BLVR: Does this also include your model of “Western Buddhism” as new-age philosophy being a product that can be purchased in capitalism (true Buddhism not being able to exist outside of the East)?
SŽ: Yes, you know why? Because this basic Buddhist insight that there is no permanent self, permanent subject, just events and so on, in an ironic way perfectly mirrors this idea that products are not essential, essential is this freedom of how you consume products and the idea that the market should no longer focus on the product. It is no longer: this car has this quality blah blah blah. No, it’s what you will do with the car. They are trying as directly as possible to sell you experiences, i.e. what you are able to do with the car, not the car as a product itself. An extreme example of this is this existing economic marketing concept, which basically evaluates the value of you as a potential consumer of your own life. Like how much are you worth, in the sense of all you will spend to buy back your own life as a certain quality life. You will spend so much in doctors, so much in beauty, so much in transcendental meditation, so much for music, and so on. What you are buying is a certain image and practice of your life. So what is your market potential, as a buyer of your own life in this sense?
Slavoj Zizek, Interview in The Believer magazine, (July 2004)