Slavoj Zizek ja hänen aiempi filosofivaimonsa Renata Salecl tekivät yhteistyötä samantyyppisen, lacanilais-hegeliläisen diskurssin puitteissa, mistä esimerkki alla.
Tämä artikkeli olkoon jälleen eräs kommentti koskien takkirautaa, hänen hengenheimolaisiaan ja heidän neuroottista nationalismiaan sekä piilorasismiaan.
Tiedostamattomaan joskin perusteellisten argumenttien taakse kätkettyyn ad hominem-argumentointiin vetoaviin (esim. takkirauta) ei tehoa mikään muu kuin syvällisempi ja perustellumpi 'ad hominem' - tässä siis ideologia-kriittinen psykoanalyysi.
Sen tavoitteena on paljastaa ei-toivottuina ihmisinä/ryhminä/uskontoina jne. pitämiensä kontrollointiin pyrkivien 'oikeassaolevien' motiivit ja vastustaa heidän piilorasistisia totalisointiprojektejaan.
Slavoj Zizek and Renata Salecl
Slavoj Zizek is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is the author of numerous books, including Cogito and the Unconscious (1998), The Plague of Fantasies (1997), Enjoy Your Symptom!: Jacques Lacan in Hollywood and Out (1992), For They Know Not What They Do: Enjoyment as a Political Factor (1991). In his work Zizek engages political theory with psychoanalysis and philosophy.
Renata Salecl is a philosopher and sociologist. She works as a researcher in the Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law, Ljubljana, Slovenia, and as a visiting scholar at the New School for Social Research, New York. Her most recent book is Gaze and Voice as Love Objects (1996).
On Nation and Nationalism
"Enjoy Your Nation as Yourself!" is the last chapter of Tarrying with the Negative, in which Slavoj Zizek brilliantly expounds on the notions of nation and nationalism as they are reflected in Eastern Europe today. He starts by pointing to the fact that the disintegration of communism in this part of the world was paradoxically followed by a distorted image of a "reinvented democracy." "The reality emerging now in Eastern Europe [shows] the gradual retreat of the liberal-democratic tendency in the face of the growth of corporate national populism which includes all its usual elements, from xenophobia to anti-Semitism" (200). Zizek explains this shift by way of rethinking the notion of national identification from a psychoanalytic perspective, more precisely a Lacanian standpoint.
He argues that "national identification is by definition sustained by a relationship toward the Nation qua Thing" (201), which carries contradictory properties. On the one hand, it is something that belongs to one particular group or community of people and not to others. It is "our Thing," and therefore inaccessible and denied to the Other. On the other hand, however, it is that which is under constant threat by the Other, even though at times only under a symbolic menace. When the latter is the case, it resembles Freud's notion of castration. Practically, it cannot happen, but theoretically, the possibility of it happening is ever present, and because of this there is no escape from beneath its looming threat.
The "Nation-Thing" is connected to a community's way of life, their traditions and social practices, their rituals and myths. Nonetheless, besides being a way of life, the "Nation-Thing" is also something that connects to the propensity of the members of the community to believe in it. The very belief in it as well as the belief that others share it sanctions the "Nation-Thing." The nation is therefore not only a product constructed by specific discursive practices. It also consists of a certain underlying "substance," which according to Lacan would be " jouissance" or "the remainder of some real" (Zizek translates jouissance as enjoyment). It is this non-discursive entity "which must be present for the Nation qua discursive entity-effect to achieve its ontological consistency" (202). The national Thing resists universalization, but functions, nevertheless, as a "particular Absolute." It is the particular way in which an ethnic community organizes its enjoyment through national myths and traditions.
Ethnic tensions ensue in the clash between different modes of ethnic enjoyment, between different modalities to structure one's relationship towards enjoyment. The Other's excess of enjoyment is always bothersome, and often regarded as a threat, precisely because it also signifies a theft of enjoyment. In her book The Spoils of Freedom: psychoanalysis and feminism after the fall of socialism, Renata Salecl provides a clear example of this theft of enjoyment when she suggest the ways in which:
... Serbian authoritarian populism ... has produced an entire mythology about the struggle against internal and external enemies. The primary enemies are Albanians, who are perceived as threatening to cut off the Serbian autonomous province of Kosovo and thereby stealing Serbian land and culture. The secondary enemy is an alienated bureaucracy which threatens the power of the people: alienated from the nation, it is said to be devouring the Serbian national identity from within. And the third enemy has become the Croats, who with their politics of 'genocide' are outlawing the Serbian population from 'historically' Serbian territories in Croatia. Nowadays the enemies are primarily Muslims who are pictured as Islamic fundamentalists threatening the Serbs living in Bosnia and Herzegovina. (22)
The attitude towards the Other's enjoyment is always ambivalent. On the one hand, the Other's enjoyment presents a threat to our enjoyment, whereas on the other hand, we are precisely fascinated by the Other's enjoyment as there is something of it in ourselves. It is that which is "'in us more than ourselves,' and thus prevents us from achieving full identity with ourselves. The hatred of the other is the hatred of our own excess of enjoyment" (206).
