‘Sarajevo: State in Time | A story of Laibach & NSK’ by Benjamin Jung, Théo Meurisse


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Besieged Sarajevo, 1995.

The inhabitants have now been living under the siege for three years and their daily life has become a nightmare due to the shellfire and the snipers.

While many are joining the fights, another form of resistance is rising: culture allows people to claim their humanity. While listening to a concert, watching a play or a film, people forget the isolation, the noise of the bombs and starvation.

In this atmosphere of humanitarian and artistic emergency, the industrial punk band Laibach and the artists of NSK (“Neue Slowenische Kunst”, New Slovenian Art) traveled across burning ex-Yugoslavia to Sarajevo to proclaim the city as a territory of the NSK State in Time. They performed two shows, brought art exhibitions and gave away passports that helped the locals to get through the blockade imposed on the city.

SARAJEVO: STATE IN TIME gives the floor to those who wrote this history and those who experienced the event, considered as one of the most important of the siege.

Profoundly European and drawing a parallel with the recent struggles the continent is experiencing, the film shows the power of cultural resistance against violence, nationalism and war.


‘Hegel On The Future, Hegel In The Future’ by Slavoj Žižek


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“The claim I want to defend is that Hegel is the philosopher most open to the future precisely because he explicitly prohibits any project of how our future should look. As he says towards the end of the Preface to his Philosophy of Right (1820), philosophy can only paint ‘grey on grey’, and “The owl of Minerva begins its flight only with the falling of dusk.” That is, philosophy only retrospectively translates, into a ‘grey’ (lifeless) conceptual scheme, a form of life which has already reached its peak and has entered its decline – which is becoming ‘grey’ itself. To put it simply and brutally, this is why we should reject all those readings of Hegel which see in his thought an implicit model of a future society reconciled with itself, leaving behind the alienations of modernity. . .”

‘Masterclass on Jacques Lacan: A Lateral Introduction’ by Slavoj Žižek

A four week course delivered in 2006 at Birkbeck, University of London.

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In 2000, the 100th anniversary of the publication of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams was accompanied by a new wave of triumphalist acclamations of how psychoanalysis is dead: with the new advances in brain sciences, it is finally put where it belonged all the time, to the lumber-room of pre-scientific obscurantist search for hidden meanings, alongside religious confessors and dream-readers.

There is something to these accusations. The story of three successive humiliations of man, the three “narcissistic illnesses”, (“Copernicus-Darwin-Freud”) was given a new turn in the last decades: the latest scientific breakthroughs seem to add to it a whole series of further “humiliations” which radicalize the first three, so that, with regard to today’s “brain sciences”, psychoanalysis rather seems to belong to the traditional “humanist” field threatened by the latest humiliations. Is, then, psychoanalysis today outdated? It seems that it is, on three interconnected levels: (1) that of scientific knowledge, where the cognitivist-neurolobiologist model of human mind appears to supersede the Freudian model; (2) that of psychiatric clinic, where psychoanalytic treatment is rapidly losing ground against chemotherapy and behavioral therapy; (3) that of the social context, where the image of society, of social norms, which “repress” individual’s sexual drives, no longer appears valid with regard to today’s predominant hedonistic permissiveness.

It contrast to these “evident” truths, the aim of the course is to demonstrate the exact opposite: not only is psychoanalysis not veraltet – it is only today that its time has arrived, that Freud’s key insights gain their full value – on condition that one reads Freud through Lacan, through his “return to Freud” which is not the return to Freud as he was, but to what was “in Freud more than himself”, the traumatic core of the Freudian discovery of which he himself was not fully aware.

The course followed the fundamental rule of excluding all clinical stuff. Lacan was first and foremost a clinician, and clinic permeates everything he wrote and did: even when Lacan reads Plato, Aquinas, Hegel, or Kierkegaard, it is always in order to deal with a precise clinical problem (Plato for transference, Aquinas for symptom, Hegel for the dialectic of the progress of treatment, Kierkegaard for repetition). Our wager is that this very all-pervasiveness of clinic allows us to exclude it: precisely because clinic is everywhere, one can erase it and limit oneself to its effects, to the way it colors everything that appears non-clinical – this is the true test of its central place.

