Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Violence by Slavoj Zizek

Front Flap: Using history, philosophy, books, movies, Lacanian psychiatry, and jokes, Slavoj Zizek examines the ways we perceive and misperceive violence. Drawing from his unique cultural vision, Zizek brings new light to the Paris riots of 2005; he questions the permissiveness of violence in philanthrophy; and, in daring terms, he reflects on the powerful image and determination of contemporary terrorists. Violence, Zizek states, takes three forms- subjective (crime, terror), objective (racism, hate-speech, discrimination), and systemic (the catastrophic effects of economic and political systems)- and often one form of violence blunts our ability to see the others, raising complicated questions. Does the advent of capitalism and, indeed, civilization cause more violence than it prevents? Is there violence in the simple idea of "the neighbor"? And could the appropriate form of action against violence today simply be to contemplate, to think? Beginning with these and other equally contemplative questions, Zizek discusses the inherent violence of globalization, capitalism, fundamentalism, and language in a work that will confirm his standing as one of our most erudite and incendiary modern thinkers. Obviously I didn't read this for my own enjoyment, it was for my social and political philosophy class. This book was like one thing and its complete opposite. It made sense, but then it didn't. It was confusing, but then some parts were easy to understand. One thing alot different from the other book I read for this class was that he has a lot of examples that I know like events and movies and books that I guess are more popular or well known. Like the Hitler, 9/11, the movie The Village, Bill Gates, and others I can't remember. But now I'm done with two books and only need to do one more!

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