The Pervert’s Guide to Political Philosophy: Agonism and the Ontology of Power
(2022) Critical Horizons
This article is a slightly modified version of the first part of Chapter 4 of Revoluciones sin sujeto. Slavoj Žižek’s y la crítica del historicismo posmoderno (Madrid: Akal, 2015) translated by Douglas Kristopher Smith and Nicolas Lema Habash. This text seeks to overcome the scission between Slavoj Žižek and Michel Foucault by challenging the notion that Foucault lacks an ontology of power, beyond contingent historical processes. By exposing the underlying Nietzschean relational ontology of struggle—as distinct from a fundamental, positive grounding—in Foucault’s work, the piece shows how this aspect has been largely misunderstood—including by Žižek himself. Furthermore, it demonstrates how this agonistic ontology of human experience can serve to shed light on Žižek’s notion of the incompleteness of the subject by bringing it into the realm of politics. © Critical Horizons Pty Ltd 2022.
agonism; foucault; political thought; transcendental subject; Žižek