Living in the End Times (According to Slavoj Zizek)

Living in the End Times (According to Slavoj Zizek)Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, akaThe Elvis of cultural theory, is given the floor to show of his polemic style and whirlwind-like performance.

The Giant of Ljubljana is bombarded with clips of popular media images and quotes by modern-day thinkers revolving around four major issues: the economical crisis, environment, Afghanistan and the end of democracy.

Zizek grabs the opportunity to ruthlessly criticize modern capitalism and to give his view on our common future. We communists are back! is the closing remark of Slavoj Zizeks provocative performance.

Our current capitalist system, that everyone believed would be smoothly spread around the globe, is untenable. We find ourselves on the brink of big problems that call for big solutions.

Whatever is left of the left, has been hedged in by western liberal democracy and seems to lack the energy to come up with radical solutions. Not Zizek.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • pietro

    i love this site: but slavoj is trash, rubbish!!!!!!!!

  • Ocelot

    Come on, Pierto, everyone has its own opinions and views on the world. Slavoj is a great philosopher, but I agree that his Marxist ideas can be quite contraversial in these times :) Even here in Slovenia he is adored by some but hated by the others. But everyone agrees that he is one of the greatest masterminds in the modern Slovenian philosophy!

  • http://esmuziq.blogspot.com esmuziq

    he had some good and bad points

  • Andrei

    he's an socio-anarchist not a marxist

  • chickenpants

    frog boat.

  • Another

    Lack of enlightened leadership is the reason for these endless economical crises...

  • Me Numba Won

    "...It is returning in China...It is more capitalism then the west capitalism itself...How will you be than?"

  • Mike

    I say we just label Mr Zizek and get on with our lives feeling so much better for having labeled yet another human being for sharing his personal conclusions and ideas about many of the issues that might be worth debating.

    Great work!
    Mike
    Sweden

  • al Kidya

    The marxisst system is still a utopian system. It cannot and will not survive on its own. Tyranny must always support Marxism.
    Capitalism failed momentarily due to the stupidity of leaders falling for the plan to lower interest rates to a ridiculous level and granting mortgages to anyone for any amount. Whether it was a ridiculour business idea or an outrageously priced home, people were given cash as though it was a lottery win. When the banks crashed so did the system. People could not pay back their high credit cards, loans, mortgages and all the dominoes fell. The worst thing that could have been done was to pay the banks and financial institutions to keep them open. Why didn't they just allow them to go into chapter 11 and file for bankruptcy like anyone else does?
    To top it off, companies like AIG still provided bonuses to their top executives. This was the criminality of it all and they should never have been given this bailout.
    That's my takeon it.
    Capitalism isn't a failure because it failed. Capitalism failed but lessons have been learned. We cannot turn to Marxism thinking this is the way out. It isn't.

  • http://www.hackbloc.org 0x03e7

    for the record,Slavoj Zizek isnt Anarchist.

  • Bryan

    I'm not sure anarchists are Anarchists.

  • Imightberiding

    Certainly these significant problems & issues facing us will not just go away or spontaneously correct. I tend to think that it is the fool who repeats his behavior all the while expecting a different out come. Mr. Zizek is at least attempting a solution through challenge, thought & questions. He admits he lacks many of the answers but it is this courage & attempt that I admire. I even resisted the temptation of remarking on my thoughts towards the U.S.A. & its role in these current world crises. I found this to be an interesting & worthwhile endeavor both by Mr. Zizek & the film makers. Thanks Vlatko.

  • Nigel

    @ Mike from Sweden
    Totally agree with you Mike, labels, boxes, left or right? does it really matter? listen to his overall message & there is wisdom & insight into what lies ahead for the human condition. Instead we crucify him on our crucifix of bigotry & ingnorance, no wondere society is so screwed up these days. Well said Mike, you nailed it!
    Nigel From New Zealand.

  • Drakendo

    murder the ism , pointing fingers and arguing until its to late is exactly what you should do. Not only America needs to take a step back in self recognition but the whole of humanity , individually needs to consider this situation as a personal matter because if we don't change we all die there's very fundamental problems with society and the government exploits them to gain profits and places of power , every governmental system ... i want to make a new one because this whole mess is absolute f@#$%^& b*&^%$# and this guy isn't a philosopher no more then the guy who comments on these matters at home watching the news ... interesting points of view tho

  • some person

    this reminds me of Enter the Dragon

  • Steven

    What is the aim of competition. The successful result of competition is to get rid of the competition. So little companies become big companies and big companies become bigger. So this idea of a free market that is touted by capitalist is absolutely absurd nonsense. With capitalism the lowest common denominator rules. So if a company can make a product cheaper by using child labor and can get away with it, it will. Thus capitalism helped transform China into the power it is today and destroy the industrial base of America. China is proof that capitalism does not need democracy. In America democracy is by corporation. Look at who donates the money and who is appointed to run the government. It isn't your local farmer. If someone comes along with the perfect system and overthrows all the despots what do you think will happen? Do you think the despots are going to disappear? No, in fact they have no philosophy, no political stripe. They will simple be the best communists or whatever and corrupt the system. Human beings are corrupt and corruptible and that I think is our biggest problem. How do you protect any system from corruption.

  • audiotech

    Humanity is lost without original thinkers like Slavoj. For those safe in their little boxes contribute nothing to the world and are gutless in comparison. Enjoy your mediocrity, just try and resist the urge to bore the rest of us with your blandness and cynical trite. What an I thinking, who the hell is likely to see your views as interesting anyhow? I feel so much better now that history is safe from such banal nonentities.Nixon eat your heart out you slimeball who will remembered in history as a crook, whose writings will be nothing but expletives and remembered using expletives by most Americans he lied to and tried to cover-up his dirty deeds. What a legacy to leave to the world. In his private moments he must go through some hell. I'm so happy for him. The millions of Vietnamese he contributed in the slaughter off, as well as so many of American youth. The man deserves no better place than the hell that are his everyday thoughts. George W Bush and Tony, "I'm a straight kindaguy Blair" deserve a similar hell and have no doubts they will live to the end of their days living through such an experience. My heart leaps with joy knowing this is the future for both of these war criminals. They deserve all that is due for their crimes against humanity. Here's to a torturous life, you money grabbing, messianic, deluded fools. Conscience getting to you? Aw shame. ..

  • mariusp

    in response to number 6. leadrship has nothing to do with our problems. if anything weve got too many leaders and too many leadrship programs. we need management. good old simple managment.

  • jasmin

    good stuff!

  • Eli

    Angel R---I agree, the as long as the monetary system is in place talk of cooperation is hot air.

  • Tom Davies

    You must have to stand somewhere to see it all happen (life). So we all stand somewhere. We all try and look out from where we stand to explore our own perambulation through our place we ourselves create. Our own creation is bordered by the realities of the systems we come from. This seems like sane approaches to real problems. The biggest problems within our political problems can sometimes be the ideals of that systems cornerstones. If the cornerstones are build on inequities or half truths so as to best keep your thumb on your people, it is hard for thinkers to grasp realities of the world they life. This in my opinion has become virally universal, even in countries that are by far enlightened to others, there seems a shroud of ignorance that seems to move forever farther away no matter how close a truth seeker wants to explore.
    For this reason I contemplate God. The only wildly improbable solution to a sad history and even more sad demise and probable End to Man's dominance on earth. One cannot reach this point without a catastrophe on an unpresident scale taking place. And I must say that my end times scenario is as ridiculous as the calamity and confussion we live in daily know. So, I call (pray or whatever) to the human heaven to pass judgement on this fiasco on earth. Armageddon cannot be that far out, lord knows there has been enough rehearsals through the years.

  • Waldo

    I liked what this guy had to say. I can see why others react badly to it though, westerners have been indoctrinated to reject alot of his veiws. I am a westerner, live in the southeatsern US, and my first gut reaction is to immediately shut this guy out. But, when I imagine his ideas in practice I can clearly see a better future than the one I see us headed for right now.

    Politics has turned into pagentry here, before long we will be electing comedians as presidents-(a point I think this guy made at sometime). We are so caught up in general ideaologies and moral issues; we never seem to get any thing done that will significantly effect the economy or our global trade situation. We are captivated by celebrity, instead of effective leadership. For the last year or better we have had to competing ideaologies locked in a stalemate in Washington, and all the while the ship is headed for dangerous waters. No one is steering, only argueing what the American people want is this or that.

