Slavoj Zizek In Defense of Lost Causes

ISBN 13: 9781844671083

In Defense of Lost Causes

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9781844671083: In Defense of Lost Causes
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'The era of grand explanations is over; we should no longer aim at all-explaining systems and global emancipatory projects; the violent imposition of grand solutions should leave room for forms of specific resistance and intervention. ... If the reader feels a minimum of sympathy with these lines, she should stop reading and cast aside this volume. This book is unashamedly committed to the Messianic standpoint of the struggle for universal emancipation.' - Slavoj Zizek . . . . . . . . . . . Is global emancipation a lost cause? Are universal values outdated relics of an earlier age? In fear of the horrors of totalitarianism should we submit ourselves to the reactionary third way of economic liberalism and government-as-administration? In this combative major new work, philosophical sharpshooter Slavoj Zizek takes on the reigning ideology with a plea that we should re-appropriate several lost causes, and looks for the kernel of truth in the totalitarian politics of the past. Examining Heidegger s seduction by fascism and Foucault s flirtation with the Iranian Revolution, he suggests that these were the right steps in the wrong direction. Highlighting the revolutionary terror of Robespierre, Mao and the Bolsheviks, i ek argues that while these struggles ended in historic failure and monstrosity, this is not the entire story. There was, in fact, a redemptive moment that gets lost in the outright liberal-democratic rejection of revolutionary authoritarianism and the valorization of soft, consensual, decentralized politics. Zizek claims that, particularly in the light of the forthcoming ecological crisis, we should reinvent revolutionary terror and the dictatorship of the proletariat in the struggle for universal emancipation. We need to courageously accept the return to this Cause even if we court the risk of a catastrophic disaster. In the words of Samuel Beckett: 'Try again. Fail again. Fail better.'

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Review:

Zizek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation --New Yorker

Zizek is a thinker who regards nothing as outside his field: the result is deeply interesting and provocative. --Guardian

The most formidably brilliant exponent of psychoanalysis, indeed of cultural theory in general, to have emerged in many decades. --Terry Eagleton

Synopsis:

Is global emancipation a lost cause? Are universal values outdated relics of an earlier age? In the postmodern world, ideologies of all kinds have been cast in doubt. In this combative new work, renowned theorist Slavoj Zizek takes on the reigning postmodern agenda with a manifesto for several "lost causes." From a provocative redemption of Heidegger's engagement with the Third Reich as "a right step in the wrong direction," to reasserting class struggle as the underlying reality of global capitalism, to a defense of the emancipatory legacy of Christianity against New Age spiritualism, Zizek confronts the failures of contemporary theory and proposes unexpected resolutions.

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9781786630797: In Defense of Lost Causes

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ISBN 10: 1786630796 ISBN 13: 9781786630797
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9781844674299: In Defense of Lost Causes

Verso, 2009
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