Tuesday, 3 August 2010

RSA Animate - First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

Provocative as ever, in the most recent RSA Animate irrepressible Marxist philosopher Slavoj Zizek proposes that 'it is immoral to use private property in order to alleviate the horrible evils that result from the institution of private property'. The lesson he seeks to establish from this proposition is that the form of charity associated with corporate and social responsibility schemes such as Starbucks 'coffee ethics' is an essentially hypocritical and cynical gesture. What he terms 'capitalism with a human face' then remains complicit with the exploitation of the poor it is supposed to help, and all the more effective for the redemptive good conscience it leaves the consumer.

Personally I've always felt that there is something inherently wrong with the demonically perverse desire people harbour for a cup of Joe. I hate their smugness as they storm down the street brandishing their disposable cardboard and plastic cups, waving them aloft as if they were Prometheus bearing their torch for the people. FILTH! Basically makes me want to punch them in the face.

Spleen aside, the video above is an abridgement of the full lecture here, delivered on the release of his most recent book First as Tragedy, Then as Farce.

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