on zizek and the immigrant crisis

ZizPaul O’Mahoney at The Dublin Review of Books:

This latest addition to the prolific Žižek’s output is in large part culled from pieces of journalism published over the past twelve months, dealing with the migrant crisis and related phenomena, from the Paris terror attacks of November 2015 to the mass sexual assaults during new year’s celebrations in Cologne. The book allows for presentation of these reflections in a more considered and consistent form; and, while its tone, brisker pace and brevity may betray its journalistic origins, it is not inappropriate, given the urgency of the subject matter and the need for practical proposals, that it should have more references to other pieces of journalism and sociological research and fewer to the German Idealist philosophy and Lacanian psychoanalysis so associated with Žižek’s work.

The figure of the neighbour, in the abstract, the multiplicity of that figure’s potential manifestations and equally diverse forms of “troubles with the neighbours”, have always been central to Žižek’s work; it is thus no surprise that migrations unprecedented in the era of welfare state capitalism should not only occasion his direct reflections but also, and more unusually, force his hand as regards offering solutions. The current mass migrations of course present a dual challenge: on the one side, the European destination countries feel it acutely and fear it as a potential threat to their way of life, an unexampled form of present, and promise of future, “troubles with the neighbours”. The challenge facing those attempting to reach Europe meanwhile is not only to stay alive; it does not end with their gaining Europe but is only transformed into a fresh set of troubles in a new neighbourhood.

more here.