First As Tragedy, Then As Farce

First As Tragedy, Then As Farce

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by Slavoj Zizek
     
 

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From the tragedy of 9/11 to the farce of the financial meltdown.See more details below

Overview

From the tragedy of 9/11 to the farce of the financial meltdown.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The charismatic and contentious Zizek (The Sublime Object of Ideology) turns his versatile intelligence and acute ear for irony to a critique of contemporary capitalism. Given the recent financial crisis, Zizek argues that it is now “impossible to ignore the blatant irrationality of global capitalism.” He sifts through recent history to reveal how capitalist ideology functions to defend the system against any serious critique, despite its manifest flaws. He draws a sharp line between liberalism and the radical left, showing how the socialization of the banks—and socialism itself—is actually aligned with the preservation of capitalism rather than inimical to it, and derides “socially responsible” ecocapitalism as another avatar of a bankrupt system. Zizek concludes with a new articulation of “The Communist Hypothesis,” setting socialism and communism as antagonists and presenting a utopian vision that relies on breaking out of the structures and strictures of statism and the markets. An earnest and timely challenge, Zizek's critique of capitalism and repositioning of communist thought is both insightful and well-reasoned, and guaranteed to rile readers across the political and theoretical spectrum. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Slovenian-born philosopher Zizek (international director, Birkbeck Inst. for the Humanities, Univ. of London; Violence; Welcome to the Desert of the Real) here argues that only a revolution that aims to overthrow the global capitalist system and replace it with a socialist society can save the world from a dire fate. He writes that, at present, an elite class of the superrich lives in a luxurious world with rare contact with anyone else. The poor have little prospect of improving their condition, and matters are likely to grow worse. As if this were not bad enough, genetic manipulation will be used to ensure a pliant population. What can save us? Only, Zizek writes, a revolution that unhinges all our conventional categories. His analysis of capitalism, although presented with his usual combination of paradox and panache, is based entirely on classical Marxism. VERDICT Zizek seems more expert in Lacanian psychoanalysis than in economic theory, and readers are likely to differ in their assessment of his analysis. There is no doubt, though, that Zizek is an influential thinker, and this short book offers an excellent entry into his thought.—David Gordon, Bowling Green State Univ., OH
New Republic
“The most dangerous philosopher in the West.”
The New Yorker
“Zizek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation.”
Times Literary Supplement
“One of the most innovative and exciting contemporary thinkers of the left.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education
“The Elvis of cultural theory.”
Los Angeles Times
[A] great provocateur and an immensely suggestive and even dashing writer... Zizek writes with passion and an aphoristic energy that is spellbinding.— Richard Rayner
Richard Rayner - Los Angeles Times
“[A] great provocateur and an immensely suggestive and even dashing writer... Zizek writes with passion and an aphoristic energy that is spellbinding.”
From the Publisher
“Žižek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation.”—The New Yorker

“The Elvis of cultural theory.”—The Chronicle of Higher Education

“One of the most innovative and exciting contemporary thinkers of the left.”—Times Literary Supplement

“Žižek is an influential thinker, and this short book offers an excellent entry into his thought.”—David Gordon, Library Journal

“[A] great provocateur and an immensely suggestive and even dashing writer ... Žižek writes with passion and an aphoristic energy that is spellbinding.”—Richard Rayner, Los Angeles Times

“The most dangerous philosopher in the West.”—New Republic

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781844674893
Publisher:
Verso Books
Publication date:
10/05/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
428,029
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books include Living in the End Times, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, In Defense of Lost Causes, four volumes of the Essential Žižek, and many more.

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