Poking holes

zizek-on-chair

Slavoj Zizek has a publishing pattern lately of alternating little topical books with hefty theoretical ones. Against the Double Blackmail falls into the former category, and covers the refugee crisis in Europe. Amongst the usual asides about movies and Lacanian theory, he makes some interesting observations about culture, while poking holes in trendy pseudo-Leftist, liberal ideas about refugees. He says we must call out intolerable behaviour, and not simply justify it as cultural difference, and at the same time we can’t assume that beyond culture we are all the same ‘underneath’ and share Western-biased values of individualism, free speech and the like, because culture makes us – there is no getting ‘underneath’. Zizek, of course being of the political Left himself, argues that we help refugees because it is the ethical thing to do, not because they are just like us (except for a common humanity), and he argues we can do so if we go to the root of the problem – the exclusionary nature of global capitalism that only functions because the many allow the few to live as they (we) do.

 

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