The anxious expectation that nothing will happen, that capitalism will go on indefinitely, the desperate demand to do something, to revolutionize capitalism, is a fake. The will to revolutionary change emerges as an urge, as an “I cannot do it otherwise,” or it is worthless. With regard to Bernard Williams’s distinction between Ought and Must, an authentic revolution is by definition performed as a Must – it is not something we “ought to do” as an ideal we are striving for, but something we cannot but to, since we cannot do it otherwise. Which is why today’s worry of the Leftists that revolution will not occur, that global capitalism will just go on indefinitely, is false insofar as it turns revolution into a moral obligation, into something we ought to do while we fight the inertia of the capitalist present.
The shock over the terrorist attacks in Paris in January 2015 inspired Žižek to write an essay on Islam and modernism. In it, he addresses the rupture between the Western world’s advocacy for tolerance and the fundamental hatred of Western liberalism within radical Islam. Žižek makes a plea for the West to insist on the legacy of the Enlightenment, with its strengths of criticism and self-reflection. He argues for a renaissance of individual autonomy and the sovereignty of the people.
Using history, philosophy, books, movies, Lacanian psychiatry, and jokes, Slavoj Žižek examines the ways we perceive and misperceive violence. Drawing from his unique cultural vision, Žižek brings new light to the Paris riots of 2005; he questions the permissiveness of violence in philanthropy; in daring terms, he reflects on the powerful image and determination of contemporary terrorists.
Violence, Žižek states, takes three forms–subjective (crime, terror), objective (racism, hate-speech, discrimination), and systemic (the catastrophic effects of economic and political systems)–and often one form of violence blunts our ability to see the others, raising complicated questions.
Does the advent of capitalism and, indeed, civilization cause more violence than it prevents? Is there violence in the simple idea of “the neighbour”? And could the appropriate form of action against violence today simply be to contemplate, to think?
Beginning with these and other equally contemplative questions, Žižek discusses the inherent violence of globalization, capitalism, fundamentalism, and language, in a work that will confirm his standing as one of our most erudite and incendiary modern thinkers
It was bound to end in disaster: two ideologues, one a communist and the other a neo-conservative, “do battle” over a skype link from a house in England where Assange is held under house arrest.
Slavoj Zizek and Cornel West in Conversation
Lecture given by Slavoj Žižek – Slovenian continental philosopher and critical theorist working in the traditions of Hegelianism, Marxism and Lacanian psychoanalysis. He has made contributions to political theory, film theory, and theoretical psychoanalysis.
The main ambition of this book is to bring together subjective violence with the objective violence that is its underside and precondition. “Systemic violence is thus something like the notorious ‘dark matter’ of physics,” Zizek writes: invisible to naked eye. Zizek offers a rather cool and at times cruel analysis of the varieties of objective violence. He asks tolerant multicultural Western liberals to suspend our outraged responses to acts of violence and turn instead to the real substance of the global situation. In order to understand violence, we need some good old-fashioned dispassionate materialist critique
Slavoj Žižek delivers a lecture entitled “Welcome to the Desert of Post-Ideology” for post-secondary students and faculty. This Higher Learning event was co-presented with York University and held on October 2, 2012 at TIFF Bell Lightbox
Less Than Nothing sponsored by The New Statesman. 12 June 2012 in the Platform Theatre at King’s Cross
Today it is well known that the future has become a thing of the past. Gone are the days when humanity dreamt of a different tomorrow. All that remains of that hope is a distant memory. Indeed, most of what is hoped for these days is no more than some slightly modified version of the present, if not simply the return to a status quo ante — i.e., to a present that only recently became deceased. This is the utopia of normality, evinced by the drive to “get everything running back to normal” (back to the prosperity of the Clinton years, etc.). In this heroically banal vision of the world, all the upheaval and instability of the last few years must necessarily appear as just a fluke or bizarre aberration. A minor hiccup, that’s all. Once society gets itself back on track, the argument goes, it’ll be safe to resume the usual routine. 14.05.2012, Zagreb
at Brockport NY
Slavoj Zizek dissects and reconstructs three major faith-based systems of belief in the world today, showing how each faith understands humanity and divinity-and how the differences between the faiths may be far stranger than they at first seem.
