Painting by Ahn Gyeon (안견/安堅), Dream Journey to the Peach Blossom Land (몽유도원도/夢遊桃源圖), 1447.



I cannot say that I am familiar with Slavoj Žižek's works. So far I have only read In Defense of Lost Causes (New York: Verso, 2008, 528 pp.), which I quite enjoyed.
The opus reassesses the 'Utopian' projects of the Left in this era of failed capitalism and calls for a new type of emancipatory politics: it is a shout in the wilderness, in search of a new Zeitgeist.
(Who said that the libertarian left was dead? Just read Chomsky for a taste of the possible in these impossible times.)
This description by the publisher may persuade you to have a go at the book, unless you are a primitive and virulent anti-socialist:
"Is global emancipation a lost cause? Are universal values outdated relics of an earlier age? In this combative major new work, philosophical sharpshooter Slavoj Zizek takes on the reigning ideology with a plea that we should re-appropriate several “lost causes,” and looks for the kernel of truth in the “totalitarian” politics of the past. Examining Heidegger’s seduction by fascism and Foucault’s flirtation with the Iranian Revolution, he suggests that these were the “right steps in the wrong direction.”
Highlighting the revolutionary terror of Robespierre, Mao and the Bolsheviks, Zizek argues that while these struggles ended in historic failure and monstrosity, this is not the entire story. There was, in fact, a redemptive moment that gets lost in the outright liberal-democratic rejection of revolutionary authoritarianism and the valorization of soft, consensual, decentralized politics. Zizek claims that, particularly in light of the forthcoming ecological crisis, we should reinvent revolutionary terror and the dictatorship of the proletariat in the struggle for universal emancipation. We need to courageously accept the return to this cause —even if we court the risk of a catastrophic disaster. In the words of Samuel Beckett, “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

For more on Žižek, visit, for instance, the entry on him in The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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