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Newsweek: "Did Marxist Philosophy Superstar Slavoj Žižek Plagiarize a White Nationalist Journal?"

From Newsweek:

Did Marxist Philosophy Superstar Slavoj Žižek Plagiarize a White Nationalist Journal?

By Taylor Wofford

Filed: 7/11/14 at 3:18 PM

Slavoj Žižek, one of the most widely known Marxist philosophers of the 21st century, has been accused of plagiarism by The American Renaissance, a conservative magazine focusing on “race and racial conflict” that the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a white nationalist hate group.

By the way, it would be wise for the media to stop assuming that the Southern Poverty Law Center is a disinterested authority, and instead notice that the SPLC has a very lucrative gig organizing the expression of hate toward targets of its choice. You might almost say it is America’s most successful hate group. That’s one of those huge ironies that deconstructionists never to seem to get around to deconstructing. But, let’s get back to poor old Žižek.

Žižek’s bombastic style and frequent forays into criticism of popular culture have earned him a large following. The International Journal of Žižek Studies, whose purported mission is “investigating, elaborating and critiquing the work of Slavoj Žižek,” called him “the Elvis of cultural theory.” The author of more than 70 books, Žižek is a frequent contributor to The Guardian and is the subject of three films: Žižek!, The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema and The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology.

Which makes Žižek a big scalp if you are a conservative commentator. On July 9 conservative blogger Steve Sailer called attention to a book review written by Žižek in 2006. “A Plea for a Return to Différance (with a Minor Pro Domo Sua)”, a review of [more of a broad essay touching upon] The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements by Kevin MacDonald, was published in 2006 in Critical Inquiry by the University of Chicago Press.

Sailer wrote, “The superstar professor achieves a higher degree of clarity while expounding MacDonald’s message than in any other passage I’ve read by Žižek.”

One of my commenters, IHTG deserves credit for quickly suggesting, “That’s really weird. It looks like he copy-pasted somebody else’s summary.”

Later the same day, a blogger writing under the name Deogolwulf posted a side-by-side comparison of passages from Žižek’s review and another review of MacDonald’s book by Stanley Hornbeck that appeared in the March 1999 issue of The American Renaissance. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, The American Renaissance “regularly feature[s] proponents of eugenics and blatant anti-black racists.”

Deogolwulf pointed out that the two reviews bear an uncanny resemblance. …

When Newsweek contacted Critical Inquiry, James Williams, its senior managing editor, agreed that Žižek “absolutely” borrowed from Hornbeck’s review. “We’re very sorry it happened,” he said. “If we had known Žižek was plagiarizing, we would have certainly asked him to remove the illegal passages.”

Newsweek then contacted Hornbeck, who writes under a pseudonym. “Anyone who has seen the side-by-side comparisons can have no doubt that Žižek is a plagiarist,” he said. “I know nothing about his writing habits. Maybe he does this all the time. Or it may be that as a prominent Marxist he didn’t want it known that he reads American Renaissance. In any case, what he did is contemptible, and his publisher…should certainly have a word with him.”

Newsweek emailed Deogolwulf and Sailer for comment, but they did not respond by publication time.

Hey, a man’s got to sleep sometimes …

Attempts to reach Žižek through The Guardian were also unsuccessful.

Hide 45 Comments

45 Comments to "Newsweek: "Did Marxist Philosophy Superstar Slavoj Žižek Plagiarize a White Nationalist Journal?""

  1. Poosweek isn’t really interested in plagiarism.

    It is WHAT he plagiarized that upsets them.

    What, Why.

  2. Mr. Blank says:

    They actually referred to you as just a “conservative blogger?” They didn’t try to imply you’re a regular columnist for Stormfront? Wow, Steve, congratulations! You’re moving on up! :)

    Seriously, though, the SPLC will continue to be cited as an objective authority until they finally stumble and attempt to cross swords with a more-favored group on the left. They’ve been getting sloppier over the years, so it could happen.

    Then we’ll start seeing Salon clickbait articles about how the SPLC has been fleecing black people for years, so they’re practically a wing of the KKK. Hey, they’re both in Alabama, and they’re both run by white Southerners, so it makes perfect sense, right?

  3. Bryan says:

    Since pretty much nobody has actually sat down and slogged through one of his more than 70 books, I suspect there’s more plagiarism in his prolific writing that hasn’t been discovered yet.

