Zizek, Agamben, and Darwin’s Nightmare


Zizek, Agamben, and Darwin’s Nightmare


Agamben’s claim: a class of persons, Homo Sacer, is necessarily excluded from the ‘good life’ we strive for. In order for you and I to live good lives certain persons must be excluded, possibly to the point of death. Thus our ‘good’ lives are built on the bones of others. Agamben claims that in the type of world we inhabit we are all potential Homo Sacer.

Zizek’s claim: in order to function properly large ruling systems necessarily destroy the worlds, both physical and existential, of millions of lives. Through media and other mainstream, conformist agitprop devices, modern day instances of financial catastrophe, industrial catastrophe, ethnic wars in the ‘3rd world’, are considered accidents. Zizek disagrees: these are not accidents but the necessary results of the capitalist world we inhabit: in order for the system to function smoothly you and I must be shielded from this fact of necessary destruction, otherwise we might do something about it.

Your task for this essay: choose either Agamben or Zizek’s writings and apply it the situation seen in the film Darwin’s Nightmare.

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