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Slavoj Žižek: Why There Are No Viable Political Alternatives to Unbridled Capitalism

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Published on Nov 27, 2016

"Behind every rise of fascism is a failed revolution," said the Frankfurt School thinker Walter Benjamin. Here, Slavoj Žižek revives that statement in the context of the failed left. Zizek's latest book is "Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbors: Against the Double Blackmail" (https://goo.gl/m2Aj7S).

Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/slavoj-ziz...

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Transcript - I still believe in the saying of this oath Frankford School fellow traveler Marxist Valter Benjamin who said that behind every rise of fascism there is a failed revolution. I think even if we strategically, I'm not sure about it, accept this term Islam fascism for Islamic fundamentalist, this so called Islam fundamentalism is strictly relative with the disintegration of secular Islamic left, which was pretty strong in the '50s, '60s and so on, but then began to disintegrate. So I think we shouldn't be too fascinated with this phenomenon. We should rather ask what happened with the left. I think this phenomenon of right wing populism are strictly the obverse of something that did not happen. They didn't just happen, they happened because something else didn't happen because the left didn't provide a proper answer. And that's for me the true tragedy today. On the one hand we are entering a period, and we are already in this period for almost ten years, where rage, discontent are exploding everywhere, even in our Western countries, Occupy Wall Street in Europe, the demonstrations in France, Greece and so on. On the other hand it is as if the left, even if it succeeds in, sometimes not always, in recapturing the energy of this rage cannot really offer a new political model that would be not only seductive enough to mobilize millions of people, but even in itself it doesn't have enough consistency. What I'm saying is this, in Europe we didn't yet fully accept the fact that the 20th century is over. By this I mean the following: The 20th century left, which had basically three strengths orientations, Stalinist communism, that's over. Not only it's over, in a beautiful irony where ex-communists are still in power they are mostly the most efficient agents of the most ruthless new liberal global capitalism. Do you know what I mean? If you want to be a successful capitalist today don't go to Western Europe, go to China where every Chinese will tell you the main function, almost, of the communist party is to prevent the formation of an independent working movement trade unions to keep workers under control, Vietnam the same story and so on. Read Full Transcript Here: https://goo.gl/Ep3N3a.

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