After Slavoj Žižek’s sell-out talk at New York’s 800-capacity Cooper Union was cut short by a bomb scare, the ‘most dangerous philosopher in the west’ continued his talk outside the building for a time, signing copies of First as Tragedy, Then as Farce.
Žižek talks to Democracy Now!:
… That’s ideology today. We don’t believe in democracy—nobody. You make fun of it and so on, but somehow we act as if it works. It’s a very strange situation, because there are—some of us old enough still remember them, old days when the public face of power was dignity, belief. And privately you mocked it, you made fun, and so on, no? Now we are, I think, approaching a very strange state, where the public face of power is becoming more and more openly indecent, obscene. Look at Sarkozy in France. Look at Berlusconi in Italy, who is systematically undermining, for over five years now, the minimum of dignity of the state power. I mean, you are again and again surprised how is this possible. You know, after those sex scandals, two weeks ago, his lawyer, Berlusconi’s lawyer, made a public official statement, where he said that the claims that Berlusconi is impotent are lies and that Mr. Berlusconi is ready to prove this in court. Now, how? How—what did he mean? You know, there is a level of obscenity, but this shouldn’t deceive us. We really live in cynical times, not just in this cheap sense they don’t take themselves seriously, but in the sense that—how should I put it?—the ironic self-undermining, making fun of yourself, is in a strange way part of the game. It’s as if the system can function even if it makes fun of itself.”
Watch the interview and read the full transcript on Democracy Now!