Slavoj Zizek's brilliant analysis of the U.S. election results

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ikosmos ikosmos's picture
Slavoj Zizek's brilliant analysis of the U.S. election results

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Terrifying Political Earthquake

(The link is to an RT story, with video interview, on Slavoj Zizek)

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ikosmos ikosmos's picture

RT wrote:
The win of Republican Donald Trump in the US presidential elections demonstrates the weakness of the "party of the establishment" and their failure to appeal to "ordinary people's" interests, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek told RT. America's only hope now is the "awakening" from the shock.

Saying that while he doesn't favor Trump "for what he positively stands,""the real catastrophe" for the United States now is not the new president, but "the status quo," Zizek said, adding that the country needs "an awakening."

"I think it's part of a general crisis of the western democratic system – people are confused, perplexed and full of fears. It opens up the space for right-wing populist regimes, but at the same time a space for more authentic left," Zizek told RT.

The philosopher explained that he fears the "radical left might remain stuck into elitist academic mode of fighting for minorities and LGBT" rights while "almost totally ignoring the anxieties and fears of ordinary people."

"We need to find appeal to them otherwise the right-wing racist populists will get them," he said, adding that not just America but many European countries are currently in the same state of affairs.

"We are witnessing a terrifying earthquake, all political coordinates are being shaken up and this is the point of not losing nerves, as many liberals are doing now in the US," Zizek said, adding that instead of panicking and spreading more anxiety, politicians should seize the moment and use it "for cold assessment and strategic thinking."

"The democratic strategists totally misread why and in what way people identify with Trump," he said. While the mainstream media often reported on his mistakes and failures, "claimed he was caught with his pants down," it was "his embarrassment" that helped Trump win the elections, according to the philosopher.

"People perceived him as one of us precisely through his vulgarities and mistakes," he suggested.

"As disgusted as I am with Donald Trump, I hope that precisely the shock of electing him will maybe trigger some restructuring of the political space where new options may emerge, like an authentic leftist movement around Bernie Sanders and others," Zizek said.

Rev Pesky

From the quoted article above.

Quote:
...an authentic leftist movement around Bernie Sanders...

In reality, Bernie Sanders voted with the Democrats on a regular basis. Then when he decided to run for president, he chose to join the Democratic party, a distinctly non-leftist party. Sanders is no more an 'authentic leftist' than Thomas Mulcair.

The sad fact is there is no leftist party in the USA. There is no group, nor person, capable of teaching and leading people to leftism.

And honestly, I have no idea of how one would go about trying to rebuild the left in the USA. At the same time, it is very important that somehow the left does rebuild. The people of the USA are not ready yet for fascism, but as each year goes by, and the situtation of the average citizen keeps declining, the clamor for such a radical solution will increase. We have seen a forewarning of that in this latest election. Unfortunately the left is completely incapable of affecting the situation one way of the other.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Rev Pesky wrote:
The sad fact is there is no leftist party in the USA. There is no group, nor person, capable of teaching and leading people to leftism.

This [highlighted section] is the most block-headed thing I've read in a long time by someone claming to be on the left. It is a confession of impotence, of a constipated imagination, of a shocking unwillingness to even consider the possibility of what Zizec has called a "more authentic left". OTOH, it's expressed far too often by ... those who claim to be on the left.

Anything that does not exist yet, does not exist. Therefore ... it does not exist and cannot exist.  Truly, the most profound sylllgism since Aristotle. Give yourself an enormous pat on the back. 

And take the rest of the day off.

Zizec is right. If this is indicative of left thinking, then the entire left needs a good shock to the system.  Otherwise, we're all doomed.

 

Rev Pesky

Then perhaps you could explain to me how a politician who is a Democrat in all but name constitutes a movement to the left. I mean, if Bernie Sanders lived in Canada, he would have been a Liberal. How is that 'authentic left'.

