The rebirth of the communist idea is far larger than anything we see in Zizek, Badiou, or Negri, the latter being in a different category, no doubt, taken as is. Taken as is, well that’s the one thing we can’t do with someone like Zizek. I cannot resolve the issues of his philosophic escapades because I am a working class type who can’t afford his books and am not familiar with the complicated history of French philosophy that is the back up for Zizek’s extravagance. I consider myself intelligent, and a student of Kant, so it is not a yokel speaking if I say I can’t follow Zizek’s obscurity in motion.
In Last and First Men I tried to produce another approach to communism that can evade the quagmire into which the last generation of the left has fallen. There I have been critical of dialectical materialism as counterproductive, poorly founded, and too fetishistic with respect to the Marx cult. Marx and Engels tried to carry something of the Hegelian school, but their material variant hasn’t been very helpful.
These questions have come to dominate the left where they should have been left behind. We need a new almost post-philosophical communist perspective that can learn from marxism, and carry its legacy, but able to move into a new future, with a critique of darwinism, social darwinist ideology, neo-classical economics, and a critique of stalinism that can create a new realization of democratic revolution as a postcapitalist republic.
I think it is a waste of time to critique Zizek’s defense of dialectical materialism, except to register a point of dissent, but I did so anyway since Zizek’s most recent book is an attempt to refound dialectics in the wake of my critique.
I think we are losing time here: the left has no coherent theory or praxis and stood by as the opportunity of the OWS passed by, then into oblivion. That movement was in part a rejection of marxism, for the brands of anarchism, and perhaps the failure of those initiatives may now also be apparent.
I don’t wish to linger on Zizek and Badiou, and I think the verdict is set already in the lack of any coherent movement that can do the OWS one better in becoming a genuine successor to marxist, with an anarchist flavor, if you like, but a ready revolutionary movement that can speak to people not versed in Hegel, dialectics, or, for that matter, the confusing backwash of the marxist canon.