A post I almost put here rather than on my politics blog, as it relates to broader political/cultural issues rather than just UK party politics: the “eminent thinker”/”Marxist holy fool”/”dancing bear” (delete as applicable) Slavoj Žižek on how ideologies only win when they lose. I’ll be interested to know what people think.

(Note: this isn’t an endorsement of Žižek; this is my usual blogging approach of seizing on particular ideas I find interesting or suggestive, regardless of source.)

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8 Responses to

  1. Phil Walker says:

    ‘Ere, the strapline’s back to the old one on this post. Odd.

  2. John H says:

    I decided I preferred the old one. If you feel differently, let me know… 😉

  3. J Random Hermeneut says:

    What was the new one?

  4. John H says:

    “Songs about the light, songs about what you can see by the light”. An allusion to a T-Bone Burnett comment I love. I hadn’t got round to explaining it…

  5. Phil Walker says:

    Wasn’t the old-new one used as an extratextual allusion to something Lewis said? Christ being like the sun: we don’t just see him, but we see everything else by him. Something like that. Maybe Christianity.

    My cache had retained the old strapline for the other posts, which was what had me puzzled. It looked like it was just different on just the one page.

  6. John H says:

    Phil: I’m sure Lewis said that somewhere, but the immediate source was Burnett, quoted in Steve Turner’s “Hungry for Heaven”.

    I love Burnett’s other comment on Christian songwriting in that book. Something along the lines of how a Christian who builds a poorly-constructed wall can’t get away with it by just painting a fish (or the word “Jesus”) on it…

  7. J Random Hermeneut says:


    What you, I mean Žižek, is saying is:

    When an “enemy”, say the “papacy” for example, “talks your language”, say articulates a “justification by grace through faith alone” in keeping with the illustration, this constitutes a “true victory (negation of negation)”, for the doctrine of justification (called by some the “touchstone” of all articles of doctrine) has been “accepted as a universal ground” by the “enemy”. But the point at which this happens is when the “enemy” of the “enemy” has, as an “empirical instigator”, an empirical evangelical church if you follow, has been “knocked off”, that is to say, has ceased to exist empirically, except as “a (nominal) ideological enemy.” In other words, it is as if this “Gospel as empirical reality in the Lutheran church” (an empirical church in opposition to and apart from Rome), which, fails empirically in its attempt to overcome Rome and is “defeated” in the process (ceases to exist as an empirical church of the Gospel), is, at the point of failure, now returning with a vengeance in the Roman communion itself.

    Is that what you, I mean Žižek, is saying?

    Fascinating. It’s the sort of thing I say all the time.

  8. Phil Walker says:

    Oh look, now he’s gone and removed it completely. Can’t you make your mind up man? 😉

    Hey, how about a nice excerpt from Zizek? Something totally incomprehensible. (But I repeat myself.)

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