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The following article appeared in Left Business Observer #105, August 2003. It retains its copyright and may not be reprinted or redistributed in any form - print, electronic, facsimile, anything - without the permission of LBO.
This is the edited version of an interview with the Slovenian philiosopher and cultural theorist Slavoj Zizek originally broadcast on Doug Henwood's radio show, April 17, 2003. Zizek combines Lacanian psychoanalysis and Marxist political economy to analyze politics and culture.
To hear the original interview, which is much longer than this, visit here.
What did you think as Saddam's statue was falling in Baghdad?
Strangely, my first association was the bombing of Buddha statues in Afghanistan. I'm not implying that the U.S. is a new Taliban, the game where both are fundamentalists is a little too easy. Nonetheless, if we take statues as such, representing some kind of traditional culture, not so much American bombs as the American capitalist model is a much more effective destructive force than those poor Taliban bombs. My second reaction was, you know, if there is a lesson to be learned from history, from the fall of Communism ten years ago, is a deep distrust of this enthusiastic moment. Yes, probably a majority of Iraqis was, to put it modestly, relatively enthusiastic. Life was difficult under Saddam. Probably for an ordinary Iraqi, it may get a little bit better. But these enthusiastic explosions are just a moment; what matters to me is the day after. And there I'm a little bit less enthusiastic than it may appear.