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To Resolve the Migrant Crisis We Must Recognize the Stranger WithinOurselves: Slavoj Žižek



Slavoj Žižek, in a recent article on the In These Times expresses his feeling on 'the deal between Turkey and European Union on how to contain and regulate the flow of refugees'. However, Žižek questions whether the crisis is over: 'Europe succeeded in stemming the Muslim invasion without betraying humanitarian compassion. But did it?' He argues:

..the humanitarian reaction almost imperceptibly transforms a political-economic problem into a moral one of “refugee crisis” and of “helping the victims.” Further, rather than attacking the silent, low-class majority as racist and ignorant of the immigrants’ plight, or, at best, as stupid victims of racist big media propaganda, would not the truly humanitarian reaction be to address their actual concerns that express themselves in a racist way?

Then he turns to Lacan to explain further:
....the paranoiac talk about the immigrant threat is still an ideological pathology, it tells more about us, Europeans, than about immigrants. The true question is not “Are immigrants a real threat to Europe?” but “What does this obsession with the immigrant threat tell us about the weakness of Europe?”

On the one hand, the Europeans fear of the Islamization of Europe. But they forget to remember that the refugees are desperate people looking for a better life. The paranoiac twist is here:

....immigrants appear (or pretend) to be desperate refugees, while in reality they are the spearheads of a new Islamic invasion of Europe. By way of this twist, the cause of problems that are immanent to today’s global capitalism is projected onto an external intruder: instead of refugees who are ultimately the victims of global capitalism, we get fundamentalist terrorists who threaten our way of life from outside.
You can read the fantastic article here.

You can also watch his opinion on Channel 4: