[Marxism] MIA Left Forum: Panel on Revolutionary Digital Archiving

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed May 14 08:36:45 MDT 2014


Speaking of the Left Forum, I doubt if I'll go to this but it makes me 
far more partial to Zizek than ever.

Zizek Delenda Est

Participants:
Jacob Levich Chair,
Hannah Wolfe ISO
Molly Klein
John Steppling

Levich is a long time "anti-imperialist" who was a Marxmail subscriber 
over a decade ago. I can't remember if I booted him or if he unsubbed. 
The title of the workshop comes from "Carthage delenda est", which means 
Carthage must be destroyed. I wonder if Michael Smith was an outside 
consultant on the title.

I have written a number of articles critiquing Zizek but I would never 
consider him some kind of imperialist operative, which is the impression 
that these panelists want to convey based on the blurbs found in the 
Left Forum website.

Abstract:
Is Slavoj Zizek a US propaganda psyop? I want to ask my comrades on the 
left to consider the possibility. After years of research, I have come 
to the conclusion that Zizek is a charlatan posing as a "Stalinist" to 
both discredit communists by performing a caricature Bolshevik and 
simultaneously, to smuggle fascist ideas including old fashioned Aryan 
supremacism and 19th century race theory, back into public discourse 
disguised as radical left critique of liberalism. I zill focus on how he 
exploits his radical left image to spread imperialist propaganda and 
disinformation. I'll trace the origins of the Zizek Industry to his 
first anointing by the New Left Review,then under the control of 
Croatian Nationalists and Tudjman supporters, as the Balkan Leftist who 
would initiate, in 1990, the dominant strain of imperialist propaganda 
about Yugoslavia, and yet further back to his career as an antiMarxist 
dissident and Slovene ethnic nationalist. I will discuss the way he has 
influenced a generation to the point where now right wing and 
reactionary ideas as well as pure white house disinformation and 
propaganda are routinely packaged as hip "lefty" and "radical" thought.

(I assume that Levich wrote this. It smacks of the conspiracist mindset 
that has infected the left for decades now. Skullduggery reminiscent of 
the Mad Magazine "Spy versus Spy" cartoons.)


Molly Klein:
Zizek Must Be Destroyed. Zizek is not only an individual celebrity 
intellectual who, with the help of the NYTimes, the Guardian, the BBC, 
In These Times, and Verso Books has become the most recognizeablle 
"Marxist" in the spectacle, but the name of a type of ideological 
revanchist black operation which seeks to reverse the gains of the 
radical scolarship and decoloniality of the past decades, to vend US 
imperial propaganda and disinformation as "critique of liberalism" and 
"contrarian insights," to rebarbarize moeurs (normalizing racist and 
sexist verbal aggression, re-segregating intellectual milieux) which had 
been to a great degree civilized by the successes of the social 
movementsm, and to revive Nazi ideology - rebranded as "radical left" - 
in academic, "indy" publishing, and what's left of "counterculture" 
circles. The problem is not confined to this one individual (whom many 
dismiss as clownish) but involves a significant network of culture 
producers showing his influence routinely reproducing US 
imperialapology, propaganda and disinformation in a superficial "left" 
package and opportunistically attacking all challenges to Empire which 
threaten to gain steam.


(I just love the business about "ideological revanchist black 
operation". I have a feeling that Molly must have a poster of Vishinsky 
on her bedroom wall like John Travolta had one of Al Pacino in "Saturday 
Night Fever". Klein, like Levich, is anxious to demonize NLR and Verso. 
Over the years I have grown used to sectarian idiots making NLR and 
Verso into a kind of litmus test after the fashion of the Trotsky "From 
a scratch to a gangrene" polemics. As if someone lecturing on "The 
Matrix" is the biggest problem facing the left. In my view, the biggest 
problem facing the left is the sheer lunacy of people wasting space and 
time at the Left Forum on something like this. Frankly, I was a bit 
distressed to see that Hannah Wolfe of the ISO is taking part. These 
comrade should know better.)







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