Bear in mind, it wasn't me who produced the phrase 'authentic left', it was the writer of the article. Hard to know for sure what he meant by 'authentic', but apparently it meant something to him.

All I'm saying is that Bernie Sanders doesn't fit any definition of 'left' outside of the USA, where 'left' means slightly left of Genghis Khan.

And I'm sorry if I sound discouraged, but reality has a way of doing that. Remember the Occupy Movement? Where did they go?

The 'left' has a long and steep climb in the USA, and preciouse little in the way of experienced people to lead it. That is the reality. Ignoring that reality is a recipe for future disappointment. Perhaps in the coming period, some with an 'authentic' left perspective will emerge to coalesce those opposed to the right-wing demagoguery currently in the ascendant. Let's hope that happens.

I know you're upset, but it's not me you're upset with. It is precisely the situtation I describe that you're upset with.

Sean in Ottawa

I have to say this "non authentic" moniker is actually the problem rather than an analysis of the problem. It exists here as well. It also exists on the right.

Let me explain.

It goes with the silos that having our own media world allows us. We lose sight of the bigger reality. Think about how illogical it is to refer to a left without thinking about a whole.

So a bunch of "true" leftists decide that their vision and position is the correct one. Everyone else is wrong no matter how small the minority. That is fine. I don't mind that part. I think my position politically is the correct one (that is why I hold it) and I think everyone else is wrong (otherwise I would have their positions). I am aware that I sit further to the left than a very big majority. Okay.

The problem is when people then define what is left and centre without any regard for the whole. The right does this as well. So the right wingers think nobody is right except for the most rightward 5%. Everyone right of the 50-50 is right. Everyone left of that point is left. Maybe not enough for you but using your position rather than the whole to define its geography is arrogant and loaded with denial. Left and right are relative terms. They are useful becuase they indicate where contextually you are pushing.

A person who is left in one context can be to the right in another. And this is what makes that term different than saying Conservative or Liberal or Socialist. In a very conservative society a moderate conservative can be on the left -- OF THAT SOCIETY. And a person more to the left might even support them in the hope of having an electoral majority gain power to push the system a little to the left. But a more central or left society would find a person of the same views to be on the right and supporting that person would be shoving the system rightwards. A person who is less conservative than the mainstream might be appreciated by me as an ally in that context when a person of similar views in a more progressive mainstream would be the political opposition.

Very useful to have those clearly relative terms like right and left. They provide a perspective.

But we also need terms like conservative and socialist becuase these are intrinsically (rather than relatively) meaningful.

Of course now we choose our reality and avoid the broader one thanks to the parallel universes the internet provides -- we see our biased vison and build our sense of persepctive around that. So the far right can claim that conservatives are leftists and the socialists can claim that moderate democrats are right rather than left. They are left if they are left of the mainstream of their society. But for those who cannot (or don't want to) see the big picture imagine the shock when they realize that their individual perspective and definition of the centre is not universal.

Add to this the debate around consensus. There are those on the fringes who believe in purity to principle and values -- even if it means never achieving power or making direct change through power. then there are those who may have a similar vision but prefer to build consensus with people further from them in order to have a majority capable of making change. This is at the core of the age old left-right debate in the NDP (apart from the one of having principles at all which is another issue).

A false vision of the whole leads to an improper idea of where the centre is. If you beleive in democracy and the rule of a majority (within principles of law) you have to know the whole to have an idea of what a consensus of half plus one looks like.

My contention is that in the US this is what has failed. It is not that there is no left, or centre or moderate right. It is that nobody is seeing the whole well enough to see what that really is or trying to influence and educate it (which is what political persuassion is).

This is what allows parties to develop and pretend they might be something they are not. If people understood clearly what the left was and where the centre in the US was then the democrats would be forced to be left. Or, at the least, if they are left, we would see them to be even if they are nowhere near as left as they should be.

