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Trouble in Paradise

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Ed by this system Slavoj Zizek 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. At the time of writing Marianne Williamson a spiritual self help author and a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate remarked that US politics is gripped by “dark psychic forces” predictably stunning TV audiences and lighting up social media platforms The unconventional to say the least wording resonated with some viewers and mystified pundits who tried to ridicule her afterwards I believe there’s no other way to explain these reactions with the typical political rhetoric but to bring on Zizek’s brand of analysis If you’ve seen any of Zizek’s many lectures and interviews then you know the drill The arguments are verbose circuitous and seemingly so ironically distant the listener is forced to uestion if it’s all bullshit Yet somehow the ramblings always end with a satisfying punchline and often than not I’m compelled to nodWhy doesn’t he get to the point rather than force feed us with the proverbial word salad I claim there is a consistent method to his approach The very language we use to address politico socio psychological and so on issues are steeped in the waters of ideology To ignore the linguistic context is to ignore the submerged part of the iceberg If the reader can buy into at least that much then there is much to be gained from his critiue of capitalism It is not a narrow technocratic critiue minimum wage distribution curves tax percentages etc but a critiue of the unconscious in psychoanalytic terms This is a perspective that’s often ignored or even openly dismissed in political discourse yet it is as Zizek might say immanent It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Williamson’s or many of Trumps for that matter comment captured a part of the public imagination while doing the opposite for most of the experts People already intuitively frame experiences political or otherwise in these terms ie vibes moods psychic forcesIn the wake of the US 2016 election perhaps the concerned political reader would do well to consider adopting other analytical tools other than the “Rationalist” approach For no matter how much you try to chase away nature it will always come back

Read ç PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook º Slavoj Žižek

In Trouble in Paradise Slavoj Zizek one of our most famous most combative philosophers explains how by drawing on the ideas of communism 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. Once I’d finally finished the first draft of my PhD thesis all 79659 words of it the first book I decided to read was by Slavoj Žižek From this I infer that academia has warped my brain possibly for life I found 'Trouble in Paradise' a great deal easier to read than Living in the End Times for several reasons Firstly it is shorter secondly it is ostensibly based on a lecture series given in South Korea and thirdly there is less freuent recourse to Hegel and Kant The style is much the same however As Žižek freely admits at the end ‘No single idea underlies this bric a brac nothing like Negri’s ‘multitude’ or Piketty’s ‘soak the rich’ to orientate the book’s analyses towards a clear political strategy’ The text flits from analysis of a poem or joke to discussion of genocide and financial crisis I’ve become curiously fond of this uniue style but it doesn’t lend itself to reviewing the book as a whole Instead I found myself writing references to specific points in a little notebook as otherwise I’d forget them under the onslaught of further eclectic miscellanea Parts that I found interesting and thought provoking included discussion of structural unemployment as a necessary underpinning of global capitalism p23 the link between debt and guilt p 44 and this comment on freedomSince free choice is elevated to a supreme value social control and domination can no longer appear as infringing the subject’s freedom; it has to appear as and be sustained by the very experience of individuals as free This unfreedom often appears in the guise of its opposite when we are deprived of universal healthcare we are told that we are given a new freedom of choice to choose our healthcare provider; when we can no longer rely on long term employment and are compelled to search for a new precarious job every few years or maybe even every couple of weeks we are told that we are given the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and discover our unexpected creative potential; when we have to pay for the education of our children we are told that we become ‘entrepeneurs of the self’ acting like a capitalist who has to choose freely how he will invest the resources he possesses or has borrowed in education health travel Constantly bombarded by such imposed ‘free choices’ forced to make decisions for which we are not even properly ualified or do not possess enough information about we increasingly experience our freedom as a burden that causes unbearable anxietyThat second sentence is longer than I remembered Further intriguing material is to be found on constructed ignorance p69 the conflict between superego individualisation and global problems p87 and analysis of the Arab Spring and how revolutions are re appropriated p102 I further noted this idea about consistency and general principles versus specific circumstancesmarket freedom goes hand in hand with the US supporting its own farmers preaching democracy goes hand in hand with supporting Saudi Arabia This inconsistency this need to break one’s own rules opens up a space for genuine political interventions In Greece a reasonable call for a efficient and non corrupt state apparatus if meant seriously implies a total overhaul of the state A measure say the defense of human rights which is in general a liberal platitude can lead to explosive developments in a specific contextŽižek also has some striking things to say about Europe’s rising anti immigrant sentiment p138 the necessity and impossibility of global government p160 and post colonialism p170 At times though he is just talking nonsenseWhat if today straight marriage is ‘the most dark and daring of all transgressions’It really isn’t The most memorable part of the book concerned the need for a new ‘Master’ The initial point is both very true and well expressedWhen Thatcher was asked about her greatest achievement she promptly answered “New Labour” And she was right her triumph was that even her political enemies adopted her basic economic policies The true triumph is not victory over the enemy; it occurs when the enemy itself starts to use your language so that your ideas form the foundation of the entire fieldFrom this Žižek moves through Badiou to make this claim which I am not sure how to feel aboutWhat we need today in this situation is thus a Thatcher of the Left a leader who would repeat Thatcher’s gesture in the opposite direction transforming the entire field of presuppositions shared by today’s political elite of all main orientationsFood for thought certainly I was amused that Žižek ended the book in the same way as David Graeber ends The Utopia of Rules On Technology Stupidity and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy with an extended analysis of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ That film appears to hold a fascination for critical theorists I can understand why on some level but it is also an absolute chaos of plot holes Here Ra’s al Ghul is compared to Robespierre I was the first person to borrow this book from the university library; evidently my fellow students have no idea how to have fun

