Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
After all, if you do not resist the apparently inevitable, you will never know how inevitable the inevitable was.
The world economy would collapse if a significant number of people were to realize and then act on the realization that it is possible to enjoy many if not most of the things that they enjoy without first having to own them.
Being human means throwing your whole life on the scales of destiny when need be, all the while rejoicing in every sunny day and every beautiful cloud.
... You can't be with God and be neutral. / True contemplation is resistance. And poetry, / gazing at clouds is resistance I found out in jail.
Beneath the pseudo-scientific terminology one can in each case recognize a phantasy of which almost every element is to be found in phantasies which were already current in medieval Europe. The final, decisive battle of the Elect (be they the ‘Aryan race’ or the ‘proletariat’) against the hosts of evil (be they the Jews or the ‘bourgeoisie’); a dispensation on which the Elect are to be most amply compensated for all their sufferings by the joys of total domination or of total community or of both together; a world purified of all evil and in which history is to find its consummation - these ancient imaginings are with us still.
When asked whether or not we are Marxists, our position is the same as that of a physicist, when asked if he is a “Newtonian” or of a biologist when asked if he is a “Pasteurian.
1. Bangladesh.... In 1971 ... Kissinger overrode all advice in order to support the Pakistani generals in both their civilian massacre policy in East Bengal and their armed attack on India from West Pakistan.... This led to a moral and political catastrophe the effects of which are still sorely felt. Kissinger’s undisclosed reason for the ‘tilt’ was the supposed but never materialised ‘brokerage’ offered by the dictator Yahya Khan in the course of secret diplomacy between Nixon and China.... Of the new state of Bangladesh, Kissinger remarked coldly that it was ‘a basket case’ before turning his unsolicited expertise elsewhere.2. Chile.... Kissinger had direct personal knowledge of the CIA’s plan to kidnap and murder General René Schneider, the head of the Chilean Armed Forces ... who refused to countenance military intervention in politics. In his hatred for the Allende Government, Kissinger even outdid Richard Helms ... who warned him that a coup in such a stable democracy would be hard to procure. The murder of Schneider nonetheless went ahead, at Kissinger’s urging and with American financing, just between Allende’s election and his confirmation.... This was one of the relatively few times that Mr Kissinger (his success in getting people to call him ‘Doctor’ is greater than that of most PhDs) involved himself in the assassination of a single named individual rather than the slaughter of anonymous thousands. His jocular remark on this occasion—‘I don’t see why we have to let a country go Marxist just because its people are irresponsible’—suggests he may have been having the best of times....3. Cyprus.... Kissinger approved of the preparations by Greek Cypriot fascists for the murder of President Makarios, and sanctioned the coup which tried to extend the rule of the Athens junta (a favoured client of his) to the island. When despite great waste of life this coup failed in its objective, which was also Kissinger’s, of enforced partition, Kissinger promiscuously switched sides to support an even bloodier intervention by Turkey. Thomas Boyatt ... went to Kissinger in advance of the anti-Makarios putsch and warned him that it could lead to a civil war. ‘Spare me the civics lecture,’ replied Kissinger, who as you can readily see had an aphorism for all occa
[F]or the most part football these days is the opium of the people, not to speak of their crack cocaine. Its icon is the impeccably Tory, slavishly conformist Beckham. The Reds are no longer the Bolsheviks. Nobody serious about political change can shirk the fact that the game has to be abolished. And any political outfit that tried it on would have about as much chance of power as the chief executive of BP has in taking over from Oprah Winfrey.
