October 12, 2011

Myrkyllisen naapurin laimennusohjeet eli miten nykypäivän demokraattinen rasismi toimii

Nicolas SS-Zarkozy ja Puhdistus [i.e. a 'reasonable' anti-immigration policy].
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'Liberal multiculturalism masks an old barbarism with a human face across Europe. The politics of the far right is infecting us all with the need for a ‘reasonable’ anti-immigration policy. - [Zizek]

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The mechanism of such neutralization was best formulated in 1938 by Robert Brasillach, the French Fascist intellectual, condemned and shot in 1945, who saw himself as a “moderate” anti-Semite. Brasillach put it this way: “We grant ourselves permission to applaud Charlie Chaplin, a half Jew, at the movies; to admire Proust, a half Jew; to applaud Yehudi Menuhin, a Jew; and the voice of Hitler is carried over radio waves named after the Jew Hertz. … We don’t want to kill anyone, we don’t want to organize any pogrom. But we also think that the best way to hinder the always unpredictable actions of instinctual anti-Semitism is to organize a reasonable anti-Semitism.”

Is this same attitude not at work in the way our governments are dealing with the “immigrant threat”? After righteously rejecting direct populist racism as “unreasonable” and unacceptable for our democratic standards, they endorse “reasonably” racist protective measures. Or, as today’s Brasillachs tell us: “We grant ourselves permission to applaud African and Eastern- European sportsmen, Asian doctors, Indian software programmers. We don’t want to kill anyone, we don’t want to organize any pogrom. But we also think that the best way to hinder the always unpredictable violent anti-immigrant defensive measures is to organize a reasonable anti-immigrant protection.” {Zizek]
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Olennaista Brasillachin lausumassa ei siis ole etninen nimike (juutalaisuus) vaan se 'rationaalinen' [eli ideologinen] mekanismi, jolla 'demokraattinen' [liberaalinen tai konservatiivinen] rasismi nykyään toimii maahanmuuttajien suhteen.

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Barbarism With A Human Face

Slavoj Zizek [Guardian, 3/10/2010]
 
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 in Germany. Its thesis is that German nationhood is threatened because too many immigrants are allowed to maintain their cultural identity. Although the book, titled Germany Does Away with Itself, was overwhelmingly condemned, its tremendous impact suggests that it touched a nerve.

Incidents like these 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 a left-of-centre party (socialist, social-democratic), with smaller parties (ecologists, communists) addressing a narrower electorate.

Recent electoral results in the west as well as in the east signal the gradual emergence of a different polarity. There is now one predominant centrist party that stands for global capitalism, usually with a liberal cultural agenda (for example, tolerance towards abortion, gay rights, religious and ethnic minorities). Opposing this party is an increasingly strong anti-immigrant populist party which, on its fringes, is accompanied by overtly racist neofascist groups. The best example of this is Poland where, after the disappearance of the ex-communists, the main parties are the “anti-ideological” centrist liberal party of the prime minister Donald Tusk and the conservative Christian Law and Justice party of the Kaczynski brothers. Similar tendencies are discernible in the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Hungary. How did we get here?

After decades of hope held out by the welfare state, when financial cuts were sold as temporary, and sustained by a promise that things would soon return to normal, we are entering a new epoch in which crisis – or, rather, a kind of economic state of emergency, with its attendant need for all sorts of austerity measures (cutting benefits, diminishing health and education services, making jobs more temporary) is permanent. Crisis is becoming a way of life.

After the disintegration of the communist regimes in 1990, we entered a new era in which the predominant form of the exercise of state power became a depoliticised expert administration and the co-ordination of interests. The only way to introduce passion into this kind of politics, the only way to actively mobilise people, is through fear: the fear of immigrants, the fear of crime, the fear of godless sexual depravity, the fear of the excessive state (with its burden of high taxation and control), the fear of ecological catastrophe, as well as the fear of harassment (political correctness is the exemplary liberal form of the politics of fear).

Such a politics always relies on the manipulation of a paranoid multitude – the frightening rallying of frightened men and women. This is why the big event of the first decade of the new millennium was when anti-immigration politics went mainstream and finally cut the umbilical cord that had connected it to far right fringe parties. From France to Germany, from Austria to Holland, in the new spirit of pride in one’s cultural and historical identity, the main parties now find it acceptable to stress that immigrants are guests who have to accommodate themselves to the cultural values that define the host society – “it is our country, love it or leave it” is the message.

