Living in the End Timesby Slavoj Zizek
The underlying premise of the book is a simple one: the global capitalist system is approaching an apocalyptic zero-point. Its four riders of the apocalypse are the ecological crisis, the consequences of the biogenetic revolution, the imbalances within the system itself (problems with intellectual property, the forthcoming struggle for raw materials, food and water), and the explosions of social divisions and exclusions.
Society’s first reaction is ideological denial, then explosions of anger at the injustices of the new world order, attempts at bargaining, and when this fails, depression and withdrawal set in. Finally, after passing through this zero-point we no longer perceive it as a threat, but as the chance for a new beginning. or, as Mao Zedong might have put it, “There is great disorder under heaven, the situation is excellent.”
Žižek traces out in detail these five stances, makes a plea for a return to the Marxian critique of political economy, and sniffs out the first signs of a budding communist culture in all its diverse forms—in utopias that range from Kafka’s community of mice to the collective of freak outcasts in the TV series Heroes.
“Never ceases to dazzle.”—Brian Dillon, Daily Telegraph
“The thinker of choice for Europe’s young intellectual vanguard ... to witness iek in full flight is a wonderful and at times alarming experience, part philosophical tightrope-walk, part performance-art marathon, part intellectual roller-coaster ride.”—Sean O'Hagan, Observer
“Wide-ranging, often revelatory, frequently bewildering.”—Helen Brown, Daily Telegraph
“A giddying combination of exhilaration and perplexity, an addictive high-speed chase with bewildering changes in terrain that for the reader necessitate multiple gear shifts, sudden U-turns, three- and four-point turns, elegant loops and impossibly narrow angles to negotiate.”—Irish Left Review
“The most dangerous philosopher in the West.”—Adam Kirsch, The New Republic
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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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