Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
7 July 2010

Slavoj Žižek on “the idea of communism“

The Slovenian philosopher in full effect.

By Mike Sweeney

Verso Books have posted a video of the philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek on his favourite topic — the “idea of communism”. In discussion with Alex Callinicos and John Holloway at this weekend’s Marxism 2010 event, he returns to a theme explored at last year’s sell-out conference at Birkbeck University.

Callinicos begins the meeting by emphasising the need not just for a critique of the capitalist economy, but for its complete replacement with another system of social relations: “The idea of communism is [principally] about the alternative to the idea of capitalism.”

“To grasp today’s capitalist dynamic the logic of exploitation is no longer enough,” Žižek says. “[We] need to take into account the new role as a source of wealth of raw materials, which for Marx were out of the equation… and intellectual property.”

You can read Žižek’s writing for the NS here.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Special subscription offer: Get 12 issues for £12 plus a free copy of Andy Beckett’s “When the Lights Went Out”

Content from our partners
How automation can help telecoms companies unlock their growth potential
The pandemic has had a scarring effect on loneliness, but we can do better
Feel confident gifting tech to your children this Christmas