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Välkommen till verklighetens öken (2002)

av Slavoj Žižek

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546731,809 (3.8)2
Liberals and conservatives proclaim the end of the American holiday from history. Now the easy games are over; one should take sides. Zizek argues this is precisely the temptation to be resisted. In such moments of apparently clear choices, the real alternatives are most hidden. Welcome to the Desert of the Real steps back, complicating the choices imposed on us. It proposes that global capitalism is fundamentalist and that America was complicit in the rise of Muslim fundamentalism. It points to our dreaming about the catastrophe in numerous disaster movies before it happened, and explores the irony that the tragedy has been used to legitimize torture. Last but not least it analyzes the fiasco of the predominant leftist response to the events.… (mer)

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  Lior.Zylberman | Apr 11, 2020 |
In short, is it not that today, in our resigned postideological era which admits no positive Absolutes, the only legitimate candidate for the Absolute are radically evil acts?

This is a book about dreams. The philosopher notes early that in developing nations people dream about making it to the West, while First Worlders dream about the end of the world. Slavoj Žižek is coy like that. Throughout Welcome To The Desert of the Real he displays his range without much rigor. It doesn't read as caprice, it functions as serial questions, those that make us readers uncomfortable. The Western Malaise is one of excess. Lacan offered diagnosis some time back. we now need to cut ourselves, distract our neuroses in reality programming. We to be displaced by the Spectacle. Our choices leave us docile. We stared at the remains of the World Trade Center and asked how could this happen here? The author poses that we should've reacted that this shouldn't happen again anywhere.

This is a riveting work. Many are critical of Žižek's recourse to popular cultural. I am not. While being unaware of the title being a line from The Matrix, I find the analogy comfortably disturbing.
( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Purporting to be an analysis of the 9/11 attacks, and the motivations behind them, this book wanders all over the place, and is so abstruse and inaccessible it isn't really worth the time; after all, there are many better books written on the topic, and I was unable to see that the author actually added anything new to the subject. ( )
  Devil_llama | May 8, 2011 |
Slavoj Zizek is one of Europe's leading intellectuals and social theorists. In this book he doesn't seem to emulate those credentials. Perhaps it is his writing style, a vast sea of ever changing subjects and thoughts tied together by a vague theme. However his positions on "terrorism" and "liberal democracy" are spot on. In this book he seemed to utilize "Hegelian" reversals quite a bit, as well as revealing the psychological undertones of political events and players making the book a fascinating read. ( )
  alexgalindo | Apr 30, 2008 |
The thing you notice quickly: how often the bastard contradicts himself. At first I wanted to say that he was inconsistent, but then it became clear that it was a bigger part of his mission. And, indeed, his first wish is to problematize the simple choices we have been given. Honestly, too, few are better positioned to do so. As a Slovene, as someone who cut his teeth on Soviet intellectualism then found himself suddenly a part of the Captalist West, Zizek has the perspective and authority to denounce both the Left and the Right in their responses to 9/11.

The book is much larger than this, however, and throughout I think Zizek takes up the mantle of exposing the dangers of simplicity. He jumps in topic, he starts with one belief, stated resolutely, then swings to examples that seem to voice the exact opposite, yet every perspective is clearly fit together by his thoughts. In other words, as a bit of a political Tiresias, Zizek delivers a message to us stuck in our simpler ideological bodies: simplicity is part of the problem. ( )
1 rösta somnambule | Apr 10, 2008 |
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In an old joke from the defunct German Democratic Republic, a German worker gets a job in Siberia; aware of how all mail will be read by the censors, he tells his friends: 'Let's establish a code: if a letter you get from me is written in ordinary blue ink, it's true; if it's written in red ink, it's false.'
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Liberals and conservatives proclaim the end of the American holiday from history. Now the easy games are over; one should take sides. Zizek argues this is precisely the temptation to be resisted. In such moments of apparently clear choices, the real alternatives are most hidden. Welcome to the Desert of the Real steps back, complicating the choices imposed on us. It proposes that global capitalism is fundamentalist and that America was complicit in the rise of Muslim fundamentalism. It points to our dreaming about the catastrophe in numerous disaster movies before it happened, and explores the irony that the tragedy has been used to legitimize torture. Last but not least it analyzes the fiasco of the predominant leftist response to the events.

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