...the working classes—that motor of social transformation which Marx increasingly stipulated for the role of the proletariat; the dispossessed and alienated revolutionary vehicle of his early writings, which later became defined and analysed into the collective worker who 'owner' nothing but his labour power—chains rather than assets. In the event, the working class actually came to fulfill most of the optimistic prognoses of liberal thinkers; they have become largely 'socialized' through access to privilege, consumption, organization, and voting participation, as well as obtaining massive social benefits. They have become supporters of the status quo—not vociferous perhaps, but tacit approvers and beneficiaries none the less. The ferment today comes from sections of the community to whom political and social thought has never hitherto assigned any specific role; who have hitherto never developed specific political institutions of their own: youth, mostly students; racial minorities, a few dissident intellectuals—these form the new 'proletariat'. The basis of their dissatisfaction is not necessarily and always an objective level of deprivation but rather a mixture of relative deprivation—consciousness of possibilities and of the blockages which prevent their attainment—and above all an articulate dissatisfaction with the society around them. There is no good reason why such groups should not form, and act like, a proletariat in a perfectly Marxist sense. The economic causality collapses; the analysis of a decaying bourgeois society and the determination to overthrow it remain.
Phenomenology became the grounds for variants of standpoint epistemology: if a phenomenon seems real, then it is real enough. A Marxist vision of standpoint epistemology, on the other hand, does not privilege individual perception as the arbiter of reality.
From that day on I clearly understood that the kingdom of God can never mix with politics. The ultimate, stated aim of Marxist teaching is the complete eradication of all religion. The pure bride of Christ can never be controlled by an atheistic government or led by men who hate God!
The feminine section of the proletarian army is of particularly great significance... the success of a revolution depends on the extent to which women take part in it.
Those who reject Christianity will not be moved by Christ’s statement that poverty is blessed. But here a rather remarkable fact comes to my aid. Those who would most scornfully repudiate Christianity as a mere ‘opiate of the people’ have a contempt for the rich, that is, for all mankind except the poor. They regard the poor as the only people worth preserving from ‘liquidation’, and place in them the only hope for the human race. But this is not compatible with a belief that the effects of poverty on those who suffer it are wholly evil; it even implies that they are good. The Marxist thus finds himself in real agreement with the Christian in those two beliefs which Christianity paradoxically demands – that poverty is blessed and yet ought to be removed.
Here, the asking of the question who we are is in fact more dangerous than any other opposition found at the same level of certainty about man (the final form of Marxism, which has essentially nothing to do with either Judaism or even with Russia; if somewhere a non-developed spiritualism is still slumbering, it is in the Russian people; Bolshevism is originally Western; it is a European possibility: the emergence of the masses, industry, technology, the extinction of Christianity; but inasmuch as the dominance of reason as an equalizing of everyone is but the consequence of Christianity and as the latter is fundamentally of Jewish origin (cf. Nietzsche's thought on the slave revolt with respect to morality), Bolshevism is in fact Jewish; but then Christianity is also fundamentally Bolshevist! And what are the decisions that become necessary on that basis?). But the danger of the question Who are we? is at the same time--if danger can necessitate what is highest--the sole path by which to succeed in coming to ourselves and thus in initiating the original salvation, that is, the justification of the Occident on the basis of its history. The danger of this question is in itself so essential for us that it loses the appearance of opposition to the new German will.
The proponents of Marxian biology appear in unexpected places. In the early disputes over evolution, the most effective aid to the Marxian line came from the humanitarian but conservative Christians, who not only rejected evolution on theological grounds, but who also looked with horror on the amoral viciousness of what they took to be natural selection. Marx himself had also objected to the competitive aspects of natural selection, so both his followers and the more conservative religious groups found themselves on the same side. In fact, the Marxian biologists of the last seventy-five years had their pathways made smooth by the Victorian fundamentalists.
The expressions of those moving about a picture gallery show ill-concealed disappointment that they only find pictures there.
[The ruling class] sees people in the working class as being almost animals. It sees itself as being synonymous with civilization and its cultivation as coming from its natural abilities and not from its wealth and privileged opportunities. It doesn't see that the way in which it monopolizes these things distorts the culture it derives from them and that this makes its culture irrational and an enemy of civilization.
