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In Defense Of Lost Causes

ISBN: 9781844674299 | 1844674290
Edition: 00
Format: Trade Paper
Publisher: VERSO
Pub. Date: 10/19/2009

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Is global emancipation a lost cause? Are universal values outdated relics of an earlier age? In this combative major new work, philosophical sharpshooter Slavoj Zizek takes on the reigning ideology with a plea that we should re-appropriate several 'ťlost causes,'Ł and looks for the kernel of truth in the 'ťtotalitarian'Ł politics of the past. Examining Heidegger's seduction by fascism and Foucault's flirtation with the Iranian Revolution, he suggests that these were the 'ťright steps in the wrong direction.'Ł Highlighting the revolutionary terror of Robespierre, Mao and the Bolsheviks, Zizek 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'öeven if we court the risk of a catastrophic disaster. In the words of Samuel Beckett: 'ťTry again. Fail again. Fail better.'Ł

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