Vold: Tyrannens blodige kappe


  • Slavoj Žižek




Vold, Tyrannens, blodige, kappe



The article analyses different kinds of violence and labels directly visible violence ‘subjective’ violence, while ‘symbolic’ violence is the violence embedded in language and ‘objective’ violence is the systemic violence of capitalism. In most cases in today’s society it is only subjective violence that is talked about as violence. This is a problem, the article argues, as it tends to prevent an adequate understanding of how capitalism actually functions. In the present historical situation an adequate understanding of capitalism ought to be more important than the need for an immediate political engagement. What is needed, the article argues, is a critical analysis of the present constellation of forces and powers. It is more revolutionary to read and analyse the present conjuncture, than fight the police or build barricades. The article then proceeds to discuss what it calls ‘liberal communism’ in the guise of entrepreneurial philanthropists such as Bill Gates who are engaged in philanthropic activities and try to do good with some of the huge amount of money they have earned. According to the article the liberal communists claim that we can have the global capitalist cake (thrive as profitable entrepreneurs) and eat it too (endorse the anti-capitalist causes of social responsibility, ecological concerns, etc.) In fact while they may be fighting subjective violence these liberal communists are the very agents of the structural violence that creates the conditions for such explosions of subjective violence. Precisely because liberal communists want to resolve all these secondary malfunctions of the global capital system, they are the direct embodiment of what is wrong with the system as such.





Žižek, S. (2008). Vold: Tyrannens blodige kappe. K&K - Kultur Og Klasse, 36(105), 12–39. https://doi.org/10.7146/kok.v36i105.22037