Did somebody say totalitarianism? : five interventions in the (mis)use of a notion /
Slavoj Žižek.
London ; New York : Verso, 2001.
vi, 280 p. ; 20 cm.
1859847927 (cloth)
More Details
series title
London ; New York : Verso, 2001.
1859847927 (cloth)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 257-271) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Slavoj Zizek is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Studies in Ljubljana.
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, May 2001
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
In some circles, a nod towards totalitarianism is enough to dismiss any critique of the status quo. Such is the insidiousness of the neo-liberal ideology, argues Slavoj iek. Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism? turns a specious rhetorical strategy on its head to identify a network of family resemblances between totalitarianism and modern liberal democracy. iek argues that totalitarianism is invariably defined in terms of four things: the Holocaust as the ultimate, diabolical evil; the Stalinist gulag as the alleged truth of the socialist revolutionary project; ethnic and religious fundamentalisms, which are to be fought through multiculturalist tolerance; and the deconstructionist idea that the ultimate root of totalitarianism is the ontological closure of thought. iek concludes that the devil lies not so much in the detail but in what enables the very designation totalitarian: the liberal-democratic consensus itself.
Publisher Fact Sheet
Instead of providing yet another systematic exposition of the history of the notion of totalitarianism, Zizek's new book addresses it in a Wittgensteinian way. In so doing he reveals the prevalence of the consensus view. Zizek concludes that the devil lies not so much in the detail of what constitutes totalitarianism but in what enables the very designation totalitarian, the liberal-democratic consensus itself.
Table of Contents
Introduction: On Ideological Antioxidantsp. 1
The Myth and Its Vicissitudesp. 8
Hamlet before Oedipus
The birth of beauty out of the abject
From comedy to tragedy
The myth of postmodernity
'Thrift, thrift, Horatio!'
The enigma of/in the Other
Hitler as Ironist?p. 61
Was the Holocaust diabolical Evil?
Laugh yourself to death!
The Muslim
Beneath tragedy and comedy
When the Party Commits Suicidep. 88
'The Power of the Powerless'
The Communist sacrifice
Stalin-Abraham against Bukharin-Isaac
Stalinist jouissance
Lenin versus Stalin
When discourse implodes
Excursus: Shostakovich and the resistance to Stalinism
The radical ambiguity of Stalinism
Melancholy and the Actp. 141
Lack is not the same as loss
'Post-secular thought?' No, thanks!
The Other: Imaginary, symbolic, and real
The ethical act: Beyond the reality principle
A plea for materialist creationism
The Pope versus the Dalai Lama
John Woo as a critic of Levinas: The face as a fetish
Are Cultural Studies Really Totalitarian?p. 190
The burning question
The two Reals
The 'Third Culture' as ideology
The impasse of historicism
Theoretical state apparatuses
Conclusion: '... and what are the destitute (totalitarians) for in a poetic time?'p. 229
Notesp. 257
Indexp. 273
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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