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The 90 best phrases of Slavoj Žižek

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Slavoj Žižek is a philosopher, psychoanalyst and social critic of Slovenian origin, whose Freudo-Marxist stance has led him to carry out work and build harsh opinions on different issues of society, religion and politics.

  • We recommend you read: "The 90 best phrases of Friedrich Nietzsche"

Most interesting quotes from Slavoj Zizek

In this compilation of phrases by Slavoj Zizek you will be able to know the different sides of human nature and about life.

1. I agree with Sophocles: the greatest luck is not to have been born, but, as the joke continues, very few people are successful in it.

A thought shared with the Greek philosopher.

2. If you have reasons to love a person, you don't love them.

Love does not need explanations.

3. I am not naive, nor a utopian; I know there won't be a great revolution. Still, useful things can be done, like pointing out the limits of the system.

On the role of politics in society.

4. After failing, it is possible to move on and fail better; instead, indifference sinks us more and more into the quagmire of being stupid.

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Failure can teach us to improve.

5. When we are shown scenes from childhood in Africa, with a call for us to do something to help them, the underlying ideological message is something as well as: "Do not think, do not politicize, forget the true causes of your poverty." Just act, contribute money, so you don't have to to think!.

The real problem in Africa is the corruption in their governments.

6. Success and failure are inseparable.

You can't get anywhere without having overcome certain obstacles.

7. The problem is that we don't focus on what really satisfies us.

The Slovenian philosopher says that we are so busy meeting our needs that we do not enjoy life.

8. An anti-capitalism that does not problematize the political form of capitalism (liberal parliamentary democracy) is not enough, however radical it may be.

A criticism must be produced thoroughly, not half.

9. People are waiting for some guidance on what to do, but I have no answers.

The answers are found by ourselves.

10. "Revolution" is a way of being in the world, so it must be permanent.

Opinions on the meaning of revolution.

11. There is no longer a God in the heights to hold accountable, we already live in disorder and what is going to happen is our business.

On liberation to the "fear of God".

12. What if the Soviet intervention was a blessing in disguise?

Questioning Soviet participation in the war.

13. Political correctness is modern totalitarianism.

The destiny you foresee for politics.

14. It seems as if at all levels we are living, more and more, a life devoid of substance. You consume beer without alcohol, meat without fat, coffee without caffeine, and, eventually, virtual sex... without sex.

Loss in changes.

15. An act of courtesy consists precisely in pretending that I want to do what the other wants me to do, so that my submission to the other's desire does not put pressure on him.

The aid should not be imposed.

16. The only measure of true love is: you can insult the other.

Love is about absolute trust.

17. Our main problem, even now, is that it is easier for us to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.

Capitalism is a force that does not seem to diminish.

18. We are caught in an unhealthy competition, an absurd web of comparisons with others.

Excessive comparison destroys us instead of motivating us.

19. The ruling ideas are never directly the ideas of the ruling class.

Talking about the power that the minority can wield.

20. The most annoying attitude I can imagine is mild hedonism.

Sincerity is more appreciated, even if it is crude.

21. I am a combative atheist. My leanings are almost Maoist.

About his religious beliefs.

22. The myth was saved that if the Soviets were not to intervene, there would have been some blooming authentic democratic socialism and so on.

Reflections on the key role of the Soviets in socialism.

23. I secretly think that reality exists so that we can speculate on it.

There will always be something to analyze and discuss.

24. You can't change people, but you can change the system so that people are not pushed into doing certain things.

Sometimes people act a certain way because they have no alternative.

25. You who conceived without sin, help me to sin without conceiving.

A critique of the taboo of sex.

26. We feel free because we lack the language to articulate our lack of freedom.

An interesting reflection on whether we are really free.

27. We live in an age that promotes the wildest technological dreams, but does not want to maintain the most necessary public services.

The most basic things for humans are the least appreciated.

28. We don't pay enough attention to what makes us feel good because we are obsessed with measuring whether we have more or less pleasure than the rest.

There are those who are unhappy because they are corrupted by envy.

29. Let's take perhaps the clearest example: How did Christianity come to become the dominant ideology? Incorporating a series of motives and aspirations of the oppressed.

When the oppressed take power they can change history.

30. Christianity is a tremendous ethical revolution.

Reflections on the social role of Christianity.

