1. "I want the Left to offer an actual alternative for daily life when the enthusiasm is over. I want the Left to be able to change things at the most everyday, common-life level. You cannot have all the time this enthusiastic, participatory-democracy mobilization. Let’s be frank: I don’t want to be mobilized politically all the time. I want an anonymous power which, in a relatively-efficient, non-corrupted way, does its job so that I can do my crazy philosophy… Don’t fall in love with this enthusiastic moment of “oh, it’s immediate democracy.” Yes, it is: for two months."
    — Slavoj Žižek
  2. Slavoj Žižek on the limits of self-organization, etc.

    "I wish you all the well with your Crete commune, and it will be maybe a nice tourist attraction"

    There are times when Žižek drives me nuts, but then there are these moments of near perfection. Žižek smashes on “anti-state” radicals at the Subversive Festival in Zagreb, May 15th, 2013. This is the full video of the dialogue with Alexis Tsipras but it will jump ahead to the section I’m trying to highlight, which is about 6 minutes long.


  3. "In the very consumerist act [of cultural capitalism], you buy your redemption from being only a consumerist."

    Slavoj Žižek


  4. "Remember, the problem is not corruption or greed, the problem is the system. Beware not only of the enemies, but also of false friends who are already working to dilute this process in the same way that we get coffee without caffeine, beer without alcohol, [or] ice cream without fat. They will try to make this into a harmless moral protest."

    Slavoj Zizek at Open Forum, Occupy Wall Street, October 9. (via domesticterrorism)

    (Source: domesticterrorism, via fabulous-trotskyist)


  5. Marx’s key insight remains valid, perhaps more than ever: for Marx, the question of freedom should not be located primarily in the political sphere proper (Does a country have free elections? Are its judges independent? Is its press free from hidden pressures? Does it respect human rights?). Rather, the key to actual freedom resides in the “apolitical” network of social relations, from the market to the family. Here the change required is not political reform but a transformation of the social relations of production—which entails precisely revolutionary class struggle rather than democratic elections or any other “political” measure in the narrow sense of the term. We do not vote on who owns what, or about relations in the factory, and so on — such matters remain outside the sphere of the political, and it is illusory to expect that one will effectively change things by “extending” democracy into the economic sphere (by, say, reorganizing the banks to place them under popular control). Radical changes in this domain need to be made outside the sphere of legal “rights.” In “democratic” procedures (which, of course, can have a positive role to play), no matter how radical our anti-capitalism, solutions are sought solely through those democratic mechanisms which themselves form part of the apparatuses of the “bourgeois” state that guarantees the undisturbed reproduction of capital. In this precise sense, Badiou was right to claim that today the name of the ultimate enemy is not capitalism, empire, exploitation, or anything similar, but democracy itself. It is the “democratic illusion,” the acceptance of democratic mechanisms as providing the only framework for all possible change, which prevents any radical transformation of capitalist relations.
    Click to read more.


  6. "The Cultural Revolution was described by Mao as the final realization of the principles of the Paris Commune. What does that mean? For Mao, it meant that, even though the official position of the Chinese communists, who opposed Khrushchev and his successors, seemed to be saying the opposite, we have to conclude that, on the whole, the balance sheet of Stalin was negative. Why? Because, Mao Tells us, Stalin was interested in the cadres and never the masses."

    -Alain Badiou, Letter from Alain Badiou to Slavoj Zizek: On the Work of Mao Zedong


  7. "Our blindness to the results of systemic violence is perhaps most clearly perceptible in debates about communist crimes. Responsibility for communist crimes is easy to allocate: we are dealing with subjective evil, with agents who did wrong. We can even identify the ideological sources of the crimes-totalitarian ideology, The Communist Manifesto, Rousseau, even Plato. But when one draws attention to the millions who died as a the result of capitalist globalization, from the tragedy of Mexico in the 16th century through to the Belgian Congo holocaust a century ago, responsibility is largely denied. All this seems just to have happened as the result of an ‘objective’ process, which nobody planned and executed and for which there was not ‘Capitalist Manifesto.’ (The one who came closest to writing one is Ayn Rand.)"

    Slavoj Žižek, Violence (via ghoulmann)

    (Source: planetsedge)