Violence: Six Sideways Reflections

Every week, I ask my friends, colleagues, and acquaintances that are part of my social networks (Twitter and LinkedIn) a simple question:

"What is the book that changed your life? (not novels or religious texts)"

I think it's a wonderful way to connect in a less superficial way and learn a little more about each other. It's also a wonderful way to discover new books worth reading.

This is one of them (the full list is here):

Violence: Six Sideways Reflections
Slavoj Žižek

From Amazon:

Using history, philosophy, books, movies, Lacanian psychiatry, and jokes, Slavoj Zizek examines the ways we perceive and misperceive violence. Drawing from his unique cultural vision, Zizek brings new light to the Paris riots of 2005; he questions the permissiveness of violence in philanthropy; in daring terms, he reflects on the powerful image and determination of contemporary terrorists.

Violence, Zizek states, takes three forms--subjective (crime, terror), objective (racism, hate-speech, discrimination), and systemic (the catastrophic effects of economic and political systems)--and often one form of violence blunts our ability to see the others, raising complicated questions.

Does the advent of capitalism and, indeed, civilization cause more violence than it prevents? Is there violence in the simple idea of the neighbour? And could the appropriate form of action against violence today simply be to contemplate, to think?

Beginning with these and other equally contemplative questions, Zizek discusses the inherent violence of globalization, capitalism, fundamentalism, and language, in a work that will confirm his standing as one of our most erudite and incendiary modern thinkers.

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