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Welcome to the Desert of the Real (Essay)

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Welcome to the Desert of the Real*Slavoj Zizek.10/7/01 — Reflections on WTC — third version. {{BSZ}}
Alain Badiou identified as the key feature of the XXth century the "passion of the Real /la passion du reel/"1: in contrast to the XIXth century of the utopian or "scientific" projects and ideals, plans about the future, the XXth century aimed at delivering the thing itself, at directly realizing the longer-for New Order. The ultimate and defining experience of the XXth century was the direct experience of the Real as opposed to the everyday social reality — the Real in its extreme violence as the price to be paid for peeling off the deceiving layers of reality. Already in the trenches of the World War I, Carl Schmitt was celebrating the face to face combat as the authentic intersubjective encounter: authenticity resides in the act of violent transgression, from the Lacanian Real — the Thing Antigone confronts when he violates the order of the City — to the Bataillean excess.
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