Because (he says) capitalism is no longer self-evidently legitimate, and people are in a mindset where they can actually imagine a world without it, as opposed to making alterations within it (more social justice, etc), “the field is open” for a new kind of system.
The crucial point Zizek makes is about ideology, which is ultimately societal narcissism. (See minutes 8:30-10) And when that narcissism is threatened the response is rage, which for a society is revolution.
History is full of examples of what happens after the rage– vacuums filled by dictators, and Zizek (18:00) acknowledges that this is a risk.
What he doesn’t believe (and I do) is that the “capitalist” system has a purpose that isn’t to promote democracy or equality or prosperity, but specifically to prevent authoritarianism. Inequality is the consequence, which we must try to adjust as it arises. Criminals, corruption, thugs, bosses, cronyism, tribalism/nationalism– these are the natural states of human beings. So are, unfortunately, murderers, rapists, arsonists, cannibals. Contrary to the Wired Creed, I see no evidence we have “evolved,” we’ve just made one of those two choices harder and less rewarding. What the system prevents is physical domination of A over B (though it allows for psychological domination through branding.) You’re going to have to pick which of those two worlds you want to live in over the next 25 years. I wish there were other choices.
Zizek is enamored with the Arab spring because it is a truly secular uprising looking for real change, and he “prays” it doesn’t turn into a marriage between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Army. But that is the point of disagreement: “the field is open” to address the “discontent with the status quo”, but since there is no concerted effort to do anything practical it will inevitably be filled by authoritarianism.
Zizek’s final example is better suited to my point than his: China didn’t double its defense spending, it doubled its spending on internal security. He says that’s a risk. I say that’s the “Capitalism with Asian values” Time Magazine et al, was calling for in 2008.
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