This Guy Is So Smart, He’s Got His Own Academic Journal

Slavoj Žižek is part philosopher, part international phenomenon. And if that seems impossible in this day and age, consider: Žižek, a Slovenian cultural theorist, has published more than 40 books in English, has starred in four films, and even has an academic journal (International Journal of Žižek Studies) dedicated to his work. Renowned for his gymnastic thinking and mastery of counterintuition, Žižek has been called “the most dangerous philosopher in the West” by the New Republic[ …]

What our fear of refugees says about Europe

Jacques Lacan claimed that, even if a jealous husband’s claim about his wife – that she sleeps around with other men – is true, his jealousy is still pathological. Why? The true question is “not is his jealousy well-grounded?”, but “why does he need jealousy to maintain his self-identity?”. Along the same lines, one could say that even if most of the Nazi claims about the Jews were true – they exploit Germans; they seduce German[ …]

We Can’t Address the EU Refugee Crisis Without Confronting Global Capitalism

In her classic study On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross proposed the famous scheme of the five stages of how we react upon learning that we have a terminal illness:denial (one simply refuses to accept the fact: “This can’t be happening, not to me.”); anger(which explodes when we can no longer deny the fact: “How can this happen to me?”);bargaining (the hope we can somehow postpone or diminish the fact: “Just let me live to[ …]

Broken Eggs, But No Omelet

After the electoral triumph of the anti-immigrant Eurosceptic parties in France and the United Kingdom in May, many liberals expressed their shock and worry. However, there was something of a feigned naiveté in their indignation and wonder at the Right victories. What one should wonder about is why it took the anti-immigrant Right so long to make a decisive breakthrough. When Jean-Marie Le Pen—founder of the French far-right National Front party that triumphed in France’s[ …]

What does Europe want? Beyond the multiculturalist deadlock

Back in the 1930s, Hitler offered anti-Semitism as a narrative explanation for the troubles experienced by ordinary Germans – from unemployment to moral decay and social unrest. Simply evoking the “Jewish plot” made everything clear by way of providing a simple “cognitive mapping.” Does today’s hatred of multiculturalism and of the immigrant threat not function in a similar way? Strange things are happening, financial meltdowns occur which affect our daily lives, but these events are[ …]

Anti-immigration politics: barbarism with a human face

Recent incidents – such as the expulsion of Roma, or Gypsies, from France, or the resurgence of nationalism and anti-immigration sentiment in Germany, or the massacre in Norway – have to be seen against the background of a long-term rearrangement of the political space in western and eastern Europe. Until recently, most European countries were dominated by two main parties that addressed the majority of the electorate: a right-of-centre party (Christian Democrat, liberal-conservative, people’s) and[ …]

Barbarism With A Human Face

The recent expulsion oF illegal Roma (“Gypsies”) from France back to Romania sparked protests across Europe from both the liberal media and top politicians–and not only those on the Left. The expulsions, however, proceeded–and they are the tip of a much larger iceberg of European politics. Incidents like these have to be seen against the background of a long-term re-arrangement of the political space in Western and Eastern Europe. Until recently, the political space of[ …]

Best of 2010: Barbarism with a Human Face

A month ago, a book entitled Germany Does Away With Itself by Thilo Sarrazin – a bank executive who was considered politically close to the Social Democrats – caused an uproar in Germany. Its thesis is that German nationhood is threatened because too many immigrants are allowed to maintain their cultural identity. Although the book was overwhelmingly condemned, its tremendous impact suggests that it touched a nerve. Incidents like these have to be seen against[ …]

Liberal multiculturalism masks an old barbarism with a human face

The recent expulsion of Roma, or Gypsies, from France drew protests from all around Europe – from the liberal media but also from top politicians, and not only from those on the left. But the expulsions went ahead, and they are just the tip of a much larger iceberg of European politics. A month ago, a book by Thilo Sarrazin, a bank executive who was considered politically close to the Social Democrats, caused an uproar[ …]