Slavoj Zizek and Violence

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Slavoj Žižek and Violence Žižek’s book is fundamentally about understanding violence and the way it is represented in global society, especially in relation to economic interests. He draws a distinction between what he calls subjective violence and objective violence. Subjective violence refers to violence that is inflicted by a clearly identifiable agent of action, as in the case of criminal activity or terrorism. Objective violence, on the other hand, has no clear perpetrator and is often overlooked in the background of subjective violence outbreaks. For example, the objective violence of global poverty cannot be blamed on any one entity and, even if financial elites were to be identified as culpable, they could still be exonerated by their subjugation to a system of capitalist finance that makes the rise of an elite financial class inevitable. While Žižek further subdivides objective violence, the core difference illustrated here reflects Žižek’s interest in establishing the way certain forms of violence are represented and perceived in the general social consciousness.
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Archival date: 2021-08-04
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