Interview with Slavoj Žižek and other highlights from Triple-C

We are delighted to share some highlights from the journal Triple-C. These include two reflective essays on ‘A Marxist Approach to Communication Freedom’ and ‘Media Research in Socialist Slovenia/Yugoslavia: Some Afterthoughts’, as well as an interview with Slavoj Žižek.

 

A Marxist Approach to Communication Freedom

Slavko Splichal University of Ljubljana

This article is an abridged translation of the section “Produkcija in komuniciranje: nujnost in svoboda” (Production and communication: necessity and freedom) of Slavko Splichal’s book Množično komuniciranje med svobodo in odtujitvijo (Mass Communication between Freedom and Alienation, pp. 123-138), published in Slovene in 1981 after it was defended as a doctoral thesis in 1979. The article, which was among the earliest on its topic, starts with the discussion of Marx’s approach to the freedom of the press in his “Proceedings of the Sixth Rhine Province Assembly”, from the perspective of his later economic critique of capitalism, to show the inherent connection between human communication and work. This indissoluble connection is the starting point of the critique of “critical theories” aiming at “liberating” communication from work and production, exemplified by Habermas’s dualistic conception of work and communication. The concluding part discusses the relationship between communication freedom, rationality, and alienation, arguing that the freedom of communication cannot be founded on its independence from work (material production), but only on the emancipation or disalienation of human labour, and emphasising the danger that, if this does not happen, one-party socialist system with state and social ownership of the means of production and state-controlled economy will deteriorate into a multiparty capitalist system with private ownership and monopolistic economy. The article is followed by an afterword in which the author writes in a retrospect, after 40 years, about political and intellectual circumstances of the self-management socialism, which shaped the development of communication and media studies in “late socialism” – i.e. in the period preceding and heralding the collapse of socialism.

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Media Research in Socialist Slovenia/Yugoslavia: Some Afterthoughts

Slavko Splichal University of Ljubljana

This afterword to “A Marxist Approach to Communication Freedom” reveals some features of the development of communication theories and empirical research in socialist Slovenia and Yugoslavia. The field started to develop in 1960s in the framework of other academic disciplines, mainly political sciences and partly sociology, but soon became the target of ideological criticism for “the lack of Marxist foundations” in the social sciences in general, and journalism education and communication research in particular, which was part of a more general conflict between party-state bureaucracy and “liberal intellectuals.” By the 1980s, communication and journalism education and research programmes became a regular component of universities in all the republics of the former Yugoslavia. The development of the new discipline was largely marked by “productive inclusivism” or eclecticism, a kind of “cohabitation” of different communication schools and theoretical paradigms that contributed to its definition, development and institutionalisation at universities.

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Ideology isn’t in the Answer, it’s in the Question: An Interview with Slavoj Žižek

An interview with Slavoj Žižek (by Ben Gook of The University of Melbourne), in which he discusses crucial topics central to both his thought (psychoanalysis, philosophy, Hegel, film) as well as broader conversations over the past decade (capitalism, China, universal basic income, ecology, authoritarianism, protest movements).

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