zizek is coming

Brian James hillbily at SPAMintergate.ca
Fri Mar 16 17:02:57 MST 2001


> ask this clown how he can organize conferences on Lenin and then turn
> around and support NATO bombing in the Balkans.

I wondered that myself and did some looking around for Zizek articles on
Kosovo and recent world affairs. From what I've found, he seems to have
formulated some sort of dialectical theory which finds the far left and
the far right holding the same ground in defense of the old order
against its overthrow by neoliberalised global capitalism. That's an
important line of analysis, as many leftists are figuring out in their
own ways (i.e. the Will Offley piece "Dry Rot--The Far Right Targets the
Left" posted to the list a few weeks ago). But Zizek's problem is that
he seems to have based all his knowledge of recent Yugo history on the
NY Times and CNN, the NATO propaganda machine. What would he have to say
about more recent revelations such as that Racak massacre and mass grave
estimates were fabricated, and in general the collapse of all
pre-bombing accusations of Serb atrocities used to justify "humanitarian
intervention?" Does he even know of such revelations?

What was it E.P. Thompson said about the "poverty of theory?"

*******

Zizek on Kosovo

[snip]

So the lesson is that the alternative between the New World Order and
the neoracist nationalists opposing it is a false one: these are the two
sides of the same coin - the New World Order itself breeds monstrosities
that it fights. Which is why the protests against bombing from the
reformed Communist parties all around Europe, inclusive of PDS, are
totally misdirected: these false protesters against the NATO bombardment
of Serbia are like the caricaturized pseudo-Leftists who oppose the
trial against a drug dealer, claiming that his crime is the result of
social pathology of the capitalist system. The way to fight the
capitalist New World Order is not by supporting local proto-Fascist
resistances to it, but to focus on the only serious question today: how
to build TRANSNATIONAL political movements and institutions strong
enough to seriously constraint the unlimited rule of the capital, and to
render visible and politically relevant the fact that the local
fundamentalist resistances against the New World Order, from Milosevic
to le Pen and the extreme Right in Europe, are part of it?

full article: http://www.mii.kurume-u.ac.jp/~leuers/zizek-kosovo.htm

*********

[Here's a piece on Joerg Haider and the new dialectics of left, right
and center. By itself it makes sense, but as the above states, it is
also where he places Milosevic and the Serbs -- in line with Haider,
Buchannan, le Pen, etc.]

WHY DO WE ALL LOVE TO HATE HAIDER?
by Slavoj Zizek

And this brings us back to Haider: significantly, the only political
force with the serious weight which DOES still evoke an antagonistic
response of "Us" against "Them" is the new populist Right - Haider in
Austria, le Pen in France, Republicans in Germany, Buchanan in the US.
However, it is precisely for this reason that it plays a key structural
role in the legitimacy of the new liberal-democratic hegemony. They are
the negative common denominator of the entire center-left liberal
spectrum: they are the excluded ones who, through this very
exclusion (their inacceptability as the party of the government) provide
the negative legitimacy of the liberal hegemony, the proof of their
"democratic" attitude. In this way, their existence displaces the TRUE
focus of the political struggle (which is, of course, the stifling of
any Leftist radical alternative) to the "solidarity" of the entire
"democratic" bloc against the racist neo-Nazi etc. danger.

Therein resides the ultimate proof of the liberal-democratic hegemony of
today's ideologico-political scene, the hegemony which was accomplished
with the emergence of the "Third Way" social democracy. The "Third Way"
is precisely social democracy under the hegemony of liberal-democratic
capitalism. i.e. deprived of its minimal subversive sting, excluding the
last reference to anti-capitalism and class struggle.

It is absolutely crucial that the new Rightist populists are the only
"serious" political force today which addresses the people with the
anti-capitalist rhetorics, although coated in nationalist / racist /
religious clothing (multinational corporations who "betray" the common
decent working people of our nation). At the congress of the Front
National a couple of years ago, le Pen brought to stage an Algerian, an
African and a Jew, embraced them all and told the gathered public: "They
are no less French than I am - it is the representatives of the big
multinational capital, ignoring their duty to France, who are the true
danger to our identity!" Hypocritical as such statements are, they
nonetheless signal how the populist Right is moving to occupy the
terrain left vacant by the Left.

Here, the liberal-democratic Neue Mitte plays a double game: it puts
forward Righist populists as our common true enemy, while it effectively
manipulates this Rightist scare in order to hegemonize the "democratic"
field, i.e. to define the terrain and win over, discipline, its true
adversary, the radical Left. And in the events like Haider's party's
participation in the government (which, let us not forget, has a
precedent in the Fini's neo-Fascist Alleanza Nazionale's participation
in the Berlusconi government a couple of years ago in Italy!), die neue
Mitte gets its own message back in its inverted - true - form. The
participation in the government of the far Right is the price the Left
is paying for its renunciation of any radical political project, for
accepting market capitalism as "the only game in town".

full article: http://www.athenian.net/e-antikrystes/themata/zizek.htm

******

[Those with a better knowledge of Yugoslavian history might find this
piece interesting:]

NATO, the Left Hand of God?
by Slavoj Zizek

[snip]

Threatened by Serbian nationalism, even Slovenian and Croatian nationalism
preserved a respect for Titos Yugoslavia, in any case for its fundamental
principle, that of the federation of equal constituent states with full
sovereignty, including the right to secede.  Whoever overlooks that,
whoever reduces the war in Bosnia to a civil war between various "ethnic
groups," is already on the side of the Serbs.  Because in no way was the
difference between Milosevic and other national leaders only
quantitative.
No, Yugoslavia was not hovering on the edge, betrayed equally by all
national "secessionists."  Its dissolution was much more a dialectical
process.  Those that "deserted" Yugoslavia were reacting to Serbian
nationalism -- that is, to those power groups that were endeavoring to
liquidate Tito's legacy.  Thus the worst anti-Serbian nationalist stands
closer to Tito's legacy than the present Belgrade regime, which maintains
itself, in the face of all "secessionists," as the legitimate and legal
successor of the former Yugoslavia.


It Was Serbian Aggression Alone, and Not Ethnic Conflict, That Set off the
War......

full article: http://www.nettime.org/nettime.w3archive/199906/msg00185.html

Brian James





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