Rescheduled for 4-3-12 - Vilifying Communism and Accommodating Imperialism: The Sham and Shame of Slavoj Žižek's "Honest Pessimism" 3-27-12

Tuesday April 3 at 7 pm

Discussion of Raymond Lotta's article,Vilifying Communism and Accommodating Imperialism: The Sham and Shame of Slavoj Žižek's "Honest Pessimism"

The December 2011-January 2012 issue of The Platypus Review features an interview with philosopher and cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek. Raymond Lotta writes that it"is a fusillade of distortion of the historical experience of revolution and socialism in the 20th century, accompanied by an egregiously uninformed and unprincipled attack on Bob Avakian's new synthesis of communism."

Lotta, who has challenged Žižek to a public debate, says, "Žižek's musings about communism are dressed up as new and nuanced thinking, but on display is a rather old and clunky anti-communism of a piece with the dominant bourgeois narrative of communism as "failure" and "horror." Žižek portrays himself as "anti-capitalist," but on parade are apologetics for capitalist-imperialism."

Link to Platypus Review and the interview with Slavoj Žižek.

Link to the polemic Vilifying Communism and Accommodating Imperialism: The Sham and Shame of Slavoj Žižek's "Honest Pessimism" by Raymond Lotta

Link to Lotta's challenge to Žižek for a public debate.




    Professor Žižek, you say there is no “theoretical substance” to Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. I say you are willfully blinding yourself to, and consciously seeking to close off exploration of, what is in fact the viable and visionary alternative to the horror and irrationality of capitalism-imperialism.
    You say that “communism failed absolutely” in the 20th century. My response is that the Soviet revolution of 1917-56 and the Chinese revolution of 1949-76 opened a whole new emancipatory chapter in human history—and we can go further and do better in a new stage of communist revolution...precisely on the basis of applying Avakian’s new synthesis.
    You make the claim that the U.S. has been reduced to “a local superpower” and that “there is no longer the [imperialist] metropolis screwing the Third World.” I argue that this is not only false, but an excuse for chauvinist accommodation to Western imperialism.


                                                                                                           ---from A Challenge from Raymond Lotta to Slavoj Žižek: Let’s Debate the Nature of Imperialism, Prospects for Revolution, and the Meaning of the Communist Project

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