In the second of a two-part interview, this time held on 15th July 2021 for the On Contact show broadcast on RT America, Chris Hedges continues his discussion with philosopher Slavoj Žižek about the social, political and psychological consequences of the prolonged lockdown, social distancing, and mass illness and death caused by the pandemic.
In his new book Pandemic 2: Chronicles of a Time Lost, Žižek argues the failure of global capitalism to cope with the pandemic presages, he fears, systems collapse, a dress rehearsal for a frightening form of authoritarianism where the world is starkly divided between the elites and the rest of us. He writes “The return to normality thus becomes the supreme psychotic gesture, the sign of collective madness.”
Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is the host of the Emmy Award-nominated RT America show On Contact.
Slavoj Žižek is a Philosopher and Psychoanalytic social theorist. He is Senior Researcher at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana; Professor at the School of Law and Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London; Distinguished Scholar at the Kyung Hee University, Seoul; and Visiting Professor at the German Department, New York University. His field of work comprises Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, dialectical-materialist metaphysical interpretations of German Idealism and Marxian critique of ideology. His more than sixty books in English have been widely translated. His latest publications include Pandemic! & Pandemic! 2, Hegel in a Wired Brain, Sex and the Failed Absolute, Like A Thief In Broad Daylight, Reading Marx, Incontinence of the Void, and The Day After the Revolution.