Progressive liberals are, of course, horrified by such populist racism. However, a closer look reveals how their multicultural tolerance and respect of differences share with those who oppose immigration the need to keep others at a proper distance. “The others are OK, I respect them,” the liberals say, “but they must not intrude too much on my own space. The moment they do, they harass me – I fully support affirmative action, but I am in no way ready to listen to loud rap music.” What is increasingly emerging as the central human right in late-capitalist societies is the right not to be harassed, which is the right to be kept at a safe distance from others. A terrorist whose deadly plans should be prevented belongs in Guantánamo, the empty zone exempted from the rule of law; a fundamentalist ideologist should be silenced because he spreads hatred. Such people are toxic subjects who disturb my peace.

On today’s market, we find a whole series of products deprived of their malignant property: coffee without caffeine, cream without fat, beer without alcohol. And the list goes on: what about virtual sex as sex without sex? The Colin Powell doctrine of warfare with no casualties (on our side, of course) as warfare without warfare? The contemporary redefinition of politics as the art of expert administration as politics without politics? This leads us to today’s tolerant liberal multiculturalism as an experience of the Other deprived of its Otherness – the decaffeinated Other.

The mechanism of such neutralisation was best formulated back in 1938 by Robert Brasillach, the French fascist intellectual, who saw himself as a “moderate” antisemite and invented the formula of reasonable antisemitism. “We grant ourselves permission to applaud Charlie Chaplin, a half Jew, at the movies; to admire Proust, a half Jew; to applaud Yehudi Menuhin, a Jew; … We don’t want to kill anyone, we don’t want to organise any pogrom. But we also think that the best way to hinder the always unpredictable actions of instinctual antisemitism is to organise a reasonable antisemitism.”

Is this same attitude not at work in the way our governments are dealing with the “immigrant threat”? After righteously rejecting direct populist racism as “unreasonable” and unacceptable for our democratic standards, they endorse “reasonably” racist protective measures or, as today’s Brasillachs, some of them even Social Democrats, tell us: “We grant ourselves permission to applaud African and east European sportsmen, Asian doctors, Indian software programmers. We don’t want to kill anyone, we don’t want to organise any pogrom. But we also think that the best way to hinder the always unpredictable violent anti-immigrant defensive measures is to organise a reasonable anti-immigrant protection.”

This vision of the detoxification of one’s neighbour suggests a clear passage from direct barbarism to barbarism with a human face. It reveals the regression from the Christian love of one’s neighbour back to the pagan privileging of our tribe versus the barbarian Other. Even if it is cloaked as a defence of Christian values, it is itself the greatest threat to Christian legacy.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL6mqIrRnJs&feature=related
Philosopher Slavoj Zizek discusses his book, 'The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic?' and explains how the Christian concept of the 'toxic neighbor' impacts political, economic, sexual, and cultural thought - 9/2009.
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Zizek käy tässä läpi monia poliittisesti tärkeitä teemojaan; esim. miten Robert Brasillachin idea 'järkevästä rasismista' on siirtynyt etenkin eurooppalaiseen politiikkaan ja miten Kiina omaksui autoritaarisen kapitalismin idean Singaporesta.
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http://www.amazon.com/Monstrosity-Christ-Paradox-Dialectic-Circuits/dp/0262012715
http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/6641/barbarism_with_a_human_face/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavoj_%C5%BDi%C5%BEek
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Brasillach
http://rudhro.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/zizek-liberal-multiculturalism-masks-an-old-barbarism-with-a-human-face-across-europe-the-politics-of-the-far-right-is-infecting-us-all-with-the-need-for-a-reasonable-anti-immigration-policy/

8 comments:

Sammalkieli said...

Lainasin opiskelijakirjaston kirjavarastosta Karl Marxin nuoruudenteoksen Taloudellis-filosofiset käsikirjoitukset 1844.

Ankaraa moralismia. Mutta edelleen ihan pätevää, koska eipä järjestelmäkään ole hirveästi muuttunut.

Rauno Rasanen said...

