Slavoj Žižek’s response to the campaign against Syriza

The campaign against SYRIZA in the days before elections is getting nastier and nastier – since our enemies control the big media, they can permit themselves direct lies, knowing that our answer cannot reach the same wide public. They feel free to project onto us all their secret obscene dreams and wishes, up to the threat of a police terror.

But we should stay calm. Our critics hate us because, secretly, they know we have the courage to act as free people. When we are in the eyes of the public, those who observe us understand, for the flash of an instant, that we are offering them freedom, dignity and solidarity. For that instant, our critics are free, they feel one with us, but it is only a moment; fear returns and they hate us again because, in their spirit, they are slaves afraid of their own freedom.

There is an (apocryphal, for sure) anecdote about the exchange of telegrams between German and Austrian army headquarters in the middle of the First World War: the Germans sent the message “Here, on our part of the front, the situation is serious, but not catastrophic,” to which the Austrians replied “Here, the situation is catastrophic, but not serious.” This is the true difference between Syriza and others: for the others, the situation is catastrophic but not serious, they want to continue with things as usual, while for Syriza, the situation is serious but not catastrophic, since courage and hope should replace fear.

Syriza is not a bunch of dangerous “extremists.” Syriza is here to bring pragmatic common sense, to clear the mess created by others. It is those who impose austerity measures that are dangerous dreamers – we are not dreamers, we are the awakening from a dream which is turning into a nightmare.



at Cafe Oto London


5.30pm Friday 15 June 2012 – 5.30pm Saturday 16 June 2012


Tickets for entry to the Zizek talk are now SOLD OUT. Entry after 10.30pm is £4 or free for reading participants. Entry for all is free from 7am on Saturday…


History is made at night: A 24-hour event to launch Less Than Nothing Seminar, talk and reading of Slavoj Žižek’s masterwork on the Hegelian legacy

We are pleased to be working with Verso to present History is made at night: a special event over 24 hours to launch Less Than Nothing, the new book by the radical philosopher, polymath, film star and cult icon,Slavoj Žižek.

The event will start with a seminar introducing the thought of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel given by philosopher and writer Iain Hamilton Grant. Žižek will then give a talk, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions and have books signed during a break after the talk.

“Only when the dusk starts to fall does the owl of Minerva spread its wings and fly.”Hegel, Philosophy of Right

An overnight read-in for night owls and dreamers will begin at 10.30pm: a collective event of reading and performing philosophy, bringing into play the questions around language, subjectivity and experience explored in the book.

Sign up to take part in the reading here. Verso will send you a confirmation email once they have worked out the precise schedule.


17.30 (Friday): Doors open
18.30-19.30: Introducing Hegel—a seminar with Iain Hamilton Grant
20.00-21.30: Talk by Slavoj Žižek & book signing
21.30-22.30: Break & doors open for reading
22.30 (Friday)-17.30 (Saturday): Readings from Less Than Nothing

£12: Entrance to Žižek’s talk. This ticket price also allows you to stay all night for the readings.

£4 on the door: Anyone not signed up to take part for the reading only.

Free: Saturday daytime will be free from 7am until closing.

Other information:

Less Than Nothing will be available to buy at a special discount. Žižek’s other books will also be available to buy.

We have secured a 24-hour license and will also be serving coffee and tea all throughout the event. Hackney council, incidentally, was much puzzled by the notion of a 24-hour book launch.

Feel free to bring pillows and cushions.



8 responses to “Slavoj Žižek’s response to the campaign against Syriza

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