Arnon Grunberg


General will

Interview with Žižek in Der Spiegel:

“Žižek: Yes. We should go beyond liberal democracy. Ordinary democracy works as follows: The majority of voters seem satisified with the pretence of freedom of choice. but in reality they do as they are told. It is telling that Germans' favorite choice of government is a grand coalition (Eds note: a governing coalition that pairs the country's two largest parties, the center-left Social Democrats and the conservative Christian Democrats). Out of fear of having to make truly radical, pioneering decisions, people are acting as if decisions are made on their own, based on the circumstances, on practical constraints and on pre-determined conditions. But sometimes you also have to alter the field of meaning instead of just skillfully analyzing things and adapting to them. The development of a general will, Rousseaus' volonté générale, doesn't happen in this way. The development of will remains individualized and privatized and is ultimately apolitical. That's a great environment for capitalism because liberal democratic freedom and individualized hedonism mobilize people for its purposes by transforming them into workaholics.
SPIEGEL: What do you see as the alternative? Žižek: There is no way back to communism. Stalinism was in a certain sense worse than fascism, especially considering that the communist ideal was for Enlightenment to ultimately result in the self-liberation of the people. But that's also the tragedy of the dialectic of Enlightenment. Stalinism still remains a puzzle to me. Fascism never had Enlightenment ambitions, it exclusively pursued conservative modernization using criminal means. To some extent, Hitler wasn't radical or violent enough.”

Read the interview here.

Another Žižekian paradox:

The true hedonist is a workaholic.

And the alternative to capitalism is the realization that there’s no way back to communism.

Not to mention Hitler.

The triteness of Žižek’s remarks is another reason for Weltschmerz.

And I don’t have much confidence in the general will, Rousseau was too much of a romantic to be trusted with sound political decisions.

It’s time for a debate between père Le Pen and Žižek.

discuss on facebook, 5 comments