Living in the End Times (Paperback)
There should no longer be any doubt: global capitalism is fast approaching its terminal crisis. Slavoj iek has identified the four horsemen of this coming apocalypse: the worldwide ecological crisis; imbalances within the economic system; the biogenetic revolution; and exploding social divisions and ruptures. But, he asks, if the end of capitalism seems to many like the end of the world, how is it possible for Western society to face up to the end times? In a major new analysis of our global situation, Slavok iek argues that our collective responses to economic Armageddon correspond to the stages of grief: ideological denial, explosions of anger and attempts at bargaining, followed by depression and withdrawal.
After passing through this zero-point, we can begin to perceive the crisis as a chance for a new beginning. Or, as Mao Zedong put it, “There is great disorder under heaven, the situation is excellent.” Slavoj iek shows the cultural and political forms of these stages of ideological avoidance and political protest, from New Age obscurantism to violent religious fundamentalism. Concluding with a compelling argument for the return of a Marxian critique of political economy, iek also divines the wellsprings of a potentially communist culture—from literary utopias like Kafka’s community of mice to the collective of freak outcasts in the TV series Heroes.
About the Author
Slavoj iek 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 iek, and many more.
“The result is, as usual, a compendium of long passages of fierce brilliance ... iek is consistently penetrating.”
—Steven Poole, Guardian
“Never ceases to dazzle.”
—Brian Dillon, Daily Telegraph
“The thinker of choice for Europe’s young intellectual vanguard ... to witness iek in full flight is a wonderful and at times alarming experience, part philosophical tightrope-walk, part performance-art marathon, part intellectual roller-coaster ride.”
—Sean O'Hagan, Observer
“Wide-ranging, often revelatory, frequently bewildering.”
—Helen Brown, Daily Telegraph
“A giddying combination of exhilaration and perplexity, an addictive high-speed chase with bewildering changes in terrain that for the reader necessitate multiple gear shifts, sudden U-turns, three- and four-point turns, elegant loops and impossibly narrow angles to negotiate.”
—Irish Left Review
“The most dangerous philosopher in the West.”
—Adam Kirsch, The New Republic