    In reality all of the politicians have someone or some company they owe, it takes millions to run a presidential pagent(campiagn). They spend the whole time between elections doing favors for more money for the next election, and occasionally posing for the camera and spitting out campaign slogans and rhetoric. Sarah Palin is running her campaign right now in the form of a reality show and speaking engagements. By the time the election roles around her celebrity will be established and she may very well win because of it. Isn't that a scary thought, Palin running our country.

    I liked the fact that this guy was talking about real issues, and he made tons of sense to boot. We can't just pick up and leave Afdghanistan after what we have done there, we must adress the FACT that capitolism is failing (and it is NOT due to goverment interference with the markets), we must stop dehumanizing our selves by making a joke of morality and ethical behavior. If not I really don't want to consider where we will be in twenty years.

    I am not sure if it is on this site or not, but there is a documentary called Trapped: what happened to our dream of being free that you guys should check out sometime. It centers on the way game theory (the idea that everyone is acting independantly for thier own good, never for the good of others) changed economics, politics, and consequently life for the average citizen of both Britian and the US. It also exposes how it effected psychology and started this crazy prozac culture we live in today. Maybe Valtko will post it, it is a three part series, for everyone.

  • sonny corbi

    a brilliant mind but of course hine sight is 20/20! I have listened to this doc. twice now i imagine i will view it several more times. Back at you later.

  • Bruce Pinkney

    As I listened to him relate the story of the guy trying to find his keys I thought of a saying we have here in Canada about some situations. With all the problems we seem to have about things in the world, which seems to be the root cause, money is the main denominator. Fiat currency is the problem here and the nations surely know this. The solution then is to get rid of " that " system.
    The saying then is " No matter how shiney, You can't shine a turd, it'll allways still be a turd "

  • rtm

    "telling the truth is a revolutionary act" (George Orwell)
    @you guys,
    blah blah blah blah.

    Bottom line is he's right.
    So are hundreds of people that are waking up, or have already awoken.

  • ardentscientist

    This is garbage. Capitalism is not failing. Keynesian economics and fiat currency is as well as a corrupt and greedy government. Communism can be corrupt as well. Of course now the stage is set for this nut job to come in. WRONG...

  • Waldo

    @ rtm

    Not everyone objected to what this guy had to say. I totally agree with you and so do many on this thread.

    @ Bruce Pinkney

    No, fiat currency is not the issue in my estimation. It is the central bank in control of the issue of that fiat currency. Gold backed money has many down falls, one of which is not being able to pay for certain things when they must be had. How would you like to find yourself at war and in desperate need of money, only to realize there is no more means to back that new money.Nations have fallen due to this issue. Another down fall is not being able to manipulate the economy when it is needed. Manipulation must be well thought out and only done when absolutedly neccessary, but it can benefit us. Yet another down fall is that it takes some of the control out of our hands. The gold market is a global market effected by vast inputs.

    We need congress to issue a fiat currency for the good of all peoples in this country, in my opinion. They should be held in strict control by economists that understand the risk of inflation and how to balance it with having too little currency in circulation. This way the people in control of the currency answer to the American people on election day. Abraham Lincoln did this during the Civil war (what a strange name for a war) the currency was called the green back. All was well until congress issued too much inorder to fund the war efforts and the European banking cummunity flooded our country with counter-fit bills (funny munny). It is a dangerous system, I will give you that. But if held in check it offers the greatest chance of stability and prosperity. It also worked for Rome, England, and Italy (I am not sure about Italy).

    What's more in my opinion we need to hold capitalism on a very short leash. It has the tendency to lead to greed and selfinterest as well as monopolized markets that shut out the small business owner and lead to price fixing. It has to be regulated and held in check or we will eventually fail all together in my estimation.

    Human behavior can not be calculated and predicted, like the free market assumes it can. Humans often do things that are totally not in thier own best interest. This is a good thing sometimes because often that odd thing they do is called compassion and sacrificing for the common good at the immediate cost of the individual. But people also wreck the economy trying to squeeze another dime out of the already destitute. All the while knowing that if we do not provide jobs and decent wages to our citizens, the system will collapse. In both cases we are acting outside of our best interest, yet the latter is common. We seem to posess no ability to look after the long term or manage a cyclical system.

  • Waldo

    @ ardentscientist

    Uh, where do you live? It is failing pretty miserably where I am, in the US. It has been allowed to fail though, I do not think it is inherently doomed to failure- but it is inherently flawed. This is why we must stop thinking the free market can fix everything or is immune to problems. People always say that it gives the costumer exactly what they want. Well that is exactly why it is inherently in need of regulation. People do not always want what is best for the continuance of the system, but only what is best to satisfy thier short term desires.

    People also say we need politicians that will do the will of the people, I am even guilty of this. Truth is if the will of the people was done in most cases America would have fallen many years ago. We need a massive push toward education and discipline in this country. Then maybe the will of the people would actually be the best answer. Besides, I doubt there is any way to truly discern the actuall will of the majority. Most are to afraid of societies rejection to express thier true desires or will. Then you have another huge block of citizens not educated enough to even have an opinion.

  • Bruce Pinkney

    I'm only a little bit sure of what I'm saying here,so please bear with me on this.
    Money issued by the private corp., the fed. Supplies the Govt's. with a loan of sorts with interest. [ 10 to 30 % ]
    In the case of the Greenback,the Federal Govt. issued it without taking a loan from a private corperate lender,thus No interest. This would mean ,no national debt.
    I'm Canadian and were in just as much trouble here as the U.S. and many other countries. Canada has been effectively bankrupt since 1933.
    Here's a big [ niaeve } question. What if,we all just folded, and told the real controlers of this mess, " we're out,sorry bout your luck, we quit. < That's a period <"
    There's some pretty smart people around that could lend volumes to an idea like this.
    We could even go as far as to "tell our Governments what we want,and have our voted representatives ,to vote according to constituancy ? polling." and eventually get rid of the political parties.
    So far, everything's all back to front.
    We cannot keep going the way we've been going and it's plain to see after 60 + years of living that this is an unsane world we have.
    So maybe if more people said " NO,this is my country,this is my world,this is my life. No No No!"

  • BABU

    Communism will not die for one thing, the wrong economics of to day is the reason. the day money starts buying what the same amount could buy the previous day/occasion, then perhaps one could envisage death of communism. In short stop giving incremental income with reduced value for the money!

  • Andrew C

    He blames Capitalism for not understanding the irrational human element, yet he falls victim to the very same error as his ideology is no more insulated from corruption then capitalism.

    The free flow of goods between willing and knowledgeable parties is the foundation of all trade (under any regime). The job of any governing system must be to ensure that both parties play by the same rules and use honest measures. This is where a neutral body is key. One that must ensure, not only that the measures are fair, but that both parties are truly competent and aware.

    A mislead customer is a breach of the concept of fair trade and policies must be enacted to ensure exploitation is viewed as more trouble then its worth.

    Slavjo knowledge on this topic is questionable, he appears to parrot more then free think, but that maybe a language barrier and not an intellectual one. I am not familiar with his work.

  • Waldo

    @ Andrew C

    You make some good points. I could not agree more that capitalism must be regulated before it will ever work. I also agree that the communist ideology is just as susceptible to corruption. But, I also think this guy had some really fresh and valuable insights.

  • Mj Gilead

    Whatever political or economic system one lives under, there will still be trouble and upheaval always. The crux of humanity's problems is man himself. Until his heart is purified and he reclaims his status as one that is above the animals, misery will always be his common lot.

  • http://princejaka.wordpress.com princeton

    omg

    @those who blame capitalism.
    there is no capitalism
    you cannot have capitalism with a central bank which artificially raises and lowers interest rates or creates currency out of thin air.. this is not free trade at all geez.
    you also cannot have free market and trade when 50% of most of our income is taken through threat of force and spent by a small group of society as they see fit (taxation/politicians)
    there is no capitalism..

    funny thing is that these politicians screw up the economy, profit from the debasement of our currency, then blame free trade, as if people freely trading with each other is the problem here.. "all we need is more regulation (a.k.a power)

    geez, wake up people, freedom is not the problem, pseudo dictatorships and centralized planning is what causes the problems

    just google austrian economics, tom woods, the mises institute to learn something about economics, before mouthing off about a topic you have no knowledge/expertise in, spreading platitudes and ideologies that will do nothing but benefit the ruling class which is impoverishing us purposefully.