  4. http://time.com/2974185/millennials-poll-politics/

    Milly dummies. The thing they care for most is… ‘gay marriage’.

    How is that ‘liberal’?

    True liberalism on homosexuals would be letting them be homosexuals and tolerating it, not forcing all of society to change the meaning of marriage to serve the vanity of a privileged elite.

  5. For a once a mainstream writer gives you credit by name. I guess he kinda had to, in this case.

  6. enderby says:

    did Newsweek really try to get a response from you? and you were “sleeping?”

    Aaaagh! When it rains, it pours!

    You missed your 15 minutes of fame…

  7. Jefferson says:

    “They actually referred to you as just a “conservative blogger?” They didn’t try to imply you’re a regular columnist for Stormfront? Wow, Steve, congratulations! You’re moving on up! :)”

    Many liberals on the internet paint Gavin McInnes as a Stormfront style White supremacist, even though Gavin is married to an Eskimo woman.

    White supremacist is the new term nowadays to classify an White person who does not drink the politically correct Kool-Aid.

    Even the conservative Filipina Michelle Malkin has mentioned that her White husband gets labeled a racist by many on the left.

    How much of a White supremacist can you be if you are married to a Filipina woman ?

  8. “They actually referred to you as just a “conservative blogger?” They didn’t try to imply you’re a regular columnist for Stormfront? Wow, Steve, congratulations! You’re moving on up!”

    That leapt out at me as if the words were on fire. Maybe being under the aegis of Unz provides some margin of defensibility from being characterized as a ranter in pajamas in one’s parent’s basement.

  9. Hacienda says:

    @Jefferson

    How much of a White supremacist can you be if you are married to a Filipina woman ?

    ——————-

    I don’t know if her husband is a racist, but marrying Malkin doesn’t disqualify him from being one.

  10. Steve, it’s too bad that this piece went to publication before you had a chance to comment. I discovered your writing from your frequent commenting at MR- as a (formerly) liberal college student your posts helped me to think critically on issues that both “sides” of the MSM try fanatically to obfuscate.

    You’re quite adept at presenting your views reasonably and persuasively in hostile environments, and I think that a couple of good quotes in Newsweek could have done you a lot of good.

    Also, as previous commenters mentioned, it is amazing that they referred to you without attempting to smear you as a racist or some other liberal-baiting buzzword.

  11. Did you really not return a call for comment from Newsweek? What was the thinking behind that? I know it’s a rag but still…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Way to break a story, Steve. Well done.

  13. If Slavoj Žižek’s name got into a fight with Svante Pääbo’s name, which would win?

  14. @a very knowing American

    It would depend upon whether Imam Gülen and Prime Minister Erdoğan can get over their current differences and team up again.

  15. SFG says:

    Nice work Steve. Nice to see the good guys win once in a while.

  16. soren says:

    Two things I find funny…

    1. Hornbeck’s mistakes a quote from John D. Caputo’s book on Derrida as from Derrida and Zizek copies it.
    2. “The only thing to bear in mind is that this new barbarism is a strictly post-modern phenomenon, the obverse of the highly reflexive self-ironical attitude—no wonder that, reading authors like MacDonald, one often cannot decide if one is reading a satire or a “serious” line of argumentation.”

    I used to read a lot of philosophy when I was younger … but after turning to an evolutionary outlook I don’t bother because the following sentiment has taken hold in too many quarters:

    “After Darwin,” Rorty asserts, “it became possible to believe that nature is not leading up to anything—that nature has nothing in mind.”
    Rorty argues that we should “read Darwin not as offering one more theory about what we really are but as providing reasons why we do not need to ask what we really are.”

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/rorty/

    “… ‘the homosexual,’ ‘the Negro,’ and ‘the female’ are best seen not as inevitable classifications of human beings but rather as inventions that have done more harm than good.”

    http://isteve.blogspot.com/2007/06/philosopher-richard-rorty-rip.html

    A deep study on human evolution should be required for every philosophy major.

    As far as life outlook today goes, major influences today are guys like C.S. Peirce, Nicholas Rescher, and Alasdair Macintyre. Then add and odd mashup of Rene Girard, Lev Gumilev, and Raymond Cattell/Arthur Keith. Then there are many thinkers like Josiah Royce, Oswald Spengler, and others(many popular with the euro-nationalists) that I find insightful but need to be brought down to earth. Peter Turchin, Cavalli-Sforza, and Volkmar Weiss(R.A. Fisher had similar views) combined do a good job of that for Spengler.

