More self-criticism, please! by Slavoj Žižek

(From German translated via Google) It is inappropriate to call Donald Trump a fascist. But his first official meetings as president show that Walter Benjamin's thesis that every rise of fascism is evidence of a failed revolution is not only still valid, but perhaps even more relevant than ever. The election victory was the price that Hillary Clinton had to pay for the elimination of Bernie Sanders. She did not lose the choice because she moved too far to the left, but because she was too centrist and could not catch the revolt against the establishment, which Trump was as profitable as Sanders.

A demonstrator in Portland declared that for the first time in his life he was afraid of his president. This shows that he misunderstood the real danger. For what he should actually fear is the consensus of the left-liberal mainstream in which Trump could arise. There is a piece of truth in the assertion that Hillary Clinton attributed her defeat to political correctness - not because the PC is contrary to the attitude of many people, but because the political correctness is wrong.

Although the proponents of the PC of conservatives as Marxists are abused, the PC is not the real left. It represents the attempt to clear social opposites by regulating the way we speak. The reaction of the Left to Trump's choice should not be restricted to self-complacent moral indignation, but rather to be a tough self-criticism: Trumps Victory gives the Left the unique opportunity to renew itself.

The logic in contradiction

A few months ago, gays, lesbians, and transgenders were on the front lines of the media - as if society 's biggest problem was how to overcome gender segregation in toilets, or to create a personal pronoun for all those who were neither as "he" nor as " "They". Now we are confronted with the setback of the oppressed - and with the election victory of a man who deliberately broke with all PC rules, directly and vulgar.

Trump is the parade of a "two-spirit capitalist", as we know it in the movie "Citizen Kane". Kane is attacked there by a representative of the big capital, because he is financing a newspaper, which advocates the rights of the underprivileged. Kane acknowledges the contradiction and explains the logic of his actions.

He is a dangerous villain, says Kane of himself: "But as an editor of the Enquirer, it is his duty to ensure that the decent people in this city are not robbed by a group of money-grabbing pirates. And he himself is exactly the right thing to do, because he has money and possessions: "If I do not stand for the interests of the short-lived, someone else does. Maybe someone without money and possessions - and that would be bad indeed. "

This sentence formulates succinctly what is wrong in the fact that the billionaire Donald Trump is the spokesman of the expropriated: his strategy is to prevent the expropriated ones from defending themselves for their rights. So Trump is far from being simply contradictory. What appears to be a contradiction is the core of his project.

Oedipus policy

The philosopher Richard Rorty pointed out early on this point. In his book "Achieving Our Country", he already clearly foretold the conflict between identity politics and the struggle of the deprived two decades ago. And he also saw that this conflict could help a populist with a decided anti-identity policy to power.

When the poor, white electorate noted that the left-wing establishment was fomenting its plight, even though it was constantly talking about social justice, Rorty wrote: "The poorer voters would come to the conclusion that the system had failed and a strong one Man who promises them that under him the fine bureaucrats, clever lawyers, overpaid investment consultants and postmodern professors no longer have the say.

[. , .] One thing is likely to happen: The progress of black and brown Americans and homosexuals in the last forty years has been swept away. [. , .] All resentment, which Americans with bad school education have against the fact that the academics want to prescribe good manners, would find a valve. "

Rorty was not the only one to anticipate this. But as is the case in politics: the awareness that things are going in a dangerous direction does not just not prevent this development, it sometimes even carries it forward - politics mimics the fate of Oedipus. The left-wingers accused Sanders of undermining the identity policy.

In fact, he did the opposite: he insisted on a link between class, ethnicity, and gender. One has to agree with Sanders when he emphasizes identity is not a reason to choose someone: "It is not enough for someone to say, 'I am a woman, choose me.' What we need is a woman who has the courage Against the insurance companies, the pharmaceuticals and the petroleum industry. "

Sanders always said it was a step forward when an African American CEO was a big company. He said, "But when he outsources jobs or exploits his employees, it does not matter whether he is white or black or a Latino." Sanders moved to a sore point in openly practiced racism within the gay, lesbian, and gay world Transgender community (LGBT).

How can I be a religious zealot if I myself belong to an oppressed minority? This attitude is common among white LGBT people. Even more dangerous is the fact that the LGBT world revolves around white gay men and excludes others. The rainbow flag is whiter than many think.

It is no wonder that the right-wing movements are trying to take the campaign for the rights of gays, lesbians and transgenders into their political agenda - of course, only when it comes to targeting Muslims or migrants. On the websites of white American nationalists, LGBT Pride pennants are now sold together with the Confederate flag. However, empty calls for all-round solidarity and political alliances are not enough. One has to be aware of the limitations of identity politics by taking their privileged status.

Thinking - time is pressing

There are two answers to Trumps election victory, which offer no solution because they are self-destructive. One is to be as fascinated as arrogant about the stupidity of the voters who do not realize that they have voted against their own interests and have entered Trumps Demagogy. The other is the call for an immediate counteroffensive, which is an echo of trumps of anti-intellectual attitudes. Judith Butler has clearly stated that Trump gives people the opportunity not to think, not to think. (She knows, of course, that Hillary Clinton's vocation to complexity, however, had a clue: she generally invoked only to defy the demands of the left wing of the party.)

The urgency of the situation is not an excuse. Especially when time is pressing, one has to think. We should not be afraid to think about Marx. So far we have been changing our world too quickly. Now the time has come to reinterpret them self-critically and to question the left-hand self-understanding. There is a joke about Lenin, who always told young people: "Learn, learn, learn!" Marx, Engels, and Lenin are asked whether they prefer a wife or a lover. Marx says: "A woman!" Engels wants a lover. Lenin says: "Both. So I can tell my wife that I am going to my beloved, and the beloved, I must go to my wife, and then I go back to a quiet place, and learn, learn, learn. "

Is not that exactly what Lenin did after the disaster of 1914? He went to Switzerland, read Hegel's logic and learned. We should also do this, now that we are under the spell of Trump's election victory - after all, it is just one of many evil surprises that we have experienced recently. We must defend ourselves against defaitism as well as against blind activism and we must "learn, learn, learn": to learn how this fiasco of liberal-democratic politics came about.

In the "Notes Towards a Definition of Culture," TS Eliot wrote that there are situations in which one can only choose between heresy and unbelief. The only way to keep a religion alive is to sectarian cleavage from her dead body. This is exactly what we must do now: the 2016 elections were the last blow to Francis Fukuyama's dream - the final victory of liberal democracy. The only way to defeat Trump and save what is worth saving in liberal democracy is a sectarian split from her body. We need to move the weights from Clinton to Sanders. In 2020, Trump and Sanders would face each other.


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