“There is great disorder under heaven; the situation is excellent. ”
“One of the most innovative and exciting contemporary thinkers of the left.”
—Times Literary Supplement
“The thinker of choice for Europe’s young intellectual vanguard.”
“Never ceases to dazzle.”
“Few thinkers illustrate the contradictions of contemporary capitalism better than Slavoj Žižek.”
—New York Review of Books
“Žižek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation.”
—The New Yorker
“The most dangerous philosopher in the West.”
—Adam Kirsch, The New Republic
As we emerge (though perhaps only temporarily) from the pandemic, other crises move center stage: outrageous inequality, climate disaster, desperate refugees, mounting tensions of a new cold war. The abiding motif of our time is relentless chaos.
Acknowledging the possibilities for new beginnings at such moments, Mao Zedong famously proclaimed “There is great disorder under heaven; the situation is excellent.” The contemporary relevance of Mao’s observation depends on whether today’s catastrophes can be a catalyst for progress or have passed over into something terrible and irretrievable. Perhaps the disorder is no longer under, but in heaven itself.
Characteristically rich in paradoxes and reversals that entertain as well as illuminate, Slavoj Žižek’s new book treats with equal analytical depth the lessons of Rammstein and Corbyn, Morales and Orwell, Lenin and Christ. It excavates universal truths from local political sites across Palestine and Chile, France and Kurdistan, and beyond.
Heaven In Disorder looks with fervid dispassion at the fracturing of the Left, the empty promises of liberal democracy, and the tepid compromises offered by the powerful. From the ashes of these failures, Žižek asserts the need for international solidarity, economic transformation, and—above all—an urgent, “wartime” communism.
Read by Will Tulin.
Slavoj Žižek is a Philosopher and psychoanalytic social theorist. He is Senior Researcher at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana; Professor at the School of Law and Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London; Distinguished Scholar at the Kyung Hee University, Seoul; and Visiting Professor at the German Department, New York University. His field of work comprises Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, dialectical-materialist metaphysical interpretations of German Idealism and Marxian critique of ideology. His more than sixty books in English have been widely translated. His latest publications include ‘Pandemic!’ & ‘Pandemic! 2’, ‘Hegel in a Wired Brain’, ‘Sex and the Failed Absolute’, ‘Like A Thief In Broad Daylight’, ‘Reading Marx’, ‘Incontinence of the Void’, ‘The Day After the Revolution’ and ‘Disorder in Heaven’.