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Customer Review

45 of 69 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing!, 16 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: The Year of Dreaming Dangerously (Paperback)
Very disappointing!.

Zizek does his usual dribble about Marx and Hegel, with Lacan making the odd appearance here and there. I get the impression Zizek has just googled Arab Spring and UK riots and financial crisis 2008. Then he has gone and copy and pasted a few facts, and then inserted a massive load of his own rubbish. This book could easily of been around 40 pages if you had taken out all the waffle.

If your looking for a detailed view at the causes of the current crisis and what the solution might be. Don't buy this book.

If you do wish to understand the current financial crisis and how capitalism is an unstable system read either:
The Enigma of Capital (newest version) by David Harvey
or
A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey

Good points about this book.
* I like his observation that the market has become a pagan god which is called upon by the news. The "market" often has various people that speak for it. Sometimes we just here "The market is down today" "the market is worried".
* More choice needs to be brought about in democracies. At the moment people can only choose between centre-right or centre-left parties. There is very little difference between most major political parties these days. Their policies are almost exactly the same.
* Police violence was essentially used to brush up the Occupy movements.
* Zizek mentions the journalist arrests in Turkey recently (which has received little mainstream media attention) **Especially as Turkey is often used as an ideal democratic/secular model that other Muslim countries should head towards.
* Where did the secular left in Arab countries go?
* Where did the secular left in once communist Afghanistan go?
* Good point about how some people have started to blame immigrants in Greece.
* Most people agree Greece will eventually default.
* US debt is out of control.

Bad points
* Zizek fails to mention the widespread TAX avoidance in Greece.
* Zizek fails to mention US financial companies helped Greece hide their government budget figures.
* A whole chapter waffling on about The Wire. (TV Show)

Conclusion.
As usual Zizek doesn't bother to even try and come up with a solution for the ills of capitalism. He can type all day about how is exploits workers, how it damages the environment etc. But never offers any solutions.
Do we scrap private property?
Do we let the state take over more companies?
Do we scrap money?
Do we limit people to one house max? (that way preventing investment bubbles in housing, which was the cause of the financial crisis in the first place)
Do we shut down all the stock markets?
Do we ban short-selling?
Do we ban certain forms of financial speculation?
Do we start to tax financial companies more? So hopefully more people may invest in factories/research and development of new technologies instead?
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Oct 2012 14:34:47 BDT
Thank you for your even handed and honest review.

Posted on 29 Oct 2012 21:51:07 GMT
Ratt says:
You list 9 positive points and just 3 negative points, so why the hell did you give the book the lowest possible overall rating? Absurd. You are merely superimposing your own opinions of the financial crisis, instead of supplying a genuine review of the book.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Nov 2012 01:43:46 GMT
stones1986 says:
I am sorry you feel that way. I always try to give an honest and balanced review. If you feel that my review of the book is biased in some way, please read the book and write your own review.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Nov 2012 19:46:55 GMT
Ratt says:
The simple fact is that the star rating does not match the review you wrote. With the lowest possible star rating, you would reasonably expect a book to have very few redeeming features, or even none at all. Instead, you list three times as many positive points as negative points. One doesn't even have to read the book itself in order to see that something is wrong with that. In order to correct this inconsistency, you would have to either rewrite the review, or give the book a more honest star rating which more closely matches the review.

Secondly, you say David Harvey is better but don't supply any argumentation as to why this might be so. I have read Harvey, who is a very different type of thinker with a different background who focuses on different aspects of the crisis, all of which make the comparison with Zizek not very useful.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2012 23:12:34 GMT
Shatakan says:
I disagree, the book - while charming - is outwardly superficial, and this reviewer is right to call out the elusiveness of Zizek's critique here. Harvey gets right to the point and makes some concrete factual points in both of the cited books, Zizek does little of the sort. They are both highly regarded contemporary Marxist thinkers writing primarily on the financial crisis, and can therefore be compared with relative ease: In this case, in Harvey's favour.

Posted on 21 May 2013 19:36:38 BDT
goethean says:
In order: no, yes, no, no, no, no, yes, yes.

Is that what you were looking for?

Posted on 29 Aug 2013 11:17:04 BDT
Kodanshi says:
I have to say I agree with Ratt on this. Whether or not you like the book, the fact is the review does NOT match the star rating, which gives a very conflicting account.
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