Kannattaa kuunnella tarkkaan 5.30 - 9.45, jossa Zizek, ennen siirtymistään poliittisempiin teemoihinsa, esittelee ehkä tärkeimmän 1900-luvulla tapahtuneen ontologisen käänteen, joka koskee materialismin ja spiritualismin sekä äärellisen ja äärettömän keskinäisten suhteitten radikaalia muutosta ja nurinkääntymistä.

Spirituaalinen äärettömyys ilmenee nykyään 'materiassa' eikä suinkaan jossain mystisessä Jumalassa ja tämä pätee sekä uskonnollisuuteen, taiteeseen että evoluutioteoriasta ja informaatioteknologiasta [hardware-software] vaikutteita saaneisiin ns. techgnosis-utopioihin.

Kun tulee 'havainnon viimeinen raja/muuri' vastaan, ihminen näyttää väistämättä etsivän/löytävän olemassaololle ja elämälle syvempää merkitystä vaikka ihmisruumiista, raunioista ja romusta [ylipäätään 'tyhjästä ja arvottomasta pinnasta'], mistä esimerkkinä Zizekin mainitsema ja po. aiheeseen erinomaisesti sopiva Andrei Tarkovski - [mm. Peili ja Stalker - nuo 'materialistis-mystiset' elokuvat].

Ironmistress said...

Kristillisen etiikan hylkääminen ja paluu pakanallisuuteen voi ehkä olla ainoa tapa pelastaa se, mitä länsimaisesta sivilisaatiosta enää on jäljellä.

Koko inhimillinen kulttuuri on kulttuurievolutiivista olemassaolotaistelua, jossa meemit ja meemipleksit ottavat toisistaan.Tämän pitäisi olla tässä vaiheessa jo jokaiselle selvää. Elinkelpoisempi meemipleksi jyrää elinkelvottoman alleen. Näin on aina käynyt ja näin on aina käyvä.

Rauno Rasanen said...

'This vision of the detoxification of one’s neighbour suggests a clear passage from direct barbarism to barbarism with a human face. It reveals the regression from the Christian love of one’s neighbour back to the pagan privileging of our tribe versus the barbarian Other. Even if it is cloaked as a defence of Christian values, it is itself the greatest threat to Christian legacy.'

Sammalkieli said...

Meemiteoria on pelkkä huono läppä. Jos meemi määritellään vaikka informaatioksi, niin kyllä aivoihin meemejä mahtuu. Ei ole mitään meemien tai meemipleksien taistelua.

Ajatusleikki: Ateistisen uskontotieteilijän pääkoppaan mahtuu varmaan kymmenen eri uskonnon meemit. Siellä ne elävät ristiriidoistaan huolimatta sulassa sovussa.

Ironmistress said...

RR, on aika outo juttu että ateisti alkaa puolustamaan kristinuskoa ja sen perinteitä.

SK, niin sinulla on valtava määrä ristiriitaista geneettistäkin informaatiota perimässäsi. Kyse on vain siitä että mikä dominoi.

Rauno Rasanen said...

Totta kai kristillinen teologia toimii demokraattis-poliittisen ajattelun referenssipisteenä paljon luontevammin kuin evoluutioteoria, joka johtaa väistämättä amoraaliseen kapitalismiin sekä viimein rasismiin ja fasismiin.

Rauno Rasanen said...

Lisään vielä, että myös Zizekin aloitusreferointi 2.00-5.30 on valaisevaa sen suhteen, miten uskonnollistyyppinen filosofia tai 'jumalallinen ulottuvuus' vaikuttaa nykyään filosofiassa ja johon linjaan Zizek itse tekee selvän pesäeron - mm. Levinas, Derrida, Gianni Vattimo ja etenkin Derridan oppilas Jean-Luc Marion.

Jumala tyhjyytenä, ei-minään, joka on olemisen tuolla puolen empiirisenä mutta myös loogisena mahdottomuutena, joka kuitenkin tuona mahdottomana mutta juuri siksi [?] ymmärrettävänä [?] toiseutena sisältää eettisen kutsun Toisessa ihmisessä [Levinas]jne.

Mutta Zizek siis sanoo: I'm not part of that, I'm totally opposed to that'.