History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Review of Zizek’s Absolute Recoil

October 15th, 2014 · 2 Comments


I just reviewed Zizek’s new Absolute Recoil, as promised, in a challenge to his attempted refoundation of dialectical materialism. I am not sure how Zizek can claim he has a new foundation here.
The review is quite harsh, but he is obviously trying to counter the influence of my Last and First Men from last spring, with its challenge to historical materialism, dialectical materialism, and the whole confused use of dialectics.
Many have warned marxists that they need to drop these sideshows and update the theory of communism with new perspectives on economics, on history, on evolution. We can’t derive revolution from dialectics. The issue of dialectic is confusing because it tweaks the frequent sense we have of ‘nonduality’ or something that reconciles contradictions, but that’s not enough to found dialectics.
Last and First Men has a lot of material on this.

Zizek is caught in a mental figment created by the illusions of dialectic. The result has convinced him it can form the basis for a framework of universal knowledge and that isn’t true.

Tags: General

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 recoiling // Oct 15, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    I read your review. You don’t mention anything specific. I don’t think you’ve even read absolute recoil.
    And, with regard to Zizek’s sell-out status: The main content of your review are references to your own book–plug after plug. You are clearly not in a position to judge Zizek on this point.

  • 2 nemo // Oct 16, 2014 at 11:31 am

    The question of zizek is that of Hegelian to a Kantian, as I am. I have been very critical of Hegel, but have come to see a way to read him. You say I haven’t read Zizek: I am reading him, but I find it hard. This is bullshit in action. The Kantian legacy deplored this kind of metaphysical from the hip. Zizek claims to refound dialectical materialism: I can start to critique dialectical materialism with reference to legacy literature there, first, before taking on Zizek specifically. Anyone who tries to refound dialectical materialism can be confronted with its basics flaws first, the point of my review. The plug for my own book was to alert readers to the way Zizek is referring to my book without mentioning it. He can see that I am a threat to dialectical materialism. He is desperate enough to try and write a book on the subject to try and bury me and my book. That is not comradely.

    I hope to continue the review there, and finish the discussion.

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