Presentation in Research Seminar Series ‘Crisis, Transition, Transformation: Revolutionary Thought Today’, Brunel University – London, 29th February 2012
Slavoj Žižek talking about ontological incompleteness in modernist painting, literature and quantum theory. In this lecture Slavoj Žižek discusses void and multiplicity, pre-ontological reality, spectral materiality, theology, detective novels and political revolution in relationship to Jacques-Louis David, Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, Jacques Lacan, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, Quentin Meillassoux, Walter Benjamin, Franz Kafka, William Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, David Bohm, Vincent Van Gogh, Karen Barad, Peirre Bayard and Edvard Munch focusing on The Death of Marat, Jacobins, Robespierre, Lenin, science fiction, love, desire, not-all, Columbo, temporal paradox, retroactivity, wave particle duality and Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe
Communism, A New Beginning? Conference featuring Slavoj Žižek, Bruno Bosteels and Frank Ruda
Slavoj Žižek discusses Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki, Western Buddhism, the West, capitalism, science, ideology, cognitive neuroscience, psychology, psychoanalysis, bodhisattva, samsara, enlightenment, kharma, nirvana, war, Thomas Metzinger, free will, Benjamin Libet, Martin Heidegger, Patricia and Paul Churchland, and The Lion King. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland
Slavoj Žižek talking about melancholy as the loss of the object cause of desire. In this lecture Slavoj Žižek discusses the zero level of dialectics, the death of God, Christianity, the symbolic order and the Freudian distinction between mourning and melancholy in relationship to Jacques Lacan, Karl Marx, Alenka Zupančič, Mladen Dolar, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Judith Butler, Daniel Dennett, Gilles Deleuze and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel focusing on lamella, suture, big Other, commodity fetishism, fantasy, object a, desire, death drive and the unconscious. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe
Birkbeck, University of London
Slavoj Žižek talking about the European debt crisis, the revolutions of 2011, and where things stand now. In this lecture Slavoj Žižek discusses the concepts of exploitation, unemployment, the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street in relationship to Yanis Varoufakis’s “Global Minotaur,” Keynesianism, deficits, Paul Volker, Fredric Jameson, surplus value, recognition, T.J. Clark, Basic Income, Philippe van Parijs, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Alain Badiou, Walter Benjamin, Karl Marx, Hegel focusing on Blaise Pascal, miracles, Deus Absconditus, Julian Assange, Kant, partial objects, contractual relationships and Adam Kotsko. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe
Slavoj Žižek talking about the transcendental constitution of reality. In this lecture Slavoj Žižek discusses the logic of dreams in Freud, subjectivity, how real sex functions against fantasy, ethical certainty, temporal delay in the act of psychoanalysis and Badiou’s concept of decision and forcing the real in relationship to Jacques Lacan, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Sigmund Freud, Alain Badiou, David Lynch, Roland Barthes and Jean-Pierre Melville focusing on the neighbor, censorship, prohibition, sexual non-relation, big Other, trauma, libido, pornography and love. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe
Slavoj Žižek talking about the structure of belief and the mediation of desire. In this lecture Slavoj Žižek discusses his polemic with Badiou on the notion of subtraction as a political and philosophical category, object a as cause of desire, the event, inconsistency in the symbolic order and the function of the master signifier in relationship to Jacques Lacan, Alain Badiou, Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, Jacques Rancière and Charles Darwin focusing on singular universality, the supernumerary element, Zapatistas, evolution, minimal difference, the point, ecology, nature, love, and generic sets. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe
Slavoj Žižek in a friendly debate with students on ontology and politics in relation to Alain Badiou’s philosophy. In this lecture Slavoj Žižek discusses the status of the subject, transcendental phenomenal existence, the difference between act and Event, the necessity of terror, Christianity, Saint Paul, inconsistency of the big Other, the communist hypothesis and political nomination in relationship to Jacques Lacan, Alain Badiou, Alenka Zupančič, Mladen Dolar, Sigmund Freud, Gilles Deleuze, Immanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Jacques Alain Miller, Bruno Bosteels, Ernesto Laclau, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Judith Butler focusing on truth, void, multiplicity, immanent Two, phallus, inexistence, the barred One, object a, le point, Hegelian essence, anxiety, political enthusiasm, master signifier, love and fidelity. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe
