Slovenian Philosopher Slavoj Zizek on Capitalism, Healthcare, Latin American “Populism” and the “Farcical” Financial Crisis

Dubbed by the National Review as “the most dangerous political philosopher in the West” and the New York Times as “the Elvis of cultural theory,” Slovenian philosopher and public intellectual Slavoj Žižek has written over fifty books on philosophy, psychoanalysis, theology, history and political theory. In his latest book, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, Žižek analyzes how the United States has moved from the tragedy of 9/11 to what he calls the farce of the financial meltdown. [includes rush transcript]

JUAN GONZALEZ We continue on the subject of the financial crisis with a man the National Review calls “the most dangerous political philosopher in the West.” The New York Times calls him “the Elvis of cultural theory.” Slovenian philosopher and public intellectual Slavoj Žižek has written over fifty books on philosophy, psychoanalysis, theology, history and political theory. His latest, just out from Verso, is called First as Tragedy, Then as Farce. It analyzes how the United States has moved from the tragedy of 9/11 to the farce of the financial meltdown.

Žižek’s latest offering, also excerpted in the October issue of Harper’s Magazine, opens with the words, quote, “The only truly surprising thing about the 2008 financial meltdown is how easily the idea was accepted that its happening was unpredictable.” He goes on to recall how the demonstrations against the IMF and the World Bank over the past decade all protested the ways in which banks were playing with money and warned of an impending crash. They were met with tear gas and mass arrests.

AMY GOODMAN: The message, he writes, was, quote, “loud and clear, and the police were used to literally stifle the truth.”

Well, Slavoj Žižek addressed a full house at Cooper Union here in New York City on Wednesday night and joins us now in our firehouse studio.

Welcome to Democracy Now!

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Elinor Ostrom became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in economics

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOZC8FKV9q8[/youtube]

Dr. Elinor Ostrom became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in economics on October 12th, 2009, just four months after speaking at the Frankfurt School on the same topic in which she was awarded the prize.

Renowned political scientist, Dr. Elinor Ostrom, from Indiana University – Bloomington, gave a lecture on Friday June 19th, 2009, outlining her latest research and outcomes regarding the problem of “the commons.”

In the lab, she had simulated conflicts concerning the allocation of the commons and had derived a complex theoretical framework that exploits the various elements (e.g. leadership, trust and reciprocity) of this process.

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