restricted access The Mirage of Neo-Communism

Jodi Dean's The Communist Horizon comes with the following boldface recommendation from Slavoj Žižek on its back cover: "This is what everyone engaged in today's struggles for emancipation needs: a unique combination of theoretical stringency and a realistic assessment of our predicament." The book is part of the Verso "Pocket Communism" series. As explained on the Verso website, "Since Alain Badiou first formulated the 'communist hypothesis' . . . it has become a concept that has acted as a reorienting focus for the Left." Verso has published many books by Žižek (including his 2002 Revolution at the Gates: Selected Writings of Lenin from 1917, the 2011 edition of which is now tellingly billed not as "The Essential Lenin" but "The Essential Žižek"); and a paperback series seeking to revive interest in a far left canon that has fallen out of favor after 1989 (Slavoj Žižek Presents Leon Trotsky: Terrorism and Communism; Slavoj Žižek Presents Mao: On Practice and Contradiction; and, most invitingly, Slavoj Žižek Presents Robespierre: Virtue and Terror). Together these volumes constitute a discussion, on one part of the Left—not the Dissent part—about the desirability of "revitalizing communism."