Those who obstinately oppose the most widely-held opinions more often do so because of pride than lack of intelligence. They find the best places in the right set already taken, and they do not want back seats.
— La Rochefoucauld, Maxims
The long-term Zizek observer already knows that one doesn’t exactly ‘read a new book’ by him so much as tune in again to the ceaselessly babbling stream of his comic-philosophical free association. And so it is here: the bracing mash-up of his beloved Hegel with Marx, perverse yet enjoyably plausible interpretations of Hollywood movies and disquisitions on contemporary politics and culture wars.
There is also the usual amount of Lacanian theory, which to some might seem like a version of Scientology for continental philosophers, a sort of intellectual Ponzi scheme in which adepts prove their belonging via the repetition of absurdities, though the psychoanalytic framework more generally does issue in pungent diagnoses of modern sacred cows. ‘Does the predominant ecological discourse,’ he asks, ‘not address us as a priori guilty, indebted to Mother Nature, under the constant pressure of the ecological superego?’
In any case, Zizek’s value as a thinker and gadfly lies precisely in his refusal to submit to boring (another favourite word) empiricism and his joy in insulting the left as well as the right.
No matter how often I witness presumably-intelligent people attempt to pan nuggets of wisdom from the stream-of-consciousness-ramblings of this ridiculous charlatan, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.