Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Book Review Old Gods, New Enigmas: Marx’s Lost Theory

Published Web Location Commons 'BY-NC' version 4.0 license

At the close of his Living in the End Times, Žižek returns to a concern that theology has become (again) a touchstone of radical political activity.  Indeed, the work of socialism has always—rightly or wrongly, positively and negatively—maintained a strongly messianic-apocalyptic character in the hands of its most ardent supporters.  Žižek’s correct analysis in End Times is to remind his reader that such energies ought to be handled with care, because the desire (under the insistently traumatic terms of contemporary life) is that we simply reassert the moral, agential supremacy of the “big Other” who will validate and assure socialism’s success.  Such a condition leads us then to something that radical activists on the street—as an entity separate from those theorizing capitalism’s demise—might do well to call simply class consciousness.  Ever the goal of organizational energies, the best version of class consciousness (à la Žižek) exists between the self and group identification, and is infused with an energetic potentiality that transcends the false activity of “struggle” insofar as it sees the raising up of one another’s class-based interests as having an actual productive end, and not (in the messianic mode) keeping up the fight in the sense of running in place until the end finally (finally!) comes.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View