October 29, 2009

PROBABLY NOT THE HEADLINE THE WHITE HOUSE WAS LOOKING FOR:

“I am a Leninist. Lenin wasn’t afraid to dirty his hands. If you can get power, grab it”: The eminent thinker Slavoj Žižek tells Jonathan Derbyshire why he rejects mainstream political theory, why he supports Barack Obama, and why we need Marx more than ever (Jonathan Derbyshire, 29 October 2009, New Statesman)

{W}hat's most significant about the academic left, in his view, is its abstract moralism, which he denounces as utopian, much as Marx and Engels denounced the early French socialists as utopian. "This excess of radicality concretely art­iculates itself in some kind of general moralistic outrage. You get a kind of abstract, moralistic politics in which you ­focus on groups which are obviously underprivileged - other races, gays and so on - and then you explode in all your moralistic rage. This has to do with what you might call our cultural, post-political capitalism, in which the most passionate struggles are cultural ones. A large majority of the left doesn't question liberal democracy and capitalism as such. In the same way that when we were young we wanted socialism with a human face, what a large part of today's left want is capitalism with a human face."

Since concrete morality requires God, they have no choice but abstract imitation or absolute amorality. The latter would be politically fatal.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 29, 2009 6:13 AM
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