Zizek – transgenderism, migration and liberalism

Against the Double Blackmail: refugees, terror and other troubles with the neighbours -  Salvoj Zizek   Culture, Identity, Transgenderism, anti-Colonialism, Marxism, Gender Theory

Slavoj Zizek is an entertaining comedic Slovenian old-fashioned Marxist philosopher who brings Hegel’s dialectics and Marx’s politics to life to make it comprehensible through a seemingly meandering logic that eventually comes to its point without ever losing the place. Listen to how he connects class struggle to transgenderism’s demand for separate toilets; relates Boko Haram, Slovenia, Plato and American marching bands to Brexit and Eurovision and free-spirited singing; and links Palestinian nationalism to Buddhist violence. He argues against the political correctness of “Leftists” from a Left perspective  – just as Marx argued against naive idealistic Leftists using the same dialectic logic.

His argument against transgenderism’s demand for segregated toilets is not based on a static “Rightist” notion of natural law but on  its “liberal” opposite. He argues that gender, like so much else, is a fluid concept which creates a “deadlock” which makes the “other” the actual the general rather than the exception. His argument with transgender politics is not that it is radical, but that it is not radical enough! He argues that freedom implies toilet neutrality. He can’t but “smell a rat” when he sees 80 Silicon Valley billionaire entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg signing a document protesting North Carolina’s discrimination against transgender persons. Zizek argues that in its demand for an impossible gender harmony that seeks to concretise gender difference instead of eliminating and embracing the “deadlock” of gender struggle, transgenderism unwittingly allies in common cause with Boko Haram and other dishonourable abominations. Zizek is very very “politically incorrect” as he stretches logic to its breaking point.

His logic follows the dialectic principle that “two is three” – that in any binary distinction in society, there is always an exception that creates the rule that is the personal “deadlock”. Zizek identifies as a male, but when he goes to the bathroom, he questions his maleness because there is in everybody, an element of the opposite.

Zizek eventually finds his way to the title of his lecture, migration. He doesn’t want a multicultural society where difference is romanticised. He wants more migration in a multicultural society where everyone ignores difference with tolerant benevolent discretion and courtesy. As an new-fashioned Marxist, he bemoans how gender struggle has “colonised” the class struggle and calls for a politics which merges the reality of class struggle and the reality of gender and identity struggle.

Don’t take my word for Zizek – listen to the podcast, reflect on his logic  and hear the audience enjoying the serious comedic philosophy. Zizek will always make you think while you enjoy yourself.

And check out his web site for more podcasts at Zizek’s podcasts page or Zizek on iTunes

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