16 de enero de 2010

Žižek: What does it mean to be a revolutionary today?



I would like to begin with Adorno who at the very beginning of his Three Studies on Hegel rejects this traditional patronizing question: what is still alive and what is dead in Hegel? According to Adorno such a question presupposes an arrogant position of a judge who can graciously conceive "yes, this is maybe still actual for us today". But Adorno points out when we are dealing with a truly great philosopher the question to be raised is not what can this philosopher tell us, but the opposite one: what are we, our contemporary situation, in his eyes? How would our epoch appear to his, or her of course, thought? And the same should be done with communism. Instead of asking the obvious stupid question: what is the idea of communism still pertinent today? Can it still be used as a tool for the analysis and political practice? One should ask, I think, the opposite question: how does our predicament today look from the perspective of the communist idea? This is the dialectic of old and the new.