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Deleuzian populism

From Zizek’s Trouble In Paradise, pg 181:

The ongoing popular protests around Europe converge in a series of demands which, in their very spontaneity and directness, form a kind of ‘epistemological obstacle’ to any proper confrontation with the ongoing crisis of our political system. These demands effectively read as a popularized version of Deleuzian politics: people know what they want, they are able to discover and formulate this but only through their own continuous engagement and activity, so we need active participatory democracy, not just representative democracy with its electoral ritual which every four years interrupts the voters’ passivity; we need the self-organization of the multitude, not a centralized Leninist Party with its Leader. 

But is this myth of non-representative direct self-organization not the last trap, the deepest illusion that is most difficult to renounce? Yes, there are, in every revolutionary process, ecstatic moments of group solidarity, when thousands, hundreds of thousands, together occupy a public place, like on Cairo’s Tahrir Square in 2011; yes, there are moments of intense collective participation in which local communities debate and decide, when people live in a kind of permanent emergency state, taking things into their own hands, with no Leader guiding them. But such states don’t last –and ‘tiredness’ is here not a simple psychological fact, it is a category of social ontology. The large majority –me included –wants to be passive and to rely on an efficient state apparatus to guarantee the smooth running of the entire social edifice, so that I can pursue my work in peace.

Categories: Fragile Movements and Their Politics Cultures

Mark

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