Violence, Žižek 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, Žižek 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.
Slavoj Žižek 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, Žižek. 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.
In this deliciously polemical work, a giant of cultural theory immerses himself in the ideas of a giant of French thought. In his inimical style, Zizek links Deleuze's work with both Oedipus and Hegel, figures from whom the French philosopher distanced himself. Zizek turns some Deleuzian concepts around in order to explore the 'organs without bodies' in such films as Fight Club and the works of Hitchcock. Finally, he attacks what he sees as the 'radical chic' Deleuzians, arguing that such projects turn Deleuze into an ideologist of today's 'digital capitalism'. With his brilliant energy and fearless argumentation, Zizek sets out to restore a truer, more radical Deleuze than the one we thought we knew.
Zizek introduces the ideas of Jacques Lacan through the medium of American film, taking his examples from over 100 years of cinema, from Charlie Chaplin to The Matrix and referencing along the way such figures as Lenin and Hegel, Michel Foucault and Jesus Christ.
Enjoy Your Symptom! is a thrilling guide to cinema and psychoanalysis from a thinker who is perhaps the last standing giant of cultural theory in the twenty-first century.