The world today, not in the least Europe, is facing an unprecedented crisis. There is more food to eat, more ideology, sexual permissiveness, exhaustive laws, regularization of banking and other financial institutions, and, Slavoj Žižek argues, more privacy. Yet, the level of disbelief and frustration with regard to hunger, sexuality, law and order, the economic situation, politics, and the notion of public space is palpable. Is this not just because we continue to be seduced by a patchwork of easy but wrong answers but because the allure of those answers leads us to asking the wrong questions?
Žižek illumines a dense path through the works of Daphne du Maurier, Jean Pierre Melville’s The Army of Shadows, the films of Lubitsch, the place of violence in the Buddhist system of moral conduct, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, the assertion that Gandhi was more violent than Hitler, pedophilia in the Church, the maternal aspect of North Korean leaders, the crisis in Cyprus and Greece, the larger economic meltdown and its denial by the very people who are responsible for it. In the process, we are invited to question some of these answers, and to return to the questions. Žižek then goads us to develop tools that might help not only in reframing the questions but make us look at the very frame with skepticism.
Slavoj Žižek is the author of over forty books, including The Sublime Object of Ideology (Navayana), First as Tragedy, Then as Farce (Navayana) and In Defence of Lost Causes.