A major interview with Slavoj Zizek and report on the Communism conference in Berlin in Der Spiegel:
Zizek loves to correct viewpoints when precisely the opposite is considered correct. He calls this counterintuitive observation. His favorite thought form is the paradox. Using his psychoanalytical skills, he attempts to demonstrate how liberal democracy manipulates people. One of his famous everyday observations on this subject relates to the buttons used to close the door in elevators. He has discovered that they are placebos. The doors don’t close a second faster when one presses the button, but they don’t have to. It’s sufficient that the person pressing the button has the illusion that he is able to influence something. The political illusion machine that calls itself Western democracy functions in exactly the same way, says Zizek.
Click here for the full article.
Also, Living in the End Times reviewed in the Scotsman by Michael Kerrigan – not available on line so here’s the review:
“Freedom is the condition of liberation,” says Slavoj Zizek, quoting Marcuse – an earlier Marxist prophet who, in the 1960s, saw the contradictions and compromises of another society which had never apparrently had it so good. We have to free ourselves from our current assumptions before we can even see what freedom means and appreciate the ways in which we are still in chains. If Zizek is à la mode just now, that’s because he’s on the ball: no-one else reads our situation with quite his subtlety or verve. The Slovenian sage makes a goodhumoured Jeremiah, ranging with wit and perceptiveness over everything from the melting polar ice-cap to pornography.
Slavoj Zizek’s new book is Living in the End Times.
Alain Badiou’s new book is The Communist Hypothesis.