First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

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The leading philosopher of our time tackles the demise of liberalism, from the tragedy of 9/11 to the farce of the financial meltdown

Billions of dollars were hastily poured into the global banking system in a frantic attempt at financial stabilisation. So why has it not been possible to bring the same forces to bear in addressing world poverty and environmental crisis? In this take-no-prisoners analysis, Slavoj Žižek frames the moral failures of the modern world in terms of the epoch-making events of the first decade of this century. What he finds is the old one-two punch of history: the jab of tragedy, the right hook of farce. In the attacks of 9/11 and the global credit crunch, liberalism dies twice: as a political doctrine and as an economic theory. The election of Donald Trump only confirms the bankruptcy of a liberal order on its last legs.

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce is a call for the left to reinvent itself in the light of our desperate historical situation. The time for liberal, moralistic blackmail is over.

Reviews

  • Zizek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation.

    New Yorker
  • One of the most innovative and exciting contemporary thinkers of the left.

    Times Literary Supplement
  • Few thinkers illustrate the contradictions of contemporary capitalism better than Slavoj Žižek ... one of the world’s best-known public intellectuals.

    John GrayNew York Review of Books