‘First they called me a joker, now I am a dangerous thinker’ // Slavoj Zizek talks to The Times of India

Slavoj Zizek is an unusual philosopher with unfashionably inflexible left-wing views. He also loves Hollywood classics. The 59-year-old academic has written more than 30 books on subjects as diverse as Alfred Hitchcock, Lenin and 9/11. A self-proclaimed Leninist, the Slovenian thinker believes that “communism will triumph finally”. On his first visit to India this week, Zizek spoke about global capitalism, Gandhi, Bollywood and Buddhism. Excerpts from the interview:

You call yourself a Leninist but the media in the West has called you a ‘rock star’ and the ‘Marx Brother’. How do you react to such labels?
With resigned melancholy. They try to say that this guy may be interesting and provocative but he is not serious. To them, I am like a fly that annoys you and provokes you but should not be taken seriously. Though, of late, they have been dubbing me as someone more threatening. In the last two years, the tone has changed. First, there were Marx Brothers’ jokes and now they say I am the most dangerous philosopher in the West. But I don’t care.

You also don’t care when they say that you glorify political violence.
For me, the 20th century communism is the biggest ethical-political catastrophe in history, greater catastrophe than fascism. But in the first years of the October Revolution, in spite of the so-called Red Terror, there was sexual liberation and literary explosion before it turned into a nightmare. I don’t accept the right-wing critique that says it was evil from the very beginning.

Read more of this insignificant interview here

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