In a Canadian context I think the same thing. I would say many Liberals are left in that theya re to the left of the centre when I consider the broad range of opinion. I personally do not think those people are progressive as I do not think the centre is. I do not consider these people to be like minded just becuase I recognize that there may be more people to the right of them than to the left.

What is missing here is that perspecitve on the whole -- and I blame the fragmentation of vision for it through custom media choices. Media choices should be rich. We need the extremes of opinions. But when you select only those you agree with and fail to see the whole-- in proportion -- you lose this. And in the end what is radical and fringe is just as legitimate to take power as what is consensus becuase there can be no consensus when most don't know where they are in relative terms.

So I disagree with the article saying there is no real left. But I see the issue of a perspective that is knowledgable about politics but unable to see where left, right and middle is. When seeking a consensus to make change without that perspective you have no idea who your allies and who your opposition is.

So there's my analysis on this.

 

Timebandit

Yeah. Makes sense that RT is pushing a wanker like Zizek. Pro tip: Just because he's incomprehensible doesn't make him profound.

6079_Smith_W

Oh fuck, not this walking gibberish machine again.

Here's a little test. Take that article and try to turn it into something that means anything in plain English.

Seriously. Try it.

Then consider whether it is worth responding, or whether you are just being trolled. I had my fill with his last rant about how we all need to give our unconditional support to the real revolutionaries.

Defending minority and LGBT rights is just elitism and ignoring "ordinary people". Right. I'm sure David Duke agrees.

 

milo204

he has a point though...the left is legless right now when it comes to fighting for workers rights (when was the last  union battle that was won?  it's all concessions these days) which is the traditional entry point into leftist politics for most.

chomsky talks about it all the time how the left has been decimated since the post ww2 era, union busting, closing of left newspapers and journals, dumbing of 'popular culture"...

I mean, think of the average left leaning person coming here and getting berated and banned because they used the wrong words, approached an issue from "the wrong angle" or weren't intersectional enough...they get condescended, talked down to and told they're an idiot who doesn't belong here...

we're so divided right now we accomplish next to nothing, meanwhile the fucking tea party just put their guy in the most powerful position on earth. 

time for a reality check on the left, no matter how much we don't like the idea

 

6079_Smith_W

So throwing concerns for women, non-white and LGBT people under the bus and making it all about nebulous "ordinary people" (who are presumably all white, straight and male) is going to make the left less divided.

Oh, and just to remind ourselves that we are on the left we'll call them workers.

See what I mean? It doesn't really work once you translate it. Just makes it a bit clearer that this is meaningless, populist crap. I have probably half a dozen times this week heard interviews with people who voted for trump because they wanted security, or jobs, or to protect their free speech, and when they were challenged for concrete examples of what they were talking about couldn't come up with one, and made it clear they didn't know what they were talking about, but that they fell for some nonsense because it sounded good, and like it SHOULD mean something.

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Here's Chomsky making a similar observation about why people voted for Trump, without trying to bully the left about whose rights are too elitist for the real revolution.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Chomsky-Trump-Won-Because-Democrat...

 

Timebandit

I think it's pretty simple. We have to start calling racism and sexism as we see them. Trump got elected partly because endemic xenophobia of white people got a pass as "economic anxiety", which wasn't challenged hard enough.

It would seem that Zizek figures we have to allow that kind of prejudice in order to build a new "authentic" left. If that's the case, he can shove his authenticity up his ass.

6079_Smith_W

Given some of his other arguments, I think it is beyond just giving them a pass. More like Goldwater's "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" line.

That, and the fact that it is all just negative observations about what people are doing wrong, without actually putting together anything concrete.

 

Cody87

Timebandit wrote:

We have to start calling racism and sexism as we see them. Trump got elected partly because endemic xenophobia of white people got a pass as "economic anxiety", which wasn't challenged hard enough.

Yeah, if only the left had called out the racist, sexist, xenophobic white people more, then Clinton would have won for sure.

