Am I the only one to think that this guy is a scam? His books say the same things all the time...

Am I the only one to think that this guy is a scam? His books say the same things all the time, and often don't even talk about what they are supposed to cover. His book about dialectical materialism isn't actually about dialectical materialism. His book about Trotsky isn't actually about Trotsky. Each time it is just a compilation of Žižek's greatest hits.

His lectures are even worse. They are incoherent and extremly repetitive. It's always some bullshit about Habermas, his "good conservative friend" Sloterdijk" and that joke about coffee without cream which makes nobody laugh anymore. I don't get the appeal of the guy, if I want to read Lacan I can read Lacan, if I want to read Hegel I can read Hegel, I don't need his weird eclectic ranting trying to bring them together when he ends up with some horrible hot take anyway. To be completely blasphemcial, I don't even think he understands Marx that well. His writings about the LTV almost feel like a strawman of Marx.

His books are really expensive as well, yet he hasn't said something new or interesting since years now. Literally he only has three good things going for him: 1.) He seems like the type of guy you want to have a beer with, 2.) he BTFOs liberals in mainstream media and 3.) his work about ideology which is somewhat okay-ish.

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Well, he probably isn't a scam, but he isn't a Marxist philosopher. He is a Marxist celebrity, no better or worse than Sasha Gray or Jeff Monson (the communist lingwuist granddad, Noam Chomsky too btw)

What even is "ideology" (*sniff*)? I'm still too busy re-reading Das Kapital to get into the crux of Zizek's argument.

Give the man some credit, please. Thank you.

Its like a context to everything you see, like an illusion but generated by the way you and the system exist sort of like commodity fetishism.

I also wanna add that his "political incorrect" and "provocative" shtick is bullshit. What he says isn't even that controversial.

No, he admitted it himself:


Honestly I don't even get why people still feel the need to write dozens of tomes about Hegel.

So by his own admission he sees himself as an entry pill into leftist thought? Like a more advanced version of RD Wolff? That makes sense.

You meant to say books here, and both Less than Nothing and Absolute Recoil are on topic. Sure, there are digressions abound but they all serve a textual purpose. I know a lot of people who can't remember the arguments of more than 3 paragraphs at a time, and his style requires you to be able to recall 10-20 paragraphs of arguments to see how the digression is actually in the service of the main line of thought.

His foreword, you mean, to Terrorism and Communism? It isn't about Trotsky, the person, but it addresses, interprets, and re-actualizes the arguments of Trotsky.

His lectures are most of the time about extracts from his upcoming books, given at different locations. If you look at 3 months' worth of lectures from him, apart from random inserts on current political affairs, he'll pretty much talk about his latest work. If you, however, look at a years' worth of Zizek lectures, you'll find 4-5 different topics discussed.

Yeah, he never called him a conservative friend, just an intelligent conservative. You have to be seriously sectarian or narrow minded to think that right wing philosophers had nothing to contribute to Western thought.

True, you and I might have heard the joke 20 times by now, but the audience always laughs at all of his jokes, for two reasons: people want to be polite and appreciative of him, but more importantly, Zizek is the number one communist intellectual pulling in the biggest numbers of newcomers into leftist thought, and there are thousands every year who legit first seen him on stage.

His point is that you should, or we're fucked.

Are you referring to the chapter in his latest book (Incontinence of the Void: Economico-Philosophical Spandrels)? And if so, what's the strawman there? Enlighten us.

He openly advocates for internet piracy. In one of his latest lectures he admits that since he keeps sending big chunks of his unpublished texts to the organizers of his events (for them to forward to the audience) he got in to legal trouble with his publishers.

