[Marxism] Zizek in the Socialist Review (SWP-UK)

Maxwell Clark maxclark84 at gmail.com
Fri Nov 20 12:50:47 MST 2009

An encouraging development. Is Zizek becoming a partisan activist?
Let's hope so, utopians that we all are. --St. Max


Through the glasses darkly
Feature by Slavoj Zizek, November 2009

Cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek offers a thought provoking analysis of
how ideology embeds itself by structuring the way we react to the
conditions of our daily lives

John Carpenter's 1988 film They Live, one of the neglected
masterpieces of the Hollywood left, is a true lesson in the critique
of ideology. It is the story of Nada - Spanish for "nothing" - a
homeless labourer who finds work in Los Angeles as a construction
worker. One of the other workers, Frank Armitage, takes Nada to a
local shantytown to spend the night. Noticing some suspicious
behaviour at a nearby church, he decides the next day to investigate.
Upon searching the church he discovers several boxes full of
sunglasses in a secret wall compartment. When he first puts on a pair
of the glasses he notices that a publicity billboard now simply
displays the word "OBEY" while another billboard urges the viewer to
"MARRY AND REPRODUCE". He also sees that paper money bears the words
"THIS IS YOUR GOD". He soon discovers that many people are actually
aliens. When the aliens realise he can see them for what they are, the
police suddenly arrive.


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