with all his family), or publicly chasing the parade and clapping with applause.

This great and all-encompassing demonstration of "unity in diversity" naturally required an enemy: "heterosexism". The TV commentators conjured him as skilfully as ever, as if they were part of the show. Of course, they did not attack heterosexuality as such, but merely favoring and establishing it as a universal order that reduces other sexual orientations to a secondary deviation. This critical view of heterosexism is as if he is not normative and open to all directions. But is that really true?

Thus the many groups, which included not only queer and LGBT organizations, but also libraries and bookstores, restaurants, theaters, law firms, ecological groups, industrial and agricultural companies, as well as the nightclub, "always open to gays and transsexuals" is. The official self-presentation of the organizers read: "Be ready to inspire and inspire you by the sight of the meter-high head covers, the pink fire engines, the more rainbow flags than you can count, and the symbols of hope and change. Among the unforgettable parts of the parade are the costumes, which are so elaborate and unusual that feather boa and go-go boots look old! »

More than toleration

Young men danced in tight trousers, which emphasized the contours of their penises, embraced and kissed. Overweight boys and girls exposed the fat layers hanging from their bellies, and thus overtook the sexist beauty ideals. In short, that was far from the situation decades ago, when gays and lesbians lived in the schematic underground and were tolerated and ignored at best. While they and others proudly presented their own sexual orientation, the queers not only overcame their own restraint, but also showed the audience their prejudices, which are confirmed by the discomfort with which individuals observe, depending on socialization, such an activity ,

Ironically, the past is almost mirror-inverted. Now it is the heterosexuality that is tolerated, although it is expected that the heterosexual majority will no longer show pride in their preferences. This would immediately be denounced as heterosexist. Heterosexuality is perceived not directly, but subliminally as a limitation, as a sexuality that is opportunistically satisfied with the old, existing patterns, and the risks of discovering new, liberating possibilities - as a passive submission to the ruling class which leads to social oppression leads. The label LGBT + thus provided the concrete coloration for the entire field. It forced everyone to unite under their banner.

We are all queer, even though some are even queer than others. Such a unity is, of course, an ideology in its purest form, and we should immediately ask the question: Who (or what) was de facto excluded? Many ethnic groups actually denied the participation, from solidarity with the protest of "Black Lives Matter Vancouver" against the participation of a police car at the parade. Many indigenous people are members of "Black Lives Matter" and therefore did not participate.

The queer-Muslim group "Salaam" and the queer Southeast Asia group "Trikone" also did not come. Salaam said: "Because of racist reactions [. , .] We should have our own move [. , .] The organizers of the Pride Parade do not speak to us. The city does not speak to us. "These absences clearly signal the locations of today's social antagonisms. We should also include in this picture those transgenders whose lives are full of fear and social uncertainty, and thus far from the idea of ​​happy young men who dance half naked and kiss.

"Unity in diversity"

For all these reasons, the Vancouver Pride Parade had a bitter aftertaste with me (and also many LGBT members). Here, the majority of well-educated white, privileged women and men were on the road, with high social status. The parade reminded me of so many similar marches that I witnessed during my youth in communist Yugoslavia. Parades to the day of work, in which different collectives celebrated their "unity in diversity", all under the common umbrella of the ruling ideology (brotherhood and unity of all nations in the self-governed and block-free socialist Yugoslavia).

Even the subtle boredom and the bureaucratic language of Vancouver's TV commentators with their politically correct predictability (they were always careful to call the ideological screen of the parade as LGBTQIA +) reminded me of the jargon of the Communists, in which any form of Ironization was forbidden under threat of punishment. All have to adhere to the official language rule, all have to praise and praise the allegedly subversive potential of alternative, in fact, however, privileged life drafts.

As before, the whole spectacle turned into a kind of farce before my eyes. In the end, the official language uses itself as his own ironic comment. Censored seriousness turns into involuntary comedy - and does not this necessarily happen with the Political Correctness? It claims with the best intentions to injure no one, but produces new excluded ones and establishes a new norm - only nobody can say this anymore, because it interfered with the beautiful new harmonium.