    BTW and OT, George Will’s father was a philosopher(I barely skimmed his work but seems sort of like a conservative Deweyian) and Macintyre wrote the forward one of his books. Here’s an obituary George wrote for him.

    http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1998-04-02/news/1998092167_1_fred-mind-and-body-conventional-wisdom

  17. Jefferson says:

    “I don’t know if her husband is a racist, but marrying Malkin doesn’t disqualify him from being one.”

    Him being married to Michelle Malkin does disqualify him from being a White supremacist Neo Nazi. How many guys in The 3rd Reich had an Asian wife/Asian girlfriend ?

    How many guys posting on Stormfront have an Asian wife or an Asian girlfriend ?

  18. “I don’t know if her husband is a racist, but marrying Malkin doesn’t disqualify him from being one.”

    It certainly disqualifies him from being a “white supremacist” -just as being shacked up with an Eskimo disqualifies Gavin from being one.

    Anyway, don’t get your hopes up: “convervative” and “racist” mean the same thing to these idiots. I figure; just embrace the term. It doesn’t mean anything any more than “faggot” does.

  19. Hacienda says:

    @Scott Locklin

    But Michelle Malkin is a white supremacist. The fact that she’s brown is incidental.

  20. Hacienda says:

    @soren

    Rorty sounds like an academic retard.

    Darwin didn’t change a thing. Go out live in nature a good 2 years, you get perspective that way.

  21. soren says:

    “It certainly disqualifies him from being a “white supremacist” -just as being shacked up with an Eskimo disqualifies Gavin from being one.”

    Maybe Gavin’s a special kind of racist… one who feels like he has a special mission in life.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blanqueamiento

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_whitening

  22. Newsweek: “Did Marxist Philosophy Superstar Slavoj Žižek Plagiarize a White Nationalist Journal?” | Reaction Times says:Website

    […] Source: Steve Sailer […]

  23. wren says:

    It seems that plagiarism is still a big no-no, but it also seems that MLK Jr. is still a sacred icon.

    AFAIK, these two facts seem to still coexist happily in our society.

    I guess it depends on who you are.

  24. Anonitron says:

    Can’t say I’m terribly surprised. Zizek has been a flavor of the month academic since the 80′s, I think, but he’s more famous for appearing in interviews shirtless and smoking cigarettes than anything he’s actually written. What’s a little plagiarism if it means more time spent enjoying the pleasant parts of being an international intellectual?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Funny how in the age of the internet someone has the genius to plagiarize. Perhaps he’s a serial plagiarist and the thrill finally caught up to him. Asshole.

  26. ray says:

    Newsweek, Time, NY Times are almost pure propaganda vehicles, designed for a certain complicit mentality. The purpose isn’t to impart news, but to oil jerking knees.

    Zizek again illustrates that PC (and all ideology) is cover and rationalization for mediocrity. The old Soviet was the same.

    Cheers.

  27. Rob says:

    It’s not a big deal that he quoted the Amren review almost verbatim. His offence was not to credit his source. The plagiarised piece purports to be a summary of Macdonald’s theories, not an original idea of Žižek’s. But there’s probably a lot more out there waiting to be exposed. Someone like Žižek is sure to have a lot of enemies in academia itching to bring him down.

  28. It is important not to forget that Žižek is guilty of something far worse than plagiarism: he has written his own stuff.

  29. Rob says:

    @Deogolwulf

    Right. I think I’d rather own up to plagiarism than be credited for the impenetrable gibberish he writes.

  30. dearieme says:

    What a pity that the Blessed D stopped writing his The Joy of Curmudgeonry blog. Fewtrils, I remember his fewtrils.

  31. Svigor says:

    How much of a White supremacist can you be if you are married to a Filipina woman ?

    ——————-

    I don’t know if her husband is a racist, but marrying Malkin doesn’t disqualify him from being one.

    Yes, marrying a non-white disqualifies you from being a white nationalist/white supremacist, though not from being considered *subject change* racist, of course.

    No, can’t really be a WN/WS and marry a non-white (this side of a desert island scenario), though there’s obviously nothing preventing you from being a sympathizer and propagating same.

  32. “I don’t know if her husband is a racist, but marrying Malkin doesn’t disqualify him from being one.”

