Until recently I haven’t found many that impress me among contemporary political and social theorists, but Slavjo Zizek is cut from an entirely different cloth.
At first glance the man is hard to listen to, he has a slight lisp, an East European accent and an over active mind that his ability to relate can’t keep up with. Physically he is a bear of a man, looks like an unkempt slob and could easily be dismissed as a total crank.
Here is a man who believes in the purity of film as a medium for social aspiration. An uncluttered dreamsacape in which anything is possible, given the right articulation. He believes it is the purest form of aspiration.
Zizek is also a man who against the flow predicted the economic crash based upon the greed of capitalism and the intensive farming of shareholders. He is a man with many confounding and conflicting ideals but he is right.
He also goes about his business in the correct manner. He doesn’t wish to be labelled an intellectual, makes no assertions about the thoughts he provokes and stimulates and he has a refreshingly unconventional take on key sociopolitical thinking. This is a man who will make a lecture about the environment from a rubbish tip, use a film to illustrate a social perception or value and turn political theory on it’s head because he is right to challenge and to ask questions.
The key is that he doesn’t lead you water and make you drink, hs is far more than that. He makes assertions. He makes statements and he encourages us to think for ourselves and challenge the world around us. Many consider him a wild card. Full of inconsistencies in thought and theory; but I find him inspirational because he conducts himself as a philosopher and more, because the man speaks my language and I instantly know what he is getting at.
I also happen to believe on political and economic theory, I believe at least some of what he says is right.
This is not a simple case of hero-worship, but a coming together and reinforcement of conclusions I have reached myself, coming at the issue from my own direction with my own conclusions. It is confirmation that I am not out there alone, insane and totally off-track in seeking to put right the problems with our political and economic systems.
This is a man who is a modern-day inspiration for our generation. I can sense it. There is power in his slurred words. There is logic and passion and intellectual vision that is far superior to what we have in many way managing our society today.
I believe he is possibly even a latter-day Socrates and the manner in which he conducts his debate, raising questions and not necessarily giving answers is a highly reticent of the traditions of a true philosopher. He may be cranky but he is also responsible and aware of the impact his thoughts have on the world around him and he is beginning to be listened to in senior circles.
It is true from what I have garnered, that the man has Marxism and Communist ideals that under-pin his particular perspectives of socialism and philanthropy but he is certainly a man to watch and consider, if you can understand what he is getting at.
It is the selfless, open and evocative way in which he speaks that is so refreshing and captivating and I look forward to an opportunity to read his works, which remain unclouded by convention, bias or objective beyond the pure academic.