The Master is needed especially in situations of deep crisis. The function of a Master is to enact an authentic division – a division between those who want to drag on within the old parameters and those who are aware of the necessary change. Such a division, not the opportunistic compromises, is the only path to true unity. Let us take an example which surely is not problematic: France in 1940. Even Jacques Duclos, the second man of the French Communist Party, admitted in a private conversation that if, at that point in time, free elections were to be held in France, Marshal Petain would have won with 90 per cent of the vote. When de Gaulle, in his historic act, refused to acknowledge the capitulation to Germans and continued to resist, he claimed that it was only he, not the Vichy regime, who speaks on behalf of the true France (on behalf of true France as such, not only on behalf of the “majority of the French”!). What he was saying was deeply true even if it was “democratically” not only without legitimacy, but clearly opposed to the opinion of the majority of the French people. Margaret Thatcher, the lady who was not for turning, was such a Master, sticking to her decision which was at first perceived as crazy, gradually elevating her singular madness into an accepted norm.
more from Slavoj Zizek at The New Statesman here.