Trouble in Paradise: From the End of History to the End of Capitalism

Trouble in Paradise: From the End of History to the End of Capitalism

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 1612194443

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In Trouble in Paradise, Slavoj Žižek, one of our most famous, most combative philosophers, explains how we can find a way out of the crisis of capitalism.
 
There is obviously trouble in the global capitalist paradise. But why do we find it so difficult to imagine a way out of the crisis we're in? It is as if the trouble feeds on itself: the march of capitalism has become inexorable, the only game in town.
 
Setting out to diagnose the condition of global capitalism, the ideological constraints we are faced with in our daily lives, and the bleak future promised by this system, Slavoj Žižek explores the possibilities—and the traps—of new emancipatory struggles.
 
Drawing insights from phenomena as diverse as “Gangnam Style” to Marx, The Dark Knight to Thatcher, Trouble in Paradise is an incisive dissection of the world we inhabit, and the new order to come.

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cit., p. 304. 165. I resume here the line of argument from Interlude 2 of Living In the End Times, London: Verso Books, 2012. 166. Quoted from www.​mtholyoke.​edu/​acad/​intrel/​kant/​kant1.​htm. 167. Quoted from www.​aljazeera.​com/​indepth/​opinion/​2013/​02/​20132672747320891.​html. 168. Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, New York: Grove Press, 2008, pp. 201–6. 169. Quoted from www.​marxists.​org/​archive/​marx/​works/​1853/​07/​22.​htm. 170. Quoted from

appraisals and targets at work, credit ratings, individual interviews for those in receipt of benefits or public credits. The subject is thus compelled not only to show that he or she will be able to repay debt (and to repay society through the right behaviours), but also to show the right attitudes and assume individual guilt for any failings. This is where the asymmetry between creditor and debtor becomes palpable: the indebted ‘entrepreneur-of-the-self’ is more active than the subject of the

surprise here is that theology and poetry knew this long ago—confirmation once more of the validity of Berardi’s topic ‘poetry and finance’. Let us jump back to early modernity. Why was the story of Orpheus the opera subject in the first century of its history, with almost one hundred known versions of it? The figure of Orpheus asking the Gods to bring him back his Eurydice stands for an intersubjective constellation which provides as it were the elementary matrix of the opera or, more precisely,

rather boring but unavoidable introductory ritual is over and, relieved that we did our duty, we relax and start to talk in a normal, polite way, as the kind and considerate people we really are. So, again, the lesson is that, while pleasures can be spontaneous, there is nothing spontaneous in excessive outbursts of enjoyment—they have to be learned the hard way. We should apply this lesson also to forms of collective violence like gang rapes and killings. One of the terrifying effects of the

regression is the demand from the new European Right for a more ‘balanced’ view of the two ‘extremisms’, the Right and the Left: we are repeatedly told that one should treat the extreme Left (Communism) much like Europe was treating the extreme Right after the Second World War (the defeated Fascists and Nazis). But this new ‘balance’ is heavily unbalanced: the equation of Fascism and Communism secretly privileges Fascism, as can be seen from a series of arguments, such as the idea that Fascism

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