When the logics of the world collapse – Žižek with and against Arendt on 'totalitarianism'

Sharpe, Matthew 2010, When the logics of the world collapse – Žižek with and against Arendt on 'totalitarianism', Subjectivity : International journal of critical psychology, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 53-75.

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Title When the logics of the world collapse – Žižek with and against Arendt on 'totalitarianism'
Author(s) Sharpe, Matthew
Journal name Subjectivity : International journal of critical psychology
Volume number 3
Issue number 1
Start page 53
End page 75
Publisher Macmillan Publishers Ltd
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2010-04
ISSN 1755-6341
1755-635X
Keyword(s) Zizek
Arendt
totalitarianism
Stalinism
Summary 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
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30025501

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of International and Political Studies
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