Despite Žižek's polemical attacks on Hannah Arendt, their writings on totalitarianism share significant similarities. Žižek's Lacanian analysis of the distortion of the elementary symbolic coordinates of human sociability in Stalinism refines Arendt's controversial account of the role of ideologies in totalitarian regimes; it brings to the political field an account of subjectivity and its relation to language derived from (Lacanian) psychoanalysis. Reading Žižek's analyses of Stalinist and fascist ideologies preserves – by psychoanalytically reframing – the radical philosophical register of Arendt's understanding of twentieth-century totalitarian regimes as attempting the systematic destruction of ‘world’ – the in-between public space of shared political human experience and action. Žižek's psychoanalytic framework allows us to address the tendency in Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism to conflate fascism and Stalinism and also to question the motives for these regimes’ political and ontological violences.
Field of Research
220318 Psychoanalytic Philosophy
Socio Economic Objective
970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies