Left Extremes: Authoritarians v. Libertines

Slavoj Žižek, Noam Chomsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Slavoj Zizek provocatively claims that the theorists’ commitments to authoritarian right-wing movements that led to many deaths at the hands of the state was appropriate in form, just misguided in content. Zizek juxtaposes Stalinist discourse with the letters written between Heidegger and Marcuse on Nazism, claiming that: Marcuse was justified in replying that the thin difference between brutally expatriating people and burning them in a concentration camp is the line that, at the moment, separated civilization from barbarism. Noam Chomsky and Zizek typify the two strands of politics that have captivated a significant portion of the Western left—poststructuralist and psychoanalytic Marxism on the one hand, and anarchist political economy on the other. In the week leading up to the 2016 US presidential election, Zizek and Chomsky were among the most prominent public intellectuals to comment on how left-leaning US voters could best contribute to a more just and equal future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCapitalism and Its Uncertain Future
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781000429541
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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