You mean like a spook?

most of his content is indeed just some repetition of the same few points, but this shouldn't compromise your opinion of him.

you have to consider two things: he writes a great deal more than any other meaningful philosopher today, and he does more public lectures than any other philosopher as well. i'm assuming both of these are money making attempts on his own part which i can't really fault him for. the point isn't that this means his work is unimportant, but merely that he's been articulating the same arguments for several years.

zizek's achievement is his reworking of marx and hegel through lacan. the point isn't that he's just reexplaining the three, it's that he shows an implicit link between them. that's huge, philosophically speaking. politically, i don't know how you can be opposed to an actual communist getting the spotlight. unlike chomsky, zizek is actually radical in both his theory and political analysis. that such a figure is getting global exposure is certainly not a problem for us.

yes, his public function is mostly to provoke people into reading marx and lacan, but also i'd like to ask you who else is doing this? at the very least, i'm not sure how i would have been introduced to lacan if it wasn't for zizek. basically, you're not entirely wrong but i don't get why you think this is something critically wrong with zizek and not something useful instead.

also, it is clearer and clearer to me how little of zizek's work his critics on here have seriously engaged with. for example, the chapter in parallax view on the relationship between psychoanalysis and brain sciences should silence any questions about his worth as a philosopher we may have; it is an absolute masterwork. his excessive content i think hides just how radical he is for philosophy today. it's telling that most of his criticism on here has very little to do with the concrete theory he has put out.


I don't think he is a scam, and his lectures, films and TV appearances are pretty good introductions to radical leftism.

That said, he gives the false impression that you have to read people like Lacan, Hegel, and Badiou to get good theoretical foundations, which is absolutely not the case. I mean, take a look at the /theory/ thread, it is all about continental wankery, Ctrl+F "value" gives only one result related to the LTV, and I doubt the majority of posters there have read the four volumes of Capital and the Grundrisse.

There are much more interesting things to read before essays on how the concepts of jouissance and big Other are related to the Absolute in the context of Hegelian dialectics. This might be interesting but it won't help you make sense of the oncoming financial meltdown. It won't help you to know what will happen when automation will become ubiquitous, what there is to be done and so on. This stuff belongs on /lit/, not on Holla Forums, and yet it is here and Zizek is to blame for that.

He's like the left wing beginner version of Jordan Peterson.

right-wingers like him because he's a cartoonish version of the left, and politically incorrect

The only reason I like him is because he's open minded and not afraid to break a few taboos.

That's it, other than that he's boring to me. Same with Chomsky.

The only book by him I've read is Revolution at the Gates but this is so fucking true. The first half of the book is a bunch of letters from 1917 written by Lenin, and the second half is supposed to be Zizeks commentary. But 80% of what Zizek writes in that book has fuck all to do with Lenin. That's how I remember it at least. Maybe I'm just literally too stupid to see how his ramblings relate to the actual topic of the book.

I think Žižek is a pretty sophisticated thinker, and if you pay attention and read carefully a lot of what he says is on point. He knows his shit. A lot of times people that dismiss him are looking for the wrong things, i.e. a carefully laid out argument with a beginning, middle, and conclusion. What they're not considering is how often such arguments are simple, straightforward, and wrong. His writings and arguments do have a point but instead of arguing directly he will use all sorts of examples from pop culture or other thinkers to give you an idea of what he is driving at. What he is good at - and what I would argue is more important than ever - is dialectically arriving at the right questions to ask. And yes he may ramble on and on and repeat himself, but the questions he arrives at are undeniably important, relevant, and challenging both the establishment and the left. If you're looking to him for answers you have the wrong guy, but looking for answers to the wrong question is a waste of time and you shouldn't look to one thinker to provide you with everything anyway.

I don't know who would have the time to read all of his books, since there's quite a lot of them as well as other stuff you could be reading. But I think it is productive and worthwhile to select a sample of his books to read. "Sublime Object of Ideology" and "The Parallax View" were my favorites (I believe they are also considered to be among his most important contributions).

Thats because Revolution at the Gates is shit book. If you want Zizeks take on Lenin get Lenin 2017, there he actually makes an effort and the Lenin's texts are good.
Now if you want political Zizek, try In Defence of Lost Causes.

