Trouble in Paradise – Slavoj Žižek on the global protest

LRB“Global capitalism is a complex process which affects different countries in different ways. What unites the protests, for all their multifariousness, is that they are all reactions against different facets of capitalist globalisation. The general tendency of today’s global capitalism is towards further expansion of the market, creeping enclosure of public space, reduction of public services (healthcare, education, culture), and increasingly authoritarian political power. It is in this context that Greeks are protesting against the rule of international financial capital and their own corrupt and inefficient state, which is less and less able to provide basic social services. It is in this context too that Turks are protesting against the commercialisation of public space and against religious authoritarianism; that Egyptians are protesting against a regime supported by the Western powers; that Iranians are protesting against corruption and religious fundamentalism, and so on. None of these protests can be reduced to a single issue. They all deal with a specific combination of at least two issues, one economic (from corruption to inefficiency to capitalism itself), the other politico-ideological (from the demand for democracy to the demand that conventional multi-party democracy be overthrown). The same holds for the Occupy movement. Beneath the profusion of (often confused) statements, the movement had two basic features: first, discontent with capitalism as a system, not just with its particular local corruptions; second, an awareness that the institutionalised form of representative multi-party democracy is not equipped to fight capitalist excess, i.e. democracy has to be reinvented.”

Click anywhere in the text or on the picture to read the whole London Review of Books article.

Slavoj Zizek 2013 Brasil

The intro is in Portuguese with an english translation, then Zizek speaks in english the entire time.

Zizek speaks on the legacy of Chavez, the class divide between vampires and zombies, the day after the orgasmic revolutionary spectacle, violence, violence against women, the violence of language, pedophilia in the catholic church, belief, Hegel and Marx.

Of course, Zizek loves to provoke and incite, so if you’re not used to him, get ready for a bumpy roller-coaster ride. The seeming irony with Zizek is that many accuse him of being wild and crazy, but he – like Chomsky – is actually quite conservative. Here is Chomsky on conservatism:

“Whatever the term means, it involves a concern for Enlightenment values of individual rights and freedoms against powerful external authorities such as the state, a dominant Church, and so on. That kind of conservatism no one even remembers anymore.”
—Noam Chomsky (1928 – ) Interview by Adam Jones, February 20, 1990
full quote: