Slavoj Zizek: The Delusion of Green Capitalism

Truth Hurts

Most viewers, I imagine, will choose to beat a hasty retreat into the deep comforting folds of rejection and denial. "I am not like that", is likely to be the internal reaffirming mantra cycling through as a conceit within most every good Liberal's kitsch bleeding heart.

Milan Kundera defines kitsch as  "the absolute denial of shit" —a literal statement of objective fact.  

His other definition though, is a pièce de résistance: 

"Kitsch causes two tears to flow in quick succession. The first tear says: How nice to see children running on the grass! The second tear says: How nice to be moved, together with all mankind, by children running on the grass! It is the second tear that makes kitsch kitsch."

Been there myself. Sure hurts, but it's a small price to pay for confronting one's own kitsch, and engaging a liberating rite of passage. 

Additionally, when one considers that Kundera's quotes are bound to the theory of totalitarianism, the state of the state we find ourselves in becomes that much clearer and clamors for attention. So for additional clarity's sake let's also add this one.

[…] kitsch functions by excluding from view everything that humans find difficult with which to come to terms, offering instead a sanitized view of the world, in which "all answers are given in advance and preclude any questions".

In its desire to paper over the complexities and contradictions of real life, kitsch, Kundera suggested, is intimately linked with totalitarianism. In a healthy democracy, diverse interest groups compete and negotiate with one another to produce a generally acceptable consensus; by contrast, "everything that infringes on kitsch," including individualism, doubt, and irony, "must be banished for life" in order for kitsch to survive. Therefore, Kundera wrote, "Whenever a single political movement corners power we find ourselves in the realm of totalitarian kitsch." — Kitsch, Wikipedia


Slavoj Zizek: The Delusion of Green Capitalism

  • lafontaine

    One very minor caveat (and it doesn’t really take away from Z’s argument: That organic apple is actually healthier – according to research. Go to and see for yourself.