  • http://princejaka.wordpress.com princeton

    "capitalism must be regulated before it will ever work"

    first, if you impose "regulation", you just ruled out all possibility of free market capitalism, and now you create a highly corruptible position for some lucky regulator.

    it is illogical to believe that some person (or group thereof) are smart enough to regulate the complex financial transactions of millions of free acting individuals..

    capitalism is the ultimate democracy, giving everyone the opportunity to vote with their dollars (i.e. labor, time & energy) for the services they want in society (supply & demand)

    either way, just on principle alone, the only way to regulate capitalism is through violence, which means some group of people in society get to go around shooting and kidnapping everyone else who doesn't comply or do things their way. yeah, talk about a safe haven for criminals.

  • Alex B

    I haven't read all the comments yet, but here's my perspective on society.

    Capitalism IS a great problem, and those who don't see that are not well informed or plainly in denial of a failing system, unwilling or unable to imagine anything other than what we already have. To suggest that capitalism just needs to be "done right," no matter what the proposed "solution" is, is to assume that everyone can get along and behave rationally. Those who say this, you're right in the ideological sense that, under the perfect conditions where everyone played fairly, then capitalism could work... but does this notion not sound like a utopian vision? The same argument that pro-capitalists use against any other alternative system is the very thing they suggest we do with our current system. To say that capitalism and democracy are the pinnacle of human achievement, as they are well established, is really saying that what we live in IS in fact a Utopia, because, as many would suggest, "there is no better way of doing things." I strongly disagree.

    Any alternative to capitalism must address the root causes of our failing monetary system... the system itself. It's design is inherently flawed. All early attempts at social reform (ie. communism and socialism) didn't work, NOT because their value system was wrong, but because what they didn't realize was even after imposing a new social structure, they were still working within a capitalist society. The only thing they replaced was democracy. Modern China is very successful, financially, implementing a dictatorship to handle the economy, because, as mentioned in this film, the decisions are made quicker and there is no bottleneck in the political process. But you'll never convince anyone that things are terrific in China. They are a clear example of how being wealthy (or at least not in debt) does not mean your society is any better off.

    Another thing to consider is that almost all the aspects we value in western society, that we think make our lives so much better, are the social services available to the public. Health care, police fire and paramedic services, libraries and internet(access to information), available grocery stores, education, roads and infrastructure, and for some social assistance. These are all socialist ideals, though, depending on the country, some of these things you must pay for, but consider that any taxes paid means you support socialism.

    So many people want these services, but support capitalism? Capitalism suggests that nothing be free, and really it's survival of the "fittest" or at least those who are clever enough to get rich quick, in hopes that this may weed out the "weak." But then again, we are such loving creatures, that we don't stand by and watch people suffer, so we contribute to charity, hoping to redeem ourselves. Think of the billions if not trillions of dollars over the years that charities have received, and there are still needy people? What does it take to build a nation as "successful" as western civilization. We can't even feed and shelter everyone here, let alone other countries.

    We've done capitalism and it's time to move on. The solutions to capitalism are merely patchwork. Like scooping buckets from a leaky boat. Maybe if we just worked harder, we wouldn't sink so much, but that doesn't address the integrity of the boat itself. The very fact that our system is susceptible to corruption doesn't mean that all fault lies on the "bad" people, but means there are holes built into the system.

    The Venus Project is the best alternative proposed so far, but what makes it the "best" is that it is not a finite system. It doesn't attempt to impose a specific order and ask everyone to comply. It is a flexible system, built with the intention of improving upon itself with a few simple guidelines, basically that everyone deserves to live a healthy life and should have access to ALL the fruits of civilization. Call it what you want, this Resource-based economy is designed to empower people... the everyday people, such that it could never be corrupted when a majority of the people are quite capable of maintaining the infrastructure.

    Capitalism is built on trust, just like the banks. But trust is a word we should do away with when it comes to our survival. Sure, trust your friends and family as you see fit, but don't trust a stranger to take care of you. Trust is ultimately blind, and people are capable of both the best and worst deeds. so far, every attempted modern society has relied on trusting in people to do the right thing, and designed the system to expect people to conform the that society's ideals. The Venus Project travels the path not taken. Instead of telling people how to behave through fear of punishment, or wishing people would all just get a long through unrealistic dreaming, TVP will design a system that makes no assumptions or expectations of human behaviour. Rather, provide the best conditions of the time, to nurture people to hopefully grow and become self-empowered and educated individuals.

    When you look at nature, there is no law or rule book for the plants and animals to follow. There are only environmental conditions that allow for life to exist. And when confined to a space, the best way to preserve life is to find balance and not exceed the limitations. Survival of the fittest is only one aspect to nature, because if it was only that, only predators would survive... for a while before they feed on each other until there is nothing left.

    In this film, he talks about accepting our alienation from nature, but there I would have to disagree. I think he is clouded by his perspective on the organic movement and it's conflict with technology, but when you look at it, technology is really humanity trying to cope with the harsh elements of nature. Yes, there are disasters and some chaos in nature, but that does not mean there is no balance. No single or multiple natural disasters has crippled life on earth, only transformed it. You could say that the Dinosaurs were wiped out, but did the earth die? Many species died out, but the ones that survived could adapt, and many new species came to be. The death followed by birth. A natural cycle, that we must imitate in order to become a successful civilization.

    Capitalism can easily be crippled by a single financial catastrophe, so it's in our best interest to design a system that can whether a variety of conditions.

    Please consider alternatives before labeling and pointing fingers. When we do nothing, nothing will surely change. I hope I have provided some perspective on the issues of our time, and hopefully, when we face the greatest social collapse in human history, we can all be brave enough to admit our misguided beliefs and take humanity into a new generation of civilization.

  • bb

    Before you crack heads judge this guy think this. Mr. Zizek (as well as me) was living in socialism and had a taste of what it was. Now we all live in capitalism and we all see what that is - let me tell you this ALL KNOWING CAPITALISTIC IDIOTS - we got it wrong and if slovenians as well as all ex Yugoslavia people knew in what we ware marching into I think that Yugoslavia would still be alive today. Standard of living is now (looking in general public) way worse than it was back in Yugoslavia - and the foult for that is CAPITALISM! I know I have seen them both unlike other individuals here.

  • docugeek

    i don't proclaim to have any solutions but i do like the idea of abandoning the concept of money. it worked in star trek.

  • http://princejaka.wordpress.com princeton

    @abandoning the concept of money

    If we are not freely trading with each other, then we are stealing from each other, no matter how much we make it sound humanitarian or call it "the common good."

    free market capitalism arises from recognizing that people create stuff (apples) and want to trade with their neighbors for other stuff they don't create themselves (chairs). money is just the lowest common denominator or in other words something that anyone can accept at any time because they know they will be able to trade it in the future for other stuff they want.

    Money (currencies) arises spontaneously out of barter systems because eventually everyone will get tired of carrying chairs around hoping to find someone with apples and vice versa.

    Eventually, everyone learns that most people need X (currency) and can just carry that around because it is a liquid asset which is easy to transfer at any time for what they want.

    geez people, learn basic economics.. bad economic ideas lead to people starving on the streets!
    youtube watch?v=IAsbP1rkPEI
    or google "mises institute"

  • annie donovan

    .....he doesn't really impress me....can't stand his lisp....ughhhh

  • http://princejaka.wordpress.com princeton

    @alex b

    there is no capitalism.. you cannot have free market capitalism and a central bank controlling everything at the same time.. that is an oxymoron.

    those in power spread this disinformation around (blame free trade), so that we will give them more power to run either some socialist/communist system (Venus project) or regulate us to death!

    their regulations, bailouts, subsidies and interventions have caused all the economic woes of recent history, not capitalism which hasn't had a real chance in most of human history.

    I believe you, sir, are not well informed!

  • Alex B

    @ princeton

    Basic economics... hmmm, seems to me no one has figured out economics by your logic since we continue to have starving people on the streets. I think YOU are not understanding the Basic BASIC economics that really says we are to seek profit before all else. Slight problem with that logic I think. Money was an improvement on the barter & trade, but you assume that barter & trade is the only way to distribute goods and services.