Aristotleded24

Timebandit wrote:
I think it's pretty simple. We have to start calling racism and sexism as we see them. Trump got elected partly because endemic xenophobia of white people got a pass as "economic anxiety", which wasn't challenged hard enough.

We haven't actually done that though. What we've done is to essentially tell people to stop using certain words and pretend that that makes the problem go away when it doesn't. For example, in the 1960s when landlords wanted to evict black people, they simply came out and said as much. Today, all they have to do is raise the rents in an area and that effectively accomplishes the same thing. Remember when Obama was interviewed about racism and he said there's more to fighting racism than not using the n-word in public? Remember how he was crucified for saying that even though he is exactly right?

Or take the fact that whenever a black person is shot by police in the US, often there is a high-ranking black officer present when police officials give their news conference. On the surface it's trying to communicate that no, the police department is not racist, but it does nothing to get at the police structures which put black people in greater danger at the hands of the police.

6079_Smith_W

However vague we might be nowadays in our oppression, whatshisname is very explicitly telling us who is too elite for the revolution choo choo.

 

milo204

totally disagree...women lgbt, people of color....we all benefit from a strong labour movement and it is that very same movement which will fight for equal pay and against discrimination in the workplace, anti discrimination, environmental justice...as well as bring people from disparate backgrounds TOGETHER where they can overcome their biases and work together.  AHEM, saul alinsky...

the idea that  focusing primarily on issues that 99% of the population can relate to, and needs help on is throwing anyone under the bus is weird to me.  How can we hope to build a mass movement without addressing the issues that affect the masses? 

To me building a strong labour movement is actually what allows us to really address those issues with inequality you raised.  Cause the current approach is failing.  miserably.

 

6079_Smith_W

Except milo, he doesn't actually say it is about labour. He just says "ordinary people", which is of course nebulous enough for you to read any thing you want into it.

On the other hand, he is quite specific about is who the scapegoat is. Elites. Minorities. LGBT people.

Kind of like Trump's approach, when you think about it.

 

milo204

tthe problem for the left is how we frame issues in a way most people don't like, can't relate to and (we should understand this more than anybody) offends them.

we've become reactionary, ideological to a fault, we don't know how to listen or have a conversation with someone we disagree with without calling them names, we're overly sensitive, condescending etc.  no matter how right we are, that stuff makes people run...even if in esscence they 100% agree with us.

milo204

i think when he says ordinary people he just means people who aren't reading activist news, aren't involved in activism...the average person who votes in an election

edit--he actually says he means the kind of people who supported sanders , who was very good at making people's rights a part of a larger context that works for everyone and avoided internal activist language. 

what happened to him?  he was protested and shut down by a former sarah palin supporting BLM activist and others even though he was marching for equality before these people even existed, that is the current state of the left to me in a lot of ways

 

6079_Smith_W

Milo, what are you talking about? Someone who used to support Sarah Palin and now supports black lives matter interrupted Bernie Sanders therefore zizek is correct that minority and lgbt rights are just an elite distraction from the ordinary people's struggle?

swallow

The elitist intellectual Zizek as tribune of "ordinary people." What a joke. 

He endorsed Trump, by the way. 

Quote:

One star intellectual on the Left, Slavoj Žižek, recently went so far as to say that it would be better to have Trump in the White House because, as the dialectical process would seamlessly have it, a psychopath running the most powerful nation on earth will finally jolt people into action against the system.

This kind of puritanical approach is the preserve of those who are detached from reality and live lives ensconced in privilege — those who think it’s possible to be morally impeccable when it comes to making consequential, real life decisions.

[url=https://ricochet.media/en/1525/leftists-abstaining-or-voting-for-trump-n...Žižek should stick to watching Kung Fu Panda[/url]

milo204

 i'm just saying, try stepping outside yourself and view the current left from the standpoint of someone who hasn't really been exposed to it before, isn't already fully immersed in it.  We get ridiculous sometimes.

Whether it's BLM protesting bernie or pride, gamergate, manspreading, ghostbusters, etc.  when we have essentially that level of public freak out over that, it's not suprising when those same people are warning us about the real deal in a guy like trump people say "yeah, but you think EVERYONE is like that) and they tune out.

i mean look at the trend against "political correctness" from people who are in favor of  feminist ideas, support lgbt rights, anti war, and all the other things we support generally but are just out of sync with the most radical of those ideas....  These people are not accepted they are often treated as outright enemies.

because of that we're fractured into so many little groups we don't organize well, the funding is all over the place, wheras our true opposition is well organized, speaks with one voice, has a funding machine etc.

 

 

milo204

swallows comment is sort of an example (sorry swallow not trying to be a dick)

The response to the argument that this guy presents is a bit of falsification: saying he "endorses" trump, when it's a quote that if they elected him it might jolt them into conciousness--implying he thinks trump is not good...not really an endorsement.

-we do a ton of this on the left: taking someones statement and extrapolating it to it's worst conclusion.   We love to tell people what their "real motivations" are...

and also, trying to invalidate his argument because he personally might be a shitty person (honestly i don'tknow) ,even if the argument could clearly be made by non shitty people.  to me it's like, we're not ever going to agree on everything so can we at least try and find some common ground, a reason to START the conversation instead of a way to END it.

 

swallow

He said he would vote for Trump, if he had a vote. Not an endorsement? His reasons I understand, but his action was to urge votes for Trump. 

Two typical Zizek sentences: "One can argue that postgenderism is the truth of transgenderism. The universal fluidification of sexual identities unavoidably reaches its apogee in the cancellation of sex as such." 

This is the champion of "ordinary people"? He condemns the left for using an "elitist academic mode" but I can actually think of very few people who are more elitist and academic than Zizek. He's a theorist, shitting on activists. 

By all means let's start the conversation. Plenty of problems with left politics, god knows. Perhaps we start that conversation without the leftist circular firing squads, like the one Zizek is setting up here. 

Timebandit

Lacanians. Buncha wankers.

Unionist

Žižek loves to hear himself talk. Glad someone does.

Sean in Ottawa

Cody87 wrote:

Timebandit wrote:

We have to start calling racism and sexism as we see them. Trump got elected partly because endemic xenophobia of white people got a pass as "economic anxiety", which wasn't challenged hard enough.

Yeah, if only the left had called out the racist, sexist, xenophobic white people more, then Clinton would have won for sure.

I have to agree with Cody here-- Trump supporters were not listening and in many cases they were ultra proud of their "political incorrectness."

They knew what they were voting for.

There is a real division in the US  and pretending that anyone who voted for Trump did not know what they were voting for and the sexism and racism they were supporting is not going to be helpful.

The sexism and racism was an attraction for many of their voters.

The other issue is that those who thought different did not vote in enough numbers. The sexist/racist bunch were all pumped up and the other side not very enthusiastic. This is a big deal when only half the eligible voters vote.

Timebandit

I'm not talking about the hardcore supporters, I'm talking about the normcore types. The ones who are perfectly nice people, the "not all Trump supporters " folks, the ones who didn't carry confederate flags or call Clinton a cunt. The ones that went along with it all anyway, because they're just not comfortable with a "divisive" black president or a "cold" woman candidate. The ones who claim innocence of racism and sexism because they never *said* anything, but acted on it anyway. You voted for Trump? You condoned all of it, and you get the label, too. Part of the fucking package. Don't like being called that? Then don't be it. And every time he fucks up, they need to know they OWN this mess.

milo204

i mean honestly this guy does say a lot of wacky stuff, but i do think his point about the election is valid.

as far as electing people we like, the left is not a force like it could be...partly because of our own infighting. 

i think of the woman in a college who went up to that guy w dreads and was like "Cut those off it's cultural appropriation!" and the guy was just like "leave me alone"   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDlQ4H0Kdg8

stuff like this turns people off so hard.

swallow

I agree with you on thre dreadlocks, Milo. 

