Slavoj Žižek, Violence: Six Sideways Reflections (2008)
In this provocative and brilliantly argued work, philosopher Zizek takes readers on an intellectual and artistic tour—drawing upon Picasso’s Guernica, Alfred Hitchcock and M. Night Shyamalan’s films, Michel Houellebecq’s novels, jokes, Lacanian psychology and a Kantian analysis of Hurricane Katrina—to demonstrate how societies understand, obscure and deny the sources of violence. His is not an examination of offenses but an argument that violence can perhaps be best defined by the bystanders and not by its perpetrators or victims. Zizek enumerates the varieties of violence (subjective, objective, systemic) and how it inheres in language, economics and religion, urging readers to discern the violence that sustains our very efforts to fight violence and to promote tolerance. In meditations on the events of 9/11, the Abu Ghraib scandal and the 2005 Paris riots, the book turns numerous familiar arguments on their ear (he proposes that the guards at Abu Ghraib represent the true underside of American society). His unrelenting scrutiny and host of cultural and literary references dazzle, and this bracing and rewarding read will challenge anyone unwilling to recognize his or her complicity in systems of institutional and interpersonal violence.
Yup. Yup yup yup. Violence is one of his best not-theoretically-hyperfocused books.
Dont read this and if you do and freak out on me for posting it, fuck you
i back this 100%. its not cool or okay to make jokes about this kind of stuff. however it’s not cool or okay to physically assault people either.
violence will not get you anywhere.
Fuck that. Reinforcing a system of oppression by joking and normalizing that system of oppression is a worse form of violence than punching some shithead in the nose.