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In Defense of Lost Causes

Acclaimed, adrenalin-fuelled manifesto for universal values.

In this combative major new work, philosophical sharpshooter Slavoj Zizek looks for the kernel of truth in the totalitarian politics of the past.

Examining Heidegger's seduction by fascism and Foucault's flirtation with the Iranian Revolution, he suggests that these were the 'right steps in the wrong direction.' On the revolutionary terror of Robespierre, Mao and the bolsheviks, Zizek argues that while these struggles ended in historic failure and horror, there was a valuable core of idealism lost beneath the bloodshed.

A redemptive vision has been obscured by the soft, decentralized politics of the liberal-democratic consensus. Faced with the coming ecological crisis, Zizekk argues the case for revolutionary terror and the dictatorship of the proletariat. A return to past ideals is needed despite the risks. In the words of Samuel Beckett: 'Try again. Fail again. Fail better.'

Reviews

  • “The most dangerous philosopher in the West.”
  • “Addictively eclectic … He contrives to leave the reader, as usual, both exhilarated and disoriented, standing in the middle of a scorched plain strewn with the rubble of smashed idols.”
  • “A wealth of political and philosophical insight.”
  • “A monument to imaginative, risk-taking and rigorous scholarship.”
  • “Exhilarating, inspiring, thought-provoking.”
  • “Outrageous, provocative and entertaining.”

Blog

  • Lenin remembered!: A reading list

    In order to commemorate Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, who died on this day 92 years ago, we present a reading list of books that respond to, critique and chronicle Lenin's life and work. The books in this library emphasise the intervention and impact he made in Marxist discourse, most evident in the juncture between theory and practice. 


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  • 50% off all Slavoj Žižek books through Sunday!


    To celebrate the release of the paperback edition of Absolute Recoil (on sale today!), every single Slavoj Žižek title is now 50% off until Sunday at 8pm ET.

    In the New York Review of Books, John Gray states that, "few thinkers illustrate the contradictions of contemporary capitalism better than the Slovenian philosopher and cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek." 

    Now is your chance to collect every book in his vast bookshelf, from his plea to repeat and expand on the ideas of Hegel, in Less Than Nothing, his analysis of how Western society can face up to the end times if the end of capitalism means the end of the world, in Living in the End Times, and the connections between totalitarianism and modern liberal democracy in Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism?

    You can browse every title in the Žižek bookshelf sale below and by clicking the book jackets here ==============>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Includes free shipping (worldwide) and free bundled ebook where available.

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  • Alain Badiou: "Mao thinks in an almost infinite way"

    Badiou's apparently "unrepentant" Maoism has been one of the most controversial, if misinterpreted, elements of his thought. In the conversation below, Badiou is pressed on the question by an anonymous Chinese philosopher, and maintains that Mao continues to provide a model for dialectical thought, if not for a historical project. Visit LEAP to read the original piece in full.

    A full recording of the performance, held on December 13, 2014, Manny Cantor Center, New York, can now be accessed here

    Stock-up, bulk-out, or fill-in the gaps in your Badiou Bookshelf with 50% off until tomorrow!



    ILLUSTRATION / Wang Buke

    A Dialogue Between a Chinese Philosopher and a French Philosopher

    December 13, 2014, Manny Cantor Center, New York

    Some time ago, French philosopher (and venerable Maoist) Alain Badiou traveled to China to speak to a Chinese philosopher. Though his or her name appears to have been lost in the ashes of time, the transcript of this alleged meeting remains, and bears a noted resemblance to a series of conversations Badiou had with Lu Xinghua, a contentious proponent of the theorization of Chinese contemporary art. A restaging of this dialogue this past December in New York, with an actress as the skeptical interlocutor, provided a window into Continental philosophy’s most ardent Orientalist fantasies—and an hour or two of solid dialectical entertainment.

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