But do you seriously think people are better served by Zizek's highly accessible language? 

 

iyraste1313

The sad fact is there is no leftist party in the USA...

thank you for this...ditto in Canada...

what this election reinforces so clearly is the total fraud of the left right dichotomy....another one must be developed....maybe decentralists vs. globalists, human culture vs. machine super technology, libertarian vs totalitarian philosophy...

there´s no point here talking with leftist globalists and imperialists p, people supporting the status quo surveillance state of control....

something that would bring people together to seriously discuss issues from such a perspective!

milo204

to be honest, i've never read any of his stuff, and i don't think electing a guy like trump to "bring it all down" is in any way responsible or a good thing to do...so no people shouldn't listen to him, although too late now i guess....(sad face)

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Trump is merely the latest evil man to focus on so that the people being screwed don't start looking for the real enemies. Trump didn't invent rape culture he merely said he embraces it. No matter what I think it seems that in North America our rape culture is accepted and deeply embedded. He also didn't invent Islamophobia. Hell every Republican candidate in this millennium has called for varying degrees of oppression including incarceration and extra judicial assassinations.

Trump is a fucking showman that understands American culture better than most.

Calling out Trump's supporters and calling them all racist has a certain truth to it that is hard to deny. As well from a foreign relations perspective the Americans who voted for either Trump or Clinton are implicitly war crimes abetting imperialists. But lets all focus on the racism and misogyny and give the American people a pass on voting for never ending war and the war crimes the economy is based on.

wage zombie

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Trump is merely the latest evil man to focus on so that the people being screwed don't start looking for the real enemies. Trump didn't invent rape culture he merely said he embraces it. No matter what I think it seems that in North America our rape culture is accepted and deeply embedded. He also didn't invent Islamophobia. Hell every Republican candidate in this millennium has called for varying degrees of oppression including incarceration and extra judicial assassinations.

Trump is a fucking showman that understands American culture better than most.

Calling out Trump's supporters and calling them all racist has a certain truth to it that is hard to deny. As well from a foreign relations perspective the Americans who voted for either Trump or Clinton are implicitly war crimes abetting imperialists. But lets all focus on the racism and misogyny and give the American people a pass on voting for never ending war and the war crimes the economy is based on.

great post

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

But lets all focus on the racism and misogyny and give the American people a pass on voting for never ending war and the war crimes the economy is based on.

An ideologically pure argument, perhaps. In practical terms though, it doesn't really wash.

If someone wanted to vote for Stein or not vote at all, it is their choice. But there were actually valid reasons for voting for Clinton in swing states that don't necessarily include support for war crimes.

I am sure some disagree; they are welcome to take it up with Noam Chomsky.

 

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
But lets all focus on the racism and misogyny and give the American people a pass on voting for never ending war and the war crimes the economy is based on.

I guess the idea is that they could have at least passed on the racism and misogyny.

Theoretically, they could have passed on the whole war thing too.  Jill Stein only needed another 270 EC votes and she'd have won.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:

But lets all focus on the racism and misogyny and give the American people a pass on voting for never ending war and the war crimes the economy is based on.

I guess the idea is that they could have at least passed on the racism and misogyny.

