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In Defense of Lost Causes
From No Subject
A witty, adrenalin-fuelled manifesto for universal values
Is global emancipation a lost cause? Are universal values outdated relics of an earlier age? In the postmodern world, ideologies of all kinds have been cast in doubt. In this combative new work, renowned theorist Slavoj Zizek takes on the reigning postmodern agenda with a manifesto for several “lost causes.” From a provocative redemption of Heidegger’s engagement with the Third Reich as “a right step in the wrong direction” to reasserting class struggle as the underlying reality of global capitalism, to a defense of the emancipatory legacy of Christianity against New Age spiritualism, Zizek confronts the failures of contemporary theory and proposes unexpected resolutions.
"Is the minimal difference in politics not the one between Nazism and Stalinism? In a letter to Herbert Marcuse from 20 January 1948, Heidegger wrote: "To the serious legitimate charges that you express about a regime that murdered millions of Jews...' I can merely add that if instead of 'Jews' you had written 'East Germans,' then the same holds true for one of the allies, with the difference that everything that has occurred since 1945 has become public knowledge, while the bloody terror of the Nazis in point of fact had been kept a secret from the German people." Marcuse was fully justified in replying that the thin difference between brutally ex-patriating people and burning them in a concentration camp is the line that, at that moment, separated civilization from barbarism. One should not shirk from going even a step further: the thin difference between the Stalinist gulag and the Nazi annihilation camp also was, at that historical moment, the difference between civilization and barbarism."