Virtue and Terror
In this dazzling new series, philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Zizek interrogates key writings on revolution.
Robespierre's defense of the French Revolution remains one of the most powerful and unnerving justifications for political violence ever written, and has extraordinary resonance in a world obsessed with terrorism and appalled by the language of its proponents. Yet today, the French Revolution is celebrated as the event which gave birth to a nation built on the principles of enlightenment So how should a contemporary audience approach Robespierre's vindication of revolutionary terror? Zizek takes a helter-skelter route through these contradictions, marshalling all the breadth of analogy for which he is famous.
"If the spring of popular government in time of peace is virtue, the springs of popular government in revolution are at once virtue and terror: virtue, without which terror is fatal; terror, without which virtue is powerless."Robespierre
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Reign of Terror
Robespierre is today depicted as a sexless fanatic who invented modern terrorism. His own words reveal he was a fearless critic of tradition and incorruptibly committed to liberty: a million miles from today’s webcam jihadists...
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