Žižek@LSE, July, 2010: Living in the End Times.

Our old friend, Slavoj Žižek, gave an interesting talk at the LSE in July, which was chaired by David Held.  The event, which was packed to the rafters, was ostensibly to mark the publication of Žižek’s new book “Living in the End Times” (€18.04 from the bookdepository, inc. fee worldwide delivery) but typically ranged far wider than this might suggest.  The blurb from the LSE reads:

There should no longer be any doubt: global capitalism is fast approaching its terminal crisis. In his latest book, Living in the End Times, Slavoj Žižek has identified the four horsemen of this coming apocalypse: the worldwide ecological crisis; imbalances within the economic system; the biogenetic revolution; and exploding social divisions and ruptures. But, he asks, if the end of capitalism seems to many like the end of the world, how is it possible for Western society to face up to the end times? In a major new analysis of our global situation, Slavok Žižek argues that our collective responses to economic Armageddon correspond to the stages of grief: ideological denial, explosions of anger and attempts at bargaining, followed by depression and withdrawal. After passing through this zero-point, we can begin to perceive the crisis as a chance for a new beginning. Or, as Mao Zedong put it, “There is great disorder under heaven, the situation is excellent.”

There are a number of recordings of the talk available, but the standard of video/sound quality varies from one to the other.  The audio mp3, here, has the best sound but no video.  The official LSE video has excellent picture but poor sound, available here.

The one I watched was recorded by an audience member but the picture is very poor and wobbles and shakes throughout, perhaps mirroring Žižek’s own ticks.  The sound is very good.

RSA Animate – David Harvey-Crises of Capitalism

In this excellent RSA Animate  video, radical social theorist David Harvey asks if it is time to look beyond capitalism towards a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that really could be responsible, just, and humane?

This is based on a lecture at the RSA.  The full talk is available here.