Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Slavoj Zizek on the senility of the left, the idiocy of capitalism, and other stuff

Zizek, the strange Slovenian pop-communist philosopher, is by far the most interesting Marxist at large in the world today. Fortunately, in this interview (in six parts), his American interlocutor can't get a word in edgewise:

Brought to my attention by General Rubbish, another of that rare species, the interesting Marxist.


Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

I realized that Slovenes really had an interesting streak when I visited the editor of Mladina, the official Slovenian youth magazine (it's still around), at his office in Ljubljana in 1987. He had a big sign on his wall:

"Blah, blah, blah"

More on Mladina--which had an important role in undermining (already rapidly dwindling) Slovene support for federal Yugoslavia--here and here.


12:50 PM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

SLAVOJ ZIZEK: "I think that this conformist third way, pragmatic social democracy—basically, Clinton here, Blair in the UK and so on—and this moralistic radical left, politically correct all the time, are like twin phenomena, the one is parasitic—how to break out of this deadlock?"

Just to be interesting myself (maybe), I'd add Stephen Harper (and Kevin Rudd).


2:17 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

I've found it quite heartening that Zizek is unafraid to say that as a Marxist, he finds much more in common with "skeptical conservatives" (with whom there is at least the basis of a conversation) than with the "resistance" politics and moralistic correctness of the pseudo-left.

Me too.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

There is, on the other hand, another side to Slovenes. At that same time (1987) they referred to male Kosovar Albanians working in Slovenia as "Gastarbeiter". Using that exact word, transliterated.

And, as in the original post-WW II German scheme, those workers were not allowed to bring their families into Slovenia. Indeed most of the Gastarbeiter lived in barracks.

A funny old world.


5:09 PM  
Blogger Graeme said...

Half the time, I think that Zizek is deliberately taking the piss out of Westerners by playing up the "crazy Yugoslav" thing. Whatever the case, and regardless of the merits of his writing, he is easily the funniest and most engaging philosopher I've ever read, and that surely counts for a lot.

And while we're on the topic of odd Slovenes, did either of you catch this article in the (London) Times about Slovenia's now late president?

10:00 AM  

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