Back in 2010, we presented an animated video where Slavoj Žižek, our favorite Slovenian theorist, identified a new trend in modern capitalism. Nowadays, marketers have found a crafty way to rework Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic. They tell us we can achieve personal redemption not through hard work and amassing savings, but by consuming the right products. When you buy eco-friendly products, fair trade goods, or products that yield some kind of charitable dividend, you don’t have to think twice about the cost of your consumerism. Not when you’ve done some good and earned yourself some good capitalist karma.
This line of thinking returns in Žižek’s new film The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, where, once again, he focuses on one of the world’s most effective marketing operations, Starbucks. This, after having seemingly imbibed a “Venti” or “Trenta” portion of the product.
To drill deeper into Zizek’s thoughts on this subject, see his 30-minute lecture “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce.” For more clips from his new film, see our recent posts: