On Ecology by Slavoj Zizek

Slavoj Zizek is one of my favourite contemporary philosophers where he is known as the “Elvis Presley” of philosophy. He often brings new and radical insights to various problems in the world today. Below is a link to Zizek’s documentary “Examined Life” where it shows a 10 minute clip about Zizek’s opinions about ecology.

In the short clip, Zizek firstly contends that the idea of ‘nature’ does not exist where ‘nature’ is seen as organic, balanced, harmonious and reproducing; almost like an organism, which is then disturbed by human interference. ‘Nature’ to Zizek is on the contrary, a series of catastrophe.

Secondly, ecology today has become the new opium of the masses. Zizek draws links between ecology and religion whereby ecology takes over the role of conservative ideology which is a general distrust of change, such as issues regarding biogenetic developments, DNA which is deemed as ‘too much’ for it will disrupt nature. That, he contends is ecology today.

Third, in our technological and artificial environments are alienated from natural environments and that we should keep to our roots with nature and not merely exploit it. The paradox Zizek then raises is that we all understand the problems of the environment today with global warming and climate change et cetera but yet we do not act upon the impending disasters. He claims that there is a disavowal; which means “I know every well but I act as if I don’t know”. Yet despite knowing that the things around us are in danger, we are not able to believe in it as we are not evolutionary to image a catastrophe in that magnitude. As such, Zizek being his radical self, states that the solution here is to cut off even more of our roots in nature and we need more alienation from nature and become more artificial.

“The difficult thing here is to develop poetry and spirituality in this dimension; the love for trash itself. Love is not to idealize but rather, to accept it with all the failures and nonetheless it is still absolute for us. Seeing perfection in imperfection itself; that is how we should love the world.

Till ecologists love all of this”:

(Image Credits: http://www.visibletrash.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Vis-trash.jpg)