Not heard of ZIZEK? Why should you read ZIZEK?
20 Saturday Aug 2011
I must say that a few months, I had not heard of ZIZEK. But we all should have heard of Zizek because we are going to hear a lot more about him.
Why should a mechanic, a fireman, a hairdresser and god forbid, a member of the chattering classes, read sociology?
I know a lot of people who never read any sociology and the live quite happily. Maybe they are happier than us too. And they probably are richer and more powerful too.
But not knowing about the sociology of your time is like not knowing that the banks deal in derivatives that are 10x the value of real assets. Even if we don’t have the big money to play on the derivatives market, we should at least understand that
- liberalization of banking means derivatives
- and derivatives mean a banking system that has electronic (or printed) money
- that there is more than one derivative (so to speak) for each tonne of wheat or gold that they say they own
- and there is not 10% more but 10x more paper than things.
90% of derivatives are what you and I think of as a pyramid scheme.
So we read sociology because we don’t want to be caught out holding useless paper assets
Any economist or financier reading this will wince at my crude explanation but you do see my point. If you willfully persist in ignoring the basics of social science, don’t cry when you are standing in a Northern Rock queue when the bank almost falls over. Don’t cry when your pension turns out to have been invested in derivatives and they turn out to be worth 10% of their face value or nothing at all.
And we are tired of the argument that there is nothing you and I can do
Many people will talk to me as if I am an idiot, and say “there is nothing we can do about the mess of our politics and economics”.
That indeed maybe true too. I am not telling you to start fixing the derivatives system. But I am explaining that knowing more about sociology will mean you will be the patsy less often.
We begin by knowing what is going on
I am pointing you here to a commentator who is worth reading, even if he writes real sociology that requires a little concentration.
So you go and read Zizek.
In my next post, I will try to give my understanding of what Zizek says about the way we are living.
And I’ll do what psychologists do: translate what Zizek says into what you and I can do ourselves – apart from read him. So go read. See you later on my next post.
CHECK OUT SIMILAR POSTS
- So 21st century: a Zizek moment
- Living with meaning in a Zizek world
- What other people have learned about the cuts business
- Will you look back in wonder? Or are you sleepwalking through an institutionalized life?
- Light at the end of the tunnel!