    You're not digging deep enough. The problem is not "money" but the meaning behind it. Money is our symbolic gesture of claiming ownership to something. This is a concept that has been very much hard-coded into our brains, and it may take some time to break free. You make wild assumptions when stating that without money, people would all just steal from each other. People steal when they do not have enough of something. what happens when everyone has more than they need? This is more than just removing money, but the value system it supports. Is your child "stealing" when he/she goes to school, plays all day, and lives off of you without contribution? Is your friend "stealing" when you help him move furniture?

    We can organize a system where money is no longer needed, but you have to remove these ideas that things will be "business as usual." A system without money would be radically different than anything you've experienced before. Holding onto this belief that we are entitled to ownership of property is what holds us back. Do we go so far as to claim sections of road and tax people for walking or driving on it? Any public service is a direct violation of economic philosophy. We want everyone to have a home and bellies full of food, but at the same time, we force them to struggle when we tell them the only way to achieve this is via money/ownership of things. Those with the most live, and those without must scrape by or die. How good we must all feel knowing we've created such a flawless ideology and economy. [note the sarcasm]

    Think back to the very beginning when man must have first developed this idea of ownership. Who decided that gold would be valuable and trade-able for food, shelter, and services? Who first decided what land belonged to who? It would seem to me that this idea of ownership really came from initially stealing from others. Going over to another tribe and saying, "This is mine now," is not a very good way to begin developing a civilization. To what end will our desire to own things be satisfied? When we claim cubic meters of airspace?

    You may claim to understand economics very well, and if so, then what are the solutions? If the experts know, why aren't they making things better? Don't go on about humans being greedy because any system that fails because of a few bad eggs is no sustainable system to begin with. Don't ask people to make ethical decisions when you put them in unethical circumstances.

    I could care less about the mechanics of our economy (though I do understand it more than average folk), because no matter how much you are educated on the biological properties of bovine fecal matter, it's still a pile of BullS#!t.

  • Robyn

    I like a lot of what this guy has to say. Capitalism as it is today in the U S needs to change. It is Capitalism for the worker and Socialism for the Corporations and wealthy.

    When an individual takes a financial risk and fails, he/she must personally assume the financial responsibility of their action. When a large corporation takes risks and fail, and the government bails them out; that is not Capitalism. His reference to the 3-Gorges dam possibly causing the latest devastating earthquake in China, is a symptom of another problem, Corporate Capitalism, that is over harvesting our natural resources, manufacturing products that break or fail prematurely, undermining the U S economy by sending good paying jobs out of the country, destroying the environment and buying the allegiance of our elected officials.

    Do I think we should become Communist? Absolutely not, but we do need to take a long-term look at where we are going and what we are doing. We are deluded into thinking we are Capitalists. That may have been the case in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, but today it is more like Socialism when the middleclass entrepreneurs are paying for the financial mistakes of greedy corporations. Corporations were given $750 billion to save a few jobs that may have been lost as result of their insatiable greed, when it is a known fact that small businesses account for 70-80% of the jobs here in the U S and it is nearly impossible for them to get the help they need to get America back to work. I think this guy has some valid points.

  • docugeek

    @princeton

    thanks for the info. my stipulation would be that currency should not accrue interest as it assigns extra unearned value to a measuring unit and thus defines it as money. a kilogram does not go up 2% every year.

    your summation that "bad economic ideas lead to people starving on the streets" i counter with my theory that capitalism leads to people starving on the streets. i argue that capitalism is fuelled by the concept of manufactured scarcity. by making less of something it is worth more. we all know the statistic of the few percent of people having the major percent of wealth. so by definition by making more people poorer; the rich get richer. capitalism in action.

    princeton, having read your previous posts on this thread i would like to respond to your supposition that capitalism should not be regulated. may i say that capitalism, unregulated, leads to things like slavery and enviromental destruction. your belief that capitalism is the ultimate democracy cos you can "vote with your dollars" is also wrong. you have no choice. you are free to choose between pepsi or coke. even if you want an orange juice it will most likely be made by coke. the ultimate end of "free competition" is monopoly (at best oligopoly) which spells exploitation of the consumer.

    i also contest your theory on central banks. I know that the federal reserve and bank of england as well as many other nations central banks (and i suspect the IMF) are private (i.e. not state owned) banks. they have control over price and supply of their product, the national currency. how much more unregulated can you get. that is why you get booms and busts. central banks are like pimps giving out free dope til everyone gets so high they think it will last forever. then all of a sudden they lay their pimp hand down. everyone is hooked and owe the pimp for the dope they had. but now the price has gone up. then they take your house, your business and make you work for minimum wage.

    on a more personal note: never start a post with "omg".

  • 1perspctive

    @ princeton

    i thought nature created apples

  • Canne

    how fruity is that editing. what happening to having a good old conversation. interviewer, interviewee, a couple of seats, a few notes, a glass of water maybe...

  • Waldo

    Princeton seems very confused to me. I am not trying to be arguementative , but I have read on other threads that Princeton is an anarchist. Yet he says he supports capitalism and talks about currencies facilitating trade. Without government there is no currency and there is no certain method of trade. Anarchy is every man for himself with no rules and no one to print currency nor decide the value of each unit of currency. How can capitalism work with no rules to decide what each unit of currency is worth and no central power to print the currency or set up rules for trade. You would have merchants selling something for one thing here and that same something might be worth muchless or more just a few miles away. You would have local groups printing there own currency, soon you wouldn't know what you needed to buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk, nor if that bread and milk might kill you and your family. What about rules of ownership and so forth, how would you know when you shipped your product here or there, assuming any shipping companies could operate in such a fickle environment, that it would sell for the projected price or not just get taken by whomever decided they wnated it. Businesses can't function without being able to predict the short and long term future, which is immpossible in an anarchist system. Even if all merchants got together and decided on certain rules and so forth, which is simply recreating what ou have destroyed, they would simply break these rules as needed to make the most profit as there is no way to inforce these rules in an anarchist system. They break the rules now, even when there is a price to pay and a power to inforce them. Besides, there is no currency in an anarchy so really there is no reason for merchants or any of the above to operate. Yet you come to this thread and insult others for not having a grasp of basic economic principles?

    Oh well, believe as you will. I just don't think it is fair to be so insulting and assertive. Even if you didn't contradict yourself over and over with this weird idea of capitalism existing in an anarchy, I can tell you for sure no one will listen as long as you open with such condecending and insulting arguements.

    The same can be said for you Alex B. You open with this statement, "Capitalism IS a great problem, and those who don’t see that are not well informed or plainly in denial of a failing system, unwilling or unable to imagine anything other than what we already have." Yet you think people are going to listen to you. After you have insulted them and thousands of economist around the globe, they are going to listen to you. Do you have any degree or accomplishments as an economist or business professional that make your opinions more valid than the rest of the public? Or are you just some guy that watched a documentary called zeitgeist and became smitten with the ideas it expressed?

    Listen, I am not saying that niether of you have the right to express your opinions, but they are just that, opinions. And unless you can prove otherwise they carry no more weight or validity than the next guys, so maybe be a little nicer. Maybe explain your point of veiw and let it go at that without bursting out with insults and arrogant assertions of your supreme knowledge. Or, continue the way you started- its your business. I just don't think either of you are going to change too many minds the way you are going about it. Sorry if I have come off as insulting, I swear that was not my intent.

  • Dr. Dunkleosteus

    @ Canne, exactly. I was getting dizzy trying to watch the camera man try to keep up with him pacing about the stage.

    Also, why the omnipotent voice? That was weird.

    The visuals also were confusing. They didn't explain very well why the images were chosen or what was being implied. One was in another language without subtitles...

    And that microphone is going to hurt really bad when he goes to take it off...

  • the loler

    well, I enjoyed that and some of the comments. I will not back capitalism or communism in the true senses of the words, because I dont believe they have ever been properly tested on a wide scale. Same with democracy, in the west we dont have democracies, not real ones, just like we dont have real capitalism.

    There are major problems wth the twisted versions of them we have. As someone has said, competition wipes out competition. the more people buy a product, the more money that company has, the more they can shut out the competition using marketing and finanicaly influenced product placement. Eventually not only does all competition get priced out of existence, but the customer themselves and what they want is controled and manuipulated through the marketing. So the whole idea that the customer 'votes with their dollars' is absolute nonsense, after a while they not only have a limited choise but they dont even have a balanced view of the marketplace to make that choice in and are completely manipulated.

