Slavoj Žižek: Signs from the Future | Full Lecture

This lecture was organised to promote Žižek's book Living in the Ends of Time. The lecture was delivered on May 14th 2012 in Zagreb during the annual Subversive Festival/Forum with the theme 'The Future of Europe'.



In his Arcades Project, Walter Benjamin quotes the French historian André Monglond: 'The past has left images of itself in literary texts, images comparable to those which are imprinted by light on a photosensitive plate. The future alone possesses developers active enough to scan such surfaces perfectly'. Events like the OWS protests, the Arab Spring, demonstrations in Greece and Spain, etc., have to be read as such signs from the future. Radical emancipatory outburst should not be analyzed as a part of the continuum of past/present; we should bring in the perspective of the future, i.e. we should analyze them as limited, distorted (sometimes even perverted) fragments of a utopian future which lies dormant in the present as its hidden potential. According to Deleuze, in Proust, 'people and things occupy a place in time which is incommensurable with the one that they have in space':, the notorious madeleine is here in place, but this is not its true time. In a similar way, one should learn the art to recognize, from an engaged subjective position, elements which are here, in our space, but whose time is the emancipated future, the future of the Communist Idea.



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