Can we find a silver lining in the toxic cloud? The Slovenian pop-culture philosopher-pundit Slavoj Žižek offers a Rahm Emanuel-ism in an interview, hoping that this crisis will not be allowed to go to waste. Žižek thinks that Europe is about to get devastated by a “perfect storm,” pressured by the virus on one side and the refugee crisis on the other. Out of this Žižek hopes to see a reemergence of . . . Communism.
Žižek adds that he is thinking of the good kind of Communism, not the mass-murdery thing that has obtained wherever it has been implemented. “That’s what I mean when I say coronavirus gives a new chance to Communism,” he told The Spectator USA. He continues:
Of course, I don’t mean the old-style communism. By communism, I mean simply what the World Health Organization is saying. We should mobilize, coordinate, and so on . . . like, my God, this is a dangerous situation. They’re saying this country lacks masks, respirators, and so on. We should treat this as a war. Some kind of European coordination . . . maybe even wartime mobilization. It can be done, and it can even boost productivity.
Because if there’s one thing we know always results from Communism, it’s a high level of productivity. He goes on: “It is possible to keep the good sides of capitalism, but nonetheless, through a coordinated state, social effort to mobilize. Not just with coronavirus, this is needed with other ecological crises, refugees and so on.” This sounds pretty incoherent to me. Keep capitalism but also have Communism? So he wants Communism lite, one-calorie Communism? Capitalist Communism? Democratic Communism?