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In this combative major new work, philosophical sharpshooter Slavoj iek looks for the kernel of truth in the totalitarian politics of the past.
Examining Heidegger’s seduction by fascism and Foucault’s flirtation with the Iranian Revolution, he suggests that these were the ‘right steps in the wrong direction.’ On the revolutionary terror of Robespierre, Mao and the bolsheviks, iek argues that while these struggles ended in historic failure and horror, there was a valuable core of idealism lost beneath the bloodshed.
A redemptive vision has been obscured by the soft, decentralized politics of the liberal-democratic consensus. Faced with the coming ecological crisis, iekk argues the case for revolutionary terror and the dictatorship of the proletariat. A return to past ideals is needed despite the risks. In the words of Samuel Beckett: ‘Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Introduction Causa Locuta Roma Finita
Part I The State of Things
1 Happiness and Torture in the Atonal World 11
Human, all too human
The screen of civility
Gift and exchange
The atonal world
Serbsky Institute, Malibu
Poland as a symptom
Happy to torture?
2 The Family Myth of Ideology 52
The production of the couple in Hollywood...
... and out
The real Hollywood left
History and family in Frankenstein
A letter which did arrive at its destination
3 Radical Intellectuals, or, Why Heidegger Took the Right Step (Albeit in the Wrong Direction) in 1933 95
Hiding the tree in a forest
A domestication of Neitzsche
Michel Foucault and the Iranian Event
The trouble with Heidegger
Heidegger's smoking gun?
Repetition and the New
Heidegger's to the drive
Heidegger's "divine violence"
Part II Lessons from the Past
4 Revolutionary Terror from Robespierre to Mao 157
"What do you want?"
Asserting the inhuman
Transubstantiations of Marxism
The limits of Mao' dialectics
Cultural revolution and power
5 Stalinism Revisited, or, How Stalin Saved the Humanity of Man 211
The Stalinist cultural counter-revolution
A letter which did not reach its destination (and therby perhaps saved the world)
From objective to subjective guilt
Shostakovich in Casablanca
The Stalinist carnival...
... in the films of Sergei Eisenstein
The minimal difference
6 Why Populism Is (Sometimes) Good Enough in Practice, but Not in Theory 264
Good enough in practice...
... but not good enough in theory
The "determinig role of the economy": Marx with Freud
The vacuity of the politics of jouissance
Part III What Is to Be Done?
7 The Crisis of Determinate Negation 337
The humorous superego...
... and its politics of resistance
"Goodbye Mister Resisting Nomad"
Negri in Davos
Deleuze without Negri
Governance and movements
8 Alain Badiou, or, the Violence of Subtraction 381
Materialism, democratic and dialectial
Responses to the Event
Do we need a new world?
The lessons of the Cultural Revolution
Give the dictatorship of the proletariat a chance!
9 Unbehagan in der Natur 420
From fear to trembling
Ecology against nature
The uses and misuses of Hiedegger
What is to be done?
Afterword to the Second Edition: What Is Divine About Divine Violence 463
What People are Saying About This
Outrageous, provocative and entertaining.
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