31. Churches must be turned into grain silos or palaces of culture.

The evolution of the Churches, do you think it is necessary?

32. I am a bit more pessimistic there. I think the Soviets - it is a very sad lesson - for their intervention, save the myth.

The philosopher does not fully credit the role of the Soviets as promoters of socialism.

33. Formal freedom precedes real freedom.

Differences between freedoms.

34. Doing nothing is not empty, it has a meaning: saying yes to existing relations of domination.

There are those who seek to dominate others.

35. This man may look like an idiot and act like an idiot, but don't kid yourself, he really is an idiot!

Stupid people don't change their nature.

36. Words are never 'just words'; they matter because they define the contours of what we can do.

Words can alter a person's confidence and the way they view life.

37. What cannot be described must be inscribed in the art form as its strange distortion.

On the tragic realities that were embodied in art to make themselves known.

38. I understand the notion of the political in a very broad sense. Something that depends on an ideological foundation, on a choice, something that is not simply the consequence of a rational instinct.

His notion about being political.

39. Eating organic apples does not solve real problems.

A critique on healthy lifestyle change.

40. Without clarifying how Stalinism was possible, a new left cannot emerge.

Stalinism is a stain on socialism.

41. Regarding religion today we no longer “really believe”, we simply follow (some of) the rites and religious customs and we do it as a way of respecting the “lifestyle” of the community to which we belong.

Even if a religion is not followed, that does not prevent us from being respectful to those who do believe in it.

42. When we observe a thing, we see too much in it, we fall under the spell of the wealth of the empirical detail that prevents us from clearly perceiving the notional determination that forms the core of the thing.

On being carried away by appearances.

43. Love is experienced as a great misfortune, a monstrous parasite, a permanent state of emergency that ruins small pleasures.

A very negative view of love.

44. It could be said, in a vulgar Freudian way, that I am the unhappy boy who runs away in books. As a child, he was very happy to be alone. This has not changed.

The philosopher tells us that he loves solitude.

45. Populism is not a specific political movement, but the political in its purest form, the inflection of the social space that can affect all political content.

Reflections on political populism.

46. The problem for us is not whether our wishes are satisfied or not. The problem is how we know what we want.

Consumerism has led us to wish we had things that we sometimes don't need.

47. I am in favor of meetings and protests, but phrases of their manifestos such as "we distrust the entire political class" do not convince me. Who do they turn to when they ask for a decent life?

Politics is necessary to run a nation.

48. I maintain that our private beliefs, in the way we behave sexually or in what that is, they are political, because it is always the process of ideological choices and it is never simply nature.

An interesting comparison between politics and our intimate tastes.

49. I am very critical of ecology that is based on that idea of ​​recovering a lost harmony with mother nature. It is a dangerous myth.

Warning about the true intention behind pure ecology.

50. If we try to change the world too fast, it can end in catastrophe.

Changes need to be made in small steps so that we can adapt.

51. Could we not suppose, as Schelling suggests, that eternity is the ultimate prison, a territory closed and suffocating, and that only immersion in time introduces the Opening of the experience human?

Is eternity really a good thing?

52. I still consider myself, I'm sorry to tell you, a Marxist and a communist, but I couldn't help but notice how all the best Marxist analyzes are always failure analyzes.

Although he belongs to that political current, that does not prevent us from seeing his faults.

53. True power doesn't need arrogance, a long beard, or aggressive voice, but rather wraps you in silk ribbons, charm, and intelligence.

Power can also be achieved through sympathy.

54. The problem then is not how to grasp the multiplicity of determinations, but rather to abstract from them, how to constrict our gaze and teach it to grasp only notional determinism.

Talking about the difficulty of concentrating on what really matters.

55. The disaster caused by fidelity to the event is better than not being indifferent to the event.

It is better to repent for something that failed than to do it for something that was never attempted.

56. Humanity is fine, but 99% of people are boring idiots.

A critique of human banality.

57. The real political struggle, as Ranciere explains in contrast to Habermas, does not consist of a rational discussion between interests multiple, but it is the parallel struggle to make one's own voice heard and be recognized as the voice of an interlocutor legitimate.

The struggle that always exists in politics and in society.

58. I would say that popular culture is eminently political, and I'm interested in precisely that.

From there derives his interest in society.

59. Just as recycling is not a solution to the real problems of climate change. He makes you feel better but he doesn't help solve anything.

