Heaven in Disorder

Slavoj Žižek

We are in a state of chaos; living in an age marred by economic inequality, international tensions and a climate crisis. However, whilst Mao Zedong famously proclaimed “There is great disorder under heaven; the situation is excellent.”, Slavoj Zizek conte

Start Date: 27th February 2024
  • Slavoj Žižek

    Slavoj Žižek is a globally renowned philosopher and cultural critic. He is the author of The Sublime Object of Ideology and is the International Director of Humanities at Birkbeck.


About the Course

In an age of war, the aftermath of a pandemic and a climate crisis, Slavoj Žižek's shares his provocative analysis of the contemporary world. Žižek argues that the problems of the modern age, which he likens to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, provoke revolutionary momentum and change, yet crises in the world seem to deepen, and war seems to have no end in sight. Why is this the case? Žižek argues that our notions of belief, dogma, and reality all play a part.


By the end of the course, you will have learned:

- What the main driving forces of crises in our modern world are.

- The reasons why, while there is increasing information about crises such as hunger and war, solutions still seems out of reach.

- The role of structures and ideologies, including capitalism and liberalism in preventing necessary change.e.g. the role of the fetish in slowing down change.

- The potential opportunities and dangers presented by chaotic situations, and the implications for societal transformation.

- What available approaches to activism, political engagement, and collective action there are, informed by Žižek's philosophical insights


As part of the course there are in-video quiz questions to consolidate your learning, suggested further readings to stimulate a deeper exploration of the topic. IAI Academy courses are designed to be challenging but accessible to the interested student. No specialist knowledge is required.

About the Instructor

  • Slavoj Žižek

    Slavoj Žižek is a globally renowned philosopher and cultural critic. He is international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at the University of London, visiting professor at New York University and a senior researcher at the University of Ljubljana's Department of Philosophy. He is the author of several books, including The Sublime Object of Ideology, The Parallax View, Living in the End Times and Heaven in Disorder.


    Žižek has collaborated with filmmaker Sophie Fiennes on films including The Pervert's Guide to Cinema and The Pervert's Guide to Ideology, in which his interest in topics such as Lacanian psychoanalysis, German idealism and Communism is explored through the lens of popular entertainment. His unique style of philosophy, which is often imbued with humour and political incorrectness, has gained him admirers and critics across the globe.





Course Syllabus

  • Part One: The Current Chaos
    How have we arrived into a situation of chaos? What is the source of our growing political differences? And how has the political class failed its citizens?
  • Part Two: Combatting Chaos
    What lessons must we learn from our current chaos, and how can we put it right? How do we wrestle back control of the public space?