Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism?

Slavoj Žižek

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Description and properties
ISBN9781844677139
AuthorSlavoj Žižek
Publication year2011
PublisherVerso Books
Pages288
Languageanglų kalba
Formatpaperback

A revised edition of the examination of totalitarianism considers it in accordance with the theories of Wittgenstein while evaluating consensus views on topics ranging from genocide to fundamentalism, in a critical assessment that weighs the vulnerabilities of a liberal-democratic consensus. Original.

Totalitarianism has always had a precise strategic function: to guarantee the liberal-democratic hegemony by dismissing the Leftist critique of liberal democracy as the two-faced twin of Right-wing dictatorships. instead of providing yet another systematic exposition of the history of this notion, Zizek looks at totalitarianism in a way that Wittgenstein would approve of-finding it a cobweb of family resemblances. He reveals the consensus view of totalitarianism, in which it is invariably defined in terms of four things: the holocaust as the ultimate, diabolical evil; the Stalinist gulag as the alleged truth of the socialist revolutionary project; the recent wave of ethnic and religious fundamentalisms to be fought through multiculturalist tolerance; and the deconstructionist idea that the ultimate root of totalitarianism is the ontological closure of thought. Zizek concludes that the devil lies not so much in the detail but in what enables the very designation totalitarian: the liberal-democratic consensus itself.

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