The artist tries to show reason in experience and appearance – and lyric is the daily appearance, the commonplace dress, of reason. It shows us the rational. It makes the epic pattern human. It's the footprint on the pathway. In the epic-lyric the individual and particular are no longer isolated but are placed in a historical, social, human pattern. That's why there's a political way of cutting bread or wearing shoes.
Caution in handling generally accepted opinions that claim to explain whole trends of history is especially important for the historian of modern times, because the last century has produced an abundance of ideologies that pretend to be keys to history but are actually nothing but desperate efforts to escape responsibility.
The most striking difference between the ancient and modern sophists is that the ancients were satisfied with a passing victory of the argument at the expense of truth, whereas the moderns want a more lasting victory at the expense of reality. In other words, one destroyed the dignity of human thought whereas the others destroy the dignity of human action. The old manipulators of logic were the concern of the philosopher, whereas the modern manipulators of facts stand in the way of the historian. For history itself is destroyed, and its comprehensibility—based upon the fact that it is enacted by men and therefore can be understood by men—is in danger, whenever facts are no longer held to be part and parcel of the past and present world, and are misused to prove this or that opinion.
You are pitiful, isolated individuals! You are bankrupts. Your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on – into the dustbin of history!
The oppressor is solidary wit the oppressed only when he stops regarding the oppressed as an abstract category and sees them as persons who have been unjustly dealt with, deprived of their voice, cheated in the sale of their labor -- when he stops making pious, sentimental, and individualistic gestures and risks an act of love. True solidarity is found only in the plenitude of this act of love, in its existentiality, in its praxis. To affirm that men and women are persons and as persons should be free, and yet to do nothing tangible to make this affirmation a reality, is a farce.
The difficulties connected with my criterion of demarcation (D) are important, but must not be exaggerated. It is vague, since it is a methodological rule, and since the demarcation between science and nonscience is vague. But it is more than sharp enough to make a distinction between many physical theories on the one hand, and metaphysical theories, such as psychoanalysis, or Marxism (in its present form), on the other. This is, of course, one of my main theses; and nobody who has not understood it can be said to have understood my theory.The situation with Marxism is, incidentally, very different from that with psychoanalysis. Marxism was once a scientific theory: it predicted that capitalism would lead to increasing misery and, through a more or less mild revolution, to socialism; it predicted that this would happen first in the technically highest developed countries; and it predicted that the technical evolution of the 'means of production' would lead to social, political, and ideological developments, rather than the other way round.But the (so-called) socialist revolution came first in one of the technically backward countries. And instead of the means of production producing a new ideology, it was Lenin's and Stalin's ideology that Russia must push forward with its industrialization ('Socialism is dictatorship of the proletariat plus electrification') which promoted the new development of the means of production.Thus one might say that Marxism was once a science, but one which was refuted by some of the facts which happened to clash with its predictions (I have here mentioned just a few of these facts).However, Marxism is no longer a science; for it broke the methodological rule that we must accept falsification, and it immunized itself against the most blatant refutations of its predictions. Ever since then, it can be described only as nonscience—as a metaphysical dream, if you like, married to a cruel reality.Psychoanalysis is a very different case. It is an interesting psychological metaphysics (and no doubt there is some truth in it, as there is so often in metaphysical ideas), but it never was a science. There may be lots of people who are Freudian or Adlerian cases: Freud himself was clearly a Freudian case, and Adler an Adlerian case. But what prevents their theories from being scientific in the sense here described is, very simply, that they do not exclude any physically possible human behaviour. Whatever anybody may do is, in principle, explicable in Freudian or Adlerian terms. (Adler's break with Freud was more Adlerian than Freudian, but Freud never looked on it as a refutation of his theory.)The point is very clear. Neither Freud nor Adler excludes any particular person's acting in any particular way, whatever the outward circumstances. Whether a man sacrificed his life to rescue a drowning, child (a case of sublimation) or whether he murdered the child by drowning him (a case of repression) could not possibly be predicted or excluded by Freud's theory; the theory was compatible with everything that could happen—even without any special immunization treatment.Thus while Marxism became non-scientific by its adoption of an immunizing strategy, psychoanalysis was immune to start with, and remained so. In contrast, most physical theories are pretty free of immunizing tactics and highly falsifiable to start with. As a rule, they exclude an infinity of conceivable possibilities.
