Synopses & Reviews
Is global emancipation a lost cause? Are universal values outdated relics of an earlier age? In fear of the horrors of totalitarianism should we submit ourselves to a miserable third way of economic liberalism and government-as-administration?
In this major new work, philosophical sharpshooter Slavoj iek takes on the reigning ideology with a plea that we should re-appropriate several ‘lost causes,’ and look for the kernel of truth in the ‘totalitarian’ politics of the past.
Examining Heidegger’s seduction by fascism and Foucault’s flirtation with the Iranian Revolution, he suggests that these were the ‘right steps in the wrong direction.’ He argues that while the revolutionary terror of Robespierre, Mao and the Bolsheviks ended in historic failure and monstrosity, this is not the whole story. There is, in fact, a redemptive moment that gets lost in the outright liberal-democratic rejection of revolutionary authoritarianism and the valorization of soft, consensual, decentralized politics.
iek claims that, particularly in light of the forthcoming ecological crisis, we should reinvent revolutionary terror and the dictatorship of the proletariat in the struggle for universal emancipation. We need to courageously accept the return to this Cause — even if we court the risk of a catastrophic disaster. In the words of Samuel Beckett: ‘Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’
A witty, adrenalin-fuelled manifesto for universal values by the maverick philosopher.
Is global emancipation a lost cause? Are universal values outdated relics of an earlier age? In the postmodern world, ideologies of all kinds have been cast in doubt. In this combative new work, renowned theorist Slavoj Zizek takes on the reigning postmodern agenda with a manifesto for several "lost causes." From a provocative redemption of Heidegger's engagement with the Third Reich as "a right step in the wrong direction," to reasserting class struggle as the underlying reality of global capitalism, to a defense of the emancipatory legacy of Christianity against New Age spiritualism, Zizek confronts the failures of contemporary theory and proposes unexpected resolutions.
Acclaimed, adrenalin-fueled manifesto for universal values by 'the most dangerous philosopher in the West.'
About the Author
Slavoj iekis a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.