Those Planes Really Hit Europe

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Forget about certain inane elements of the American left's response to 9/11. Here's a mind-numbing takeon the real meaning of the attacks from increasingly prominent Euro intellectual, Slavoj Zizek:

"The true politico-ideological catastrophe of 11 September was that of Europe. The result of 11 September is the unheard-of strengthening of the American hegemony in all its aspects. Europe succumbed to a kind of ideologico-political blackmail of the USA….And at this point where the reference to mere survival enters the stage as the ultimate legitimisation, that we are dealing with political ideology at its purest. On behalf of the 'war on terror', a certain positive vision of global political relations is silently imposed on us Europeans.

And if the emancipatory legacy of Europe is to survive, one should take the 11 September fiasco as the last warning that the time is running up, that Europe should move fast to ascertain itself as an autonomous ideological, political and economic force with its own priorities. The Left should unabashedly appropriate the slogan of unified Europe as a counterforce to Americanised globalism."

The emancipatory legacy of Europe! Among many other things, there's a deft move to airbrush Europe's leading role in making the 20th century extremely bloody both there and abroad. Instead the real problem is increased global trade, a stalking horse for Americanization despite the rising economic power of China, India and others.

NEXT: Alcohol-Free Bars, Part II

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  1. In November 1940 Hitler believed the United States would come into its own and be a force to be reckoned with ? about the year 1970 or 1980.
    So, Slavoj Zizek may be correct.

  2. What’s the difference between “politico-ideological” and “ideologico-political”?

  3. If “the only serious political force which is today ‘alive’ is the new populist Right” it’s because they can actually communicate their ideas in everyday language. Interesting how much of the essay is given to what seems to basically be an intellectual delegitimizing of democracy, “the Act itself will create the conditions of its retroactive ‘democratic’ legitimisation”. Makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time that people actually still believe this BS.

  4. I remember reading this kind of pseudo-Marxist-I am deconstructing because I am smarter than you-claptrap when I was in college in the mid ’80s. No wonder philosophers have a bad rap.

  5. Actually most of the really lame stuff you are thinking of is in the field of literary criticism rather than philosophy itself.

    In a way I feel sorry for Zizek. I have come across some of his writings (The Ticklish Subject) and he isn’t as big of an idiot as the above grafs would suggest. Its just that to be respected in that field one must also bloviate on politics, which for many (Zizek) isn’t a strong suit.

    And for the Left to hold corporatist, protectionist, nanny-state Europe as a model would just be a total sell out of everything good for which the Left stands; Zizek appears to be less a Leftist and more of someone who deeply envies America for some strange reason.

  6. Well, in one sense he’s correct: Many people left Europe precisely because they wished to become emancipated, although I’m not certain that is the interpretation Zizek intends.

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