Slavoj Žižek Quotes

Who is Slavoj Žižek?

Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and self-described radical leftist and communist.

Born March 21, 1949

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Best 58 Quotes by Slavoj Žižek | Page 1 of 2

“Cinema is the ultimate pervert art. It doesn't give you what you desire - it tells you how to desire.”

“Do not blame people and their attitudes: the problem is not corruption or greed, the problem is the system that pushes you to be corrupt. The solution is not, Main Street, not Wall Street, but to change the system where Main Street cannot function without Wall Street.”

“Fantasy is a means for an ideology to take its own failure into account in advance.”

“Friends told me that the latest trend, at least in Europe, is public sex. They showed me some clips, and they're terrifying. A couple enters a streetcar, half-full, simply takes a seat, undresses, and starts to do it. You can see from surprised faces that it's not staged. It's pure working-class suburb. But what's fascinating is that the people all look, and then they politely ignore it. The message is that even if you're together in public with people, it still counts as private space.”

“Happiness was never important. The problem is that we don't know what we really want. What makes us happy is not to get what we want. But to dream about it. Happiness is for opportunists. So I think that the only life of deep satisfaction is a life of eternal struggle, especially struggle with oneself. If you want to remain happy, just remain stupid. Authentic masters are never happy; happiness is a category of slaves.”

“Humanity is OK, but 99% of people are boring idiots.”

“I already am eating from the trash can all the time. The name of this trash can is ideology. The material force of ideology makes me not see what I am effectively eating.”

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“I am a good Hegelian. If you have a good theory, forget about the reality.”

“I despise the kind of book which tells you how to live, how to make yourself happy! Philosophers have no good news for you at this level! I believe the first duty of philosophy is making you understand what deep shit you are in!”

“I think boredom is the beginning of every authentic act. Boredom opens up the space, for new engagements. Without boredom, no creativity. If you are not bored, you just stupidly enjoy the situation in which you are.”

“I think that the task of philosophy is not to provide answers, but to show how the way we perceive a problem can be itself part of a problem.”

“Ideology today is unfreedom which you sincerely personally experience as freedom.”

“If you have reasons to love someone, you don’t love them.”

“It is more satisfying to sacrifice oneself for the poor victim than to enable the other to overcome their victim status and perhaps become even more successful than ourselves.”

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“It's bad if we are controlled, but if we're not, it can be even worse.”

“It's not the same thing: coffee without cream or coffee without milk.
What you don't get is part of the identity of what you get.”

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“What one generation finds ridiculous, the next accepts; and the third shudders when it looks back on what the first did.”


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“Love feels like a great misfortune, a monstrous parasite, a permanent state of emergency that ruins all small pleasures.”

“Love is what makes sex more than mast*rbation. If there is no love even if you are really with a partner you mast*rbate with a partner.”

“My big fear is that if I act the way I am, people will notice that there is nothing to see. So I have to be active all the time, covering up.”

“Nowadays, you can do anything that you want—anal, oral, fisting—but you need to be wearing gloves, condoms, protection.”

“The fact that a cloud from a minor volcanic eruption in Iceland—a small disturbance in the complex mechanism of life on the Earth—can bring to a standstill the aerial traffic over an entire continent is a reminder of how, with all its power to transform nature, humankind remains just another species on the planet Earth.”

“The horror of Communism, Stalinism, is not that bad people do bad things — they always do. It's that good people do horrible things thinking they are doing something great.”

“The liberal idea of tolerance is more and more a kind of intolerance. What it means is 'Leave me alone; don't harass me; I'm intolerant towards your over-proximity.”

“The minimum necessary structuring ingredient of every ideology is to distance itself from another ideology, to denounce its other as ideology.”

“The more opera is dead, the more it flourishes.”

“The one measure of true love is: you can insult the other.”

“The problem for us is not are our desires satisfied or not. The problem is how do we know what we desire.”

“The threat today is not passivity, but pseudo-activity, the urge to 'be active', to 'participate', to mask the nothingness of what goes on.”

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“The true ethical test is not only the readiness to save the victims, but also - even more, perhaps - the ruthless dedication to annihilating those who made them victims.”

“The way we, everyday people are addressed by social authority, whatever we call it - it's no longer telling us to 'sacrifice your life' for the British empire, for socialism, whatever. It's not. It's some kind of permissive bullsh*t basically. Society is telling us to be true to yourself, authentic, develop your potential, be kind to others. It's kind of what I ironically call a slightly enlightened Buddhist hedonism.”

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“The inflated numbers of the crimes of Stalin offered by cold-war scholars serve neither historical truth nor the cause of justice but merely help to reinforce a knee-jerk fear and loathing of those terrible Reds.”


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