The Constant Radicals

2012.08.23.Divergingmarkets.Free-Pussy-Riot

This famous cartoon on the chauvinism of the ruling elite of Europe obtains a Žižekian edge to it, in the light of his letter-exchange with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and the arguments he makes about a sexed-up, hollow contemporary sexuality in his new book.

Žižek’s counter-intuitive description of radicals: “They are really always saying the same thing. They don’t change; everybody else changes. They are accused of the most incompatible crimes, of egoism and a mania for power, indifference to the fate of their cause, fanaticism, triviality, lack of humour, buffoonery and irreverence. But they sound a certain note. Hence the great practical power of persistent radicals. To all appearance, nobody follows them, yet everyone believes them. They hold a tuning-fork and sound A, and everybody knows it really is A, though the time-honoured pitch is G flat.”

 

This means the conservatives are hypocrites who constantly change their views as it suits them. Or, as Žižek puts in the new book published by Navayana and available from February 2014, “While conservatives cut their coat according to their cloth, radicals demand more cloth.”

Buy First as Tragedy, then as Farce here.              Buy The Sublime Object of Ideology here.

                                                    Read the full correspondence in The Guardian here.