In a recent article from the New Humanist, the question is asked: Can a philosopher who approvingly cites Lenin and Robespierre be serious (let alone taken seriously)? The article makes the point that Zizek’s revolutionary politics are only in line with the aforementioned “terrorists” in that they employed a similar idea of The Act. Zizek’s method, to put it simply, is to use Lacanian psychoanalysis to free oneself from the hyper-reality of global capitalist liberalism, face the Desert of the Real, and make the Kierkegaardian leap into an authentic, but fully revolutionary, ethical life. Here’s a great blurb:
This takes us back to the nature of the site événementiel, the stage of the Act. Žižek says that “in a genuine revolutionary breakthrough, the utopian future is neither simply fully realised, present, nor simply evoked as a distant promise which justifies present violence – it is rather as if, in a unique suspension of temporality, in the short circuit between the present and future, we are – as if by Grace – briefly allowed to act as if the utopian future is (not yet fully here but) already at hand, there to be seized.” Žižek alludes here to the numinous, ecstatic dimension of revolutionary transformation. But it can also be realised before the Big Act, le Grand Soir, arrives. In fact it is the secret of any truly liberatory form of life.