Not Less Than Nothing, But Simply Nothing


Žižek strikes back:

Gray’s insinuation that I somehow imply the need for the annihilation of the Jews is thus a ridiculously-monstrous obscenity which only serves the base motifs of discrediting the opponent by ascribing him some kind of sympathy for the most terrifying crime of the XXth century.

20 thoughts on “Not Less Than Nothing, But Simply Nothing

  1. “If I am repelled by John Gray’s review of my two last books (‘The Violent Visions of Slavoj Žižek’, New York Review of Books, July 12 2012), it is not because the review is highly critical of my work, but because its arguments are based on such a crude misreading of my position that, if I were to answer it in detail, I would have to spend way too much time just answering insinuations and setting straight the misunderstandings of my position, not to mention direct false statements – which is, for an author, one of the most boring exercises imaginable. ” – Žižek
    Its not as funny when someone does it to you, is it, buddy.

    • This may sound facetious, but I truly feel grateful when I read this kind of limp, twittery non-argument. It makes me ask myself, do I know what I’m talking about? Am I lazy and presumptuous like this comment? The strength of my emotional reaction leads me to believe that I’m right, but am I really? Maybe I need to think about this more, maybe I need to go to the sources, maybe I need to really learn something. It’s tremendously motivating. It teaches me that I don’t need to spend my energy defending myself with a supercilious, dismissive attitude, what I need is to know what the heck I’m talking about.

  2. I think Zizek tends to give these sorts of responses – as if he can no longer stand the attacks and just reacts in a sort of “can you read? that’s not what I said” comment. It has to be hard to read such shit though in New York Review of Books, a semi-respectable publication. I mean if he had the same thin skin as some of our favorite object-oriented babies, he probably would just gave up long time ago.

    Still, apparently he responded to a blog post in Less Than Nothing, I haven’t gotten to that part yet, but some have reported on the matter. A blog post? Next thing you know he’ll be tearing apart undergraduate papers on him or write rejoinders to overheard conversations…

  3. After having reduced Zizek to a straw man, Gray thinks it is worthwhile to conclude that Zizek is a straw man! The easiest way to make a straw man out of Zizek is to do what Gray has done, that is, to forget what Zizek has written about the Holy Ghost. Gray is speaking of the millions of victims done by communism the way he is only because he forgets about the millions of victims done by Christians. Without Christianity, mass murder would be naïve human sacrifices. Without Zizek, Gray would be a naïve empiricist.

  4. Firstly, the name of the blog goes back 5 years – no one remembers why it was chosen, definitely not me.
    Secondly, egalitarianism can be perverse when it is equality without any difference – if everything is equal to everything else, there’s really no reason to think about anything.
    Thirdly, I don’t understanding what “seeing narcissism as a limit” means. Can you explain further?

      • I suppose we have different views on the nature of perversion. I still don’t get what you’re getting at with narcissism and “envy is all powerful” – why don’t you just come out and say what you want to say without these mysterious half-thoughts?

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