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Slavoj Zizek

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Think about the strangeness of today's situation. Thirty, forty years ago, we were still debating about what the future will be: communist, fascist, capitalist, whatever. Today, nobody even debates these issues. We all silently accept global capitalism is here to stay. On the other hand, we are obsessed with cosmic catastrophes: the whole life on earth disintegrating, because of some virus, because of an asteroid hitting the earth, and so on. So the paradox is, that it's much easier to imagine the end of all life on earth than a much more modest radical change in capitalism.
--
Žižek! (2005)

 
Slavoj Zizek

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For forty-three years of my conscious life I have remained a revolutionist; for forty-two of them I have fought under the banner of Marxism. If I had to begin all over again I would of course try to avoid this or that mistake, but the main course of my life would remain unchanged. I shall die a proletarian revolutionist, a Marxist, a dialectical materialist, and, consequently, an irreconcilable atheist. My faith in the communist future of mankind is not less ardent, indeed it is firmer today, than it was in the days of my youth.

 
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In the imagination of those who are sensitive to the realities of our era, the earth has become a space ship, and this, perhaps, is the most important single fact of our day. For millennia, the earth in men's minds was flat and illimitable. Today, as a result of exploration, speed, and the explosion of scientific knowledge, earth has become a tiny sphere, closed, limited, crowded, and hurtling through space to unknown destinations. This change in man's image of his home affects his behaviour in many ways, and is likely to affect it much more in the future.

 
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I claim that jihadis are really motivated neither by religion nor by a Leftist sense of justice, but by resentment, which in no way puts them on the Left, neither “objectively” nor “subjectively.” I simply never wrote that Islamic fundamentalists are in any sense on the Left—the whole point of my writing on this topic is that the “antagonism” between liberal tolerance and ethnic or religious fundamentalism is inherent to the universe of global capitalism: in their very opposition, they are the two faces of the same system. The true Left starts with the insight into this complicity. A good example of how religious fundamentalism is to be located “in the context of the antagonisms of global capitalism” is Afghanistan. Today, when Afghanistan is portrayed as the utmost Islamic fundamentalist country, who still remembers that, 30 years ago, it was a country with strong secular tradition, up to a strong Communist party which first took power there independently of the Soviet Union? Afghanistan became fundamentalist when it was drawn into global politics (first through the Soviet intervention).

 
Slavoj Zizek
 

Since Christ is the absolute it is easy to see that in relation to him there is only one situation-the situation of contemporaneity. Christ is revealed only to faith. … The qualification that is lacking-which is the qualification of truth (as inwardness) and of all religiousness is-for you. The past is not actuality-for me. Only the contemporary is actuality for me. That with which you are living simultaneously is actuality-for you. Thus, every human being is able to become contemporary only with the time in which he is living-and then with one more, with Christ’s life upon earth, for Christ’s life upon earth, the sacred history, stands alone by itself, outside history. History you can read and hear about as about the past; here you can if it so pleases you, judge by the outcome. But Christ’s life on earth is not a past; it did not wait at the time, eighteen hundred years ago, and does not wait now for the assistance of the outcome. A historical Christianity is nonsense and un-Christian muddled thinking, because whatever true Christians there are in any generation are contemporary with Christ, have nothing to do with Christians in past generations but everything to do with the contemporary Christ. Christ’s life on earth has an eternal contemporaneity. … If you cannot prevail upon yourself to become a Christian in the situation of contemporaneity with him, or if he cannot move you to draw you to himself in the situation of contemporaneity, then you will never become a Christian.

 
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Despite everything he had or might have (except, of course, another human being), life gave no promise of improvement or even of change. The way things shaped up, he would live out his life with no more than he already had. And how many years was that? Thirty, maybe forty if he didn’t drink himself to death.
The thought of forty more years of living as he was made him shudder.

 
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