Žižek über Antisemitismus und Islamophobie

Das neue Buch von Slavoj Žižek, The Parallax View, erscheint mir alles andere als unproblematisch. Deshalb hier nur einen kurzen Ausschnitt dessen, was ich an seiner Analyse des europäischen Antisemitismus noch durchaus anregend und inspirierend fand (pp. 253--258). Dummerweise hab ich mir in meinem Authentizitätswahn die englische Ausgabe des Buches gekauft, was sich hinterher als herber Fehler herausstellte, weil Slavoj Žižek selbst kein native speaker ist und die deutsche Übersetzung wenigstens von einer Muttersprachler_in besorgt gewesen wäre. But never mind, here he goes:

This is what Milner [a Lacanian theoretic of the „New Antisemitism“] is aiming at all along — this Europe, in its advocacy of unlimited openness and multicultural tolerance, again needs the figure of the „Jew“ as a structural obstacle to this drive toward unlimited unification […]: in early modern anti-Semitism (exemplified by the name of Fichte), the Jews were denounced for their limitation, for sticking to their particular way of life, for their refusal to dissolve their identity in the unlimited field of modern secular citizenship. With late-nineteenth-century chauvinist imperialism, the logic was inverted: the Jews were perceived as cosmopolitan, as the embodiment of an unlimited, „deracinated“ existence which, like a cancerous intruder, threatens to dissolve the identity of every particular-limited ethnic community. Today, however, with the move toward the post-Nation-State globalization whose political expression is an unlimited Empire, the Jews are again cast in the role of being stuck onto a Limit, a particular identity — they are increasingly perceived as the obstacle on the path toward unification (not only of Europe, but also of Europe and the Arab world).

Milner thus locates the notion of „Jews“ in the European ideological imaginary as the moment which prevents unification-peace, which has to be annihilated for Europe to unite; this is why the Jews are always a „problem“ that demands a „solution“ — Hitler was merely the most radical point of this tradition. […] So why where the Jews elevated to this role of the obstacle? What does the Jew stand for? Milner’s answer here is radical: much more than the form of existence delimited by tradition, much more than stubborn attachment to a Nation-State — the Fourfold/quadruplicite of masculine/feminine/parents/children, of the exchange of generations as a symbolic passage sustained by the Law. […]

The figure of the „Jew“ is thus elevated into the index of a properly ontological limit: it stands for human finitude itself, for symbolic tradition, language, paternal Law, and, in Milner’s „Lacanian“ account of anti-Semitism, as inscribed into the very identity of Europe. „Europe“ stands for the (Greek and Christian) dream of parousia, of a full jouissance [enjoyment] beyond the Law, unencumbered by any obstacles or prohibitions. Modernity itself is propelled by a desire to move beyond Laws, to a self-regulated transparent social body […]. Against this tradition, the Jews, in a radically anti-millenarian way, persist in their fidelity to the Law […]

Insofar as the Jews insist on the unsurpassable horizon of the Law and resist the Christian sublation (Aufhebung) of the Law in Love, they are the embodiment of the irreducible finitude of the human condition: they are not just an empirical obstacle to full incestuous jouissance, but the obstacle „as such,“ the very principle of impediment, the perturbing excess that can never be integrated. Jews are thus elevated to the objet petit a („notre objet a,“ the title of François Regnault’s booklet on the Jews), the object-cause of (our Western) desire, the obstacle which effectively sustains desire, and in the absence of which our desire itself would vanish. They are our object of desire not in the sense of that which we desire, but in the strict Lacanian sense of that which sustains our desire, the metaphysical obstacle to full self-presence or full jouissance, that which has to be eliminated to make way for the arrival of the full jouissance; and, since this non-barred jouissance is structurally impossible, that which returns with increasing strength as a spectral threat the more Jews are annihilated. […]

[But] the irony missed by Milner is that today it is the Muslims, not the Jews, who are perceived as a threat and an obstacle to globalization: it is a journalistic commonplace to point out that all the great world religions have found a way to live with capitalist modernization with the exception of Islam, which is why the present conflict is often described as the one between the democratic West and „Islamic Fascism.“ […]

At one extreme, the Muslims continue to function as Europe’s constitutive Other: the main opposition of today’s ideologico-political struggle is the one between a tolerant multicultural liberal Europe and a fundamentalist Islam. Any political or even cultural organization of Muslims is immediately dismissed as a fundamentalist threat to our secular values. A good example is Oriana Fallaci, with her thesis that Europe has already spiritually capitulated: it already treats itself as a province of Islam, afraid of asserting its cultural and political identity. […] From this standpoint, the fact that Arab Muslims continue to function as Europe’s constitutive Other is precisely what we must submit to a critical analysis which should „deconstruct“ the image of the Islamic fundamentalist threat. …


2 Antworten auf „Žižek über Antisemitismus und Islamophobie“


  1. Gravatar Icon 1 M. 04. März 2007 um 13:56 Uhr

    Moslems als die Juden von heute? Oder was sollen wir uns aus diesem unkommentierten Beitrag ziehen?

    Was ist „alles andere als unproblematisch“?

    An manchen Stellen schwingt in diesem Blog immer mit, dass man aus der Islamfeindlichkeit den neuen Antisemitismus macht; was früher die jüdische Großfamilie war, sei heute das Bild der islamischen etc.

  2. Gravatar Icon 2 Subtext 22. Juli 2009 um 17:11 Uhr

    the move toward the post-Nation-State globalization

    Dieser Floh springt mir in deutlich zu vielen Ohren rum. Da ist der gute Zizek wohl auf die buergerliche Rede von der „Globalisierung“ reingefallen.

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