Zygmunt Bauman characterised the riots as acts of ‘defective and disqualified consumers’:

We are told again and again that we are living through a debt crisis, and that we all have to share the burden and tighten our belts. All, that is, except the (very) rich. The idea of taxing them more is taboo: if we did, the argument runs, the rich would have no incentive to invest, fewer jobs would be created and we would all suffer. The only way to save ourselves from hard times is for the poor to get poorer and the rich to get richer. What should the poor do? What can they do?

...

Zygmunt Bauman characterised the riots as acts of ‘defective and disqualified consumers’: more than anything else, they were a manifestation of a consumerist desire violently enacted when unable to realise itself in the ‘proper’ way – by shopping. As such, they also contain a moment of genuine protest, in the form of an ironic response to consumerist ideology: ‘You call on us to consume while simultaneously depriving us of the means to do it properly – so here we are doing it the only way we can!’ The riots are a demonstration of the material force of ideology – so much, perhaps, for the ‘post-ideological society’. From a revolutionary point of view, the problem with the riots is not the violence as such, but the fact that the violence is not truly self-assertive. It is impotent rage and despair masked as a display of force; it is envy masked as triumphant carnival.

The riots should be situated in relation to another type of violence that the liberal majority today perceives as a threat to our way of life: terrorist attacks and suicide bombings. In both instances, violence and counter-violence are caught up in a vicious circle, each generating the forces it tries to combat. In both cases, we are dealing with blind passages à l’acte, in which violence is an implicit admission of impotence.

(London Review of Books: “Shoplifters of the World Unite” by Slavoj Žižek, August 19, 2011).






Worldwide Shipping: 🖤 T-Shirts / Hoodies / Mugs / Stickers >>       I WOULD PREFER NOT TO.  
https://www.teepublic.com/t-shirt/1759107-i-would-prefer-not-to-bartleby-zizek
Bartleby, the Scrivener: “I would prefer not to.
https://www.teepublic.com/t-shirt/1759107-i-would-prefer-not-to-bartleby-zizek
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...