Time for a dose of the surreal—Slavoj Zizek says Donald Trump is channeling spiritual genius:
Yurodivy is the Russian Orthodox version of the holy fool who feigns insanity so he can deliver a message so dangerous for those in power that, if stated directly, it would cause a brutal reaction. Do Donald Trump’s post-election tweets not sound precisely like a holy fool’s ramblings? “Let’s fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy! We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. We should have a revolution in this country!”
Although Trump is in no way a radical leftist, it is easy to discern in his tweets the doubt about “bourgeois formal democracy” usually attributed to the radical left: superficial freedoms mask the power of elites that enforce their will through media control and manipulations.
Not that I’m an expert on attaining that height of piety, but you’d have imagined being a “holy fool” generally presupposed a certain level of, er, continence. Or at least a kind of interior order and spirit of abnegation; somehow I can’t picture Zosima meditating in the shiny atrium of Trump Tower. But maybe it’s just the plastic palm trees throwing me off images of Russian winter.
Zizek’s zany brand of religion-appropriating postmodernism gets bonus points, of course, for his inability to resist hurling the epithet “bourgeois” at his critics (though the T. S. Eliot reference almost makes up for it). Buried under all that is an article making the kind of old-fashioned left-wing criticism of the security state we’ve heard curiously little of since President Obama essentially adopted his predecessor’s policies (and then some), but on the whole this is just a pretty good example of why so many, even in academia, are now over postmodernism. All “play” and no work makes for mere frivolity.