    Another problem is growth, anything that bases its sucess on growth is a disaster waiting to happen. We cannot keep growing, more people, mopre products, using up more resources endlessly, it cant go on, unsustainable. You see people talking about how bad it is that a given countries popultion is decreasing, oh no everyone else will over take them, how will they keep up? On one hand we have peek oil etc saying theres finite resources we have at our desposal. We look at nature being obliterated and creatures dying out and it tells us there is finite room for humans and animals to co-exist on the planet and we are already pushing our luck too far. These sort of factors point to the fact that we need to stop expanding, but the entire system is based on growth. It cant go on. People make the analogy to cancer, a small element that does not find harmony with its surroundings but grows unchekced untill it kills its host, and hecne itself. People are right when they make that observation, any system based on continual growth is akin to a cancer and will end badly.

    I also find it amusing when I see people say 'oh our leaders were stupid thats why we got in this mess' does anyone out there really believe this crisis is a mistake? I mean really? Come on, if you cant see this is a planned event that benifits the few who have the power to trigger it then god help you.

  • http://princejaka.wordpress.com princeton

    @ all
    "you have no choice. you are free to choose between pepsi or coke. even if you want an orange juice it will most likely be made by coke." actually I have no problem getting juices and teas without any high fructose corn syrup from local producers.

    anarchism is not every man for himself. someone raised a good point when they said something to the effect of "was it theft when my child eats and goes to school"
    but this proves my point though, which is that just because there is capitalism, does not mean people will stop sharing or freely giving to each other or loved ones and charities. all capitalism and anarchy are saying is that people should get the choice of when to do so and at their own discretion, instead of some government policy imposing "charity" through threat of force. Just because you have a purely capitalistic system does not mean kindness goes away. almost everyone alive is philanthropic in many ways so your argument about every man for himself says more about your state of mind then society at large.

    anarchy means society without centralized coercion and the initiation pf use of force on citizens. it sounds good and great to speak of public services, welfare and other such programs, but the harsh reality is that the money to fund all those programs is taken by force from hard working civilians, then shoveled around by a group of politicians who will inevitably please special interest groups for kickbacks and to stay in power.

    the truth is that all of those humanitarian services can be provided without initiating force against the citizen. many people constantly give money to charities they deem worthwhile and would spend a good portion of their income to benefit their community, without needing to be threatened with jail time.

    the reason some companies and business get so bloated now is because they can bribe politicians to reduce competition, so that they can dominate their industries.

    as I stated before, there is no true capitalism, and it is incorrect to blame capitalism for present economic woes, because a central bank has been printing money out of thin air and artificially tampering with interest rates, as well as shoveling billions of dollars to bailout special interest groups as opposed to letting the fittest businesses survive through their own efforts.

    I do not think I am confused about this, its common knowledge and factual.

    thinktanks like the economists who contribute to the mises institute have come up with many solutions to social problems and different social arrangements that do not and will not require initiating force against the citizen or some centralized power attempting to regulate something which is too complex to be regulated.

  • http://princejaka.wordpress.com princeton

    @ the loler

    I agree with most of what you say, except for "competition kills competition". this is sometimes possible, but not necessarily true, because there is always constant innovation , and no-one can predict with accuracy what that will be or where it will come from. competition drives innovations and reduces costs. without competition , most businesses would just charge prices that grant them outrageous profit margins.

    but in capitalism without government regulations, any guy on the street can come up with some innovation, thereby taking a large chunk of some major company's clients.

    also, I find a little skewed to say the least the notion that marketing/advertising controls us. you honestly mean to say that you jump up and respond to every ad on you see/hear without any critical thought whatsoever. I studied advertising and marketing and run a few businesses, & its not easy stuff. Many ad campaigns flop leading to business failure.

    but even if that were the case, it is all the more reason to have a capitalistic even playing field, where anyone can put up an ad for their service without worrying about govt red tape. the market is unpredictable for anyone and voting with our dollars is the only democracy that makes sense, not cheering politicians to go and attack people whom we disagree with.

    do you think war on drugs and the war in Iraq would happen if people had to voluntarily pay for that crap?

  • Kara Kittle

    This is a pro-Communist documentary. Nothing more.

    There were people in Communist societies that were deeply impoverished without and freedom to stand up for their own rights.

    That is what Marxism was based on...hate rich people for having money, fight them, take the rights away from everyone else who supported the stupid cause that was supposed to guarantee their rights in the first place.

    Communism fails. If you don't believe that, just ask the millions of elderly people starving to death in Communist countries. Capitalists didn't create starving people in Russia. Communism did.

  • fact

    great comedy.

    what a nut.

  • http://princejaka.wordpress.com princeton

    @ waldo

    great point. didn't think i was insulting anyone, but i now see how it can be interpreted that way and i do apologize for the condescending tone.

    i was just under the impression that old communist and marxist ideologies had been refuted long ago and the proof is all around us: all communist dictatorships result in poverty, starvation & eventually collapse.

    the western countries have done as good as they have because of capitalism, but my point was to say, even we have recently been getting a bit communist by allowing governments to manipulate the economy, allowing central banking and currency laws. we have killed competition in vital industries through bailouts and subsidies, and have debased our currency through counterfeiting. this is not capitalism's fault and its annoying to see the same government that has its hands all over our economy and markets, blame the markets when they crash.

    I also believe you have confused the meaning of anarchy with some crazy lord of the flies scenario, but its understandable, that word has been abused by government schools so as to make it seem evil & chaotic. all it means is society not run on violence and coercion. our present systems are funded through taxation, and all taxation is involuntary and therefore theft. this is the root cause of many problems in society. I believe there are many ways to configure an organized and civil society without the need to rob your own citizens and initiate force against them.

  • Rodrigo Pereira

    Guys like this engineer mass murders without knowing, this guy is not a genius, he is basic and dangerous, these human themes are much more profound, to have the state as an answer.

    The Existence of these guys, that makes me chill with the possibilities of the atrocities of world Wars and Stalinist murders.

  • Reasons Voice

    Just to make a few points; Yes @Princton is messing with my head on this one. Since I agree with him here where on essentially every other thread I do not. His point seems to be that the concept of capitolism is not what we actually have as the existence of a central bank is antithema to a true capitolism. Also many of his points are in the direction of the fact that capitalism cannot work while simultaneously having copulsory charity. It is a system that works on competition not altruism.
    The comment about the schools... Think reasonably here. Say you live in a district where your school tax is 2000 per year and the average class size is 30 students. If the parents of said 30 students paid for 1 teacher that teacher gets a 60k salary for the year. Sounds good. What we have instead is everyone in the area pays 2k per year. So instead of 30 families you have say 100 paying 2k. thats 200k per year and the teacher still gets 60k the other 140k is money coming out of the pockets of people who recieve nothing in return and pays for....the principals salary the super intendant the whatever head of needlessness et/al. You want your kid to get a great education find a really good teacher and 29 friends with a kid your age and hire a private tutor whose livelihood depends on your childs success.
    And finaly please dont anyone respond to Alex B since he is obsessed with an impossible dream of a utopian society where everyone shares averything with everyone else for no reason other than why not. I believe they also S#%$ daisies in this world but not certain.

  • http://princejaka.wordpress.com princeton

    @ reasons voice

    i don't believe I have been saying anything different all along, but maybe i didn't communicate my thoughts well.

  • Reasons Voice

    @Princeton; Lol. Just ribbing ya man. Me and you come from very different points of view on most subjects. Which is what makes it so cool to have dialog here. And the fact that we can differ on much and yet agree on others shows that we are not the typical ideological type. That our thoughts are just that, Our own. Much respect Princeton.

  • Ubik

    the capitalistic system is an expansion of our nervous system
    ;) we make it happen. It is not someting outside of us.

  • Ubik

    i believe that Zizek is creating "images" of his own "reality". Nothing much than Heidegger ,Lacan and Sartre all together. I think that he describes a capitalist system's neurosis (kind of). I hate labels but.. i dont think that he is a socioanarchist like Nomkski.

  • Alex B

    Everyone should stop and think for a second, without holding onto their beliefs for dear life. I do get how people can easily interpret my voice as one of a utopian mindset, dreaming outside of reality, but it is clear that no one is willing to do the research and expand their understanding beyond the status quot. Now, I may also appear firm in my beliefs, but they are not beliefs based on faith, but beliefs based on fact and critical thinking. Something I have yet to see from too many of you.

