Says Zizek:

“Marx’s key insight remains as pertinent today as it ever was: the question of freedom should not be located primarily in the political sphere – i.e. in such things as free elections, an independent judiciary, a free press, respect for human rights. Real freedom resides in the ‘apolitical’ network of social relations, from the market to the family, where the change needed in order to make improvements is not political reform, but a change in the social relations of production. We do not vote concerning who owns what, or about the relations between workers in a factory. Such things are left to processes outside the sphere of the political, and it is an illusion that one can change them by ‘extending’ democracy: say, by setting up ‘democratic’ banks under the people’s control. Radical changes in this domain should be made outside the sphere of such democratic devices as legal rights etc. They have a positive role to play, of course, but it must be borne in mind that democratic mechanisms are part of a bourgeois-state apparatus that is designed to ensure the undisturbed functioning of capitalist reproduction.”

Zizek questioning of the “bourgeois-state apparatus” in favor of something else sounds a lot like Illich’s argument for a “network of ever different relations of agape” (cf. Taylor’s, A Secular Age). That is, a mode of thinking and acting that escapes “bureaucratic control… [and] that we want to defend from measurement or manipulation” (The Rivers North of the Future, 21).

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