From Myth to Symptom (Introduction)

The idea for putting together this book came out of the firm belief that a response to the dominant political and academic positions on the subject of the Republic of Kosovo was needed. Far from engaging in a debate with existing texts on the subject matter, this book goes at the heart of the problem: dealing with a very specific trajectory in which the Kosovo predicament has been circulating: beginning from a myth, and ending[ …]

The Morning After

Finally, it has happened – the long awaited implosion of the Milosevic regime. Where are they now, all those who claimed that the NATO bombardment only strengthened Milosevic’s hold onto power, would make him a national hero resisting world powers? In a kind of poetic justice, the circle has closed. Did we not see the same TV images – including the storming of the Federal Parliament building in Belgrade – more than a decade ago,[ …]

Human Rights and Its Discontents

[Delivered at Bard College on November 15th 1999.] Thank you for the kind invitation. Let me go directly to the point: It is a well-known fact that the close-the-door button in most elevators is a totally dysfunctional placebo which is placed there just to give individuals the impression that they are somehow participating, contributing to the speed of the elevator journey. When we push this button the door closes in exactly the same time as when we just[ …]

The Superego and the Act

I want to begin with Coca-cola. It’s no surprise that Coca-cola was first introduced as a medicine. Its strange taste seems to provide no particular satisfaction. It is not directly pleasing, however, it is as such, as transcending any use-value, like water, beer or wine, which definitely do quench our thirst, that Coke functions as the direct embodiment of “IT”, the pure surplus of enjoyment over standard satisfactions. It is the mysterious and elusive X[ …]

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[ …]