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April 17, 2013

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Alain

Thank you for posting this. I will give Zizek credit for being consistent. But he always begs the question - who gets to chose the left's new master? Presumably centralization of organization is a prerequisite but he certainly should offer more. Perhaps Chavez is a better model than Thatcher, who had the power of the elite behind her.

Jodi Dean

There is a lot I don't like about this piece. The assumption that the political subject is an individual, the assumption that the master is a person. And then the formulaic response where he skims over his inconsistencies -- from people don't know what they want to people want someone to do it for them. I agree with the critique of horizontalism, but the rest is irritating.

Alain

To me this is the most interesting or self revealing part - that he himself, like the great majority "wants to be passive and rely on an efficient state apparatus to guarantee the smooth running of the entire social edifice, so that I can pursue my work in peace." I am usually reluctant to judge a theorist by their personal idiosyncrasies - but doesn't this reveal something about his analysis of the contemporary situation? Not only that we need a master, leader or party organization, but that the passivity of the masses is something inherent to the current situation? And he seems to endorse this? It's funny that he approvingly mentions Lippmann - someone that Dewey had an epic argument with precisely regarding the issue of elites. If only we had "enlightened elites" everything would be better.

I realize this isn't what he is saying but it comes close.

Ben

What's really weird is Zizek actually argued against Badiou's Master figure in his talk "Reply to My Critics" on February 28, now he says we should "fearlessly" accept it? He says, about 10:30 into the recording at the link that he's "not ready" to make the step as Badiou does, that it's shocking, etc. Besides the first paragraph, this text is basically Zizek's speech from February 28 with that huge reversal. And I am not at all anti-Zizek.

http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2013/02/slavoj-zizek-a-reply-to-my-critics/

Ben

It just seems too much like Zizek is trying to out-Zizek himself here. It doesn't help us.

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