Big Ideas/Small Books
Philosopher, cultural critic, and agent provocateur Slavoj Å½iÅ¾ek constructs a fascinating new framework to look at the forces of violence in our world.
Using history, philosophy, books, movies, Lacanian psychiatry, and jokes, Slavoj Å½iÅ¾ek examines the ways we perceive and misperceive violence. Drawing from his unique cultural vision, Å½iÅ¾ek brings new light to the Paris riots of 2005; he questions the permissiveness of violence in philanthropy; in daring terms, he reflects on the powerful image and determination of contemporary terrorists.
Violence, Å½iÅ¾ek states, takes three forms--subjective (crime, terror), objective (racism, hate-speech, discrimination), and systemic (the catastrophic effects of economic and political systems)--and often one form of violence blunts our ability to see the others, raising complicated questions.
Does the advent of capitalism and, indeed, civilization cause more violence than it prevents? Is there violence in the simple idea of "the neighbour"? And could the appropriate form of action against violence today simply be to contemplate, to think?
Beginning with these and other equally contemplative questions, Å½iÅ¾ek discusses the inherent violence of globalization, capitalism, fundamentalism, and language, in a work that will confirm his standing as one of our most erudite and incendiary modern thinkers.
About this Author
Slavoj Å½iÅ¾ek is a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and has been a visiting professor at Columbia University, Princeton, and The New School. He is the author of more than thirty books and is the subject of the documentary, Å½iÅ¾ek. His own critically acclaimed documentary, The Pervert's Guide to Cinema, was the subject of a film retrospective in 2007 at the Museum of Modern Art.
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