Author(s): Slavoj Zizek
Slavoj Zizek is one of the most important cultural theorists of our times. Tickets for his lectures sell out weeks in advance and a peer reviewed journal is devoted to his work. But his capacity to fascinate the uninitiated and subvert the rules of academia has taken his fame far beyond the world's lecture halls. So who better to cast six sideways glances on the subject of violence than 'the giant of Ljubljana', an intellectual icon and enfant terrible, and to launch this groundbreaking new series?The premise of Zizek's theory is that the subjective violence we see - violence with a clear identifiable agent - is only the tip of an iceberg made up of 'systemic' violence, which is essentially the catastrophic consequence of the smooth functioning of our economic and political systems. With the help of Marx, Engels, Sartre, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Lacan, Brecht and many more, Zizek examines the hidden causes of violence, delving into the supposed 'divine violence' which propels suicide bombers and the unseen 'systemic' violence which lies behind outbursts, from Parisian suburbia to New Orleans. First published 2008.