Post-political ersatz

Alternatieve insteek bij het oeverloos geouwehoer over Wilders en racisme in de media. Waarom heeft nog geen enkele talking head verwezen naar de kern van het probleem, het failliet van de welvaartsstaat?

Slavoj Zizek, Living in the End Times (2010): ‘So where is ideology? When we are dealing with a problem which is undoubtedly real, the ideological designation-perception introduces its invisible mystification. For example, tolerance designates a real problem – when I criticize it, I am, as a rule, asked: “But how can you be in favor of intolerance towards foreigners, of misogyny, of homophobia?”

Therein resides the catch: of course I am not against tolerance per se: what I oppose is the (contemporary and automatic) perception of racism as a problem of intolerance. Why are so many problems today perceived as problems of intolerance, rather than as problems of inequality, exploitation, political struggle, or even armed struggle? The source of this culturalization is defeat, the failure of directly political solutions such as the social-democratic welfare state or various socialist projects: “tolerance” has become their post-political ersatz. (The same goes for “harassment”: in today’s ideological space, very real forms of harassment such as rape are intertwined with the narcisstic notion of the individual who experiences the close proximity of others as an intrusion into his or her private space.) “Ideology” is, in this precise sense, a notion which, while designating a real problem, blurs a crucial line of separation.’

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