Reading The UK Riots: Slavoj Zizek and Living in the End Times (via Reading The Riots)

Let us assume that most of the rioters are indeed stupid and mindless and all that, still these riots do have a political significance. These youths are symptoms of capitalism; they are an inevitable consequence of the internal dynamics of capitalism itself. The riots show us that things cannot go on the way they are. As Marx once put it, capitalism reproduces itself in such as way as to create the conditions of possibility for its own destruction. That most of the rioters are “mindless thugs” doesn’t of course mean that the corporations are not so as well.

Zizek was and remains right after all; the capitalist multicultural society is totally bankrupt. The guy has been telling you that communism is the only solution and you have been mocking him; now get your “Big Society” up in your arses and go to hell with your hypocritical nimbysims my dear neo-liberals. It’s not even interesting to see those who supported the Arab revolutions condemn the riots in London. If this is not hypocritical nimbyism, then what is?

The communism Zizek talks about does not yet exist, has never existed; the communisms in Soviet Russia or China were versions of military state capitalism rather than being pure communism as I understand it. Of course no one wants to return to the Stalin era; but something has to be done and the only viable solution seems to me to be an updated communism based on absolute equality and driven by infinite justice. Rather than being a form of military state capitalism, this communism is an economico-political representation of a philosophy of nature which is not only in touch with that which is non-human, but also in touch with that which is truly human. It doesn’t restrict reality to the one imposed upon humanity and the world by capitalism.

Of course not all the rioters are “mobs” or “mindless thugs” although there are many among them who are. Mindless thugs are those who are incapable of making a distinction between the right targets and the wrong. The right targets are the big corporations and government buildings and the capitalist state institutions. The bad targets are the houses and little shops of innocent people. To understand why there is no difference between these mindless thugs and some members of the British army one only needs to remember the inordinate measure of recent burning and looting in Afghanistan and Iraq carried out by the UK and US, as well as the British Army’s bomber pilots who carried out a raid on the 8th of August in 2011, which slaughtered 33 Libyan children, along with 32 women and 20 men in Zlitan, a village near Tripoli. I don’t know if it is worth  mentioning the 18 people killed in Cyprus during the demonstrations in 1950’s, and the gold and other natural resources stolen from the African countries throughout centuries. If Britain has ever been Great that’s only because it filled itself with the blood of slaves from all around the world. But you already know these dear reader, I’m just writing them for those who still live in narcissistic illusions of British greatness, civility and splendour even. If you look at the big picture in this context, it becomes clear why there is no difference in nature between those rioters whom we have chosen to situate within the category of “mobs and mindless thugs” and some members of the British army. As for the rioters who are not mobs and mindless thugs, their destructive behaviour is more than welcome and greatly appreciated. I will leave the upper class British bankers who looted billions from the public purse and the 29 thousand children who died of starvation in 90 days in Africa to another article. Let it suffice for the time being to say that the British left is as much bankrupt as the British middle and the British right. The Great Britain is doomed indeed…

Cengiz Erdem

Slavoj ZizekLiving In The End Times (Verso, 2010)

The idea of an imminent apocalypse or reckoning is as old as civilisation itself, yet our constant unease at the state of the world and the economy implies that the End Times are no longer an abstract event on the horizon, but something that is already upon us which we have chosen to ignore.

This remarkable and very important book identifies the four horsemen of our apocalypse. The four things that will be our undoing due to their fundamental incompatibility with our societal and political ideology are The Environment, Economic (and Social) Division, Bio-genetics and Intellectual Property. It was the second of these which rode into town this week. What these four have in common is that they will affect everyone indiscriminately, regardless of wealth or position. They can only be addressed by the global collaboration of citizens and governments. The existing dominant system of Western Capitalism is not only completely unable to deal with these threats, but it denies their existence while encouraging and accelerating their effects. All the big headlines and news stories of the future will be based around these four single issues. Unequipped and unwilling as we are to tackle them, they will bring about our destruction.

The West cannot even countenance the mention of these four issues, having spent 30 years crushing and discrediting anything that hints at Communism. Yet the only way through is by collective collaboration. Capitalism won in 1989, with Fukayama’s End Of History. Now there are no alternatives to Capitalism, everyone is in it. However, China is just putting the finishing touches to a superior and more efficient version, Capitalism 2.0:  Capitalism with no human rights. Their dynamic use of slavery and violent oppression, as we recall from the Greeks and the Romans, will create a highly streamlined system, which will soon surpass Europe and the US. Looking at the recent downgrade of the US, it already has.

Zizek makes our predicament and ill-preparedness abundantly clear. Young people are more aware and ready to address world problems which the older generation are happy to ignore. With retirement in sight, the policy makers don’t care. What message does it give out when global corporations are devastating the world in front of our eyes, taking money and wrecking lives with no-one to stop them? The parallel to the riots is obvious. If the young people on the streets are “mindless thugs” then what are the corporations?… Read More

via Reading The Riots

5 thoughts on “Reading The UK Riots: Slavoj Zizek and Living in the End Times (via Reading The Riots)

  1. whatever statement you make, you have to be realistic… you have to see the other as it is first, an then say what you may, not lock yourself up in hopeful dreams for the sake of being nice based on a lie… I’m not making a generalisation here; I say “most of them”, “many of them,” “some of them,” etc., which no one can ignore… and underneath I add: “…that most of the rioters are “mindless thugs” doesn’t of course mean that the corporations are not so as well…” what you are doing is simply this: pick one thing I say, take it out of context, deprive it of its meaning and use it against me to make your point… well, this way of reading texts is rather old fashioned and unproductive to say the least…I’m all for the riots by the way, sometimes we should not forget to remember the need to be stupid… no offence intended; get real > http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/​uk-14458424

  2. Thank you for being the 1st blogger I’ve read you has pointed out the hypocrisy between the MSM condoning just as violent revolution in ME and NAfrica and the condemning the thugs on their home turf looting.
    These fools have watched one too many Hollywood fairytales.

  3. Pingback: Slavoj Žižek – Shoplifters of the World Unite « Minimal ve Maksimal Yazılar

  4. Pingback: Ο Πολυπολιτισμικός Ρατσισμός (κατά τον Zizek) και η δική μας… Φοβική Μονο-Κουλτούρα « Anti-IMF Collab. Blog

  5. Pingback: Audio from Zizek’s Lecture – Cardiff 3rd March (via MarxLacanZizek) « Minimal ve Maksimal Yazılar

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