The spectre of Putogan

The spectre of Putogan

The well-coordinated official Turkish campaign against me deserves a short conclusive comment. Some on the Turkish side twisted the New Statesman’s apology for the reference to a fake interview into an apology for (i.e., the revocation of) all the main claims of my text. However, my text published in the NS was not “based” on the fake Andalou interview, it was written and published elsewhere (in Germany) before, without the reference to that fake interview, and the claims contained in it echo hundreds of critical texts on Turkish politics. My only “lie” was to refer to a fake interview available on the web – an error that can happen to anyone these days.

As an ordinary reader of public media, I, of course, have no first hand knowledge of what goes on in the Middle East; no way to investigate the details for myself. But I can do something with the public materials available to anyone. What I do know is that no effective ideology simply lies: an ideology is never a simple mystification obfuscating the hidden reality of domination and exploitation; the atrocious reality obfuscated and mystified by an ideology has to register, to leave traces, in the explicit ideological text itself, in the guise of its inconsistencies, gaps, etc.

The Stalinist show trials were, of course, a brutal travesty of justice concealing breath-taking brutality, but to see this, it is not necessary to know the reality behind them — the public face of the trials, the puppet-like monstrosity of public confessions, etc., made this abundantly clear. In a homologous way, one doesn’t have to know how Jews really were to guess that the Nazi accusations against them were a fake — a close look at these accusations makes it clear that we are dealing with paranoiac fantasies.

[Extract. Appeared in New Statesman, on February 3rd, 2016. (full text).]


Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst, and a senior researcher at the Institute for Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London. He has also been a visiting professor at more than 10 universities around the world. Žižek is the author of many books; his latest are Against the Double Blackmail and Disparities.

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