Recycling can make us aware of the garbage we discard. But that is not what is needed to improve the world.

60. An intellectual does something much more radical: he questions how to see problems.

Everyone sees problems differently.

61. In the ordinary form of atheism, God dies for men who stop believing in him. In Christianity, God dies to himself.

Differences in belief in the death of God.

62. Without communist oppression, I am absolutely sure that I would now be a stupid local professor of philosophy in Ljubljana.

The course of his life is due to his interest in communism.

63. We don't really want to get what we think we want.

Do you agree with this statement?

64. Nor in the field of politics should we aspire to systems that explain everything and to projects of world emancipation; the violent imposition of grand solutions must give way to specific forms of intervention and resistance.

On what to expect from politicians.

65. This is how phantasmatic identification works: no one, not even God himself, is directly what he is; everyone needs an off-center, external point of identification.

We are represented by our beliefs and our personality.

66. Their willingness to take blame for threats to our environment is deceptively reassuring: we like to be guilty because if we are guilty, it is all up to us.

The atmosphere also changes on its own.

67. Extreme violence hides in the politically correct discourse... This fact is related to tolerance, which currently means its opposite.

Another reference to the fact that a brutal and honest opinion is preferable to embellishing words.

68. Beliefs, in order to function, operate, do not have to be first-person beliefs.

The way beliefs work.

69. It is counterproductive because it calms consciences and immobilizes. It would take a deep collective mobilization.

The collectives are the ones that generate real changes.

70. When Christ says "Father, why have you forsaken me?" He commits what is the ultimate sin for a Christian: to deny his Faith.

In a way, that's what happened in this scene.

71. Computer science is entering a wicked communism.

On the direction that technology is taking.

72. Communism will win.

It seems to be a growing current of thought.

73. We live in strange times when we are led to act as if we are free.

A deceptive freedom.

74. Philosophy does not find solutions, but raises questions. Your main task is to correct the questions.

Philosophy raises real questions.

75. We pull the strings of catastrophe, so we can also save ourselves simply by changing our lives.

Every little change for the better makes a big difference.

76. Tolerance in developed western countries means no harassment, no aggression. Which means: "I do not tolerate your excessive proximity, I want you to keep the appropriate distance."

Reflections on bullying and tolerance for it.

77. You can literally believe through others. You have a belief that no one really has.

Similarities may exist, but each belief is personal.

78. What would happen in a society in which groups share totally different belief systems that are mutually exclusive?

Would it be a chaotic or peaceful society?

79. We are in a difficult situation, and that is why I remember T. S. Eliot, who said that sometimes you have to choose between death and heresy. Perhaps the time has come in Europe to be heretical again, to reinvent ourselves.

Everything in life requires eventual change.

80. You should love your father, but not because he is your father, but as an equal.

No one should be forced to love his family just because they are his family, but because of the treatment they give us.

81. Experts are, by definition, the servants of those in power: they don't really think, they only apply their knowledge to the problems defined by the powerful.

An interesting position on the work of the experts.

82. We do not need prophets, but leaders who encourage us to use freedom.

Leaders can guide people to seek autonomy.

83. What is really difficult for us (at least in the West) to accept is that we are reduced to the role of passive observer who sits and watches what our destiny will be.

Therefore, it is necessary to take action regarding the future we want.

84. I am not against capitalism in the abstract. It is the most productive system in history.

Why is it not possible to take the strengths of the political currents and merge them into one?

85. What we need is not to believe in the first person, what we need to believe is that there is someone who believes.

On sharing beliefs.

86. I consider myself a communist, although communism is no longer the name of the solution, but the name of the problem. I speak of the fierce struggle for the commons.

The communism that Slavoj believes in.

87. I know it's a lie, but I still allow myself to be emotionally affected by it.

We all have our personal griefs.

88. You don't need to have a perfect idea of ​​what society should be like.

Society must always be in constant growth, it does not need to be perfect.

89. If in Paradise it was forbidden to eat the fruit of the tree of wisdom, why did God put that tree there? Wouldn't that be part of a perverse strategy to seduce Adam and Eve and save them after the fall?

Without a doubt one of the greatest contradictions of religion.

90. Today's capitalism moves towards an apartheid logic, where a few have the right to everything and the majority are excluded.

On the intentionality of current capitalism.

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