Slavoj Žižek talking about Lacanian theology in relation to Christianity and Buddhism. In this lecture Slavoj Žižek discusses the Kantian sublime in opera and film, the spectral texture of narrative, the mediation of desire, the Freudian unconscious, the fall in Christianity and Badiou’s conception of the event of love in relationship to Jacques Lacan, Joan Copjec, Immanuel Kant, Richard Wagner, Alain Badiou, Gioacchino Rossini, Gilles Deleuze, G.K. Chesterton, Martin Luther, Sigmund Freud, Franz Kafka, Soren Kierkegaard, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Plato focusing on the Lacanian formulas of sexuation, Tristan and Isolde, object a, Christian prohibition, Catholic propaganda, enjoyment, infinite judgment, lamella, the undead, death drive, immortality, logic of envy, capitalism, anamnesis, objective appearance, truth. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe
Slavoj Žižek talking about the big Other in Lacan in relation to Alain Badiou’s theory of the Event. In this lecture Slavoj Žižek discusses the universality of anxiety, Lacan’s theory of truth and subjectivity, the inconsistency of the symbolic structure and his polemic with Badiou in relationship to Jacques Lacan, Alain Badiou, Sigmund Freud, René Descartes, Jacques-Alain Miller, Antonio Hardt and Michael Negri focusing on being, truth, the real, language, knowledge, the existence of animal life, death drive, transposed belief, the figure of the neighbor, terror, political enthusiasm and capitalism. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe
Slavoj Žižek talking about the truth and irony of Buddhism. In this lecture Slavoj Žižek discusses Badiou’s conception of the Event and supernumerary element, the universality of truth, the paradox of inactivity, the temporality of analysis, American ideology, the problem of bodhisattva, politics of sacrifice and the gap between ethics and enlightenment in relationship to Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Ayn Rand, Jean Pierre Dupuy, Alain Badiou, Karl Marx, Jacques-Alain Miller, Jacques Lacan, George Orwell, Theodor Adorno and Adam Kotsko focusing on retroactivity, the symptomal point, freedom of choice, capitalism, Stalinism, the Dali Lama, suffering, reincarnation, nirvana and Mahayana. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe
The Human Animal in Politics, Science, and Psychoanalysis
Introduction by Costas Douzinas. Birkbeck, University of London
Slavoj Zizek was one of the speakers at the The empowerment of the Right, the dissolution of the Left event. The public sector is facing severe economy measures. The budgets for culture, education and health care are being cut. The measures are implemented by the political right. The political left, in this period of turmoil, does not seem to be able or willing to meet force with force and turn the tide. Has the left become unsettled? Does the binary division between left and right still apply to read the current political developments and state of flux? Can the left reinvent itself and find an answer to the spreading attitude of rigidity and xenophobia?
Recorded on the 5th of November, 2011 at Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht
University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for the Humanities
Modern radical thinker Slavoj Žižek spoke on the 1st July as part of the ‘Great Minds’ series, and affirmed his status as a great mind of modern philosophy and social, cultural and political theory. Starbucks, social solidarity and self-commodification were among the varied and enlightening topics touched upon by Žižek, all grounded by his interpretation of ideology and its continuing importance
Part 2 of the Masterclass 23, 25 & 26.03.2016
This talk was given by Slavoj Zizek at The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
Part 1 of the Masterclass 23, 25 & 26.03.2016
While the global political and social situation is getting more and more explosive, emancipatory struggles are more and more hampered by ideological prejudices. This is why some ruthless clarifications are necessary.
introduction by Costas Douzinas
Birkbeck, University of London
Lecture of Slavoj Zizek in the Penn Humanities Forum
Slavoj Žižek speaking about his new book, filmed at LSE.
