Unrepentant Charlatanism (With A Response By Slavoj Žižek)

Thomas Moller Nielsen in The Philosophical Salon:

Slavoj Žižek

In the appendix to an article recently published on The Philosophical Salon website, Slavoj Žižek offers a response to the accusations of racism, repetition, reactionaryism and charlatanism that I made against him in an article published last month in the journal Current Affairs.

Arguably, what is most noteworthy about Žižek’s response is not what it says, but what it omits. In particular, Žižek offers no defense of – or apology for – his racist suggestion that pedophilia is “a key constituent of the very identity” of “Pakistani Muslim youth”; he offers no defense of his preposterous preference for “the worst of Stalinism [over] the best of the liberal-capitalist welfare state”; he provides no rationalization of his ridiculous claim that all forms of political Islam ultimately reduce to fascism or Wahhabi-Salafism; he offers no justification for his outrageous suggestion of the acceptability of Western state terrorism and the permissibility of “violat[ing] elementary moral norms”; he supplies no further buttressing of his flimsily-defended assertion of why he believes “right-wing chaos” is a necessary precursor to progressive political change; he offers no attempt to render consistent his belief that US President Donald Trump will provide such “right-wing chaos” with his view that Trump is also a “pretty ordinary centrist liberal”[i]; he provides no explanation for why he advocated abstention in the Macron vs Le Pen 2017 French Presidential election, given his (Žižek’s) professed belief that Le Pen is an “anti-immigrant populist” who represents “the principal threat to Europe”; he makes no admission of, or apology for, the fact that his 2018 book Like a Thief in Broad Daylight was deceptively marketed as a book about technology’s impact on human affairs, when in fact the book was largely about sex; he makes no attempt to clarify what he means by “dialectical materialism”, or to render the dozen or so (often amusingly) distinct definitions he has previously offered of the term consistent; he offers no defense or retraction of his ridiculous assertion that the world (according to quantum mechanics) is a “positively charged void, and that particular things appear when the balance of the void is disturbed”; and, finally – and perhaps somewhat forgivably – he offers no attempt to explain what on earth (e.g.) animal sex has to do with Hegelian interpretations of quantum mechanics.

More here.

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