Tag Archives: Slavoj Zizek

Žižek and that strange animal, the human

A fascinating discussion of jealousy, fantasy, animals and utopia, by Slavoj Žižek — the “most dangerous philosopher in the West” (New Republic) — in Living in the End Times (Verso, London, 2010), helps one understand the reasons for our fascination with animals in their “natural” state. This fascination is well-known to most of us —…

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What is ideology?

Those of us who were studying at the time of the great “cold war” tussle between the superpowers would remember that, at that time, one thought of ideology as a more or less coherent system of ideas that demanded a way of living, or certain actions in accordance with those ideas. So, for example, communism…

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Understanding ‘world politics’ today – Rancière and Žižek

What I have in mind with this title pertains mainly to the work of that inimitable philosopher Jacques Rancière who has infused political thinking with new life, given the fact that it has become moribund under the dead weight of largely irrelevant liberal political theory and the idea that all politics is governed by the…

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How to challenge your whiteness…

I am a white South African man, and when I wrote about the problems of white masculinity I faced a barrage of abusive tweets, threats and even a phone call to one of my work colleagues to complain about my writing. Ironically, all of this proved the argument I was making. More importantly: it proved…

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The madness of capital

Last month the Associated Press reported that the income gap in the United States broke a new record in 2012, with the 1% grabbing a greater share of total household wealth than ever before in history. This news follows on the heels of the fact that the 1% not only captured all of the income…

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The trouble with liberals

The word liberal traces its history back to the Latin liber, which means “free”. Author and founding member of the Liberal Party in South Africa, Alan Paton, described this body of thought as such: “By liberalism I don’t mean the creed of any party or any century. I mean a generosity of spirit, a tolerance…

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The spectrality of Ayn Rand

‘Ayn Rand’s fascination for male figures displaying absolute, unswayable determination of their Will, seems to offer the best imaginable confirmation of Sylvia Plath’s famous line, “Every woman adores a Fascist”.’ With this controversial sentence, Slavoj Zizek mounts his defence of what he calls the “actuality” of Ayn Rand. Zizek reads the above sentence as a…

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