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Friday 1 May 2020

Quotes Worth Saving (30): Slavoj Žižek, "all we have is our activity"

Slavoj Žižek
Trouble in Paradise

And connected to earlier thoughts and usage of a quote from the same book.

Perhaps the Left should learn fully to assume the basic 'alienation' of the historical process: we cannot control the consequences of our acts - not because we are just puppets in the hands of some secret Master of Fate which pulls the strings, but for precisely the opposite reason: there is no big Other, no agent of total accountability that can take into account the consequences of our own acts. This acceptance of 'alienation' in no way entails a cynical distance; it implies a fully engaged position aware of the risks involved - there is no higher historical Necessity whose instruments we are and which guarantees the final outcome of our interventions. From this standpoint, our despair at the present deadlock appears in a new light: we have to renounce the very eschatological scheme which underlies our despair. There will never be a Left that magically transforms confused revolts and protests into one consistent Projection of Salvation; all we have is our activity, open to all the risks of contingent history.