Here’s my summary of the Slavoj Zizek vs Jordan Peterson “debate,” held April 19, 2019 in Toronto.
To put it simply these two anti-Marxists rambled on with sophistries for over two hours, while never making sense to anyone, especially to those who work for a living.
As noted by Peterson in his opening remarks, tickets for this “debate” were scalping for over $1500, which means the audience was well-heeled. No one who works for a living (and is on a budget) could afford to attend this debate. The class bias of the audience was confirmed, with loud applause for every irrational comment disguised as meaningful philosophy by either individual. It more resembled a political convention, than a serious discussion, with the audience functioning as cheerleaders for their favored candidate. That is the definition of post-modernism, where nothing makes sense, and everything is subjective– including facts.
Post-modernism is the ideology of late-stage capitalism, where everything is breaking down & elite criminality pervades. Post modernism is used to fill in the cracks of society with irrationality, in order to disorient & demoralize the working masses. Enter Slavoj Zizek & Jordan Peterson.
Neither of these proclaimed “intellectuals” knows a real living Marxist, much less engages with them on an intellectual basis. Any leading member of the ICFI, which publishes the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS), would make Zizek and/or Peterson look silly in a real debate. Capitalism blacklists the WSWS, in order to elevate this nonsense, and present these frauds & their elitist garbage as serious analysis.
Nowhere in this debate do the speakers discuss economic equality with any seriousness. Nor do they discuss internet censorship, militarism, and the criminal wars of aggression which are all policies of the US and every other government on the planet today. These issues are fundamental to the survival of the human race, and yet they are danced around by these intellectual impostures.
Slavoj Zizek on Hegel is painful, in how he contorts his arguments in order to separate dialects from Marxism. As anyone who has ever tried knows, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel is very difficult to read. If one wants to understand Hegel’s revolutionary philosophy (dialectics), the best critiques in history are those of the Russian Marxist– Georgi Plekhanov.
David North of the ICFI has written extensively on Plekanov. Vladimir Lenin said Plekanov’s writings are the best education on the writings of Hegel, and essential reading for those who seek understanding of his complex philosophical ideas. There is no mention of any these essential references from Zizek or Peterson, who probably haven’t even read them, as neither has any real interest in truth, but only elevating themselves.
Both of these ivory tower hucksters are hung up on “hierarchies,” which is awfully convenient. Coincidentally, capitalism is hung up on hierarchies too. These “thinkers” don’t ever see beyond their own noses. Revolutions happen in history, but never in their thoughts, analysis or conclusions. Thus, when a revolutionary crisis presents itself, all this pseudo-intellectualism vanishes into nothing. The millstones of history grind exceedingly fine, and Zizek & Peterson are destined for it’s collective dustbin.
This spectacle did nothing to raise the intellect of humanity. It was really two phony emperors strutting in their underwear. With that said, Slavoj Zizek naked is another painful image, but it has value– in the negative. Physically Slavoj Zizek is a mess: overweight, slumping in posture, constantly touching his face & nose, and slobbering in his speech. If Zizek is a genius, then why doesn’t he fix his lisp, and learn to control his spitting? That’s also a measure of intelligence.
I challenge Slavoj Zizek & Jordan Peterson to address this economic problem rationally. Globally in 2019, there is now roughly $55 trillion in government-held Treasury bonds that are worthless, but counted as “assets.” Consider the global derivatives market which is conservatively estimated at $1.2 quadrillion, and held almost entirely by big banks & investment houses. That’s 20 times more “assets” that are worthless, than what the world’s governments already hold.
Global GDP is around $80 trillion, and can never grow fast enough to meet projected targets, so these futures are all unpayable. Unlike 2008, the sheer size of this fraud makes it impossible to be bailed out. When the next crash comes, capitalism will face a revolutionary crisis. This is the conundrum that Trump, the Democrats, and all the rest of their ilk seek to avoid at all costs, as its their heads that will roll. What do Zizek & Peterson have to say about this concrete problem? Nothing, at all.
As mentioned earlier, Zizek & Peterson are anti-Marxists, which means they are (in the final analysis) apologists for capitalism, and well-paid for their services. Their celebrity is just another extension of this vast fake economy, that rests on free money from the central banks, which is used to prop up a capitalist system that is about to collapse.
The rise of fascism is a serious political development, yet neither of these charlatans take it seriously. When ICFI chairman David North states in the video embedded above, “Fascism is punishment for the failure of workers to build a leadership,” one instantly grasps that meaning.
Intelligence is the ability to communicate complex truths directly & understandably. Those who attempt to dazzle their audiences with intellectual nonsense, are ultimately insecure in their ideas. Thus the constant nose-touching by Zizek. In the end someone who is smarter will challenge them, and eventually historical events will prove both of them wrong. That is an unavoidable historical truth.