“he fidgeted maniacally like some sort of homeless intellectual on cocaine”
My opinion is that the left is not able to offer a true alternative to global capitalism. Yes, it is true that ‘capitalism will not be around for ever’ (it is the advocates of the new politics of resistance who think that capitalism and the democratic state are here to stay); it will not be able to cope with the antagonisms it produces. But there is a gap between this negative insight and a basic positive vision. I do not think that today’s candidates – the anti-globalisation movement etc – do the job.
So what are we to do? Everything possible (and impossible), just with a proper dose of modesty, avoiding moralising self-satisfaction. I am aware that when the left builds a protest movement, one should not measure its success by the degree to which its specific demands are met: more important than achieving the immediate target is the raising of critical awareness and finding new ways to organise.
However, I don’t think this holds for protests against the war in Iraq, which fitted all too smoothly the space allotted to ‘democratic protests’ by the hegemonic state and ideological order. Which is why they did not, even minimally, scare those in power. Afterwards, both government and protesters felt smug, as if each side had succeeded in making its point.”
“Another liberal worry is that there is no organised political power to take over if Mubarak goes. Of course there is not; Mubarak took care of that by reducing all opposition to marginal ornaments, so that the result is like the title of the famous Agatha Christie novel, And Then There Were None. The argument for Mubarak – it’s either him or chaos – is an argument against him.”
“For me, shopping is like masturbating in public.”
“This is why it is interesting to imagine a sequel to Avatar in which, after a couple of years (or, rather, months) of bliss, the hero starts to feel a weird discontent and to miss the corrupted human universe. The source of this discontent is not only that every reality, no matter how perfect it is, sooner or later disappoints us. Such a perfect fantasy disappoints us precisely because of its perfection: what this perfection signals is that it holds no place for us, the subjects who imagine it.” (On Avatar)
“Cameron’s superficial Hollywood Marxism (his crude privileging of the lower classes and caricatural depiction of the cruel egotism of the rich) should not deceive us. Beneath this sympathy for the poor lies a reactionary myth…It concerns a young rich person in crisis who gets his (or her) vitality estored through brief intimate contact with the full-blooded life of the poor. What lurks behind the compassion for the poor is their vampiric exploitation.”
Zizek on James Cameron.”