I can’t take Slavoj Zizek seriously

cn: apologetics for sexual violence

I don’t know why, but YouTube keeps on recommending me videos about philosopher Slavoj Zizek.  For some reason as of late he has been held up as a great leftist thinker, the anti-Jordan Peterson.  No, seriously, he’s apparently planning to debate Jordan Peterson or something.  Hard pass.

Honestly, I hate the guy.  The first and only time I had cause to encounter Slavoj Zizek, was in relation to the controversy over Avital Ronell.  (I don’t feel like finding all the relevant links, so you’ll have to accept my own disjointed commentary and the links therein.)  Avital Ronell sexually harassed students for years, and when someone stepped forward, Slavoj Zizek was one of many academics signing a petition defending her, basically on the grounds that it would be such a shame if someone so important as Ronell were to face consequences.

The petition got leaked to the public, along with some rather damning evidence against Ronell, and many of the signatories (including Judith Butler) backed off.  Not Zizek!  He continued to defend Ronell in several editorials, claiming he was privy to additional evidence, that he refused to share.  I speculated that his “additional evidence” was that the victim reciprocated–which is irrelevant, the victim was coerced by the power imbalance.  Zizek later revealed that this was exactly his reasoning.

Sorry, I cannot take seriously a Marxist theorist, of all people, who cannot recognize a power imbalance right under his nose.  How can a professor who studies power be so ignorant of the sheer power that professors have over grad students?


  1. says

    The relationship between grad students and their advisors is not very much like that between high-schoolers and teachers.

  2. says

    I had a bad feeling about that dude every time he was rec’d to me on youtube I never bit. Something about the titles of the videos, the arrogance on display. Color me unsurprised.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    Years ago, the leftist magazine In These Times started running Zizek columns – the first I’d ever heard of him, so I tried to follow along.

    The hipsteroid philosophobafflegab made that an uphill plow, but I finally gave it up when the only interpretation of a particular piece that I could come up with depended on accepting the Roman Catholic Church as a moral authority. Phhht!

    Sadly, ITT apparently still runs his stuff, at least as recently as 2017.

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