Slavoj Žižek: Leader of the Global Left

With his combination of pop culture references, humor and fresh political insights, Žižek has become one of the most charismatic and sought after voices of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

What's the Latest Development?

Žižek, the Slovenian philosopher and social critic, has an indefatigable travel schedule which recently landed him in New York while the Occupy Wall Street movement was just heating up. After giving a lecture on Communism elsewhere in the city, he traveled to Zuccotti Park to get an impression of the protests. "The basic insight I saw is that clearly, for the first time, the underlying perception is that there is a flaw in the [capitalist] system as such. It's not just the question of making the system better."

What's the Big Idea?

Žižek's fear is that the Wall Street Occupation will be romanticized into oblivion, that protesters will be so in love with their own image as revolutionaries that they will forget to act. To counter that risk, he recommends that the they begin making a solid foundation on which future action can be based and to focus on specific policy areas, like healthcare, which are emblematic of current unjust societal inequities. Žižek defends communism, more as an important question than an answer, for his vision of a radically egalitarian future.

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