Debate with Alex Callinicos and John Holloway
Architecture and pleasure from the aesthetics of the common beauty icons. Slavoj Zizek, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). Filmed Thursday, June 10, 2010. Video belongs to Arquitectura y Sociedad (Foundation for Architecture and Society)
Tuesday 24th November 2009 – 2.30 pm
Birkbeck, University of London
Loyola University of New Orleans
Slavoj Zizek, the philosopher The New Republic calls “the most dangerous philosopher in the West”, came to the University of Vermont to speak about “Ideology in Hollywood Today”. It was so well attended that people were sitting in the aisles and standing in lines out the back doors
The Poetico-Military Complex or The Actuality of Plato’s Critique of Poetry, University of Konstanz
Masterclass – day 5 – Notes Towards a Definition of Communist Culture – Environment, Identity and Multiculturalism
Masterclass – day 4 – Notes Towards a Definition of Communist Culture – Populism and Democracy
Masterclass – day 3 – Notes Towards a Definition of Communist Culture – Wagner’s Ring as a Communist Narrative
Masterclass – day 2 – Notes Towards a Definition of Communist Culture – Architecture as Ideology: the Failure of Performance-Arts Venues to construct a Communal Space
Masterclass – day 1 – Notes Towards a Definition of Communist Culture: Utopias
The master class analyses phenomena of modern thought and culture with the intention to discern elements of possible Communist culture. It moves at two levels: first, it interprets some cultural phenomena as failures to imagine or enact a Communist culture; second, it explores attempts at imagining how a Communist culture could look, from Wagner’s Ring to Kafka’s and Beckett’s short stories and contemporary science fiction novels
Harvard Book Store
Public lecture by Slavoj Žižek within the framework of the ICI’s core project “Tension/Spannung” 6 Mär ’09
Ideology in Hollywood Today – University of Vermont
Slavoj Žižek speaking about the production of the couple in Hollywood films, focusing initially on the film Titanic, in a careful analysis of the films narration to examine the theme of an occlusion by catastrophe of catastrophe. Slavoj Žižek lecturing about ideology in cinema, discussing surplus enjoyment, Titanic, triumph of authentic love, catastrophe occurring as a blessing, the Prague spring of 1968, incest, Alan Turing, the film Casablanca, the simultaneity of narrative threads in contemporary cinema. He used these subjects to launch a discussion on the ambiguity of obscenity, on the horror of the carnival and the comedy of tragedy. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland
Slavoj Zizek confronting anti-semitism, zionism, Israel, jews, and Palestine, using, and in contrast to, the works of Jacques Lacan, Alain Baidou, Karl Marx, and Alfred Hitchcock amongst others, in a lecture at the European Graduate School, or EGS, in Saas Fee, Switzerland. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe
Slavoj Žižek discussing Hegel in reference to Charlie Chaplins The Great Dictator, Leni Riefenstahl, fascism, the Nazi propaganda film Kolberg, Alfred Hitchcocks Vertigo, objectivity in film. He also spoke about Peter Sloterdijk and Jürgen Habermas as well as ethics, dignity, military technology, pharmonarcoleptic drugs, scientology and Ron Hubbard. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee, Switzerland
Slavoj Žižek discussing the process of the event in relation to Alain Baidou. Slavoj Žižek speaking about consciousness, neurobiology, awareness, David Chalmers, Daniel Dennett, the Ptolemization of string theory, Catherine Malabou, Jacques Derrida, sublation, difference of organic evolution and the dialectical process, commodity, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, the totality of classification, the overcoming of metaphysics and concepts of duality. Slavoj Žižek lecturing about Nietzsche, Wolfgang Schirmacher and Avital Ronell and paraconsistent logic. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland
Slavoj Žižek discussing the problem of negation and self reflection of life in Hegel, the logic of desire, Lacans master signifier and the object small a, opera, the masturbatory circle and the sexual act, as opposed to authentic love, Lars von Trier and jouissance of the other, pornography and the point of identification. Slavoj Žižek speaking about the the philosophy by Alain Baidou, referring to a speech by Alain Badiou delivered the previous night on the three types of principle negation. Slavo Žižek lecturing about identity functioning as a void, and the idea of the object in perception, as well as the work of Lynn Margulis, Jacques Lacan, Jurgen Habermas, and Laura Kipnis. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland
Slavoj Žižek speaking about Hegel and Hegelian concepts of history and historicity, drawing not only on the works of Marxs Grundrisse and Jacques Lacan, but also on opera, Schoenbergs atonal revolution, the experience of impossibility, Freuds death drive, Steven King, Immanuel Kant, Martin Luthers radical revolution, concepts of authenticity and inauthenticity. In addition, Žižek referenced Alain Baidou, Gilles Deleuze, Pascal, Charlie Chaplin and the role of the spectator in The Grand Dictator, the drive to culture and the true satisfaction of the circular movement. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland
The Authors@Google program was pleased to welcome Slavoj Žižek to Google’s New York office to discuss his latest book, “Violence”
Slavoj Zizek, author of Violence: Six Sideways Reflections (Picador; July 22, 2008), and Bernard-Henri Levy, author of Left In Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism (Random House; September 16, 2008) talked about their books on stage with Paul Holdengraber. They debated the parameters of tolerance and the global understanding of human rights. In his book Mr. Zizek examines how violence is perceived and questions whether capitalism and civilization encourage greater violence.
