this webchat with zizek shows various things about him that i like and various things that i don't like so much. so first of all, i like that there's a philosopher doing a webchat at the guardian, and in general how free-wheelingly and frequently zizek writes about contemporary issues in the day-by-day media. at least a philosopher exists in that space, and he is quite the swashbuckler, either doing high-end history or philosophy or metaphysics, or writing columns on the economy. i think he writes boldly and relatively clearly in english for a continental killer. we need more folks who do all those things; these are things i would like to do and be.
now, on the very other hand, i would prefer almost anyone to hegel, marx, and lacan as figures to push into the future. i think he constantly constantly flirts with totalitarian communism, and always withdraws the most achingly disastrous conclusions. but he's always opposed to any sort of anarchism, and that's one of many things that lead one to think that, like everyone else, he's got the same old giant leftist state coming at you. the totalitarianism takes care of itself after that, btw.
indeed, most of the questions in the chat are political, and really several of them have that quite bizarre marxist-scholastic tone of like soviet apparatchiks. i guess in the back of my mind i figured that there were still people like that, but lord.
but zizek in response is typically both playful and always slightly fudging at the pivot points. it's awfully hard to know how seriously to take him at any given moment, and i think he's quite a bit more improvisational and probably ultimately more unpredictable than people usually give him credit for. these are good things to blow into the academy at this time.