Popular magazine articles and Oprah-style television shows falsely represent work-life balance as an individual challenge, a lifestyle choice available to all women. The feminism on offer is woefully thin and unpleasurable. On the high end of the income scale, feminism seems to mean working even more than men. The media celebrate women such as Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and former secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for her brutal work ethics--magazine articles report, awestruck, they they barely sleep, that their staffs struggle to match their work hours, that they've become the rare female leaders in their spheres by laboring harder than male colleagues. Mayer reported proudly that while at Google, she would sleep under her desk. By this measure, feminism, that Utopian striving for equality that we've carried through centuries of opposition, is boiled down merely to the right to work ourselves to death. If feminism means the right to sleep under my desk, then screw it. And this is a vision that can be palatable, just barely, only at the high end of the economy where work is plausibly couched in self-actualization. . . . If any feminism is going to be worth its name, it will improve the lives of all women instead of setting them in competition with each other or applying only to this or that region or income stratum. Liberal feminism would grant women the right to compete. A radical feminism would grant women a good life in which they have real power.
There is a difference between having your own movement and cutting yourself off politically from all other movements. This last form of feminist isolationism is attractive in its simplicity. It appears to offer an option which implies that you concentrate on your own struggle and wait for some absolute future when men and women have progressed towards equality. It is of course a profoundly liberal utopian notion. ‘Progress’ is seen as some kind of single linear advance towards a goal. There is no sense of a movement living and working in history, learning though a dialectical interaction of its own efforts in objective circumstances. It forgets that the consciousness of particular groups amongst the oppressed is only partial. While this consciousness must be realized and expressed in their own movement, if the attempt is not continually to extend and connect this partial consciousness to the experience of other oppressed groups, it cannot politicize itself in a revolutionary sense. It becomes locked within its own particularism.
[In case of zombie uprising] Marxists and Feminists would likely sympathize more with zombies. To Marxists, the undead symbolize the oppressed proletariat. Unless the zombies were all undead white males, feminists would likely welcome the posthuman smashing of existing patriarchal structures.
Marxism teaches that exploitation and degradation somehow produce resistance and revolution. It's been hard to say why. What I've learned from women's experience with sexuality is that exploitation and degradation produce grateful complicity in exchange for survival. They produce self-loathing to the point of extinction of self, and it is respect for self that makes resistance conceivable.
The Marxians love of democratic institutions was a stratagem only, a pious fraud for the deception of the masses. Within a socialist community there is no room left for freedom.
With an evermore increase of industrialisation machine stops being merely a tool, develops a life of its own and imposes its rhythm onto human. Operating it he moves mechanically, becomes part of the machine.
The application of psychoanalysis to sociology must definitely guard against the mistake of wanting to give psychoanalytic answers where economic, technical, or political facts provide the real and sufficient explanation of sociological questions. On the other hand, the psychoanalyst must emphasize that the subject of sociology, society, in reality[,] consists of individuals, and that it is these human beings, rather than an abstract society as such, whose actions, thoughts, and feelings are the object of sociological research.“Psychoanalysis and sociology.” Pp. 37-39 inCritical theory and society: A reader, edited by S. Bronner and D. Kellner. New York: Routledge.
If he had stayed in Slovenia, and Slovenia had stayed Communist, Zizek would not have been the nuisance he has since become. Indeed, if there were no greater reason to regret the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, the release of Zizek on to the world of Western scholarship would perhaps already be a sufficient one.