Bernard-Henri Levy, France's "rock-star philosopher," and Slavoj Zizek, the Slovanian "Elvis of cultural theory," will scrutinize the totalitarianisms of the past as well as those of the future, as they argue for a new political and moral vision for our times and investigate the limits of tolerance.
Does the advent of capitalism cause more violence than it prevents? Is there violence in the simple idea of the neighbor? asks Zizek in Violence: Six Sideways Reflections.
Are human rights Western or Universal? How is it that progressives themselves-those who in the past defended individual rights and fought fascism-have now become the breeding ground for new kinds of dangerous attitudes? asks Lévy in Left in Dark Times: A Stand Against New Barbarism- New York Public Library
Paul Holdengräber is the Director of LIVE from the NYPL.
Bernard-Henri Levy is a philosopher, journalist, activist, and filmmaker. He was hailed by Vanity Fair magazine as "Superman and prophet: we have no equivalent in the United States."
Among his dozens of books are American Vertigo, Barbarism with a Human Face, and Who Killed Daniel Pearl? His writing has appeared in a wide range of publications throughout Europe and the United States. His films include the documentaries Bosna! and A Day in the Death of Sarajevo.
Levy is co-founder of the antiracist group SOS Racism and has served on diplomatic missions for the French government.
Slavoj Zizek, born 1949 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Senior Researcher at Birkbeck College, University of London, is a Hegelian Philosopher, Lacanian psychoanalyst, Christian atheist, Communist political activist, and he thinks these four features are four aspects of one and the same Cause. His latest publications are: in philosophy The Parallax View, in psychoanalysis How to Read Lacan, in theology The Monstrosity of Christ, and in politics Living at the End Times.
Area (pop., 2009 est.: 2,733,000 [including 305,000 Israeli Jews]), west of the Jordan River and east of Jerusalem. Covering an area of about 2,278 sq mi (5,900 sq km), excluding east Jerusalem, the territory is also known within Israel by its biblical names, Judaea and Samaria. It is a region with deep history, forming the heart of historic Palestine. Populated areas include Nablus, Hebron, Bethlehem, and Jericho. Under a 1947 UN agreement, most of what is now the West Bank was to become part of a Palestinian state. When the State of Israel was formed, the Arabs attacked Israel (seeArab-Israeli wars), and the partition plan was never adopted. Following a truce, Jordan remained in control of the area and annexed it in 1950. Israel subsequently occupied it during the Six-Day War of 1967. During the 1970s and '80s Israel established settlements there, provoking resentment among the Arab population and protest from the international community. Arab uprisings began in 1987 in the Gaza Strip and spread to the West Bank (seeintifadah). Jordan relinquished its claims in 1988, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) assumed power. Secret meetings between the PLO and Israel in 1993 led to an end of violence and an agreement granting Palestinian self-rule in parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Further negotiations to resolve outstanding issues proceeded intermittently in the 1990s but broke down amid renewed violence in late 2000. In 2007, clashes between leading Palestinian parties Hamas and Fatah and the failure of a coalition government led to Hamas's taking control of the Gaza Strip and a Fatah-led emergency cabinet taking control of the West Bank.
I'm reluctant to say this as a generalism but the French are insufferable here. The host/MC is a sycophant of the highest order. If manners are about direct eye engagement then Bernard is a philistine of courtesy being fellated by pygmy of enlightenment.