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Nov 13, 2023

Slavoj Žižek (University of London, New York University, University of Ljubljana)

Freedom: A Disease Without Cure

We are all afraid that new dangers pose a threat to our hard-won freedoms, so what deserves attention is precisely the notion of freedom.

The concept of freedom is deceptively simple. We think we understand it, but the moment we try and define it we encounter contradictions. In this new philosophical exploration, Slavoj Žižek argues that the experience of true, radical freedom is transient and fragile. Countering the idea of libertarian individualism, Žižek draws on philosophers Hegel, Kierkegaard and Heidegger, as well as the work of Kandinsky and Agatha Christie to examine the many facets of freedom and what we can learn from each of them.

Today, with the latest advances in digital control, our social activity can be controlled and regulated to such a degree that the liberal notion of a free individual becomes obsolete and even meaningless. How will we be obliged to reinvent (or limit) the contours of our freedom?

Tracing its connection to everything from capitalism and war to the state and environmental breakdown, Žižek takes us on an illuminating and entertaining journey that shows how a deeper understanding of freedom can offer hope in dark times.


Table of Contents


Introduction: Move your Buridan's Ass!

Part I: Freedom As Such

Chapter 1: Freedom and its Discontents
i) Freedom versus Liberty
ii) Regulating Violations
iii) Freedom, Knowledge, Necessity
iv) Freedom to say NO

Chapter 2: Is There Such a Thing as Freedom of the Will?
i) Determinism and its Ragaries
ii) Rewriting the Past
iii) Beyond the Transcendental
iv) Pascalean Wager

Chapter 3: Indivisible Remainder and the Death of Death
i) The Standpoint of the Absolute
ii) The Death of God
iii) Suicide as a Political Act
iv)The Failed Negation of Negation

Appendices I
1 Potestas versus Superdeterminism
2 Sublation as Dislocation
3 Inventing Anna, Inventing Madeleine
4 The Political Implications of Non-Representational Art

Part II: Human Freedom

Chapter 4: Marx Invented not Only Symptom but Also Drive
i) Instead of...
ii) Progress and Apathy
iii) Dialectical Materialism
iv) Yes, but...
v) How Marx Invented Drive

Chapter 5: The Path to Anarcho-Feudalism
i) The Blue Pill Called Metaverse
ii) From Cultural Capitalism to Crypto-Currencies
iii) Savage Verticality Versus Uncontrollable Horizontality

Chapter 6: The State and Counter-Revolution
i) When the Social Link Disintegrates
ii) The Limit of the Spontaneous Order
iii) The State is Here to Stay
iv) Do not give up on your Communist Desire!

Appendices II
5 “Generalized Foreclosure”? No, Thanks!
6 Shamelessly Ashamed
7 A Muddle Instead of a Movie
8 How to Love a Homeland in our Global Era

Finale: The Four Riders of the Apocalypse
i) De-Nazifying… Ukraine, Kosovo, Europe
ii) The End of Nature
iii) DON'T Be True to Yourself!
iv) Whose Servant Is a Master?