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Slavoj Žižek. Communist Absconditus. 2012

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Published on Jul 24, 2012

http://www.egs.edu/ Slavoj Žižek talking about the European debt crisis, the revolutions of 2011, and where things stand now. In this lecture Slavoj Žižek discusses the concepts of exploitation, unemployment, the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street in relationship to Yanis Varoufakis's "Global Minotaur," Keynesianism, deficits, Paul Volker, Fredric Jameson, surplus value, recognition, T.J. Clark, Basic Income, Philippe van Parijs, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Alain Badiou, Walter Benjamin, Karl Marx, Hegel focusing on Blaise Pascal, miracles, Deus Absconditus, Julian Assange, Kant, partial objects, contractual relationships and Adam Kotsko. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe. 2012. Slavoj Žižek.

Slavoj Žižek is one of the most renowned philosophers working today. Taking Marxs injunction that philosophers must not only examine the world, but change it, his work borders on the evangelic. Standing astride critical theory, traditional philosophy, political and film theory and theoretical psychoanalysis, he is, in one sense the sole contemporary inheritor of Lacan, doing to Lacan what Lacan once did for Freud. Though at times accused of inconsistency, Žižek instead uses the philosophical tradition to constantly examine (and undermine) received truths. He has argued that it is not the role of the philosopher to act as the Big Other who tells us about the world, but rather it is the role of the thinker to challenge our own ideological assumptions.

Slavoj Žižek is the International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, a professor of philosophy and psychoanalysis at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland and a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, the London School of Economics, Princeton University, The New School for Social research and the University of California, Irvine. He has published over forty books and been the subject of two movies, Žižek! and The Perverts Guide To Cinema. In 1990 he ran unsuccessfully for president in Slovenia's first democratic elections and he has been a consistently powerful voice in the world since then. His essays are regularly published in the New York Times, Lacanian Ink, the New Left Review and the London Review of Books.

There is little in contemporary thought that Žižek has not explored on some level. From communism to Maoism, film studies to literature, and from Lenin to the issue of torture in the post-9/11 world, Žižek's work has, and continues to, inform the dialogue that surrounds them. Žižek's first book in English translation, The Sublime Object of Ideology, examines the issues surrounding the placement of "sublime objects" in a regime's iconography which allow it to transgress or alter commonly accepted moral law or thought. It is these objects—be it God, Fuhrer, Dear Leader or Land, the Flag, Democracy—that allow the regimes to "self-sanctify" their actions. While much of Žižek's work is strictly philosophical or psychoanalytical dealing with Hegel, Kant, Freud and Lacan, since 9/11 his work has become increasingly political, directly referencing the illegal actions taken by the Bush administration and the complicit nature of the European regimes of Blair, Sarkozy and Berlusconi.

Slavoj Žižek is the author of The Sublime Object of Ideology (1989), For They Know Not What They Do (1991), Looking Awry: an Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture(1991), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lacan (But Were Afraid To Ask Hitchcock) (1992), Enjoy Your Symptom! Jacques Lacan In Hollywood And Out (1992), Tarrying With The Negative (1993), Mapping Ideology (1994), The Indivisible Remainder (1996), The Plague of Fantasies (1997), The Abyss Of Freedom (1997), The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology (1999), Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left (with Judith Butler and Ernesto Laclau) (2000), The Art of the Ridiculous Sublime, On David Lynch's Lost Highway (2000), The Fragile Absolute or Why the Christian Legacy is Worth Fighting For (2000), On Belief (2001), The Fright of Real Tears (2001), Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism? (2001), The Puppet and the Dwarf (2003), Organs Without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences (2003), Iraq The Borrowed Kettle (2004) Violence (2008), First As Tragedy, Then As Farce (2009), and Living in the End Times (2010). Most recently, 2012, Žižek published his monumental Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism.

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