Žižek contends that the Culture War raging in the developed West is a false war, a war between two versions of the same global capitalist system: its unrestrained pure version and its “neo-Fascist” conservative version which tries to unite capitalist dynamism with traditional values and liberties. As Žižek argues, the paradox is here double: Western Political Correctness is a displacement of the old class struggle – the liberal elite pretends to protect the threatened racial and sexual minorities to obfuscate the basic fact of their privileged economic and power position. This allows the alt Right populists to present themselves as a defense of the “real” working class against the big corporations and “deep state” elites. The implication to be drawn is not that Left and Right are today outdated notions but that both poles of today’s Cold War can only be properly grasped as a displaced class struggle: neither of them really stands for those exploited. What is becoming more obvious is the inability of the parliamentary liberal democracy to cope with today’s multiple crises and apocalyptic prospects.
Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books include Living in the End Times, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, In Defense of Lost Causes, four volumes of the Essential Žižek, and many more.
Born in 1949 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, he earned his BA in philosophy and sociology in 1971; Master of Arts (philosophy, 1975); and Doctor of Arts (philosophy, 1981) at the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana; Doctor of Arts (psychoanalysis, 1985) at the Universite Paris-VIII; Doctor Causa Honoris at the University of Cordoba, Argentina (2005).
From 2002, he was Senior Researcher at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana; from 1979 till 2001, researcher at the Institute for sociology and philosophy, University of Ljubljana (from 1992 Institute for Social Sciences, Faculty for Social Sciences). From 2002, he was also Senior Researcher at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana; from 2005 Co-Director at the International Center for Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London.
Jeremy Matthew Glick is an Associate Professor of African Diaspora literature and modern drama at Hunter College and the new editor of Situations: A Journal of the Radical Imagination. He is currently working on long-form essays on Frantz Fanon, Sam Greenlee’s Black Power Detective Fiction, and Century-Methodological Approaches to African American Literature. His second book project is entitled Coriolanus Against Liberalism/ Lumumba & Pan-Africanist Loss. Professor Glick has recently received the Nicolas Guillen Philosophical Literature Prize for his 2016 book, The Black Radical Tragic.