[OPE] Is Zizek's King Kong Marxism still relevant?

From: Jurriaan Bendien <jurriaanbendien@online.nl>
Date: Fri Feb 04 2011 - 12:07:06 EST

Ziuzek writes:

"The hypocrisy of western liberals is breathtaking: they publicly supported
democracy, and now, when the people revolt against the tyrants on behalf of
secular freedom and justice, not on behalf of religion, they are all deeply
concerned. Why concern, why not joy that freedom is given a chance? Today,
more than ever, Mao Zedong's old motto is pertinent: "There is great chaos
under heaven - the situation is excellent." Where, then, should Mubarak go?
Here, the answer is also clear: to the Hague. If there is a leader who
deserves to sit there, it is him."

But why should Mubarak go to the Hague where people are fairly clueless
about what is happening in Egypt, and don't even speak the language? Why
can't Egyptians serve justice on their own leaders? I am a Dutch citizen,
and I don't want Mubarak in this country.

The concern of liberals is not primarily with the revolt as such - most of
them support it, even although it imposes heavy burdens on many people - but
rather with what its political outcome will be, something which remains
uncertain. The effect of the uprising might not be so progressive; but that
is a different issue, this has ipso facto nothing to do with hypocrisy.

The chaos is mainly in Zizek's head, and in the infotainment pictures of the
non-social media. I don't think his Maoist astrology adds anything to the

Now that "multitudes" are really on the move, remarkably the hip voices of
the Marxist academic elite suddenly have little to say, though I'll bet next
month there will be an impeccably stylized and immaculately edited article
in NLR, when they feel more in control again.

It's a pity, because there are so many interesting stories they could tell.
Think, for example, of the fact that Egypt has the first known record of a
workers' strike in human history, circa 1152 BC (to help you along, here's a
few refs: John Romer, "Ancient Lives: The story of the Pharaoh's Tombmakers"
(Phoenix, 1984, pp. 116-123), E.F. Wente, "A letter of complaint to the
Vizier To", in Journal of Near Eastern Studies, v20 n4, 1961; W.G. Edgerton
, "The strikes in Ramses III's Twenty-ninth year", Journal of Near Eastern
Studies, v10 n3, 1951; J. Janssen, "Background Information on the Strikes of
Year 29 of Ramesses III," Oriens Antiquus, v18 (1979): pp. 301-308; Janssen,
J.J., "The Year of the Strikes", Bulletin de la Société d'Égyptologie de
Genève, v16 (1992), pp. 41-49; Frandsen, P.J., "Editing Reality: The Turin
Strike Papyrus", in: S. Israelit-Groll ed., Studies in Egyptology Presented
to Miriam Lichtheim I, Jerusalem, 1990, pp. 166-199; H. Lesko (ed),
"Pharaoh's workers; the villagers of Deir el Medina").

Looks to me like Zizek certainly cashed in the ideas of my generation, but
now he's run out of inspiration.


All the cops in the donut shop say
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Walk like an Egyptian
Walk like an Egyptian

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Received on Fri Feb 4 12:10:01 2011

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