One of the weird consequences of the 2008 financial meltdown and the measures taken to counteract it (enormous sums of money to help banks) was the revival of the work of Ayn Rand, the closest one can get to an ideologist of the “greed is good” radical capitalism. The sales of her opus Atlas Shrugged exploded. According to some reports, there are already signs that the scenario described in Atlas Shrugged – the creative capitalists themselves going on strike – is coming to pass in the form of a populist right. However, this misreads the situation: what is effectively taking place today is almost the exact opposite. Most of the bailout money is going precisely to the Randian “titans”, the bankers who failed in their “creative” schemes and thereby brought about the financial meltdown. It is not the “creative geniuses” who are now helping ordinary people, it is the ordinary people who are helping the failed “creative geniuses”.
John Galt, the central character in Atlas Shrugged, is not named until near the end of the novel. Before his identity is revealed, the question is repeatedly asked, “Who is John Galt”. Now we know precisely who he is: John Galt is the idiot responsible for the 2008 financial meltdown, and for the ongoing federal government shutdown in the US.
The first thing you need to know about Zizek is that he is a Marxist who grew up in a communist country Yugoslavia, which disintegrated into a bitter and protracted civil war after the fall of the Soviet Union. Both of his parents were the privileged elites in Yugoslav society, his father an economist and his mother an accountant both of whom worked for the massive state apparatus. Zizek fails to see that Marxism-communism was to blame for the failures that ultimately destroyed his homeland and simply continued to promote Marxism in other places. While its fair to say that Zizek has some interesting thoughts about people’s perceptions of the world they are in, and different ways of looking at things, this alone does not put him any closer to the truth. Zizek fails to offer an alternative to the current system and even fails to define what will trigger the revolution from it. So Zizek is still failing in to provide anything useful. His criticism of the current system are more like attacks on possible solutions. Zizek is a Marxist and that fact alone is enough to discredit him, but I will show his flawed thinking process with what he wrote above.
Zizek is attacking Ayn Rand, a free market capitalism proponent. So as they have wildly divergent world views as criticism is not going to be fair, especially considering Ayn Rand had been dead for decades before Zizek makes his criticism.
The ‘greed is good’ style capitalism is still predicated (like almost every other economic system ) on laws existing and being enforced. The bank bailout we an example of the opposite of Randian titans, the banks failed, and in a Randian world they would not be considered titans, they were fraudsters whose Ponzi scheme had collapsed. They were the exact opposite of titans, they were charlatans. In the Randian world there would not be a government with enough resources to bailout titanic business failures and no government would feel any political motivation to do so. Ina Randian world the banksters would have been bankrupted, many of the parties involved would have been charged with crimes of fraud, tax evasion and money laundering and for a few, treason and supporting terrorism. What of the depositors and mortgage holders? In a bankruptcy of a bank, a new bank, (not made up of the previous criminals) buys up the assets and liabilities of the previous bank and everyone is a little wiser and more wary for the experience. This process is how a Randian system self corrects and reduces tyranny. The rules must be enforced, or ultimately there are no rules, just privilege. Privilege in it’s truest sense meaning Privi (private) Legis (law), private law, special hidden rules for some people. This privilege is what we saw in the bank bailouts. Even the word privilege is under attack now in the USA with its meaning being perverted into an anti white and male agenda, while simultaneously reducing those groups rights in law. The bankster crisis of 2008-present was forged through two separate processes. Firstly the relaxation of banking regulation and freedom from the government with banksters claiming Randian ideals because it suited their agenda. Secondly was the switch to demanding privilege and government protection just like corrupt communist organs of the state. All of this shows not a Randian idealogy, but ‘bait and switch’ opportunism and utter disrespect for any ideology or concept of law.
But this is the world we inherit once we have abandoned logic and reason. So welcome to the world of the absurd, you may have noticed we have a certain focus on the absurd here.
While Zizek is correct in pointing out the obvious that the ordinary person is now being forced to support the banksters fraud and folly. Zizek fails to recognize that the state is enforcing the that wealth transfer, just like how in Marxist-communist nations the state routinely propped up inefficient industries (and their corrupt leadership) and the ordinary people’s expense. So ultimately what Zizek has done is construct a strawman and then knock it down.
Zizek lastly mentioned the federal shut down which was really a show of state power, some privately owned and operated nature parks were shut down by the government. Why would the government shut down a private business because the government was unable to control its spending? A show of tyranny, bow down to us and give us more money or else. Logic and reason had gone out the window. Zizek absolutely fails to recognize the tyranny of the state in the bank bailouts, even thought its the most significant factor in continuing the debacle. Another strawman attack while avoiding criticizing state tyranny.
While many left wing commentators cite Zizek ( the latest Marxist doyen) they fail to critically analyze the obvious holes in his logic.
Of course Marxist commentators will always fail to mention the role of central banking to Marxism, and this was the exact cause of the 2008 sub prime crisis, the creation of money that does not have real value. Central banking is the same as the idiom ” (don’t) count your chickens before they have hatched” central banking back systems take this to the next level and “sell your chickens before they have hatched”. This then made a market for hypothetical chicken certificates which ran ‘red hot’, until one man said can I have 3 actual chickens, it was soon discovered that no chickens had hatched and all the certificates were worthless.
This brings us back to Zizek himself, because the premises of Marxism-communism are flawed, anything that comes out of it is equally worthless and dangerous if relied upon.
the Marxist-communist political-economic system does not work, anywhere it is implemented it is doomed to a brutal oppressive failure. Marxists throw all of those failures into a memory hole and simply pretend they don’t exist. I have even had radical communist try to tell me that the Soviet Union wasn’t communist and communism had never been tried before. Other communists will give the magical cure promise whereby they claim once the whole world is ( marxist/islamic/feminist/insert ideology here) all problems will be solved and utopia will exist. Clearly this ‘give me the whole world and ill fix it’ approach is wildly narcissistic, delusional, akin to magical thinking and contradicted by looking at the given ideology already operating at a smaller scale.
So in the end Zizek has a Yugoslavia size memory hole, and its almost big enough to hide all the other inconvenient facts which ruin his arguments. It’s all mental masturbation a distraction and a waste of time.
Reality ruining your argument? Zizek says just claim reality doesn’t exist!