In the following paper I shall be developing a critical discussion of the contemporary interpretation of Hegel proposed by a Yugoslavian, and more specifically Slovenian, philosopher named Slavoj Zizek, whose principal theoretical allegiance is to the thought of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. The very existence of this body of work raises many intriguing questions about the theoretical, cultural, and political context from which it has arisen. Why, for example, should the notoriously obscure and difficult thought of a Parisian psychoanalyst be of such interest not just to Zizek, but indeed to a whole circle of Slovenian intellectuals? Furthermore, why should a Lacanian approach be considered the most promising way to unlock the ‘secret of Hegel’? And why should Zizek and his fellow thinkers insist on the convergence of the thought of Hegel and Lacan, even in defiance of many of Lacan's own pronouncements on the matter?
In a sense, the answer to the first of these questions already provides the answers to the other two. It is necessary to bear in mind that, for the most part, Yugoslavian philosophical life since the Revolution has been dominated not by the creaking orthodoxies of Soviet-style dialectical materialism, but by the far more plausible and congenial positions of what has come to be known as the Praxis School. The Marxism of the Praxis School, whose tradition still lives on, in the form of the journal Praxis International, is much closer, indeed can be seen as part of the philosophical current known in the other half of Europe as ‘Western Marxism’.