[Marxism] Zizek interview in the FT

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Mar 7 07:40:52 MST 2009


I've sort of lost the appetite for shooting fish in a barrel, but can't 
let this paragraph from the article slip by without comment:

What we often fail to understand, he argues, is how Stalinism was a 
counter-revolution, reacting against the extreme “post-human” utopian 
ambitions that were championed by Bolshevik leaders in the 1920s. 
Communist extremists predicted the day when workers would live in a 
perfect society with no need for emotions, or even names, and all 
sexuality and family life would be suppressed. But Stalin was far more 
conservative, reacting against experimental art and insisting on the 
sanctity of family life. “Stalinism reacted against these negative 
dystopias that were even more terrifying. Stalinism was, in that sense, 
a return to normal life. People forget that.”

This encapsulates exactly what is wrong with Zizek's "Marxism". It is 
utterly uninterested in socio-economic forces, such as the "scissor" 
effect that antagonized the peasants, the loss of Bolshevik cadre during 
the civil war, the failure of the revolutionary movement to take power 
elsewhere in the 1920s, etc. Everything gets reduced to a culture war 
over family values, as if Stalin were Jerry Falwell wearing a 
hammer-and-sickle instead of a cross. How Zizek manages to get the 
reputation of brilliant Marxist genius is one of the greatest mysteries 
of the past 50 years. But then again, reviewers still fawn over Woody Allen.

More information about the Marxism mailing list