The national enemy thus always assumes the form of an excess or destructive disbalance. Referring to the hatred of the Other's enjoyment, Salecl quotes Jacques-Alain Miller who suggests that:
I am willing to see my neighbour in the Other but only on condition that he is not my neighbour. I am prepared to love him as myself only if he is far away, if he is removed. ... When the Other comes too near, when it mingles with you, as Lacan says, new fantasies emerge which concern above all the surplus of enjoyment of the Other. ...What is at stake is of course the imputation of an excessive enjoyment... The question of tolerance or intolerance is not at all concerned with the subject of science and its human rights. It is located on the level of tolerance or intolerance toward the enjoyment of the Other, the Other as he who essentially steals my own enjoyment... (21)
Salecl pushes even further the analysis of the Other's reprehensible enjoyment pointing to the idea that :
...the Other who outrages 'our' sense of the kind of nation ours should be, the Other who steals our enjoyment is always the Other in our own interior; i.e. our hatred of the Other is really the hatred of the part (the surplus) of our own enjoyment which we find unbearable and cannot acknowledge, and which we transpose ('project') onto the Other via a fantasy of the 'Other's enjoyment'. Therefore hatred of the Other, in the final analysis, is hatred of one's own enjoyment. (21-22)
Postmodernism is often invoked as the age of fragmentation and unlimited inflation or plurality of subject positions. In this respect, postmodernism follows the logic of rampant capitalism, according to which the more production grows, the greater becomes the need to produce, without ever achieving satisfaction. Similarly, in Freudian terms, the greater the repentance stimulated by the transgression of the Law, the greater the guilt. Opposite to the logic of capitalism of superfluous overproduction and of the postmodern dispersion of subject positions, nationalism assumes excessive identification with one particular ethnic position, at the expense of all other possible subject positions. Zizek emphasizes that, "the more the logic of Capital becomes universal, the more its opposite will assume features of 'irrational fundamentalism'" (220).
In their discussion of the manifestation of national identity, both Zizek and Salecl bring up the issue of a postmodern type of racism, which Etienne Balibar has called "meta-racism." If the old type of racism was based on the idea that racial differences were biologically determined, "meta-racism," even though no longer supporting an argument based on biology, makes these differences culturally and historically contingent. In the latter case "culture itself functions as a 'natural' determinative force: it locks individuals and groups a priori into their cultural genealogy. "Meta-racism" [explains Salecl] perceives cultures as fixed entities and tries desperately to maintain 'cultural distances'" (Spoils of Freedom 12). 'Meta-racism' is identified as even more dangerous than racism, because it employs racist measures while pretending to oppose racism, thus falsely posing as its opposite.
In Spoils of Freedom Salecl analyzes the major political and social events after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, in general, and the upsurge of ethnic tensions in the former Yugoslavia, in particular, using Lacanian psychoanalysis and its notion of fantasy. Claiming that "the structure of power is inherently fantasmatic" (7) and that ideology reflects "the way society deals with the fundamental impossibility of it being a closed harmonious totality," Salecl shows that
behind every ideology lies a kernel of enjoyment (jouissance) that resists being fully integrated into the ideological universe. Here is where fantasy comes into play: fantasay stages a scenario to conceal this kernel. And ... when we identify with a certain political discourse, when we 'obey the power', what we relate to is precisely this fantasy structure behind the ideological meaning of the discourse. (6)
Fantasy fills out an empty place, a void, that which cannot be fully symbolized. Like Zizek, Salecl emphasizes the fantasy structure of the nation and of national identification pointing to their imaginary surplus that refuses symbolization. The nation always presents us with the impossibility to define that which in us is "more than ourselves." In this respect, the nation is connected to the Lacanian real, the always missing link, that dimension which can never be incorporated into the symbolic realm. In order to deal with the impossibility of managing its own excess, a society appeals to a fantasy structure or "scenario, through which [it] perceives itself as a homogeneous entity" (15). Fantasy always organizes itself around the traumatic element that refuses symbolization, in our case, the nation.
Homi K. Bhabha also points to the ambivalence of the nation when in the introduction to Nation and Narration he refers to "the impossible unity of the nation as a symbolic force [in spite of] the attempt by nationalist discourses persistently to produce the idea of the nation as a continous narrative of national progress, the narcissism of self-generation, the primeval present of the Volk" (1). What Salecl calls "fantasy," Bhabha calls "the act of narration," that which fills out the empty space of the nation. However, the ambivalence of narration lies exactly in the "instability of knowledge," or "conceptual indeterminacy, its wavering between vocabularies." Given this state of art,
what effect [continues Bhabha] does this have on narratives and discourses that signify a sense of 'nationness': the heimlich pleasures of the hearth, the unheimlich terror of the space or race of the Other; the comfort of social belonging, the hidden injuries of class; the customs of taste, the powers of political affiliation ..." (2)