‘What Goes On When Nothing Goes On?’

On August 2, 2009, after cordoning off part of the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, Israeli police evicted two Palestinian families (more than 50 people) from their homes, allowing Jewish settlers immediately to move into the vacated houses. Although Israeli police cited a ruling by the country’s Supreme Court, the evicted Arab families had been living there for more than 50 years. This event which, rather exceptionally, did attract the attention of[ …]

The power of the woman and the truth of Islam

What is Islam – this disturbing, radical excess that represents the East to the West, and the West to the East? Let me begin with the relationship of Islam to Judaism and Christianity, the two other religions of the book. As the religion of genealogy, of the succession of generations, Judaism is the patriarchal religion par excellence. In Christianity, when the Son dies on the cross, the Father also dies (as Hegel maintained) – which[ …]

Haiti needs the world’s support

Over the next few years, much of Haiti will be rebuilt and much of its economy restructured. In response to last year’s earthquake anunprecedented amount of money has been promised for reconstruction. It’s more important than ever before that Haiti be governed by an administration that reflects the true will and interests of its people, rather than the concerns of foreign governments and corporations. In 2004, the US, France and Canada, in alliance with members[ …]

Our cherished friend Liberty reveals herself as a naked lie

In the 1960s and 1970s, it was possible to buy soft-porn postcards of a girl clad in a bikini or wearing a dress; but when you moved the postcard a little bit or looked at it from a slightly different perspective, the dress magically disappeared and you could see the girl’s naked body. This is parallax at its purest: the apparent change in an object caused by a shift in the observational position that allows[ …]

Thanks, But We’ll Do It Ourselves

Amish communities routinely practice the institution of rumspringa (from the German herumspringen, to jump around). At 17, their children (who until then have been subjected to strict family discipline) are set free and allowed, solicited even, to go out and experience the ways of the “American” world around them. They drive cars, listen to pop music, watch TV and get involved in drinking, drugs and wild sex. After a couple of years, they are expected[ …]

The Act and Its Vicissitudes

What is an act in the strict Lacanian sense of the term? Recall C.S. Lewis’ description of his religious choice from his Surprised by Joy—what makes it so irresistibly delicious is the author’s matter-of-fact “English” skeptical style, far from the usual pathetic narratives of the mystical rapture. C.S. Lewis’ description of the act thus deftly avoids any ecstatic pathos in the usual style of Saint Theresa, any multiple-orgasmic penetrations by angels or God: it is[ …]

Es gibt keinen Staat in Europa (There is no state in Europe)

For many long years in left-wing (and not only left-wing) mythology the State appeared as the original source of Evil, as a living dead sponging off the body of the community. The repressive, particularly ideological machinery of the State was presented as the process of supervising and maintaining discipline, as armour shaping the healthy body of the community. The utopian perspective, which henceforth opened up towards both the radical left-wing as well as the antiliberal[ …]