Living in the End Times Paperback
by Slavoj Zizek
The underlying premise of the book is a simple one: the global capitalist system is approaching an apocalyptic zero-point.
Its four riders of the apocalypse are the ecological crisis, the consequences of the biogenetic revolution, the imbalances within the system itself (problems with intellectual property, the forthcoming struggle for raw materials, food and water), and the explosions of social divisions and exclusions.
Society's first reaction is ideological denial, then explosions of anger at the injustices of the new world order, attempts at bargaining, and when this fails, depression and withdrawal set in.
Finally, after passing through this zero-point we no longer perceive it as a threat, but as the chance for a new beginning. Or, as Mao Zedong might have put it, There is great disorder under heaven, the situation is excellent.A" A iA ek traces out in detail these five stances, makes a plea for a return to the Marxian critique of political economy, and sniffs out the first signs of a budding communist culture in all its diverse forms-in utopias that range from Kafka's community of mice to the collective of freak outcasts in the TV series Heroes.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 432 pages
- Publisher: Verso Books
- Publication Date: 14/04/2011
- Category: Social & political philosophy
- ISBN: 9781844677023
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Review by JWarren42
I find the same problem with Zizek that I have with Jameson--wandering. Here, there are moments of dazzling, laser-like focus, but they only last for a handful of pages, then he wanders off again. Ultimately, a third of this book will be useful to people who want interesting ways to think about representations of apocalypse (the reason I wanted the book), a third of the book will be interesting to people who want to think about contemporary real world examples of communism (not in any way my interest), and a third of the book will be interesting to those who want discussion of how various philosophers can be read together and in opposition to one another (somewhat interesting to me). For me, the three different parts never melded, and that made the book a tough read.