Not Communism, Just A Kind of Collaboration: Slavoj Zizek’s Mistake

A few days ago, Slavoj Zizek published an article titled “Global communism or the jungle law, coronavirus forces us to decide”, in which he offered us two contrary concepts— “global communism” and “jungle law”. By global communism, he means “global collaboration and cooperation” and jungle law means “most brutal logic of the survival of the fittest”, according to his explanation. Zizek suggested we need global cooperation and collaboration when we confront coronavirus, in other words, we need “this or some kind of reinvented communism”, or what would leave to us is the brutal consequence which cannot be accepted by the human.

Seemingly, this statement is persuadable and even thus acceptable. However, Zizek’s statement is too confused to acceptable. his view about the ability of human is rather arrogant than moderate. Furthermore, he is rather careless than rigorous in the analysis. As we will see, his statement has at least two problems. The first lies on that he made these two concepts contrary to each other wrongly, and the second lies on that he was overly optimistic (arrogant, to some extent) about the human union.

Two contrary concepts?

Here is the first question that whether we can applicate the dichotomy to these two concepts. Precisely, is the Global Communism contrary to the Jungle Lawand vice versa? This question concerns how to understand these two concepts. It will be more persuadable if we adapt Zizek’s opinion. From Zizek’sview, the jungle law bases on the logic of Darwinism, operating according to the rule of “survival of the fittest”or “every man for himself”. However, if the world operates according to this law, the world will not be better but worse (he explained this by an example of “panic”). Thus, Zizek thought if we cannot accept the brutal consequence led by the jungle law, what we can only do is to form a union based on all of the countries, that is, reinvent Communism. 

If we accept Zizek’s premise that the jungle law isunjust because it indeed will bring morally bad consequence, then to some extent, we perhaps do need some kind of cooperation. However, this does not mean we need a reinvented communism, because cooperation or collaboration is not a necessary or sufficient conditionof any kind of communism. As we know, what is fundamental and crucial to communism is called “communal control without private ownership”. Therefore, we can form a kind of cooperation and collaboration of the whole world without appealing communal life, which means Zizek might stretch the intension and extension of the term “communism” so excessively that eliminated the character of the conception.

Then, we should understand the two concepts are not contrary but are two concepts having common opposite—moderate cooperation and collaboration. 

Human’s arrogance or Zizek’s?

​In his article, Zizek seemed to leave us only one choice, that is to accept the reinvented communism. However, we have explained that he stretched the intension of communism excessively. And if we consider communism further, we will find the legacy of reconstructing the Babel Tower leading directly to heaven and the historical process with which the human’s arrogance be filled. People have never given up the mind to build the tower because they have faith to gather and form a union of all the people, which is what communism tells us. But we must ask who will be gathered and in what way the union can be formed? And the more important question is what does forming to a human union actually mean?

​Perhaps, Zizek can’t answer these two questions, especially the latter one, because the pure union will offence the God, and disobey the rules of the world thoroughly, thus is both morally undesirable and practically impossible. Here, we confront the question again: is it human’s arrogance or Zizek’s?

Babel Tower


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