    Now if you are taking any of what I say personally, I am sorry that you are so insecure with yourself and what you stand for, that anything that challenges "your identity" may actually threaten your existence. When people such as Reason's Voice or princeton and many others attack me, not for being a utopian, it just adds to this segregation of humanity that pins us against each other rather than the issues at hand. I have made many valid arguments and have yet to hear any reasonable counter that wasn't distorted with nonsensical projections of personal fears and phobias.

    Don't argue with me, argue with what I say. This is the only way to progress. When people claim that I am a utopian, back that statement up. In what sense of the word have I proposed an end all be all society of absolute perfection? When I analyze the notion that capitalism and democracy are the way to go, but they only need to be done "right" I see this as utopian. Please observe. When people argue for these ideologies, they are usually saying "It always has been this way" or "It has given us everything great" Are these statements not saying that capitalism and democracy are the "best" things to happen to humanity? By that definition, what we have now, IS in itself a utopia. Believing without doubt that this is the pinnacle of civilization. Every establishment, by definition, is built on solidity, an unchanging framework, and bent on sustaining, not people or the environment, but the establishment itself.

    When I read on, it seems to me that most of what we argue is semantics. When I talk about money or capitalism, we all tend to have our own ideas, including myself, about what we think we mean. This is why I am consistently trying to take myself out of the equation and analyze the situation for what it is and not the terms and symbols. Now, I may sometimes argue against someone's point only to realize later that their definition or interpretation was a bit different than what I had in mind. I guess that's a flaw with the language. My point is, maybe we should start off by either stating what our definitions are, or by not standing behind words or phrases. In turn, we should not argue against a word or phrase, but the context. Basically, most of what I see is name calling. (ie. He's a socialist, she's a capitalist, he's a utopian idealist) This gets us nowhere.

    To finish, I would like to say that we are ALL philosophers in our own right. We all have the capacity for critical thinking, but to what degree do we use it? You can't say one person is more credible SIMPLY because they have a PHD or are an economist. This does not mean it make someone more or less credible, but it means we have to understand what people are saying and stop basing our knowledge on what authorities tell us is right. My message is not to recruit for the Zeitgeist Movement or The Venus Project, but to empower people, as I have stated several times before on other pages. When we can get together and have rational round table discussions, solutions can be arrived at and these competitive conversations we continue to have will end. When you're in it to win it, we all lose out in the long run. You have to be willing to toss your beliefs should evidence make itself apparent. There's a lot more we can learn from our losses than our victories. Now, I don't need to send you my educational history in order to validate the points I've made. You have to take it in and see what works based off of whatever level of understanding you have. If you don't get it, then don't just dismiss it, but consider it and when you've become wiser, see if your opinion of it changes. We aren't born with a core set of beliefs, we arrive at them through experience and critical thinking, which is why I consider everyone a philosopher in their own right. We don't have to agree, but we should be able to present our case through evidence, observation, analysis, and analogy.

  • Alex B

    ***please disregard a typo

    "attack me, not for being a utopian" -ignore the word "not", though the following sentences should make that clear, which then actually supports my point about taking things into context rather than verbatim.

  • Alex B

    To help turn the gears in your head, I have a question that could use some answering. Don't take this too lightly though. Really think about this one.

    Can anyone name a situation where money benefited humanity and could not otherwise have been done without it?

    Now, I have had a very rushed answer before where charity (like after a natural disaster where money is sent rather than goods) was just one of many apparently, (but no time to name a few more). This doesn't fit the criteria though, because what is charity? It's people volunteering goods and services to those in need and less fortunate? AND, food and water and aid still have to be provided, so transferring money was really an intermediate step that actually slows the process of helping people because rather than just help right away, we need to wait for donations. It wasn't money that actually brought aid, but people.

    So now you know the level of logic that I take this and can prepare either an argument to my previous answer or come up with a better example. Good luck.

  • Humanbeing

    From a man in Somalia this is tasty stuff in the sense of how elements of the ideology he pitches has been entertained albeit in a completely different manner! you see as its common knowledge here we are devoid of any system ruling fundamentally due 2 inconsistencies in attempts of various governing school of thoughts. Am talking from religious hardcore dictation to society to feeble democratic solutions not to mention the socialistic regime that had its last threads chewed off in excess of 20 years ago.

    This has consistently made me question if it is we the people here who are genetically hardwired to rebel all forms of governance by default in contrast to the rest of humanity for failing to not only embrace a system but more crucially to sustain it and abide by it? or perhaps the only alternative logical explanation is that the implementation of rule where the human minds are confined to within a realm of certain political thinking is the actual hurdle to cohesive living.

    I think Somalia epitomizes the global lunacy of governing in the sense that its a prelude model to the future as majority of the masses globally are seeking to emancipate themselves from the mental constraints of decisions of a few prominent folks shaping the very fabric of their existence! oh no am not advocating for anarchy but i tell you why i resorted to living here n retreating from the chains of the west its because amidst all of this chaos is the sense of being free, free from what one may ask...free from ascribing to a way of life that u did not have a chance to choose.

    Live and let live just survive is the motto here and bot it gives meaning to life. Despite the picture painted of doom n gloom of an eminent forthcoming world of indecisiveness n counter conflicting political themes one thing is for sure its gonna be a nasty dog eat dog world! Unless of course we all do the sensible thing and let our free spirited thinkers like him at least have a platform to exercise their attempts to CHANGE.N by that i don't mean change in the Obama laughable context.

    All that being said i love humans and we should cherish this life for i see it slip away on a daily basis something that will have a profound impact on any soul and completely change their perceptions on.almost everything those of you who have tasted daily war I'm lawlessness will know precisely what am on about. God help us all.

  • Reasons Voice

    @Alex; Your beliefs are based in faith not fact. It is only your faith that thinks that all goods and services can or will ever be freely produced and distributed, without need of human labor, to the entire world. There is absolutely no Fact to the technology your ideal would require to run nor any example where such a society ever existed even on a small scale. By definition, since you have no facts uppon which you base all this, you are indeed running on faith alone. Watch Zeitgiest all day if you want. Watch similar utopian dream films all day. Read endless writings about your theory written by fellow idealists and considder their writings fact. If the basis of fact is only that it has been written down or put on film then we should all be scientologists I suppose.

  • Toby123

    It is funny how some of the greatest thinkers of our modern civilasation, tend to have these ''socialist views''

    watch philosophy - a guide to happyness for this.

    how ever when one shares these socialist thoughts of life, one is beeing labeled ass dumb or naive, as if it is just an unrealistics dream.

    we dont want money to rule us, we want freedom! we want a society with no leaders and no law and no currency!
    every one works in the field, every one helps at the hospitals to make society run.

    we could have this give and take society. its not a dream it is reachable. however first capitalsim must die. wich is the hardest part of my ''evil plan'' to have everybody live together equal and free.

    eliminate the free market... in fact just elimante the entire market. i would give you free corn and milk, in return you wold bake the bread. and give it to somebody else for caring for your children, and so on.

    ''all system fails'' this is fact. democracy is a joke!
    dictatorship dosnt work becouse people get power hungry.

    take away the money and the power from the rich (who are rich becouse they already controls the money) and give it back to the people.

    i talked with a co worker the other day and we discussed rich people. i said they are evil people destroying other peoples lives for their personel gain. but at some point my co worker argued that they have worked hard to earn their money. and im like fuck you i work hard every day just to get by! and im from a rich western country. you dont think african families have to work hard just to survive!

    Anarchy and equality for everyone ! A//E

  • Toby123

    I would also just say to addition of the movie that the man was mostly right. ( Conferming my views of life )

    however i am dissatisfyied with some of the people commenting.
    the ones like the first comment were pietro wrote :

    ''i love this site: but slavoj is trash, rubbish!!!!!!!!''

    and it just makes me wonder if he even saw the film. and if he were open for new ideas whilst seeing it. otherwise it would have been a waste of time watching it, and commenting it.

    setting a standard of their intelligence ( in my point of view) on the same level as of the creationist.

  • http://princejaka.wordpress.com princeton

    @ alex b. & toby

    you fail to understand the fact that money is a representation of something else, which is essential to civilized life, and that is free exchange of labor and resources.

    I concur that presently our monetary systems are downright fraudulent, but that is because they are controlled and manipulated by governments which will not allow competing and spontaneous currencies to thrive. they only allow their buddies to print up more money (counterfeit) and sell it to the public for real goods and labor, which is why we always get poorer and they get richer.. its not the business owners that are the problem or the lady at the market with her produce.

    to wish death to capitalism is to support theft, because capitalism is simply the free exchange of goods & services.

    you are incorrectly blaming free trade for the effects of government sponsored crimes and monopolies. all major corrupt corporations are government sponsored.. remember, the government is the one who grants them limited liability/no liability status. if you are angry at companies filing bankruptcy... remember, its the government that allows this to happen. if you hate the fact that some companies swell in size and steal all the wealth... remember, they gain their monopolies through lobbying governments and not by openly competing in a free market, where more frugal competitors would certainly have every incentive in the world and the ability to beat them out.

    if you dislike capitalism, you are against free trade.. which means you believe when i fix my clients computers.. i should not be able to choose what i get in return and what i chose to exchange for my services, which is no utopia.. i'm a utopian myself, and more so than you are, because i understand the problem in this world is not money or free trade, but the initiation of the use of force and widespread coercion for political gains and ideologies..

    we need trade.. and completely free trade at that.. your notion of everyone working for free is not Utopian, its not even realistic, it is socialism and communism rehashed and repackaged in new-age speak.

  • http://princejaka.wordpress.com princeton

    @ toby

    i saw it.. and slavoj IS trash.. he is just another socialist who wants a dictator & nanny state to control how everyone's time and energy is "distributed"..

    this has been done over and over throughout history.. and it always leads to starvation & destitution on massive scales.

    communism is nothing new homeboi!

  • myke

    to me marxism and the chaos theroy run hand in hand the both belive in revolt and conflict and to me the usa is communist because i use to be a homless person on the street and been friom having every thing to having nothing all because of the economyand there is no help and the usa dosent take care of its own im am know disabled due to being a soldier in iraq and i feel my country has kicked me out to the curb like a puppy who took a dump on the carpet but yet i still love my country
    \

  • http://initsimage.org Bryan

    Serious thought about "How we can live in selfish immortality" always promote the most comments. Because that state is what we desire the most.

    We really need to move on from this left/right business and get on with investing and democratising technology.

    We really are all the same. Drop the dogma or we're all screwed.

  • Jason

    Glad I watched this, and it is food for thought but I have to say I found his responses glib and often without support. I would much rather have seen a debate of sorts with people like Jim Rogers (who I think would have taken him to the woodshed) actually responding with him; that would have been more constructive - for Zizek most of all; often the people on the left, for lack of a better term, assume the other side is "insane" or stupid and therefore do not need to be debated, which is monumentally arrogant and counterproductive. Instead of spending their budget by surrounding Zizek with big screens, they should have tried to get an actual discussion going with an opposing view. Contrast often brings clarity.

  • Jason

    K, not sure why counterproductive was censored with ******, but whatever. Thanks to the host for this vid!

  • http://N/A Sancar Seckiner

    Slavoj Zizek is not a person whom we can easly ignor. I personaly read some of his essays related to cinema,image and many aspects of media. The Pervert's Guide to Cinema by Sophie Fiennes,2006 was excellent.

    ''Žižek uses examples from popular culture to explain the theory of Jacques Lacan and uses Lacanian psychoanalysis, Hegelian philosophy and Marxist economic criticism to interpret and speak extensively on immediately-current social phenomena, including the current ongoing financial crisis of global capitalism.''

  • Anthony Chapman

    This guy is very confused. Sometimes difficult to watch him struggle and contradict. Before he goes on camera, he should better understand the concepts that he is trying to speak about.

    Clever idea to show images and then have him nervously rant though.

  • http://mcnalgas.com Re The Fudgin Lax

    Some shhet is just two guys like tote making it real, loving too.

    Phisiology is way cooler and only jerks say other.

    So can a wh ore shut pa ha leeze the front dore.

  • http://mcnalgas.com Re The Fudgin Lax

    DUDE, I COULD IGNORE YOU

  • Dan

    Useless, this "documentary" just raises the balls to the net for him. All the things that are bad, things about everybody knows, nothing about his own believes is in question here. Just bla bla bla. Mister obvious strikes again.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/polarjoa Jo McKay

    This was beautiful, and right on Waldo. (Now I guess I have to watch the doc :>)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Woods/100000638174166 Jonathan Woods

    Slavoj Zizek came to my University a few years back when I was still in school. As was noted below, he does utilize the theoretical works of jacques lacan, derrida, marx, freud, etc., but makes these theories current and relevant. "Images" in the documentary speak on a postmodern theory of the simulacrum--that is, the proliferation and repetition of so many images that anything "real" becomes impossible, reality becomes merely another image amidst other images. To reiterate the fact that the real and the artificial have no ground any longer is Zizek's greatest contribution. The below comments are uninformed, shallow, naive. They clearly miss the point, likely from an ineptitude and an inability to grasp the real issues. Liberal/Conservative have no place here. Republican/Democrat have no place here. Free Market Capitalism/Communism/Socialism/Government intervention in their typical form have no place here. One must know or learn history...

  • who_me_yeah_you

    As Fukuyama said, "History is over". Those who speak in historical terms are past their 'use by' date as informative communicators. Don't waste your time trying to correct them if greater minds than yours can't do so. You seem to be better attuned to passing on nuggets to those who know less than you but are hungry for direction, assuming you are not at the philosopher level. If my assumption is wrong then teach those with nuggets who seek a rich seam. I have a nugget or two and am thinking of committing to true richness.

    All the best Mr Woods.

  • http://www.facebook.com/diannelblueberry Dianne Lowe-Breakfield

    After listening to him I think I must be a far left liberalist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Geoffrey-MacMillan/1356540871 Geoffrey MacMillan

    Arguing capitalism, communism, and socialism is really old news. These economic systems are all founded on the false premise that there are infinite resources and that infinite growth is possible. We all need to start revolutionizing our sociopolitical and economic beliefs. Debating which doomed-to-fail system is better in the short-run is such a waste of time!

  • Christopher Harrington

    Yum yum Mr Fatty Boy

  • 00000_00000

    @ Princeton

    Your logic is warped. If your moniker has anything to do with where you received your education you should consider asking for a refund.

    You claim that "voting with our dollars is the only democracy that makes sense" and that this constitutes an "even playing field." Please explain how you've managed the mental gymnastics necessary to equate Democracy with Capitalism. In the meantime, let's look at a few basics:

    Democracy = "One man. One vote."

    Capitalism = "One man. 20,000 (dollars) votes. Another man. 20,000,000 (dollars) votes. etc." Is this what you meant by an "even playing field"? Doesn't look very even, does it?

    Now, I'm not promoting the Communism of the past century... (and, neither is Zizek if you listen carefully. He says several times that he only uses the term "Communism" because any new Leftist response to the current "technocratic market democracy" would have as its foundation some concept of the "Commons." He states quite clearly in the video that any new form of "Communism" would not reinstate the system of the 20th century, but would need to be reconsidered in its entirety. He's simply asserting that a NEW Leftist popular refusal of, or alternative to, the current Capitalist system is necessary for the healthy functioning of the global political system.) ...but, wouldn't the completely equitable distribution of dollars (or, votes, in your opinion) under a Communist system more closely resemble the "One man. One vote." axiom of Democracy? You see, this is where one runs into contradictions when one tries to force politics and economics together. Capitalism is a 'mode of production', while Democracy is a political system. Again, I'm not promoting Communism, I'm simply trying to show how your logic is twisted.

    You also attempt to blame government for the inefficient functioning of Capitalism - or, to paraphrase Zizek, (from the above video - btw, have you watched it?) you claim that "the only reason the current Capitalist system is not working is that it is not 'pure' enough" (a form of Capitalist Fundamentalism, as Zizek puts it - again, in the above video). In claiming that government corruption through lobbying and tax breaks/preferential treatment for corporate monopolies is an indictment of Government as a whole, you ably demonstrate your ability to contort logic to suit your ideology. Let me ask you: in your opinion, if there existed no politician to take the corporations bribe and to, say, limit regulation of criminal levels of environmental pollution, would this fictitious corporation cease polluting? Or, put another way, what is the corrupting force in your equation? Capital, or Government? In my opinion, it is clear that capital corrupts government, not the other way around! To heap ALL blame on Government for the corrosive effects of capital is like a fat diabetic blaming the cake for not objecting to being eaten! I agree that politicians are at fault when they take bribes from lobbyists/corporations, but capital (financial contributions and other gifts) is the corrupting force!

