"There should no longer be any doubt: global capitalism is fast approaching its terminal crisis."
I have to ask - what do you people think when you read something like that? What goes through your head? Do you have any clue how vacuous that statement is?
I read what I consider to be pretty crazy assertions by certain schools of thought that will remain nameless a lot - maybe they just don't phase me because while I think they're equally crazy I at least have a sense of the lineage of the craziness. I can trace it back to its source - which is not quite so crazy. And maybe I just shouldn't worry so much about a guy making crazy remarks about something that he really doesn't have substantial insight into, because it's just a way of framing what he's going to say - which may very well be insightful. Or maybe I'm just giving Zizek more credit than I should because I've heard people speak well of him - maybe I really should dismiss him entirely for such a boorish, ill-conceived, and quite frankly inaccurate sentiment. At least hedge it. Take the Schumpeter route and suggest that capitalism is going through epic developmental changes. But I have a feeling that that's not what Zizek is really thinking about here. I have the sense that Zizek is taking the position that much of the left did during the Great Depression, namely that "this crisis will end it for good". It's not an evolution a la Schumpeter - it's Judgement Day.
How should I take this? If I didn't know who Zizek was I would have re-shelved the book and concluded that the author was worthless and confused. Since I do know Zizek, I have to ask myself these questions - and I also have to wonder whether I make unwarranted statements like this myself.
And while we're on the topic of bat-shit crazy intellectuals that actually have some really insightful things to say, but regularly manage to pair those insights with the most ridiculous garbage, I noticed this morning that the state of Israel denied Noam Chomsky entry. Chomsky probably isn't surprised, but I wonder if it's something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, cooler heads seem to be prevailing. The interior ministry recently said:
"We are trying to contact the military to clear things up and if they have no objection we see no reason why he should not be allowed in."
I've always liked this 1993 vs. 2007 comparison of Christopher Hitchens's evolving perspective on Noam Chomsky. Now that I think about it, Hitchens is another one that I like a lot, but who has also said really dumb things in his time - also often with respect to capitalism.
Capitalism is a real stumbling block for these guys.
Anyway - I'm seriously asking this question to people who might be kinder to Zizek, who like him, or who come from a background more similar to his: How should I receive a book like that? Am I wrong to instinctively conclude it must be mostly rubbish?