I don't think that is true. The militaristic "exceptional nation" culture is the ultimate expression of racism and misogyny. IMO opinion trying to end racism and misogyny in a country founded on genocide and slavery is difficult enough. After that country has now moved on to world domination and all races and genders overwhelmingly stand up and say we are exceptional and we will crush you if you don't acknowledge our cultural, political and economic superiority it becomes impossible. Thinking that you can end one without the other is compartmentalised thinking divorced from reality. Its no more right for a Latino or a black or a gay person to think that because they are US citizens they are exceptional and thus have the right to bomb the fuck out of any country the US dislikes anymore than it is right for white people to think they are exceptional and deserve to rule inside the country. The big difference is that white people voting for racists primarily only hurts Americans. When all races and genders vote for American Exceptionalism it hurts people in all corners of the globe.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

supplemental from Christian Parenti - similar to my argument upthread

Quote:
“Contrary to how he was portrayed in the mainstream media Trump did not talk only of walls, immigration bans, and deportations. In fact he usually didn’t spend much time on those themes. Don’t get me wrong, Trump is a racist, misogynist, and confessed sexual predator who has legitimized dangerous street-level hate. Most of all, Trump is a fraud. And his administration will almost certainly be a terrible new low in the evolution of American authoritarianism. But the heart of his message was something different, an ersatz economic populism, which has been noted far and wide, but also a strong, usually overlooked, anti-war message. Both spoke to legitimate working class concerns.”

Listening to Trump

Quote:
Ultimately, the Democratic establishment brought this loss on themselves. They spurned and tried to sabotage Bernie Sanders and his class message. Trump took the Bernie-style populism, emptied it of real class politics, reduced it to a jumble of affective associations, and used it to beat-up the smug liberals of the professional managerial class. It worked.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Trump is merely the latest evil man to focus on so that the people being screwed don't start looking for the real enemies. Trump didn't invent rape culture he merely said he embraces it. No matter what I think it seems that in North America our rape culture is accepted and deeply embedded. He also didn't invent Islamophobia. Hell every Republican candidate in this millennium has called for varying degrees of oppression including incarceration and extra judicial assassinations.

Trump is a fucking showman that understands American culture better than most.

Calling out Trump's supporters and calling them all racist has a certain truth to it that is hard to deny. As well from a foreign relations perspective the Americans who voted for either Trump or Clinton are implicitly war crimes abetting imperialists. But lets all focus on the racism and misogyny and give the American people a pass on voting for never ending war and the war crimes the economy is based on.

A few US commentators noted the rural/urban divide in their voting that we know about so well here in Canada. Zizec noted this with his "ordinary people" remark [vs. fighting for minorities and LGBT rights].

The Democrats lost because they abandoned the working class - what's left of it, anyway. And plenty on this thread have made it a point of honour to urinate either (a) on class politics itself, (b) the working class specifically, or (c) any model other than the mutually disparaging pathetic silos of identity politics and the compulsory neo-liberal dominance that goes along with it.

So Zizec is correct. The liberals needed a shocking blow to the head. Several. Of course it would have been better if an invigorated left administered a merciless political curb-stomping to the liberals. We need to dream big.

The GOP elite looks to be positioning themselves to impose the very same bellicose foreign policies that Clinton would have immediately introduced. But there are positives.

The NATO regimes, under the hegemon's dictat, have backed away from their endless support for the terrorists in Aleppo, Syria. This is a very big deal - and for many, the main reason why Clinton was viewed as more dangerous than Trump for world peace. This was my view but not just mine. 

Trump was not the war candidate. There was a real difference between the two. And he addressed bread and butter issues in a way that was successful. The failure of liberal elites to do so - their contemptuous derision in that regard - caused them to lose. Anyway, I don't lump them together as essentially identical as you have here. I would agree with you, to some degree, if you were to say (as Rev Pesky has done a few times here and there) that US foreign policy has some very narrow parameters that cannot be overcome.

But, Nixon went to China. Reagan went to Iceland. And so on. These things happen, and, are described as impossible until they do, then "obvious" once they do. Very undialectical and typical kind of anaysis we hear.

Zizec has been posing questions - not really providing answers (other than in very broad strokes, using ordinary examples like Sanders, rather than, say, the Seattle councillor Kshama Sawant, etc.) but this is perfectly all right. That's what philosophers are supposed to do.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Thinking that you can end one without the other is compartmentalised thinking divorced from reality.

