Defining the Left: 'Humanity is OK, But 99% of People Are Boring Idiots'

The leftist U.K. rag The Guardian published a headline that really defines the Left, in an interview with a "complicated Marxist" philosopher from Slovenia. It reads: "Slavoj  Zizek: 'Humanity is OK, but 99% of people are boring idiots'."

Despite this line, Guardian writer Decca Aitkenhead explained he's become a "global-recession celebrity, drawing crowds of adoring followers who revere him as an intellectual genius." In the United States, he was a guest last fall on PBS's Charlie Rose and reverently interviewed three times by the taxpayer-supported hard-left Pacifica Radio network, including one headlined "Everybody in the World Except US Citizens Should Be Allowed to Vote and Elect the American Government." Get a load of this self-professed madman:

To his critics, as one memorably put it, he is the Borat of philosophy, churning out ever more outrageous statements for scandalous effect. "The problem with Hitler was that he was not violent enough," for example, or "I am not human. I am a monster." Some dismiss him as a silly controversialist; others fear him as an agitator for neo-Marxist totalitarianism. But since the financial crisis he has been elevated to the status of a global-recession celebrity, drawing crowds of adoring followers who revere him as an intellectual genius. His popularity is just the sort of paradox  izek delights in because if it were down to him, he says, he would rather not talk to anyone.

You wouldn't guess so from the energetic flurry of good manners with which he welcomes us, but he's quick to clarify that his attentiveness is just camouflage for misanthropy. "For me, the idea of hell is the American type of parties. Or, when they ask me to give a talk, and they say something like, 'After the talk there will just be a small reception' – I know this is hell. This means all the frustrated idiots, who are not able to ask you a question at the end of the talk, come to you and, usually, they start: 'Professor Zizek, I know you must be tired, but …' Well, fuck you. If you know that I am tired, why are you asking me?

I'm really more and more becoming Stalinist. Liberals always say about totalitarians that they like humanity, as such, but they have no empathy for concrete people, no? OK, that fits me perfectly. Humanity? Yes, it's OK – some great talks, some great arts. Concrete people? No, 99% are boring idiots."

Most of all, he can't stand students. "Absolutely. I was shocked, for example, once, a student approached me in the US, when I was still teaching a class – which I will never do again – and he told me: 'You know, professor, it interested me what you were saying yesterday, and I thought, I don't know what my paper should be about. Could you please give me some more thoughts and then maybe some idea will pop up.' F--k him! Who I am to do that?"

Zizek has had to quit most of his teaching posts in Europe and America, to get away from these intolerable students. "I especially hate when they come to me with personal problems. My standard line is: 'Look at me, look at my tics, don't you see that I'm mad? How can you even think about asking a mad man like me to help you in personal problems, no?'"

Unsurprisingly, Zizek also says he never wanted to be a parent, although he has two sons. Leftists – they love the abstract idea of humanity, but can’t stand real-life humans.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis