Saturday, July 09, 2005

'The Fake Magician'

Here are a few links that I found for Slavoj Zizek:
An Index to the articles contributed by Zizek in the LRB
Bibliography and perhaps most useful of them all, his profile on Wikipedia
Finally, a quote from an interview with Slavoj Zizek:

We should summon our courage and ask the fundamental question - `what is democracy today?' What are we really deciding? You in Israel, perhaps you are lucky in that on some level you still have a real choice to make. Perhaps a more radical version of a solution for the Palestinian problem would have meaning [as an expression of choice]. But in Europe?

Let's put it this way. The most important event of the past 20 or 30 years is the transition to a global economy, along with the dismantling of the social welfare state. People forget that when Communism collapsed, social democracy was dismantled in the West. What disappeared with these [systems] is the idea that social process isn't blind fate. Humanity, or a people, can somehow guide the process, and influence it. The sad result of this collapse is that we have returned to the concept of history as fate. Globalization is fate.

You join it, or you're out of the game. In any event, there's no way to influence it.

So what do you propose as an alternative?

There's the puzzle. I would say, a new version of what was once called socialism. I think about this in modest terms. I like to portray myself as a fake magician - I have the hat, but I still don't have the rabbit.

I'm not saying that there are answers - I'm just saying there will be huge problems. And then maybe we'll find the answers. Or we won't.

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