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World renowned leftist philosopher Slavoj Žižek joins for a sweeping and wide ranging conversation on the urgency of this moment as we struggle through COVID-19 while trying to cling to failed paradigms. In a world where the status quo realizes that the old way must give way to the new, there is little action being taken to transition to what Žižek calls the “communism of necessity”. How can the left win in the face of a century of losses? How do we battle against the losses of the working class to the politics of the right? What is to be done?
About his new book Heaven In Disorder
As we emerge (though perhaps only temporarily) from the pandemic, other crises move center stage: outrageous inequality, climate disaster, desperate refugees, mounting tensions of a new cold war. The abiding motif of our time is relentless chaos.
Acknowledging the possibilities for new beginnings at such moments, Mao Zedong famously proclaimed “There is great disorder under heaven; the situation is excellent.” The contemporary relevance of Mao’s observation depends on whether today’s catastrophes can be a catalyst for progress or have passed over into something terrible and irretrievable. Perhaps the disorder is no longer under, but in heaven itself.
Characteristically rich in paradoxes and reversals that entertain as well as illuminate, Slavoj Žižek’s new book treats with equal analytical depth the lessons of Rammstein and Corbyn, Morales and Orwell, Lenin and Christ. It excavates universal truths from local political sites across Palestine and Chile, France and Kurdistan, and beyond.
Heaven In Disorder looks with fervid dispassion at the fracturing of the Left, the empty promises of liberal democracy, and the tepid compromises offered by the powerful. From the ashes of these failures, Žižek asserts the need for international solidarity, economic transformation, and—above all—an urgent, “wartime” communism.
https://www.orbooks.com/catalog/heaven-in-disorder/ (Buy the book here)
About Slavoj Žižek
Slavoj Žižek (b. 1949) is a Slovenian-born philosopher and psychoanalyst. He is a professor of philosophy at The European Graduate School / EGS, a senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, Global Distinguished Professor of German at New York University, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, and founder and president of the Society for Theoretical Psychoanalysis, Ljubljana. Aside from these appointments, Žižek tirelessly gives lectures around the globe and is often described as “the Elvis of cultural theory”. Although, more seriously, as British critical theorist Terry Eagleton confers, Žižek is the “most formidably brilliant” theorist to have emerged from Europe in decades. Many, in fact, now consider Žižek to be “the most dangerous philosopher in the West.”
He grew up in in Ljubljana, Slovenia, which at the time was part of the former Yugoslavia. The regime’s more permissive, albeit “pernicious,” policies allowed for Žižek’s exposure to Western theory and culture, in particular film, English detective novels, German Idealism, French structuralism, and Jacques Lacan. Studying at the University of Ljubljana, he completed his master’s degree in philosophy in 1975 with a thesis on French structuralism and his Doctoral degree in philosophy in 1981 with a dissertation on German Idealism. He then went to Paris, along with Mladen Dolar, to study Lacan under Jacques Alain-Miller (Lacan’s son-in-law and disciple). During this time in Paris, from 1981–85, Žižek completed another dissertation on the work of Hegel, Marx, and Kripke through a Lacanian lens. After his return to Slovenia, he became more politically active writing for , a weekly newspaper, co-founding the Slovenian Liberal Demorcratic Party, and running for one of four sea