The true message to American voters from the Republican Party, says Zizek, is: “you have the right not to understand. We will sell you this rhetoric about populist revolt and fighting Washington, but really you know we have the backroom boys like Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and so on, who will take care of things, and it’s better you don’t know about that stuff.”
Zizek, in this interview with Open Source Radio‘s Christopher Lydon, is insightful and entertaining as always.
One of the points Zizek touches on repeatedly is the “totally new” phenomenon of authoritarian capitalism, citing both China and some tendencies in Russia under Putin’s leadership. Contrary to his point that September 11th symbolized the fundamental incorrectness of Francis Fukuyama’s argument in The End of History and the Last Man, it is rather the possibility of authoritarian capitalism that threatens the liberal-democratic-capitalism hegemony. September 11th is completely interpretable from within Fukuyama’s narrative of the direction of history, and in the next fifty years the true test of this narrative will come, as Fukuyama himself suggested it would, from the potentially viable option of non-democratic capitalism.