Saturday, July 4, 2015

Slavoj Žižek in Support of the Greek People

The struggle that goes on is the struggle for the European economic and political Leitkultur. The EU powers stand for the technocratic status quo which is keeping Europe in inertia for decades. 

In his Notes Towards a Definition of Culture, the great conservative T.S. Eliot remarked that there are moments when the only choice is the one between heresy and non-belief, i.e., when the only way to keep a religion alive is to perform a sectarian split from its main corpse. 

This is our position today with regard to Europe: only a new “heresy” (represented at this moment by Syriza) can save what is worth saving in European legacy: democracy, trust in people, egalitarian solidarity. 

The Europe that will win if Syriza is outmaneuvered is a “Europe with Asian values” (which, of course, has nothing to do with Asia, but all with the clear and present tendency of contemporary capitalism to suspend democracy). 

We from Western Europe like to look upon Greece as if we are detached observers who follow with compassion and sympathy the plight of the impoverished nation. 

Such a comfortable standpoint relies on a fateful illusion- what goes on in Greece these last weeks concerns all of us, it is the future of Europe which is at stake. 

So when we read about Greece these days, we should always bear in mind that, as the old saying goes, de te fabula narrator.

Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian Marxist philosopher and cultural critic

[The German word Leitkultur was first introduced in 1998 by the German-Arab sociologist Bassam Tibi. It can be translated as 'guiding culture' or 'leading culture', less literally as 'common culture', 'core culture' or 'basic culture'. Tibi himself saw it as a form of multiculturalism, but from 2000, the term figured prominently in the national political debate in Germany about national identity and immigration. The term then became associated with a monocultural vision of German society, with ideas of European cultural superiority, and with policies of compulsory cultural assimilation.

“De te fabula narratur,” which translates “Of you the tale is told,”, wrote Marx in his preface to Das Kapital, written in German in England, explaining the relevance of the English experience to still agrarian Germany.]

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