Slavoj Žižek’s Influences

What follows is a brief list of major influences on the work of philosopher Slavoj Žižek.

The Big Three:

The Second Tier:


From the arts:


Fellow travelers (not influences as such): Alenka Zupancic, Mladen Dolar, Jodi Dean, Joan Copjec, Rex Butler

See also bibliography of overview books

Txema Guijarro – Selling Out Julian Assange

Link to an interview with Txema Guijarro, conducted by Eoghan Gilmartin and Tommy Greene:

“Selling Out Julian Assange”


Bonus links: “I Was Fired for Helping Julian Assange, and I Have No Regrets” and “The Guardian Forced to Clarify Misleading Article on Assange and Russia”

Michael Hudson – Food Blackmail, the Washington Consensus and Freedom

Link to an interview of Michael Hudson summarizing his essential books Super Imperialism and Trade, Development and Foreign Debt, conducted by Bonnie Faulkner:

“Food Blackmail, the Washington Consensus and Freedom” and

“De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire”


This interview provides an excellent summary of many of the main points of Hudson’s books.  For a latter-day treatment of a portion of these topics, see also The Global Minotaur and “Imperialism in a Coffee Cup.”

Peter Greene – Winners Take All, Education Edition

Link to a review by Peter Greene of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (2018) by Anand Giridharadas:

“Winners Take All, Education Edition”


Bonus links: “Social Service or Social Change?” and “Education, Jobs and Capitalism” and Summary of Dupuy on Social Hierarchy and Slavoj Žižek On Political Struggle and “Democracy Is the Enemy” and Oscar Wilde Quote and Review of The New Prophets of Capital and Critique of Cynical Reason and “Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas Review – Superb Hate-reading”

Nils Melzer – Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange

Link to an article by Nils Melzer:

“Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange”


Bonus links: “UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer Exposes Propaganda and Censorship in Assange Reporting” and “Collapse of Swedish ‘Sexual Misconduct’ Frame-up Exposes Political Conspiracy Against Assange” and Melzer September 2019 Report and “UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer: ‘With Censorship Inevitably Comes Tyranny'” and “Spying on Assange: the Spanish Case Takes a Turn”

Mertonian CUDOS-norms

Link to Robert Merton’s four norms that constitute “four sets of institutional imperatives taken to comprise the ethos of modern science… communism, universalism, disinterestedness, and organized skepticism.” (CUDOS is the acronym):

“Four Mertonian Norms”


(contrast that with this: “Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex”)

Marcie Smith – Gene Sharp, the Cold War Intellectual Whose Ideas Seduced the Left

Link to an interview of Marcie Smith, conducted by Branko Marcetic:

“Gene Sharp, the Cold War Intellectual Whose Ideas Seduced the Left”


Bonus links: Non-violence: A History Beyond the Myth and War and Revolution: Rethinking the Twentieth Century and Violence and “Things That Can and Cannot Be Said” and Crowds and Party and The Idiot Pool and Walter Benn Michaels on Neoliberalism and The State and Revolution


Bonus quotes:

“rich and powerful men engage in what the writer Kevin Roose has called ‘anarchist cheerleading,’ in keeping with their carefully crafted image as rebels against the authorities. To call for a terrain without rules in the way they do, to dabble in the anarchist cheerleading, may be to sound like you wish for a new world of freedom on the behalf of humankind. But a long line of thinkers has told us that the powerful tend to be the big winners from the creation of a blank-slate, rules-free world.

“The self-styled entrepreneur-rebels were actually seeking to overturn a major project of the Enlightenment– the development of universal rules that applied evenly to all…”

Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (2018)

“The assumption is that the fight against these excesses should take place in the familiar liberal-democratic frame. The (explicit or implied) goal is to democratise capitalism, to extend democratic control over the global economy, through the pressure of media exposure, parliamentary inquiries, harsher laws, police investigations etc. What goes unquestioned is the institutional framework of the bourgeois democratic state. This remains sacrosanct even in the most radical forms of ‘ethical anti-capitalism’ – the Porto Allegre forum, the Seattle movement and so on. ***

“Badiou was right to say that the name of the ultimate enemy today is not capitalism, empire, exploitation or anything of the kind, but democracy: it is the ‘democratic illusion’, the acceptance of democratic mechanisms as the only legitimate means of change, which prevents a genuine transformation in capitalist relations.”

Slavoj Žižek, “Democracy Is the Enemy”