And this brings us back to Syria: the ongoing struggle there is ultimately a false one. The only thing to keep in mind is that this pseudo-struggle thrives because of the absent third, a strong radical-emancipatory opposition whose elements were clearly perceptible in Egypt. As we used to say almost half a century ago, one doesn’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows in Syria: towards Afghanistan. Even if Assad somehow wins and stabilises the situation, his victory will probably breed an explosion similar to the Taliban revolution which will sweep over Syria in a couple of years. What can save us from this prospect is only the radicalisation of the struggle for freedom and democracy into a struggle for social and economic justice.
So what is happening in Syria these days? Nothing really special, except that China is one step closer to becoming the world’s new superpower while its competitors are eagerly weakening each other.
Now, I won’t even pretend to have a single meaningful thing to say about Syria, but I swear by all the fucked mothers of metaphorical yore, Žižek is one shitful motherfucker. A bearded, bloviating, bullfrog of bullshit. He’s so full of shit — how full of shit is he? — he’s so full of shit that I expect Peezus Myers, another to whom that alliterative description applies, to presently proclaim him the most prescient philosopher today. Fake! False! Pseudo! From the Hegelian heights, much like his rooftop swimming pool in Singapore, this is just him saying fuck you to the insignificant people who failed to redeem their existences by dying in service to the one true teleology, those thousands of spermatozoa wriggling futilely on the washrag of the World-Spirit after an afternoon wank. Thus taxonomized, the messy particulars of geopolitical life which don’t conform to some abstract dialectical system can be dismissed so that Žižek, the concrete universal of pretentious, careerist, obfuscatory, academic leftism can get back to storing his underwear in his pantry, or spreading peanut butter on his flat-screen teevee, or whatever other wild and zany antics might impress some airheaded progressive web journalist.
September 19, 2013 @ 3:35 pm
I am actually struggling to even understand what, if anything, Grandmaster Z said in that paragraph????But then, I am definitely misumeducamated, so….
September 19, 2013 @ 9:13 pm
He's saying that Syria is an insignificant conflict since it doesn’t advance the historical dialectic toward whatever post-Marxist utopia he wants to see.
September 21, 2013 @ 2:23 pm
He's a political philosophy confusion bomb. He does his duty as a Marxist and talks to Pakistani cab drivers? What an asshole. "Hitler wasn't violent enough" is soooo provocative, he must be a geeeeenius! I say back away slowly and don't make eye contact.
September 21, 2013 @ 10:17 pm
Isn't that a running joke about Thomas Friedman, that he bases his worldview on conversations with cab drivers?
Yeah, Žižek is just playing with words when he says stuff like that. Gandhi is more "violent" than Hitler because his actions were more drastically disruptive of the status quo, whereas Hitler's violence was just typical, business-as-usual, in service of capital, state power, etc., oh, god, I'm even boring myself. Anyway, yeah. Cheap provocation.
September 24, 2013 @ 5:44 pm
Actually, I agree with him about Syria until that last part, which you rightly disparage. And I like provocateurs – think of myself as one. But I hate self-promotion, which I suspect is what a lot of his nonsense is really about.
Just went and read Chapin's take on him. Funny. (Can't comment there 'cause I forgot my Google password. Someone from the NSA – help me out?)
September 25, 2013 @ 12:09 am
Mark Ames, quite the asshole provocateur himself, once argued that a lot of professional leftists hate Michael Moore even more than Republicans do, because his activism exposes what a comfortable careerist racket they've got going, self-confined in an academic ghetto. Žižek is just a more media-savvy product of that same environment. Or, as Arthur described him once before, "a smart, opportunistic self-promoter who has carefully crafted himself a persona and a celebrity custom-made to appeal to a disenfranchised niche of lefties, greens and aging hippies who still can't believe the proletarian revolution isn't going to happen, that global capitalism keeps blithely and monstrously blossoming like a toxic orchid despite being endlessly critiqued and deconstructed, and are wondering what in the unholy name of Ronald Reagan happened? "
September 25, 2013 @ 12:09 am
Speaking of Arthur, I'll urge him to adjust his comment settings.