Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism? : Four Interventions in the (Mis)Use of a Notion, Paperback / softback Book

Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism? : Four Interventions in the (Mis)Use of a Notion Paperback / softback


Totalitarianism has always had a precise strategic function: to guarantee the liberal democratic hegemony by dismissing the Leftist critique of liberal democracy as the two-faced twin of Right-wing dictatorships.

Instead of providing yet another systematic exposition of the history of this notion, Zizek looks at totalitarianism in a way that Wittgenstein would approve of - finding it a cobweb of family resemblances.

He reveals the consensus view of totalitarianism, in which it is invariably defined in terms of four things: the holocaust as the ultimate, diabolical evil; the Stalinist gulag as the alleged truth of the socialist revolutionary project; the recent wave of ethnic and religious fundamentalisms to be fought through multiculturalist tolerance; and the deconstructionist idea that the ultimate root of totalitarianism is the ontological closure of thought.

Zizek concludes that the devil lies not so much in the detail but in what enables the very designation totalitarian: the liberal-democratic consensus itself.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Social & political philosophy
  • ISBN: 9781844677139



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