Slavoj Žižek º 4 Read

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 promis. Reading this at my desk while I worked for a financial services company felt like an open act of rebellion the euivalent of a 15 year old boy watching porn on his iPad in the living room while his parents watch Escape to the Country with vacant expressions After reading Mr Zizek's book I still dont know how to better organise the world Maybe once the big Covid 19 shakedown has had its way with us I will have some new ideas I will post on Goodreads immediately if there is a new world order i recommend you adhere to Until then adios Amigos

  • Hardcover
  • 208
  • Trouble in Paradise
  • Slavoj Žižek
  • en
  • 26 August 2017
  • null

About the Author: Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek is a Slovene sociologist philosopher and cultural critic He was born in Ljubljana Slovenia then part of SFR Yugoslavia He received a Doctor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Ljubljana and studied psychoanalysis at the University of Paris VIII with Jacues Alain Miller and François Regnault In 1990 he was a candidate with the party Liberal Democracy of Slovenia for P



10 thoughts on “Trouble in Paradise

  1. says:

    When Thatcher was asked about her greatest achievement she promptly answered 'New Labour'Risking an air of redundancy Trouble in Paradise is troubling concerning topical and immediate Cobbled from pieces Žižek wrote for periodicals largely the Guardian and the LRB I had read most of them previously there I found his arguments much persuasive presented here linked arm and arm even if the repeated jokes do ache a bit after the 5th telling What I appreciate about the text is how Žižek look to other theorists for answers or at least models of opportunity Sloterdijk and Berardi feature prominently So uickly ineuality and a lack of social justice are inflaming many throughout the world It is a uestion of expectations so watch out China Mindsets are becoming medieval at digital speeds The establishment feels threatened why Snowden Assange Manning are viewed as such threats the welfare state was doomed once the Wall fell as the lack of a political alternative meant that such securities were a superfluous expenditure Z reflects on Benjamin's mystic violence while he imagines a Communist horizon I texted my best friend while reading this that I felt the weight of emancipatory politics all weekend yet I could only trust beer in such weighty matters

  2. says:

    Once I’d finally finished the first draft of my PhD thesis all 79659 words of it the first book I decided to read was by Slavoj Žižek From this I infer that academia has warped my brain possibly for life I found 'Trouble in Paradise' a great deal easier to read than Living in the End Times for several reasons Firstly it is shorter secondly it is ostensibly based on a lecture series given in South Korea and thirdly there is less freuent recourse to Hegel and Kant The style is much the same however As Žižek freely admits at the end ‘No single idea underlies this bric a brac nothing like Negri’s ‘multitude’ or Piketty’s ‘soak the rich’ to orientate the book’s analyses towards a clear political strategy’ The text flits from analysis of a poem or joke to discussion of genocide and financial crisis I’ve become curiously fond of this uniue style but it doesn’t lend itself to reviewing the book as a whole Instead I found myself writing references to specific points in a little notebook as otherwise I’d forget them under the onslaught of further eclectic miscellanea Parts that I found interesting and thought provoking included discussion of structural unemployment as a necessary underpinning of global capitalism p23 the link between debt and guilt p 44 and this comment on freedomSince free choice is elevated to a supreme value social control and domination can no longer appear as infringing the subject’s freedom; it has to appear as and be sustained by the very experience of individuals as free This unfreedom often appears in the guise of its opposite when we are deprived of universal healthcare we are told that we are given a new freedom of choice to choose our healthcare provider; when we can no longer rely on long term employment and are compelled to search for a new precarious job every few years or maybe even every couple of weeks we are told that we are given the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and discover our unexpected creative potential; when we have to pay for the education of our children we are told that we become ‘entrepeneurs of the self’ acting like a capitalist who has to choose freely how he will invest the resources he possesses or has borrowed in education health travel Constantly bombarded by such imposed ‘free choices’ forced to make decisions for which we are not even properly ualified or do not possess enough information about we increasingly experience our freedom as a burden that causes unbearable anxietyThat second sentence is longer than I remembered Further intriguing material is to be found on constructed ignorance p69 the conflict between superego individualisation and global problems p87 and analysis of the Arab Spring and how revolutions are re appropriated p102 I further noted this idea about consistency and general principles versus specific circumstancesmarket freedom goes hand in hand with the US supporting its own farmers preaching democracy goes hand in hand with supporting Saudi Arabia This inconsistency this need to break one’s own rules opens up a space for genuine political interventions In Greece a reasonable call for a efficient and non corrupt state apparatus if meant seriously implies a total overhaul of the state A measure say the defense of human rights which is in general a liberal platitude can lead to explosive developments in a specific contextŽižek also has some striking things to say about Europe’s rising anti immigrant sentiment p138 the necessity and impossibility of global government p160 and post colonialism p170 At times though he is just talking nonsenseWhat if today straight marriage is ‘the most dark and daring of all transgressions’?It really isn’t The most memorable part of the book concerned the need for a new ‘Master’ The initial point is both very true and well expressedWhen Thatcher was asked about her greatest achievement she promptly answered “New Labour” And she was right her triumph was that even her political enemies adopted her basic economic policies The true triumph is not victory over the enemy; it occurs when the enemy itself starts to use your language so that your ideas form the foundation of the entire fieldFrom this Žižek moves through Badiou to make this claim which I am not sure how to feel aboutWhat we need today in this situation is thus a Thatcher of the Left a leader who would repeat Thatcher’s gesture in the opposite direction transforming the entire field of presuppositions shared by today’s political elite of all main orientationsFood for thought certainly I was amused that Žižek ended the book in the same way as David Graeber ends The Utopia of Rules On Technology Stupidity and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy with an extended analysis of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ That film appears to hold a fascination for critical theorists I can understand why on some level but it is also an absolute chaos of plot holes Here Ra’s al Ghul is compared to Robespierre I was the first person to borrow this book from the university library; evidently my fellow students have no idea how to have fun

  3. says:

