The win of Republican Donald Trump in the US presidential elections demonstrates the weakness of the “party of the establishment” and their failure to appeal to “ordinary people’s” interests, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek told RT. America’s only hope now is the “awakening” from the shock.
Saying that while he doesn’t favor Trump “for what he positively stands,””the real catastrophe” for the United States now is not the new president, but “the status quo,” Zizek said, adding that the country needs “an awakening.”
“I think it’s part of a general crisis of the western democratic system – people are confused, perplexed and full of fears. It opens up the space for right-wing populist regimes, but at the same time a space for more authentic left,” Zizek told RT.
The philosopher explained that he fears the “radical left might remain stuck into elitist academic mode of fighting for minorities and LGBT” rights while “almost totally ignoring the anxieties and fears of ordinary people.”
“We need to find appeal to them otherwise the right-wing racist populists will get them,” he said, adding that not just America but many European countries are currently in the same state of affairs.
“We are witnessing a terrifying earthquake, all political coordinates are being shaken up and this is the point of not losing nerves, as many liberals are doing now in the US,” Zizek said, adding that instead of panicking and spreading more anxiety, politicians should seize the moment and use it “for cold assessment and strategic thinking.”
“The democratic strategists totally misread why and in what way people identify with Trump,” he said. While the mainstream media often reported on his mistakes and failures, “claimed he was caught with his pants down,” it was “his embarrassment” that helped Trump win the elections, according to the philosopher.
“People perceived him as one of us precisely through his vulgarities and mistakes,” he suggested.
“As disgusted as I am with Donald Trump, I hope that precisely the shock of electing him will maybe trigger some restructuring of the political space where new options may emerge, like an authentic leftist movement around Bernie Sanders and others,” Zizek said.
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