The four weeks course thus provided a Lacanian reading of four domains of humanities and social sciences: first week, philosophy and theology (Hegel, Kierkegaard, Heidegger); second week, science (contemporary cognitivists and evolutionists, from Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker); third week, theories of ideology (from Marx to analyzing today’s “fundamentalism”); last week, theories of art (cinema and literature : Henry James, Samuel Beckett, David Lynch, Lars von Trier). The overall aim is to demonstrate the strength of the Lacanian approach, through polemical confrontations with other predominant trends, from cognitivism to deconstructionism.

‘Civilization and Its Discontents’ & ‘Totem and Taboo’

This audiobook edition published by Ukemi Audiobooks in 2019 and read by Martyn Swain.

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Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) is remembered as the father of psychoanalysis. Civilization and Its Discontents (1930) is one of his key works. In it he considers the conflict between the needs of the individual acting both egotistically and altruistically in the pursuit of happiness and the myriad demands of civilised society and the ensuing tensions this clash of needs and demands generates.

Consequently it remains a key text for anyone wishing to understand the breadth and depth of Freud’s thinking on the human condition. His analysis of the modern human’s situation, forced to repress and sublimate innate natural, sexual drives in order to satisfy society’s seemingly endless requirements, and the conflicts and consequences for mental health inherent in this, make it as relevant today as when it was written. 

In Totem and Taboo (1913) Freud made what he called a first attempt at explaining problems of racial psychology and addressing neurotic symptoms as mental and emotional maladjustments to experience and environment. He hoped thereby to deepen the understanding of the mind by investigating its manifestations in primitive, noncivilised humans as documented by a range of writers and investigators in the scientific disciplines of sociology, anthropology and psychology.

The work consists of four essays. This essential text is an ambitious undertaking because in it Freud seeks to unravel the mysteries of myth and religion by investigating the nature and qualities of sacrifice and the sacred, the primal myth and the parts these play in the generation of prohibitions, transgressions, guilt experience and expiation, as states and processes.

Freud delves into the work of the great minds of his day, engaging with J. G. Frazer’s The Golden Bough and Totemism and Exogamy, Reinach’s Code du Totemisme, W. Wundt’s Elements of the Psychology of Race and a host of others.

He considers the nominalistic, sociological and psychological theories they postulated. This was the investigation that led him to conclude that ‘the beginnings of religion, ethics, society and art meet in the Oedipus complex’. This work would accelerate the split with his longtime colleague C. J. Jung, partly as result of the states and processes he identifies in primitive religions, belief systems and thought processes which he traces from the earliest times through Greek tragedy and medieval Passion plays up to the 20th century. This led him to articulate the importance of the interplay of the individual psyche with the psyche of the mass, as well as to develop the notion of intergenerational psychic continuity and the linked processes of thinking, doing and inhibition. This would later be refined in Civilization and Its Discontents

Civilization and Its Discontents is translated by Joan Riviere. Totem and Taboo is translated by A. A. Brill.

‘Group Psychology And The Analysis Of The Ego’ by Sigmund Freud | AudioBook

This audiobook edition published by Partner Audio LLC in 2019 and read by Steven Crossley.

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In Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Freud examines phenomena such as the herd instinct, the occurrence of what he terms “artificial” groups including the church and the army, and the role of the libido in groups. The question he addresses here is, What are the emotional bonds that hold collective entities, such as an army and a church, together? It is a fruitful question, and Freud offers some interesting answers. But Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego stands chiefly as an invitation to further psychoanalytic exploration. Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego by Sigmund Freud was first published in 1921 in German as Massenpsychologie und Ich-Analyse.

This audiobook is based on the authorized English translation by James Strachey which was published a year later in 1922. All of Freud’s footnotes have been retained and inserted in the main text. The translator’s footnotes which related primarily to word choice and translation decisions have not been included. A translator’s note to the print edition states that all technical terms have been translated in accordance with the glossary to be published as a supplement to the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis.

