Theoretically, I Should Like This Stuff
Reflecting on my almost-visceral reaction to the excessively jargon-ridden and revolutionary philosophy of Slavoj Žižek and other like-minded contemporary theorists, it strikes me that I’m actually the sort of person for whom this sort of thing should be of real interest and even excitement.
In graduate school, I spent entire semesters reading nothing but Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, and even Lacan under the guidance of professors who took them very seriously. And even now I teach Nietzsche and Foucault in two different classes, Lacan in another, and a whole semester-long seminar on Marx and Lenin.
In theory, I should be very interested by theorists like Žižek and other neo-Leninists (or whatever thing I label them that their acolytes will immediately decry). But I just can’t get past the constant claims of “irony” about authoritarian violence, the posturing about what he thinks he knows, and the sense that the word salad he spews is really just dressing up commonplaces as profundity.
Just. Can’t. Like. It.