Today, hundreds of thousands of people, desperate to escape war, violence and poverty, are seeking refuge in Europe. Our response from our European standpoint, argues Slavoj Žižek, offers two versions of ideological blackmail: either we open our doors as widely as possible; or we try to pull up the drawbridge. Both solutions are bad, states Žižek. They merely prolong the problem, rather than tackling it…
…The refugee crisis also presents an opportunity, a unique chance for Europe to redefine itself: but, if we are to do so, we have to start raising unpleasant and difficult questions. We must also acknowledge that large migrations are our future: only then can we commit to a carefully prepared process of change, one founded not on a community that see the excluded as a threat, but one that takes as its basis the shared substance of our social being.
The only way, in other words, to get to the heart of one of the greatest issues confronting Europe today is to insist on the global solidarity of the exploited and oppressed. Maybe such solidarity is a utopia. But, warns Žižek, if we don’t engage in it, then we are really lost. And we will deserve to be lost.
Slavoj Žižek is a Philosopher and Psychoanalytic social theorist. He is Senior Researcher at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana; Professor at the School of Law and Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London; Distinguished Scholar at the Kyung Hee University, Seoul; and Visiting Professor at the German Department, New York University. His field of work comprises Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, dialectical-materialist metaphysical interpretations of German Idealism and Marxian critique of ideology. His more than sixty books in English have been widely translated. His latest publications include ‘Pandemic!’ & ‘Pandemic! 2’, ‘Hegel in a Wired Brain’, ‘Sex and the Failed Absolute’, ‘Like A Thief In Broad Daylight’, ‘Reading Marx’, ‘Incontinence of the Void’, ‘The Day After the Revolution’, ‘Heaven in Disorder’ and ‘Reading Hegel’.
Hari Mohan Nath Kunzru is an English novelist and journalist. He is the author of the novels ‘The Impressionist’, ‘Transmission’, ‘My Revolutions’, ‘Gods Without Men’, ‘White Tears’ and ‘Red Pill’. His work has been translated into twenty languages.