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August 18, 2008


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Hi Jodi, thanks for these notes. They are helpful. I have one question, if you are still thinking about the book: what implications does your discussion of Zizek's 'omission' have? Is your insight here one of your own, or something that you are claiming Zizek misses in the terms of his own argument? Or, perhaps, an omision that enables Zizek to discuss a further set of explorations, for example the sense of resentiment that Sloterdijk puts forth? I hope that makes some sense.


Omission was my critical observation that I then tried to recuperate by considering how it works.

Dennis J Figueroa

You do realize, of course, that it is exactly this kind of positioning that has worked to condemn the Left to irrelevance. Zizek wants to, what? Campaign on a platform of envy and bitterness?

Let me ask you this: in your personal dealings with people, have you ever managed to win political ground, after beginning from such a starting point?

Joe Clement


Here's a great interview about the book and its subject matter, which you may or may-not know about being that it's done through IJZS. I was very interested in his discussion in Part 3 of the 5-Part series of videos, which is another engagement with his opposition to multi-culturalism. What's so interesting is how he uses an example from contemporary German politics to illustrate the kind of stance towards a diverse world he is advocating.

Simply put, the argument of a certain conservative group is that we [Germans] need some kind of predominant culture, with the caveat, of course, that this culture should be constituted by the values of said group. Zizek likes this as an approach to multi-culturalism with a caveat of his own: instead of values, like tolerance, he thinks the mechanism(s) of civility (as part of a general Leftist movement) should be encoded not as values but as "everyday customs".

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