Demanding the Impossible Paperback – 6 Sep 2013
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"Zizek is, in fact, the most formidably brilliant exponent of psychoanalysis, indeed of cultural theory in general, to have emerged from Europe in several decades."
"Zizek is to today what Jacques Derrida was to the ′80s: the thinker of choice for Europe′s young intellectual vanguard."
About the Author
Slavoj Zizek is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
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Top Customer Reviews
Zizek seems to delight in being provocative, and his bombastic wit and personality shines through here. His arguments are persuasive and range across a number of topics: the credit crunch, the arab spring, Chavez...
The central question here is one of 'the common good' and the Zizek considers how we can bring about social change for the better. He has some interesting solutions, and highlights the problems with other ideological approaches, such as environmentalism, which he sees as contradictory - if environmentalists are serious about saving the planet, he says, we should all live in one big dirty city, concentrating the negative effect of humanity on one spot instead of spreading our muck all across the world in little outcrops of pollution. This is a perfect example of Zizek's confrontational thinking and methods; methods which make for amusing and thought provoking reading.
Through all of this, the right balance is struck between complex ideas, accessible language and contemporary illustrations, making the book lucid and easy to read.
So, let me take you through two of my big world views after reading this book. The first involves the concept of `Commons', which is arguably the most important leftist issue of the day. The second involves my view on education (and particularly how Michael Gove and the Tories want to change it). Both these arguments have been significantly reshaped by reading this book, and to my mind, are the best indication of how good (or otherwise) this book this is...
One of the most notable recent interviews (at least on social media) has been the Newsnight interview with Russell Brand. Although his spiel was high on emotive platitude and low on answers, he did touch on an argument that is the core of the politics of most alt-left wing people today: the concept of `commons'. Commons refers to the things that capitalism should not own, and should pay to put right when it gets broken. It refers to freedoms and privacy as well as the more obvious one - the environment. Brand's argument is flawed because the concept of `commons' is usually chosen on the basis of self-interest rather than the `greater good', and is actually just as damaging as capitalism itself...
I used to live in an idyllic village in rural Somerset. One of the farmers put in planning permission to turn his fields into a housing development.Read more ›
More of the latter I'm afraid. After the disappointing Less Than Nothing - a rambling, inchoate typical middle-quality Zizek book - this shorter book is even worse. Go back to his early writings. I think he has no solution, or his obsession with the need for new masters seems to recycle a standard Lacanoan cliche.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Slavoj Zizek has written lots of books (arguably too many) and there's actually little that's new in this one. Read morePublished 13 months ago by John Fletcher
Title: Demanding the impossible
Author: Slavoj Zizek (Edited Yong-june Park) Publisher: Polity Press Date: 2013 Price: £11.95 pb pp. Read more
Slovenian sociologist Slavoj Žižek is back with his controversial and uncanny vision on the world today. Read morePublished on 16 Mar. 2014 by Birte Gam-jensen
Demanding the Impossible finds Slavoj Zizek waxing passionately on a variety of subjects -- financial crises, popular uprisings, political upheavals and, indeed, political paranoia... Read morePublished on 18 Jan. 2014 by Thomas Elce
This is one of Zizek's more accessible books as it is in the form of a series of 'conversations' and so, his stream of consciousness prose which can sometimes overwhelm his own... Read morePublished on 7 Jan. 2014 by Zipster Zeus
In all the years after the fall of the communist governments in the USSR and elsewhere, when the political right was gloating and economic liberalism ran havoc, Slavoj Zizek was a... Read morePublished on 5 Dec. 2013 by Nish Pfister
I have a lot of time for Zizek who is an exciting, energetic and impassioned thinker who delights in iconoclasm partly for its own sake, and partly for where it can take us. Read morePublished on 30 Nov. 2013 by Roman Clodia
According to the Acknowledgments with which this book opens "It seeks to provide a progressive, humanistic, counterweight to the educational establishment, and to be an oasis of... Read morePublished on 13 Nov. 2013 by elmsyrup
If you are a disillusioned leftist, angered by the current state of the world and capitalism in particular but frustrated by old-left rhetoric and the failures of traditional... Read morePublished on 22 Oct. 2013 by Rolo