To his critics, as one memorably put it, he is the Borat of philosophy, churning out ever more outrageous statements for scandalous effect. "The problem with Hitler was that he was not violent enough," for example, or "I am not human. I am a monster." Some dismiss him as a silly controversialist; others fear him as an agitator for neo-Marxist totalitarianism. But since the financial crisis he has been elevated to the status of a global-recession celebrity, drawing crowds of adoring followers who revere him as an intellectual genius.
John Gray savages Žižek's collected corpus and explains his rise:
With the prevailing capitalist order aware that it is in trouble but unable to conceive of practicable alternatives, Žižek’s formless radicalism is ideally suited to a culture transfixed by the spectacle of its own fragility. That there should be this isomorphism between Žižek’s thinking and contemporary capitalism is not surprising. After all, it is only an economy of the kind that exists today that could produce a thinker such as Žižek. The role of global public intellectual Žižek performs has emerged along with a media apparatus and a culture of celebrity that are integral to the current model of capitalist expansion.