Like a Thief in Broad Daylight

by Slavoj Žižek

We live in an extraordinary era in which there is no tradition on which we can base our identity ... permanent anxiety ... we are free to constantly re-invent ... to change not only our job or our professional trajectory but even our innermost subjective features like our sexual orientation ... a superego obligation to choose.

The great task of thinking today is to discern the precise contours of this deadlock and find the way out of it

Communism is not an ideal, a normative order, a kind of ethics-political `axiom`, but something that arises as a reaction to the ongoing historical process and its deadlocks

To really change things, one should accept that nothing can really be changed within the existing system

Ne change rien pour que tout soit différent
- Jean-Luc Godard

When only constant self-revolutionising can maintain the system, those who refuse to change anything are effectively the agents of true change

The task of the Left is not just to propose a new order, but also to change the prospect of what appears possible.

[talking about China] It is possible to tolerate limited elements of capitalism without allowing the logic of capital to become the overdetermining principle of the social totality.

Perhaps, in order to break out of this deadlock, the first step should be to drop our obsession with progress and instead focus on those who are left behind

Most refugees don't want to live in Europe, they want a decent life back home.
Same applies to immigrant workers

The main task of trade unions should be to re-educate workers so that they will be able to adapt to the new digitalised economy

It is a Marxist - or better: modernist - prejudice that capitalism as a historical epoch will end only when a new, better society is in sight, and revolutionary subject ready to implement it for the advancement of mankind. This presupposes a degree of political control over our common fate of which we cannot even dream after the destruction of collective agency, and indeed the hope for it, in the neoliberal-globalist revolution.
- Wolfgang Streeck

The paradox of the financial politics of the US and EU is that gigantic inputs of money fail to generate production since they mostly disappear in the operations of fictitious capital ... fictitious capital is upheld by the expectation that valorisation will occur in the future, therefore the reproduction of labour power is put under pressure so those not labouring in the present will be ready to labour in the future. The is why the topic of education (...getting ready for the job market) is so important, and is also intertwined with debt ... debt which is expected to be repaid through self-commodification.

Capitalism legitimises itself as the economic system that implies and furthers personal freedoms; but its own dynamics have brought about a renaissance of slavery.

Anthropocene: a new epoch in the life of our planet in which we humans can no longer rely on the Earth as a reservoir ready to absorb the consequences of our productive activity.

Capitalism only works in precise social conditions: it implies trust in the objectivised mechanism of the market's `invisible hand` which, as a kind of cunning of reason, guarantees that the competition of individual egotisms works for the common good.

We shouldn't be shocked at China, but rather at ourselves, when we accept the same regulation while believing that we retain our full freedom and that our media just help us to realise our goals (at least in China people are fully aware that they are regulated).

The only proper ethical stance here is one of universal solidarity: we should support the Palestinian fight for autonomy, not in spite of occasional Arab anti-Semitism but for the same reason we should remember the Holocaust

the aim of proletarian struggle is to create conditions in which proletarians themselves would cease to exist.

fundamentalist violence is a reaction for which the predominant culture is responsible

the way to stroke back at cultural neo-colonialism is not to resist it on behalf of their traditional culture but to reinvent a more radical modernity

The rise of political correctness and the rise of violence are thus two sides of the same coin

What is robbing a bank compared to founding a bank?

freedom is a condition of liberation: in order to liberate yourself, you first have to break the inner chains of ideology

recent history teaches us that being blessed by some precious natural resource is rather a curse in disguise

[talking about capitalism] the pressure to succeed professionally and the pressure to enjoy life fully in all its intensity

The deepest paradox of Christianity and ethics. Is God not exposing us to temptation in paradise, where he warns Adam and Eve not to eat the apple from the tree of knowledge - why did he put this tree there in the first place, and then even draw attention to it? Was he not aware that human ethics can arise only after the fall?