Slavoj Žižek: The horshoe above the door, or, how are we embedded in ideology


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There are two ways to understand the thesis that we live in a post-ideological world.
Either we take it in a naive post-political sense: finally liberated from the burden of great ideological narratives and Causes, we can dedicate ourselves to pragmatically solving real problems.
Or we take it in a more critical way, as a sign of today's predominant cynicism: those in power no longer need a consistent ideological edifice to legitimize their rule.

Is, however, this effectively the case? There is a nice anecdote on Niels Bohr: when a friend visited him at his country-house and saw a horse-shoe at its door, he said that he doesn’t believe in the superstition that it brings luck, to what Bohr snapped back: „I also do not believe in it; I have it there because I was told that it works also if one does not believe in it!“

This is how ideology functions today: we do not really believe in democracy, freedom, etc., we just act as if they work.

Friday 16.11.2007, from 6 p.m.
Dittrichova 9, Prague 2, CZ

Slavoj Žižek lecture will take place on the occasion of the very first translation of his book „Did Somebody say Totalitarism?“ in Czech.

Book is edited by tranzit.cz and will be available on the lecture.


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