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Is Slavoj Žižek a New Right? by Peter Schwarz

Peter Schwarz, "Slavoj Žižek: From pseudo-left to new right", 8 February 2016 in World Socialist Web Site:

The Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek has joined the ranks of German professors agitating against refugees, including the historian Jörg Baberowski, the social scientist Rüdiger Safranski and the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk. In the January 16 edition of news weekly Der Spiegel, the prominent representative of postmodernism and adherent of psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan has published a commentary whose class arrogance, unconcealed racism and call for a strong state eclipses the contributions of his colleagues. On January 27, in an interview with the daily Die Welt, Žižek developed the positions he put forward in Der Spiegel.

Žižek’s emergence as an open right-winger is particularly significant because he has long tried to pose as an opponent of capitalism and even as a “Marxist” or a “post-Marxist.” In pseudo-left circles of intellectuals and semi-intellectuals he has been celebrated and courted accordingly. He has received professorships and visiting professorships as well as numerous invitations to speak at international symposia and lectures. He has appeared with Alex Callinicos, the leader of the Socialist Workers Party in Britain and a spokesman of the pseudo-left International Socialist Tendency, at many events, including the Marx21 Congress in Berlin.

In Der Speigel, Žižek gives free rein to his hatred and contempt for the oppressed and disadvantaged. His article “A Carnival of Underdogs” culminates in the sentence: “Brutality towards those weaker animals, women, is a traditional feature of the ‘lower classes.’”

Like all right-wing propagandists, Žižek cares little for facts and seizes on individual cases—real or invented—to slander whole social or ethnic groups. This technique is well known from the anti-Semitic inflammatory writings of the Nazis, only this time it is not Jews, but Muslims, who are the scapegoats.

The starting point of Žižek’s tirades are the events of New Year’s Eve in Cologne, which he terms an “obscene carnival of the lower classes.” The incidents in Cologne have been systematically blown out of proportion by the media in order to whip up a hysterical campaign against immigrants and Muslims. To date, there is no evidence that anything happened other than what regularly takes place in similar mass gatherings where much alcohol is involved....more