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How to Begin from the Beginning
Mountaineering lessons from the Bolsheviks’ master strategist provide a metaphor for regroupment in hard times. Slavoj Žižek identifies the principal antagonisms within contemporary capitalism, as the basis for positing anew the ‘communist hypothesis’.
Against Human Rights
Alibi for militarist interventions, sacralization for the tyranny of the market, ideological foundation for the fundamentalism of the politically correct: can the ‘symbolic fiction’ of universal rights be recuperated for the progressive politicization of actual socio-economic relations?
The Parallax View
The philosophical basis for social action, as recast in Kojin Karatani’s striking Transcritique. On Kant and Marx. Slavoj Žižek investigates the irreducible antinomies of production and circulation—or economics and politics—as envisioned from the gap in between.
When the Party Commits Suicide
Finally, in the deluge of the conservative-liberal ‘Black Books’ on Stalinist ‘totalitarianism’, a work which not only meets the highest standards of historical research, but also enables us to grasp the unique social dynamics that culminated in the great purges of the 1930s: J. Arch Getty’s and Oleg V. Naumov’s . . . read more
Against the Double Blackmail
The prize-winner in the contest for the greatest blunder of 1998 was a Latin American patriotic terrorist who sent a letter-bomb to a us consulate in order to protest against the Americans interfering in local politics. As a conscientious citizen, he wrote on the envelope his return address; however, he . . . read more
Multiculturalism, or, the Cultural Logic of Multinational Capitalism
Those who still remember the good old days of Socialist Realism, are well aware of the key role played by the notion of the ‘typical’: truly progressive literature should depict ‘typical heroes in typical situations.’ Writers who presented a bleak picture of Soviet reality were not simply accused of lying; . . . read more
From Courtly Love to 'The Crying Game'
Why speak about courtly love (amour courtois) today, in the age of permissiveness, when sexual encounter is often nothing more than a ‘quickie’ in some dark corner of an office?footnote1The impression that courtly love is something out of date, long superseded by modern manners, is a lure which blinds us . . . read more
Eastern Europe’s Republics of Gilead
Why is the West so fascinated by the recent events in Eastern Europe? The answer seems obvious: what fascinates the Western gaze is the re-invention of democracy.footnote* It is as if democracy, which in the West shows increasing signs of decay and crisis, lost in bureaucratic routine and publicity-style election . . . read more