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ZIZEK, Slavoj

Living in the End Times

The underlying premise of the present book is a simple one: the global capitalist system is approaching an apocalyptic zero-point. Its “four riders of the apocalypse” are comprised by the ecological crisis, the consequences of the biogenetic revolution, imbalances within the system itself (problems with intellectual property; forthcoming struggles over raw materials, food and water), and the explosive growth of social divisions and exclusions.

As every close observer of the deadlocks arising from the political correctness knows, the separation of legal justice from moral Goodness –which should be relativized and historicized- ends up in an oppressive moralism brimming with resentment. Without any “organic” social substance grounding the standards of what Orwell approvingly called “common decency” (all such standards having been dismissed as subordinating individual freedoms to proto-Fascist social forms), the minimalist program of laws intended simply to prevent individuals from encroaching upon one another (annoying or “harassing” each other) turns into an explosion of legal and moral rules, an endless process (a “spurious infinity” in Hegel’s sense) of legalization and moralization, known as “the fight against all forms of discrimination.” If there are no shared mores in place to influence the law, only the basic fact of subjects “harassing other subjects, who-in the absence of mores- is to decide what counts as “harassment”? In France, there are associations of obese people demanding all the public campaigns against obesity and in favor of healthy eating be stopped, since they damage the self-esteem of obese persons. The militants of Veggie Pride condemn the speciesism” of meat-eaters (who discriminate against animals, privileging the human animal-for them, a particularly disgusting form of “fascism”) and demand that “vegeto-phobia” should be treated as a kind of xenophobia and proclaimed a crime. And we could extend the list to include those fighting for the right of incest marriage, consensual murder, cannibalism