Zizek and the politics of our age
Zizek, one of the most important thinkers of our age, tells us that much of the time, we cheerfully go along with nonsense like – derivative trading – telling ourselves all sorts of ‘porkies’ [for non-British readers that is Cockney slang for a self-serving deceit].
We reassure ourselves (rather greedily) that we will not be the victim when the ‘house of cards’ collapses. Not for us ‘ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee’. Oh no, somehow it is OK to go along with what we know is wrong.
A Zizek moment
And when it does go wrong, when quite inevitably the scam is revealed in all its shocking-ness, we express indignation in a useless tantrum.
We tell the ‘authorities’, we tell some nameless, faceless people over whom we have no power or influence even if we did know who they are, to sort it out, or “we will be cross”.
Having abdicated our future when we joined the scam, we abdicate again by claiming that ‘someone else must sort out the mess.
Writing of the current Spanish demonstrations, Zizek comments “the indignados do not (yet) claim that no one else will do it for them, that they themselves have to be the change they want to see”.
A British example of a Zizek moment
Let’s take a British example. The News of the World tapped phone messages.
But who did not know that before this year? Pleassse.
And who did not encourage them? At least 3 million people gave them money every week. I’ve be known to read The Times when it popped up on my screen.
But what is with the outrage characteristic of a Zizek moment?
We are outraged because we knew what was going on all the time and if we didn’t actively take part, we encouraged it or condoned it.
We are outraged because we are caught out in the lies we tell, chiefly to ourselves.
And we are outraged because like an emperor with no clothes, we are caught with no life plan accept bouncing from one scandalous scheme to another.
If you like being outraged, then, please, carry on. If you don’t, psychologists have do-it-home advice
In the next post, I’ll lay out the do-it-at-home tips for you. There is no need to spend oodles of money. Indeed I wouldn’t take your money because unless you do get started at home, not even millions of dollars of professional help will get you going.