Please note: Freud made some slight changes and additions in the later editions of this work, and the translator made a considerably altered version of the translation on or about 1940.

Slavoj Žižek: ‘Moebius Strip, Crosscap, Klein Bottle: The Twisted Space of Subjectivity’ | October 20, 2017

In a talk prepared for the LACK II Conference at Colorado College the philosopher Slavoj Žižek delivered a talk on the Moebius Strip, the Crosscap and the Klein Bottle, which are topologic shapes taken from Lacanian theory and developed also in his works, most notably in his theoretical work Sex and the Failed Absolute published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2019.

‘German Philosophy 1760-1860: The Legacy of Idealism’ by Terry Pinkard

Published by Cambridge University Press in 2002.

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In the second half of the eighteenth century, German philosophy dominated European philosophy, changing the way Europeans and people all over the world conceived of themselves and thought about nature, religion, human history, politics, and the structure of the human mind. In this rich and wide-ranging book, Terry Pinkard interweaves the story of “Germany”—changing during this period from a loose collection of principalities into a newly-emerged nation with a distinctive culture–with an examination of the currents and complexities of its developing philosophical thought. He examines the dominant influence of Kant, with his revolutionary emphasis on “self-determination,” and traces this influence through the development of romanticism and idealism to the critiques of post-Kantian thinkers such as Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard. His book will interest a range of readers in the history of philosophy, cultural history and the history of ideas.


Terry Pinkard is professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University and is the author of the acclaimed Hegel: A Biography (Cambridge, 2000). He is honorary Professor of the Philosophy Faculty of TÜbingen University, Germany and serves on the advisory board for the Zeitschrift fÜr Philosophique Forschung.

‘Hegel: A Biography’ by Terry Pinkard

Published by Cambridge University Press in 2011.

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One of the founders of modern philosophical thought Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) has gained the reputation of being one of the most abstruse and impenetrable of thinkers. This major biography of Hegel offers not only a complete account of the life, but also a perspicuous overview of the key philosophical concepts in Hegel’s work in a style that will be accessible to professionals and non-professionals alike. Terry Pinkard situates Hegel firmly in the historical context of his times. The story of that life is of an ambitious, powerful thinker living in a period of great tumult dominated by the figure of Napoleon. The Hegel who emerges from this account is a complex, fascinating figure of European modernity, who offers us a still compelling examination of that new world born out of the political, industrial, social, and scientific revolutions of his period.

‘Hegel’s Phenomenology: The Sociality of Reason‘ by Terry Pinkard

Published by Cambridge University Press in 2008.

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This book develops an independent philosophical account of the general theory of knowledge, culture, and history contained in it. Written in a clear and straightforward style, the book reconstructs Hegel’s theoretical philosophy and shows its connection to the ethical and political theory. Terry Pinkard sets the work in a historical context and reveals the contemporary relevance of Hegel’s thought to European and Anglo-American philosophers.

‘Hegel’s Dialectic: The Explanation of Possibility’ by Terry Pinkard

Published by Temple University Press in 1988.

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Hegel is one of the most often cited and least read of all major philosophers. He is alternately regarded as the best and the worst that philosophy has produced. Nobody, however, disputes his influence. In Hegel’s Dialectic, Terry Pinkard offers a new interpretation of Hegel’s program that assesses his conception of the role of philosophy, his method, and some of the specific theses that he defended. Hegel’s dialectic is interpreted as offering explanations of the possibility of basic categories. Pinkard argues that the traditional standard reading of Hegel as the esoteric metaphysician of Absolute Spirit overlooks major elements of his thought. In presenting this alternative reading of Hegel, Pinkard offers a new understanding of the role of history in Hegel’s thought and a new perspective on his moral and political thought. Departing from the tradition of explicating Hegel exclusively in Hegelian terms, Pinkard discusses the much disputed philosopher in a way that is accessible and appealing to both analytic and non-analytic philosophers. Hegel’s Dialectic is not just an interpretation of Hegel’s thought: it is also a reconstruction and defense of Hegel’s philosophy as having something of importance to say to late twentieth-century philosophers.