It's just a separation of foreign policy from domestic policy.  And when the foreign policy is the same but the domestic policy isn't, I'm not sure why voters should pretend that there's no difference.

6079_Smith_W

ikosmos wrote:

A few US commentators noted the rural/urban divide in their voting that we know about so well here in Canada. Zizec noted this with his "ordinary people" remark [vs. fighting for minorities and LGBT rights].

The Democrats lost because they abandoned the working class - what's left of it, anyway. And plenty on this thread have made it a point of honour to urinate either (a) on class politics itself, (b) the working class specifically, or (c) any model other than the mutually disparaging pathetic silos of identity politics and the compulsory neo-liberal dominance that goes along with it.

So Zizec is correct. The liberals needed a shocking blow to the head.

And I suppose Zizek showed how much he recognizes the working class by not using the word "worker" or "labour" or "jobs" or "income" once in his rant, and in fact calling his "ordinary people" primitive. In other words, stupid.

All he cares about is that the choice which would have meant the least pain for people did not happen, so he thinks his revolution is going to come faster.

He said quite clearly he didn't like Clinton because she would have been much better for social and other freedoms. As for what did happen, too bad about the people for whom that means a lot more misery, fear and death, but hey, at least Slavoj gets his big revolutionary hard on.

And yeah, a bunch of people listening to him brag about it.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

I hope nobody minds if I throw a little something that makes sense into the mix:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/17/american-neolibera...

Quote:

What is to be done? First we must try to tell the truth and a condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak. For 40 years, neoliberals lived in a world of denial and indifference to the suffering of poor and working people and obsessed with the spectacle of success. Second we must bear witness to justice. We must ground our truth-telling in a willingness to suffer and sacrifice as we resist domination. Third we must remember courageous exemplars like Martin Luther King Jr, who provide moral and spiritual inspiration as we build multiracial alliances to combat poverty and xenophobia, Wall Street crimes and war crimes, global warming and police abuse – and to protect precious rights and liberties.

Like Chomsky, West makes observations that are similar in some respects to those Zizek does. Unlike Zizek he clearly isn't taking any joy in seeing things get far worse. He doesn't throw people's rights out the window as elitist, And he is more concerned with how to organize and move forward than in throwing a match and hopping on the next plane back to Slovenia.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Slavoj Zizec: ""As disgusted as I am with Donald Trump, I hope that precisely the shock of electing him will maybe trigger some restructuring of the political space where new options may emerge, like an authentic leftist movement ..."

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Unlike Zizek he clearly isn't taking any joy in seeing things get far worse.

That's a strange definition of "joy" from babble police socialist Smith.

6079_Smith_W

Sure it is joy. The most excited he gets in that video is when he starts pumping his hand at the ground and going on about how "No we cannot (sleep peacefully) we need an awakening!"

This isn't just making the best of a bad situation, like a normal, compassionate person would.

He said he prefered this to a Clinton win  because people are going to suffer, arrogant idiot that he is.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

UK Member of Parliament: "This win by Trump is very important and actually I like to say that I know of friends of mine who are Democrats who normally vote Democrat in the US who specifically voted for Trump because they were very worried about the trajectory of confrontation with Russia, which had existed under Obama and which would have been magnified under a president Clinton."

AS if any more proof was needed .... showing here how the disgusting and war-mongering Hilary Clinton was viewed as more dangerous by people who supported her party!

That cinches it.

Thank God that f*cking monster lost.

6079_Smith_W

So you're done with Zizek's opinion that she would have been better, and you're off on another tangent about her being a monster.

I guess that one didn't stick to the wall, eh?

 

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Well, of course, and I've said this before, it would have been better if they both lost. But Clinton losing was a really good thing. I understand she assaulted a few of her staff once the result started to sink in.....

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I bet she didn't "grab them by the pu**y" though.  So there's still that difference.