Communism Is Back in Fashion

As progressives are moving further and further to the left, some are not stopping at socialism or even at the identity politics of post-Marxism.  Some are embracing old-fashioned Cold-War-era, Soviet-style communism.

Slovenian thinker Slavoj Žižek is such a communist.  He is described as an author of “sheer brilliance” with a big following in Western academic circles.  The Chronicle of Higher Education described him as “the Elvis of cultural theory.” The New Republic calls him “the most dangerous philosopher in the West.”  He writes in English and has nearly 50 titles on his Amazon author page.  

Christian Alejandro Gonzalez reviews his new book The Courage of Hopelessness in National Review.   The review, entitled Slavoj Žižek, Fashionable Revolutionary, shows how the author makes the case that virtually all problems can be blamed on global capitalism:

Like much of Žižek’s work, The Courage of Hopelessness seeks above all to convince us that the neoliberal world order is fatally deficient. In Žižek’s view it allows “politicians, bankers, and managers” to “realize their greed” by stashing their ill-earned wealth in offshore tax havens. It creates false scarcity and exacerbates already-savage income inequalities. It destabilizes the lives of working people. It establishes sweatshops (in Asia), resuscitates slavery (in Qatar), and necessitates oppressive policies of social control. The way to overcome these troubles, Žižek argues, is by reinvigorating the politics of the radical left, unabashedly embracing Communism,  and confronting the behemoth of the capitalist economy.

And Žižek does not shrink from the Marxist-Leninist prescription for revolutionary violence.


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