Posted by: Doug Henwood | June 10, 2013

Zizek on the limits of self-organization, etc.

This splendid rant by Slavoj Zizek is from the Subversive Festival, Zagreb, May 15, 2013. I excerpted some bits Zizek delivered during a joint session with Alexis Tsipris, president of Syriza, the Greek left party (which is now a formal party, and not a loose coalition) for my June 6 radio show. For those who don’t want to listen to the whole show, here’s an MP3 of Zizek proclaiming the limits of spontaneous self-organization and autonomous zones, and calls for a reinvention of the state that provides a basic structure to allow social movements to flourish and also allow him to do his crazy philosophy.

Here’s the audio file (length: 6:33):

The full video—which is quite good—is here.

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Responses

  1. I had mixed feelings about Zizek’s message. On the one hand, I understand the notion that it’s difficult to take spontaneity very far. On the other hand, vanguardism has its own limits, as we’ve seen time and again. You don’t have to invoke Stalin, as Zizek did. Obama played the role of charismatic leader toward social democracy and we see how that’s turned out. Zizek is welcome to critique OWS’ deliberate amorphousness, but he ought to not pretend there’s no historical reason to avoid putting forth leaders. Just in America we have the example of Wm Jennings Bryan, not to mention Huey Newton as a reason to avoid having one neck the regime can squeeze.

  2. […] just very good when he gets going sometimes. Listen to this 6:33 excerpt when you get a moment. The limits of self-organization and a reinvention of the state — Zizek almost sounds like […]

  3. Give me one example of where your ideas work Savoj Zizek… ok, I have read more and Bolivia / Venezuela are working in that realm, sorta – for how long?

  4. […] Žižek and Alain Badiou, the spontaneous and autonomous character of the new revolutions poses a number of risks. Most importantly, these critics argue, the lack of centralized leadership and the fetishism of […]

  5. […] Žižek and Alain Badiou, the spontaneous and autonomous character of the new revolutions poses a number of risks. Most importantly, these critics argue, the lack of centralized leadership and the fetishism of […]

  6. […] Žižek and Alain Badiou, the spontaneous and autonomous character of the new revolutions poses a number of risks. Most importantly, these critics argue, the lack of centralized leadership and the fetishism of […]

  7. […] Zizek on the limits of self-organization, etc. […]


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