11.16.2007

I don't even know

What to say about this Zizek piece:

"One of the clearest lessons of the last few decades is that capitalism is indestructible. Marx compared it to a vampire, and one of the salient points of comparison now appears to be that vampires always rise up again after being stabbed to death. Even Mao’s attempt, in the Cultural Revolution, to wipe out the traces of capitalism, ended up in its triumphant return."
Yes, well, it was certainly a tragedy that the Cultural Revolution didn't work out quite the way it was expected.

One might say that since, like the laws of gravity, it is here to stay, but, unlike gravity, we can change it, then we ought to tame the beast, do what we can to make us ride upon the railroad and keep the railroad from riding upon us. But that's not Zizek's answer. His answer is -- Hugo Chavez!

It is striking that the course on which Hugo Chávez has embarked since 2006 is the exact opposite of the one chosen by the postmodern Left: far from resisting state power, he grabbed it (first by an attempted coup, then democratically), ruthlessly using the Venezuelan state apparatuses to promote his goals. Furthermore, he is militarising the barrios, and organising the training of armed units there. And, the ultimate scare: now that he is feeling the economic effects of capital’s ‘resistance’ to his rule (temporary shortages of some goods in the state-subsidised supermarkets)[Ed. note - !!!], he has announced plans to consolidate the 24 parties that support him into a single party. Even some of his allies are sceptical about this move: will it come at the expense of the popular movements that have given the Venezuelan revolution its élan? However, this choice, though risky, should be fully endorsed: the task is to make the new party function not as a typical state socialist (or Peronist) party, but as a vehicle for the mobilisation of new forms of politics (like the grass roots slum committees).
Yeah, yeah. Even if you think Chavez gets demonized a little too much in the American press, you can see where this is going, can't you? A Revolución Cultural!

And they say intellectuals have no common sense. Is it me, or does this essay give you a craving for Starbucks?

(h/t: AL Daily.)

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