    I’m the only true race-ist, but I get no credit.

  33. http://www.critical-theory.com/i-nonetheless-deeply-regret-the-incident-zizek-responds-to-plagiarism-allegations/

    A CLARIFICATION

    With regard to the recent accusations about my plagiarism, here is what happened. When I was writing the text on Derrida which contains the problematic passages, a friend told me about Kevin Macdonald’s theories, and I asked him to send me a brief resume. The friend send [sic] it to me, assuring me that I can use it freely since it merely resumes another’s line of thought. Consequently, I did just that – and I sincerely apologize for not knowing that my friend’s resume was largely borrowed from Stanley Hornbeck’s review of Macdonald’s book. (These passages are also taken over in Part III, Chapter 1, of my book The Parallax View.) As any reader can quickly establish, the problematic passages are purely informative, a report on another’s theory for which I have no affinity whatsoever; all I do after this brief resume is quickly dismissing Macdonald’s theory as a new chapter in the long process of the destruction of Reason. In no way can I thus be accused of plagiarizing another’s line of thought, of »stealing ideas.« I nonetheless deeply regret the incident.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Haha, somebody writing for Newsweek didn’t know you’re never supposed to name Steve Sailer. Congrats Steve, you broke through, temporarily.

  35. Hacienda says:

    @Svigor

    Marrying Malkin disqualifies him as a white nationalist, but not a white supremecist.
    See the difference?

    Anyway, it’s Malkin that’s the issue, not that she’s pinay or even that she’s a woman.
    The American family has become such a loose construct, marriage defines almost nothing.

  36. Plagiarism

    On July 11, 2014, leading American weekly newsmagazine Newsweek reported that in an article published in 2006 Žižek plagiarized substantial passages from an earlier review that first appeared in the White Nationalist journal American Renaissance, a publication condemned by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the organ of a “white nationalist hate group.”[37] In the Newsweek article, correspondent Taylor Wofford cited passages from Žižek’s “A Plea for a Return to Différance (with a Minor Pro Domo Sua)” first published in Critical Inquiry in 2006, together with passages from a review article by Stanley Hornbeck from the March 1999 issue of American Renaissance; substantial portions of the passages from Žižek’s article appear identical in wording, ordering and expression with Hornbeck’s earlier publication. When presented with the evidence of Žižek’s plagiarism by Newsweek, Critical Inquiry senior managing editor James Williams “agreed that Žižek ‘absolutely’ borrowed from Hornbeck’s review” and commented further that, “We’re very sorry it happened. . . . If we had known Žižek was plagiarizing, we would have certainly asked him to remove the illegal passages.”[37] In his article on the subject, Newsweek correspondent Taylor Wofford credited conservative columnist Steve Sailer and a pseudonymous blogger named Deogolwulf for first bringing this instance of plagiarism by Žižek to light.

  37. Outside in - Involvements with reality » Blog Archive » Chaos Patch (#18) says:Website

    […] (Plagiarism exposed, tormented by Steve Sailer, publicly humiliated in Newsweek and The American Spectator, ‘apologizes‘ by blaming a […]

  38. Svigor says:

    Marrying Malkin disqualifies him as a white nationalist, but not a white supremecist.
    See the difference?

    Not really. I use the terms interchangeably, since the leftoids mean “white nationalist/ethnopatriot/etc” when they say “white supremacist.” There’s pretty much no such thing as a white supremacist, strictly speaking; they’re rare enough to go without naming.

  39. John says:

    “Žižek now officially qualifies for a Harvard professorship.”

    Or if he were black, sainthood and a holiday named for him.

  40. Curle says:

    @Jefferson

    The test is whether you say things that undermine the PC narrative. Jayman is almost certainly a racist by such a standard.

  41. Steve, you raise a lot of tough questions about the Southern Poverty Law Center, but would any SPLC contributor read your comments section, particularly at the old site, and conclude, “I don’t have to send Morris a check this year”?

  42. @Svigor

    “There’s pretty much no such thing as a white supremacist, strictly speaking; they’re rare enough to go without naming.”

    You should visit Malaysia some time. I’m pretty sure they’re “ang mor” supremacists there, though they’re of course not white nationalists. I felt like I had a virtual red coat and pith helmet on during my visit, with the theme from Zulu playing in the background. Lovely people; not the best organizational skills though.

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