    Note to self Do not read any Slavoj Zizek If tempted repeat the word “transfunctionalization” until comatoseI forget why I thought I needed to read this it was something to do with harsh words about globalization and the banking crisis I think Much of what Zizek says may well be sharp and provocative but he doesn’t take aim so much as fire scattershot; he can’t leave any unrelated topic alone Worse it’s wrapped in an unfocussed jumble of pop culture and disentangling anything from the impenetrable pseudo intellectual babble “Badiou opposes a new ‘affirmative’ dialectics to what he considers the classic dialectical logic of negativity which engenders out of its own movement a new positivity” is just not worth the effortNear the end I skimmed a lot to get there he uotes a critic Ari Kohen who took him to task over his convoluted verbal masturbation and attempts to defend himself at length But the uote is the clearest and most succinct paragraph in the book; I thought good on you Ari

  4. says:

    Reading this at my desk while I worked for a financial services company felt like an open act of rebellion the euivalent of a 15 year old boy watching porn on his iPad in the living room while his parents watch Escape to the Country with vacant expressions After reading Mr Zizek's book I still dont know how to better organise the world Maybe once the big Covid 19 shakedown has had its way with us I will have some new ideas I will post on Goodreads immediately if there is a new world order i recommend you adhere to Until then adios Amigos

  5. says:

    Not a self help book for today's maladies but it is a book that tickles your brain Never read before sleeping if you want to have a nice sleep Žižek's convictions are unapologetic and one might feel you know nothing as the book unfolds

  6. says:

    Žižek jerks off to words for two hundred pagesIf there was a point he was trying to communicate besides how very clever he is for managing to fit so much vocabulary into a paragraph I wasn't able or willing to extract it

  7. says:

    To use his own description a tartle I can't remember what his point is

  8. says:

    if moderate liberal forces continue to ignore the radical left they will generate an insurmountable fundamentalist wave

  9. says:

    At the time of writing Marianne Williamson a spiritual self help author and a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate remarked that US politics is gripped by “dark psychic forces” predictably stunning TV audiences and lighting up social media platforms The unconventional to say the least wording resonated with some viewers and mystified pundits who tried to ridicule her afterwards I believe there’s no other way to explain these reactions with the typical political rhetoric but to bring on Zizek’s brand of analysis If you’ve seen any of Zizek’s many lectures and interviews then you know the drill The arguments are verbose circuitous and seemingly so ironically distant the listener is forced to uestion if it’s all bullshit Yet somehow the ramblings always end with a satisfying? punchline and often than not I’m compelled to nodWhy doesn’t he get to the point rather than force feed us with the proverbial word salad? I claim there is a consistent method to his approach The very language we use to address politico socio psychological and so on issues are steeped in the waters of ideology To ignore the linguistic context is to ignore the submerged part of the iceberg If the reader can buy into at least that much then there is much to be gained from his critiue of capitalism It is not a narrow technocratic critiue minimum wage distribution curves tax percentages etc but a critiue of the unconscious in psychoanalytic terms This is a perspective that’s often ignored or even openly dismissed in political discourse yet it is as Zizek might say immanent It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Williamson’s or many of Trumps for that matter comment captured a part of the public imagination while doing the opposite for most of the experts People already intuitively frame experiences political or otherwise in these terms ie vibes moods psychic forcesIn the wake of the US 2016 election perhaps the concerned political reader would do well to consider adopting other analytical tools other than the “Rationalist” approach For no matter how much you try to chase away nature it will always come back

  10. says:

    What I like about Zizek and this book is that the reader is not taken for granted his intelligence and capacity to comprehend are never underestimated Zizek tells it the way he sees it like it is and does not dispense with the wealth of information and understanding of his mind The book in fact while rich in analysis of diverse cultural and political phenomena does not offer or propose a clear path of action a single minded strategy; but beneath the many topics discussed is the hopeful vision of a communist option not the failed inaccessible ideal of the past but a space in which ideas can move without being restricted and ultimately obliterated by market demands

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