Can any of you pro-Zizek posters address the thread here?
Also, I really don't think this article by him is defensible. Collaborating with Nazis is not in the interests of communists.


Intellectually, Zizek doesn't exist. He produces thought-vapor.

Fashion. Safe pseudo-original thoughts. Not unlike Che shirts. Except Che was real.

"While any pact between Sanders and Bannon is excluded for obvious reasons, a key element of the left’s strategy should be to ruthlessly exploit division in the enemy camp and fight for Bannon followers.

To cut a long story short, there is no victory of the left without the broad alliance of all anti-establishment forces. One should never forget that our true enemy is the global capitalist establishment and not the new populist right which is merely a reaction to its impasses. " - Žižek

What about this is indefensible? He is saying things that are triggering to liberal antifa idpollers, but that is kind of the point, to shock them out of their limited way of thinking. Exactly as Žižek has said, we have forgetten the true enemy in our *reaction* to the reactionaries. A truly universal anti-capitalist politics *will* have to appeal to some of the elements of the populist right which you are all to quick to call "Nazis." Are you one of those people who thinks that everyone who voted Trump is a Nazi?

Zizek telling his students what to do if they have issues with capitalism: "I don't care, it's not my problem, kill yourself."

Out of context lie.

“I can’t imagine a worse experience than some idiot comes there and starts to ask you questions, which is still tolerable. The problem is that here in the United States students tend to be so open that sooner or later, if you’re kind to them, they even start to ask you personal questions [about] private problems… What should I tell them?”

“I don’t care,” he continued. “Kill yourself. It’s not my problem.”

Oh no, he's such a meanie.

really dude?

You sound like a Holla Forumstard to me. Since a large part of the financial aristocracy are Jewish, you would go along with the Nazis and their plans to exterminate them in the interest of fighting global capitalism?

Uh what? Those words came from your keyboard, not mine mate. It doesn't take Žižek levels of psychoanalysis to see the projection there. By the way Žižek says repeatedly that the problem with Jewish conspiracy is, even if it were true that they are a large part of the financial and media elite and so on, the conspiracy is still pathological because it is a kind of projection of all our multifold fears into one identifiable enemy.

It's a fun game for intellectuals, a game started by Hegel himself.

That really doesn't look any better in context.

you're nothing as an intellectual until you've attempted to act like you understand hegel

This is far more accurate than one would be inclined to admit, though Žižek one hundred percent understands Hegel - so it's a moot point here

How to into Hegel?

Ah yes, Capitalism, that classic individual problem. What Zizek means is that he doesn't give a fuck about someone asking him for a job, or relationship advice, or what to do to 'like, find myself, man, you know?' over summer break

A major issue with it is because it's excised from its context within Žižek's system of thought. He fervently rejects being an academic didac or having a position of prescribed authority over another. He frequently says that we have so little knowledge of ourselves as being, so why would we deign to comment or dictate decorum for others when we so often find it impossible to figure ourselves out, except if one is being interpolated (that is to say, being addressed as subject to) by the ethic of Capital. This is what he rejects, he does not have any special advice or comforts for those who address him as a social authority, that he neither wants nor cares to help you better orient yourself to the existing system - because that would be immoral, the point is orienting people towards recognizing the fundamental social and philosophical antagonisms of capitalism and then building a program of education and organization to construct a political body that will dissolve those antagonisms. If you've read "The Soul of Man Under Socialism", that is kind of what he's saying. Like, "Dont offer social charity, don't improve the symptom - offer them a cure" is the long and short of it.

Everybody has their own way. But I'd recommend doing the list in this link . Really helped me find reading material

I really fucking hate this board sometimes. These kinds of threads are always complete shit and yet I always read through them. Why is that? And why are so many people on this board so fucking retarded?

Controlled oppositions agents and Holla Forumshacks.