A Lacanian Inc Event with an Introduction by Josefina Ayerza at the Tilton Gallery
Zizek addresses perception, identity, and the “other” in an engaging lecture titled Fear Thy Neighbor as Thyself: Antinomies of Tolerant Reason. The lecture takes the audience on an enlightening journey through the perceptions of identity and tolerance.
Hosted by The Institute for Human Sciences at Boston University on November 26, 2007
Slavoj Zizek lecturing about materialism and theology, Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and the psychoanalysis of culture and societies. Videolecture focuses on fundamentalism, materialism, theology, atheism, atheists, humanists, humanism, reason, logic, rationality, intelligent design, believe, faith, religion, christian, christianity, islam, fundamentalists, fundamentalism, god, nature, Evolution, Intelligent Design, Public open lecture for the students of the European Graduate School EGS, Media and Communication Studies department program, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Europe
Why Only an Atheist Can Believe: Politics Between Fear and Trembling
Calvin College, Michigan. November 10, 2006
Žižek addresses the complicated relationship between belief, or what we take to be belief, and our desire to see all. The lecture is followed by a brief period of questions and answers.
Danish Pastry or The Euthanasia of Tolerant Reason at The Tilton Gallery
Slavoj Zizek talking about the explicit, truth, rules, politics, Mel Gibson, society, race, racism, antisemitism; lecturing and developing a psychoanalysis of culture and societies. Public open lecture for the students of the European Graduate School EGS, Media and Communication Studies department program, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Europe
A lecture on the specific roles of viewers and doers is entitled “The Spectator´s Malevolent Neutrality” and was held on June 8, 2004 during the Theaterformen festival in Brunswick (DE).
Slavoj Zizek talking about the Plea for ethical violence, the logic of the system, ethical pressure, harassment, violence of power and politics, ideology, religion and law, reproducing through censorship and repression, Emmanuel Lévinas, objectivity, objectification, self expression and courses without titles. Slavoj Zizek in a free public open lecture for the students of the European Graduate School EGS, Media and Communication Studies department program, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Europe
The Reality of the Virtual is a documentary/lecture film about the Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek. It was directed by Ben Wright.
Slavoj Zizek explains the basics of its phyilosophy inspired by Jacques Lacan Hegel and Marx.
Slavoj Žižek describes how every product creates its counter agent within our societies. Free public open lecture for the students of the Division of Philosophy, Art & Critical Thought at the European Graduate School EGS, Saas-Fee, Switzerland. 2003
Slavoj Zizek speaking about belief, the other, others radical otherness, respect for otherness, resistance, hatred, intolerance towards wisdom, totalitarian regimes, displacement, multitude and diversity, just action, fighting fascism, preserving humanity by killing the enemy, Alain Badiou, Judith Butler, including references to movies like Unbreakable with Bruce Willis and Shrek. Public open lecture for the students of the European Graduate School EGS, Media and Communication Studies department program, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Europe
A lecture by Slavoj Zizek about freedom and domination, and the relationship between capitalism, consumerism and fundamentalism