CCLXXXVI

“The history of capitalism is a long history of how the predominant ideo­ logical political framework was able to accommodate (and to soften the subversive edge of) the movements and demands that seemed to threaten its very survival. Say, for a long time, sexual libertarians thought that monogamous sexual repression is necessary for the survival of capitalism – now we know that capitalism can not only tolerate, but even actively incite and exploit forms of ‘perverse’ sexuality, not to mention promiscuous indulgence in sexual pleasures. However, the conclusion to be drawn from it is not that capitalism has the end­ less ability to integrate and thus cut off the subversive edge of all par­ ticular demands – the question of timing, of ‘seizing the moment,’ is crucial here. A certain particular demand possesses, at a certain moment, the global detonating power, it functions as a metaphorical substitute for the global revolution. If we unconditionally insist on it, the system will explode. If, however, we wait too long, the metaphori­ cal short-circuit between this particular demand and the global over­ throw is dissolved, and the System can, with sneering hypocritical satisfaction, make the gesture of ‘You wanted this? Here you have it!’ without anything really radical happening.” (Slavoj Zizek. “From History and Class Consciousness to The Dialectic of Enlightenment…and Back,” pg. 13 (of my pdf))

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