Slavoj Zizek. On Belief and Otherness. 2002 1/6

Slavoj Zizek. On Belief and Otherness. 2002 1/6
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14



the third point is that within this perspective the central ethical category horizon turns out to be respect for Adonis that as if you know that's the ultimate horizon here let me quote Alain Badiou from an interview he made with this art journal cabinet where he made a point with which I agree what I must particularly insist that the formula respect for the other has nothing to do with any serious definition of good and evil what does respect for the other mean when man is at war against an enemy when one must touch the work of a mediocre artist when science is faced with obscurantist sex sex very often it is the respect for others with his injuries which is evil especially when it is resistance against others or even hatred of others that drives subjectively trust action and of course now the obvious liberal reproach here would have been but to produce own examples not display the limit of his body logic yes hatred for the enemy intolerance towards false wisdom but it's not the big lesson of the 20th century of totalitarian experience that even especially when we are caught in such a struggle we should respect a certain limit the limit precisely of the other's radical otherness is it not that we should never reduce the other to an enemy to the bearer of false knowledge or whatever is it not that there is always in every figure of the other an impenetrable abyss of radical otherness almost a kind of absolute the 20th century totalitarianism with its millions of victims shows this would be the liberal criticism I think the ultimate outcome catastrophic outcome of following to the end what appears to be a subjectively trask action but I think that this precisely now it's me who is speaking no longer the Liberals to avoid confusion this the reasoning that we should reject let me take the extreme case a mortal violent struggle against a fascist enemy should one display here respect for the abyss of the radical otherness of Hitler's personality and so on it is here I think that one should apply Christ's well-known works about how he brings Schwarz and division not unity and peace out of the very love for Humanity inclusive whatever remained of humanity in Nazis themselves one should fight them in an absolutely ruthless respectless way in short the truth saying often quoted like in Schindler's List a proposed Holocaust you know that well-known wisdom when somebody saves one man alone from death one says entire humanity it may sound strange but I think it should be supplemented with when one kills only one true enemy of humanity one says entire humanity that's the more difficult part to accept the true ethical test is not only the readiness to save victims but perhaps even more the ruthless dedication to initiate those who made them victims now what back to this celebration of multitude what this emphasis of on multitudes and diversity masks is of course the underlined monotony of today's global life I think this is the ultimate fake of multicultural is this emphasis different lifestyles and so on that is basically all the same how then is this concealed I think through another key feature of contemporary ideology which is the constant ironic undermining of every identification the point today the way authority functions today it's how do you see the movie it's a ridiculous movie but I like it with Bruce Willis the unbreakable very not ridiculous story the hero discovers that he's in real life and invincible cartoon hero and the problem is that it's difficult for him to assume this mandate whatever and I think this is now generally Authority today's function today's boss no longer says I insist on order you must obey me and then behind his back you make fun at him today's boss comes to you makes obscene clothes embraces you and so on but he nonetheless remains the boss so in a closer look how does this ideology function let me take another example from Hollywood which gives us the other aspect of today's dominant ideology this recent again animated blockbuster big success Shrek you know what it is it's a cartoon about the standard it's a standard fairytale story the hero and his endearingly confused comic helper go and defeat the dragon and save the princess from its clutches but if you saw the movie you know what I'm talking about this story is coated in joking subversive effects almost sometimes it looks as but it's not break the unfriending and externally actions ironic self referential comments for example you know when at the end the couple married on in the middle sorry the couple is supposed to marry in the church you see people applauding but then you see that that a servant of the King are giving stage Direction like applaud respectful silence and so on or for example the two lovers kiss the ugly ogre and the beautiful princess but instead of the standard story where the ugly guy frog whatever turns into a beautiful Prince here is the beautiful princess who turns into an ugly peasant woman so that they can be happy couple and so on and so on so we get all these reversals for example even the dragon turns out to be a carrying female who later helps the heroes we have an Elan Achra Francis to modern culture and so on and so on so how are we to read it I can imagine a Judith Butler reading which will be yeah yeah these are displacement in strange scription another site of resistance you know I don't think that it is I think this film perfectly exemplifies how ideology functions today the key focus for me is that with all these drugs displacement blah blah blah the same old story is being taught and I think that the function of all this displacement strokes is precisely to render the traditional narrative palpable for our time the function of all this joke is profoundly reactionary it is to prevent us from us kick by not telling another story it's precisely a way for the same story to go on so no wonder that the finale of the film consists of the ironic version of the old monkey sweet monkeys was a band from the 60s I'm a believer this is how we are today believers we make fun of ourselves while continuing we make fun of our beliefs while continuing to practice them so let me now conclude I'll probably already speak for 10 minutes now and my non-linear notion of time okay I moved to the last part now what conclusions should be made from this situation the first one I think one should fight a certain attitude which was again perfectly designated by Chesterton this attitude with least at the different levels of course practice in our public lives in our usual secular lives but also in the radical academia it's did you notice how it with many so-called radical academics you have one stylistic prohibition which is the prohibition to firmly assert your position you are not allowed to say this is it you are allowed to say and you have this dozens of rhetoric variations like usually the rhetorical question might be not reached the claim that under certain conditions it could be possible to propose that then woman is a symbolic construction not an actual category whatever but that's how it is the so always as if in order to make a statement you must always add a qualification but I don't mean really a first course I mean itself critically it's not and so on and so on I think that the falsity of this attitude was again denounced by Chesterton a wonderful quote the last one don't be worried at any street corner we may need a man who utters the frantic blasphemous statement that he may be wrong every day one comes across somebody who says that of course his views may not be the right ones of course his views must be the right ones or they are not his wheels end of quote

Zizek misreads Levinas, weakly. Levinas has an interview in which he states precisely that the other (Other) may present itself as an enemy.

He saw thru Shrek wonderfully. It's pure modern hipocrisy. Like, it isn't important what you look like, but princess must get ugly to marry Shrek. Or what's worse, we're sooo politically correct, but the bad guy is soooo short. So, we can't ridicule ugly, but we can ridicule short?

a respect for other when at war…god damn it! it means you don´t torture the enemy to death with most imaginative way and eat his/her eyeballs, &c! stupid question, mr B, and I DON`T agree with you on this, mr Z… there are certain rules of respect for OTHER everywhere…depending on situation…even with nazis, even at war…now this is Z at his wrst, just bullshitting, and you brainless fans can´t see your bloody hero´s just hitting air at the moment…

"Tout comprendre, c´est tout pardonner." Yes, even the oppressors. All seeks equilibrium. Human behavior being no different. It's driven by desire, which is based upon a near infinite number of factors from cultural to genetic; all of which are then spurned along by moment-to-moment circumstance. This CAN be overridden if one is willing. Yet, to 'will' one has to 'care.' Only then can one even consider 'thinking' & be made aware of 'options.' & only then will ideas manifest into relevance.

to me part of the significance of this guy is that he speaks what very few people are willing to say. to accept what Zizek says here is to reject what is one of this epoch's central ethos. regardless of whether people agree i say he's got balls

Excellent. I hope this has to do with the book of the same name. That is the first Zizek I owned after finding it at a used bookstore.

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