Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

September 17, 2010

Zizek on crisis

Filed under: financial crisis — louisproyect @ 6:45 pm

From “A Permanent Economic Emergency” in the latest New Left Review:

The best indicator of the left’s lack of trust in itself today is its fear of crisis. A true left takes a crisis seriously, without illusions. Its basic insight is that, although crises are painful and dangerous, they are inevitable, and that they are the terrain on which battles have to be waged and won. Which is why today, more than ever, Mao Zedong’s old motto is pertinent: ‘Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent.’


  1. You need a “like” button.

    Well, not really. But I like that.

    Comment by Will Shetterly — September 18, 2010 @ 12:13 am

  2. Quite so. I’ve been enjoying the spectacle of the “republican” party tearing itself into smaller chunks over this “tea party” fantasy of theirs. The “democrats” will no doubt split as well as we get closer to the election year, Clinton’s bound to make her move. Normally this wouldn’t be the case with an incumbent during an overseas debacle, but we can be fairly sure that since this incumbent is black, there will be all kinds of rats deserting the ship. The more they fight amongst themselves, the better it can be for those of us who really don’t give a shit as to what happens to the political fortunes of any bourgeoise party. May they all go the way of the Whigs.

    Comment by Michael Hureaux — September 18, 2010 @ 5:05 pm

  3. […] Zizek on crisis From “A Permanent Economic Emergency” in the latest New Left Review: […]

    Pingback by Darwiniana » Crisis and leftist paralysis — September 18, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

  4. It is too bad that this article is one of those that the NLR requires a subscription in order to obtain access. I thought that one of Zizek’s larger points, that the left must move beyond trying to preserve the crumbling edifice of the Keynesian social welfare state, was on the mark. Overall, I thought that Zizek was surprisingly direct in his analysis, abandoning his tendency to expose the contradictions of his readers by leading them through circuitous philosophical cul-de-sacs, which is perhaps an illustration as to how serious he perceives the situation. If you read the article without knowing that it was written by Zizek, you’d be hard pressed to identify it as one of his, although the quote that you have posted might give it away for some,

    Comment by Richard Estes — September 19, 2010 @ 9:40 pm

  5. For all those who are not economically disposed to obtain NLR contents, someone has kindly made the article available, with a link here: http://ifile.it/qlw3d7v

    Comment by Paul — September 21, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

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