Philosophy Today

Volume 67, Issue 3, Summer 2023

Special Topic: Hermann Levin Goldschmidt’s Contradiction Set Free

Lucas BallestínOrcid-ID
Pages 623-641

Žižek’s Politics of Fetishism

This article reconstructs Slavoj Žižek’s theory of ideology as a form of fetishistic disavowal. By seeking out Žižek’s relevant influences and clarifying them, the article seeks to make the theory of fetishistic disavowal in politics intelligible to a wider audience. Moreover, the article argues that the theory of ideology advanced by Žižek in this period of his work can be understood as a theory of unconscious defense, a fact that raises important questions about the utility of psychoanalysis for political philosophy. The article also considers issues pertaining to political belief, practical irrationality, and real abstraction.