Quite lengthy (20+min) and very interesting interview with Slavoj Žižek, a somewhat eccentric Slovenian philosopher aka social psychoanalyst by Riz Khan/AlJazeera. It’s more or less a recap of one of his latest books, Living in the End Times, but – as always with Žižek – about many other things too. He freely flows from current economic troubles to the future of biogenetics, to the role of (new) media, to the necessity of the New Left to emerge (among others). If you like Žižek, you will call it ‘an in-depth systemic analysis’, if you don’t (and there are many of those) you might spit few more times.
I find his books very thought-provoking, and provoking here means ‘literally’. I may disagree with both his conclusions and the way he construct the, but I always find his texts very stimulating, and at least far from a politically correct chewing gum of the majority of the essays on similar subjects (including the ones on future studies).
For the record, I found the link to this clip in the blog of Bruce Sterling, and the posting was more about his take on the Wikileaks/Assange – Good Manners in the Age of WikiLeaks. In this short article Žižek argues that we have to transcend currently omnipresent neurotic description of the conflict (“Assange is a good guy” vs “Assange is a bad guy”), and instead treat it as a manifestation of new emerging social and political order:
The ultimate show of power on the part of the ruling ideology is to allow what appears to be powerful criticism. There is no lack of anti-capitalism today. We are overloaded with critiques of the horrors of capitalism: books, in-depth investigative journalism and TV documentaries expose the companies that are ruthlessly polluting our environment, the corrupt bankers who continue to receive fat bonuses while their banks are rescued by public money, the sweatshops in which children work as slaves etc. However, there is a catch: what isn’t questioned in these critiques is the democratic-liberal framing of the fight against these excesses.
Here again, the essay by Žižek on Assange as a Joker of our times may be farther from so called ‘facts’ (those, for example, highlighted in the article of the same Bruce Sterling on the matter – The Blast Shack), but it gives me more ‘food for thought’, which I appreciate. The only concern I have is that Joker – and Heath Ledger – died, the prophecy I don’t want to come true.