Slavoj Zizek on resurrecting the Left

November 30, 2009

Soon after the global financial crisis erupted in 2008, treatise “Das Kapital” saw a resurgence in popularity throughout eastern Germany.

The 1867 critical analysis of capitalism by Karl Marx became a bestseller for academic publisher Karl-Dietz-Verlag, as a rejection of capitalism set in following intense financial turmoil.

More than a year later, questions over the validity of the capitalist economic system remain in focus amid ongoing concerns about the cost to society of bank bailouts, high unemployment and stimulus measures.

If anything, the financial crisis has made capitalism more lean and mean, author and philosopher Slavoj Zizek told Reuters ahead of a talk at the London School of Economics.

“Capitalism as we knew it cannot survive — it’s the time for mobilization.”

Zizek, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities in the University of London, posits in his new book “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce” that “critical leftists have hitherto only succeeded in soiling those in power, whereas the real point is to castrate them . . .”

Zizek suggests that those in power should be undermined via “patient ideologico-critical work” rather than direct confrontation.

Related blogs:

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