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Slavoj Žižek: Love as a political category /// 16th May 2013

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Published on May 26, 2013

16/05/2013, 21:00h, cinema Europa, 6th Subversive festival

Slavoj Žižek "Love as a political category"

Moderator: Srećko Horvat

Che Guevara's statement that "the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love" should be read together with his much more problematic statement on revolutionaries as "killing machines": "Hatred is an element of struggle; relentless hatred of the enemy that impels us over and beyond the natural limitations of man and transforms us into effective, violent, selective, and cold killing machines. Our soldiers must be thus; a people without hatred cannot vanquish a brutal enemy." These two apparently opposite stances are united in Che's motto: "Hay que endurecerse sin perder jamás la ternura. (One must endure -- become hard, toughen oneself - without losing tenderness.)" Or, to paraphrase Kant and Robespierre again: love without cruelty is powerless; cruelty without love is a blind, short-lived passion. Guevara is here paraphrasing Christ's declarations on the unity of love and sword -- in both cases, the underlying paradox is that what makes love angelic, what elevates it over mere unstable and pathetic sentimentality, is its cruelty itself, its link with violence -- it is this link which raises love "over and beyond the natural limitations of man." Has this topic any relevance for our late capitalist predicament?

Slavoj Žižek

Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic working in the traditions of Hegelianism, Marxism and Lacanian psychoanalysis. He has made contributions to political theory, film theory and theoretical psychoanalysis. Žižek is a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and a professor at the European Graduate School. He has been a visiting professor at many important universities. He is currently the International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London and president of the Society for Theoretical Psychoanalysis, Ljubljana. He has been called 'the most dangerous political philosopher in the West'. He is a traditional guest and Parteigenosse at Subversive Festival. He has published over 50 books that have been translated into 20 languages. He writes on many topics including subjectivity, ideology, capitalism, fundamentalism, racism, tolerance, multiculturalism, human rights, ecology, globalization, the Iraq War, revolution, utopianism, totalitarianism, postmodernism, pop culture, opera, cinema, political theology, and religion. Some of his books are The Sublime Object of Ideology (2002.), The Ticklish Subject (2006.), Violence (2008.), The Parallax View (2009.), First As Tragedy, Then As Force (2010).

http://www.subversivefestival.com/for...

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