File spoon-archives/postanarchism.archive/postanarchism_2004/postanarchism.0403, message 3


Subject: Re: [postanarchism] The Agreement of Zizek and Katsiafiacas on Multiculturalism
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2004 13:32:22 US/Eastern


Jason says:

> Here are two quotes from Zizek which absolutely concur
> with Katsiaficas arguments about both the need for
> coexistence with Islamic 'fundamentalism' and the
> rejection of liberal multiculturalism in favor of a
> more radical one:

Where in the Zizek quote is there an argument 
about "the need for coexistence with Islamic 
'fundamentalism'"?

Zizek makes a claim about "big media" and the
value of its "simple oppositions," but it doesn't
go much beyond the realization that "things are
always more complicated." 

Fair enough. I will also agree that "fundamentalism"
is a term thrown around at times with little precision.
On the other hand, there *is* such a thing as 
fundamentalism, and it has a particular character which,
defined precisely (with reference to the christian 
documents, "The Fundamentals") or more broadly, as
Jesse is doing, refers to *real* and *authoritarian*
systems of thought. These are at odds with anarchism. 

Things are, indeed, "always more complicated." These
is, as someone once said, "nothing outside the text."
That means that to identify someone as a "fundamentalist"
because they actually believe in recourse to sacred,
inerrant texts or codes as the ultimate source of value
is to grasp only a part of what they are and where they
fit in all the fields of force and power that surround
us all. But that doesn't mean that *part* can't be
identified, and its significance (for questions like
coexistence) can't be evaluated. 

Zizek argues against generalization and demonizing 
labels, and identifies some of the mechanisms by which
"liberal multiculturalism" projects its racism on a 
convenient "other." One might turn the critique around
again on itself, questioning whether the emerging 
story of simply opposition (liberal vs. radical
multiculturalism) was any more adequate to the complex
issues at stake. 

There are also serious questions about what, if 
anything, folks like Zizek and Badiou really have to
say to anarchists, particularly ones engaged with
poststructuralism. But i assume we'll get into those
questions as the Badiou work is opened up.

-shawn

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