    I suggest you reconsider your ideological persuasions. It seems to me that you may carry them to compensate for the vile imagery you help project out into the world as an "ad man."

    Sincerely

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G7KLHS6VL5YWU2QRYUV5RRMUSI Admir Efendic

    indians figured this sh*t out long time ago. Humans dont own nature. Nature owns humans. We can f**k up as much as we want, even if we get extinct by random event like meteorite crash, nature will still exist. Not as we know it today, but microbes will survive. And it will go on from there as it always had.
    Until the sun reaches the end if its cycle, and that is the end.

    Sure we could pretend to develop tech to live without single species on earth, and synthesise all of our food somehow, but then we have to alter our genetics and neurology, because we are "hardwired" to the nature today (modern people have loads of diseases and mental health issues due to disconnect from the nature and synthetic lives we live).

    So if we kill the biodiversity, and then alter ourselves to cope and thrive, we are not human anymore. Just humans wanting to be gods, its just ego in different shapes.

  • Rocky Racoon

    Marx recognized the destructive power of capitalism as did many other socialists at the turn of the last century. You are way off.
    RR

  • Aaylsworth

    He's great and entertaining!

  • Mike Ellis

    The "great" Karl Marx was a bum. He never had or earned any of his own money, he mooched off of wealthy friends to take care of his family's living expenses. He was dirty, disheveled and his wife and kids ran around in rags. Even his own mother is quoted as having said: "If Karl had spent more time earning money instead of talking about money, it would have been a lot better". Follow leaders who lead by example and experience ie: Gandhi, King, Washington, not by words: ie: Obama, Guvara, Marx. FYI Obama was also a bum mooching off wealthy college friends never earning a dime as a private industry employee. These are facts. If you wanna see what a being part of the REAL 99% is like, just follow the communist manifesto. You will never find yourself in the 1% if you do, even if you earn it!

  • truthdigging

    There needs to be real democracy. The worst suggestion was to call for better leaders or managers. We need to disperse power and not let it be in a few people's hands (remember that it's not only governments and elected leaders that have the power but corporations). This means people coming together in their communities and solving problems together on a local level and developing ways to work with other communities. It was claimed in another documentary that the natives in North America had this form of government.Work places should be run the same way, like co-ops. Communism would be a good word for this system since it comes from the word community. There could be local reps directly answerable to the group they represent but we need a system that ensures that nobody gains power over others. Now everything is so centralised and monopolised, both in public and private sector, that leaders make decisions for people they never see, never have to face and are completely detached from.
    Why do you think there has been constant propaganda in every state so far (both in semi-communist Soviet Union and semi-capitalist U.S.A. -they have never been tried in their purest forms)? Why do you think both public and private sectors spend vast amounts of money on pr and advertising? They have to constantly push it to us because without this continuous bombardment we wouldn't buy it. A good system doesn't need the pr because it is such that you don't need to convince people it's good for them. Well, except there will always be those few who want to rise above others, and I don't mean in actual personal achievement but status, and they would not like a system that guards against power accumulation but that's another matter.Some complain of stupid people overspending, taking mortgages they could never pay but people have been fed this american dream propaganda and told constantly to buy, buy, buy, implying their self-worth is tied to this. If there was no noise, no visual distraction, something or someone constantly telling us what we should want and how we should be, I bet we would be making very different choices.

  • TanongSak

    Obama still is a bum, except now he's mooching off the taxpayers.

  • Adam Buicke

    I smell a Trotskyist.

  • http://twitter.com/MY002CENTS Abubakr Rono

    good talk

  • tskebede05

    Probably dumber things have been written, but reading your comment, it's hard to think of any.

  • GenesisNemesis

    I'm not myself a communist, but the only thing that is keeping communism in its "purest" form from working and spreading effectively across the world is, naturally, greed. I don't think it's possible to get rid of greed. It may be reduced in significant amounts, but that would require a social revolution, that perpetuates more altruistic than selfish behaviors.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zachariah-Logan/100003699880603 Zachariah Logan

    This guy is not the idea of philosophy, he is using broad descriptions such as "the system" as if their are precise principalities, ok there is something wrong with the system... but what is wrong with it, it breaks? duh, but why does it breaks, cause of the system. Come on, I don't but that.. why? The system.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sami.beh.5 Sami Beh

    "because no matter how much you are educated on the biological properties of bovine fecal matter, it's still a pile of BullS#!t."
    Priceless :D

  • Jayfa

    Capitalism is not free trade! How can it be with a currency which is skewed towards hoarding, towards accumulation, and value extraction and political leverage (i.e. the power principle manifest)?

    Free trade existed well before the advent of capitalism. You make a specious assertion that to be against capitalism is to be against free trade. They are not one and the same, in fact capitalism is all about using leverage to extract value from others and not to allow for the free passage of goods and services from providers, producers and those who demand them.

    Bartering systems, one of the earliest trade systems has much more capacity to be true free trade over capitalism. Indeed, to relinquish one's rights as a human to place a specific value on the value-based product you have created is a slight, but not insignificant, step on the road to compromised (i.e. voided) liberty. A decentralized network of barter and exchange, or given the real-world practicalities of globalized trade, decentralized local currencies would serve much better for a true model of free trade that respects human liberty.

    There existed a time before centralized currency was invented to be used as a tool for exploitation and leverage, you know.

  • Jayfa

    Gandhi sold out his country and consigned the fate of India and Pakistan to neocolonialism. He didn't live anything but a religious extremist's idealized fantasy. He is just another false idol, another pope or Mother Theresa.

    MLK was another moderatist that sold out his own movement and restricted it from achieving its true ends - which was exemplified by such uprisings as the '92 LA riots.

    Both MLK and Gandhi, while purportedly espousing the 'virtues' of non-violence did nothing but to provide a safe middle ground for the oppressive empires which were looking for a way to co-opt their social movements to restore stability and return the respective systems back to a more stable and exploitable level. Each of them benefited directly from the militant extremism that were uncompromising demands for equitable treatments, Gandhi to Baghat Singh and the HSRA, and MLK to Malcom X and the nascent Black Panthers movement.

  • elBlogDePier

    You should read his books...

  • Birdland Hustle

    Obliviously you only know what you've been told and so this bit of undoing to your bedrock belief is worthy of an ad hominem?

    Yes dumber things have been written, by you...

  • Birdland Hustle

    Get rid of the profit mechanism as the soul motivator and everything changes... Capitalism is death, and the dead know this better than anyone.

  • MB

    FACT: Those individuals, the richest elites of the world, who supply most of the world's digital money (the owners of central and commercial banks and of the global corporations) are those who do NOT earn the staggering trillions they own. They grab the planet's resources by relying on their self-issued free money, while keep the vast majority in debt-slavery. It has been the unregulated free economy - free plunder game - that led to the current criminal status of crook-ruled finance and economics.

    Marx was a sheer genius and correct on all levels.

  • Tom Ac

    Hes a yugocommie thats lived his whole life at the expense of other people, i wouldnt believe a word he says.

  • Tom Ac

    Lol @ capitalism in former yugoslavian countries....

    We are all still communist nothing has changed since the war

  • Tom Ac

    The khmer rouge got rid of the profit mechanism and replaced it with fear, it turned out great for the people of cambodia. You should go visit.

  • Lewis Bell

    The khmer rouge were an ultra right wing nationalist group that emerged in Cambodia out of fear of western invasion after the US bombed and destroyed it towards the end of the 60's. The US then sat back and watched Pol pot continue the genocide as it was in their national interest. you seem to very quick at dishing out hatred without having any facts to back it up.

  • Tom Ac

    What i said is true, Pol Pot sent everyone to farms to work for the government , basically replacing a profit mechanism (market) with fear (forced labour). Seems to me the only facts im missing is that capitalism is to blame for all of that, but im pretty sure you will explain it to me.

  • Lewis Bell

    i wouldn't blame Capitalism...i'd blame Pol Pots. What you are missing are the facts and reasons of how and why he got into power.