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Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbors: Against the Double Blackmail Paperback – October 18, 2016
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"[A]n urgent and entertaining diagnosis of the ongoing refugee crisis and global terror threat, highlighting the glaring contradictions in our attitudes and actions." —Mother Jones
"Offers...deep insights into addressing the refugee crisis, one of the world’s most current, serious dilemmas...A thought-provoking, stirring read by a rabble-rouser who deserves serious attention."—The Washington Missourian
"Slavoj iek’s compellingly persuasive insights into the current refugee explosion...could not arrive at a more urgent time."—CounterPunch
Praise for Slavoj iek
"One of the most influential and indeed popular public intellectuals in the world." —The Guardian
"The Elvis of cultural theory." —The New York Times
"The most dangerous philosopher in the West." —The New Republic
"The master of the counterintuitive observation." —The New Yorker
"Few thinkers illustrate the contradictions of contemporary capitalism better than Slavoj Zizek ... One of the world's best known public intellectuals." —The New York Review of Books
About the Author
Slavoj iek is a Hegelian philosopher, Lacanian psychoanalyst, and political activist. He is international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, and Global Distinguished Professor of German at New York University. He is the author of numerous books on dialectical materialism, critique of ideology and art, including Event, and Trouble In Paradise, both published by Melville House.
Top customer reviews
Zizek is a cultural analyst and frequently throws in cultural examples in his analysis. He does so here, of course. However, where in other contexts these cultural references are a distraction to what he has to say, here his references to film and art are skillfully used and, again, on point. Zizek is at his most readable here.
The Refugee Crisis has exposed the weakest points in an already strained European social network. Zizek has correctly identified those stresses and gives a critical assessment of where the blame should lay.
There’s plenty of blame to pass around. Zizek is, of course, critical of conservative groups which cannot show enough understanding and/or compassion to refugees fleeing a hell on earth but instead want them out. That part is easy.
Zizek, however is also highly critical of the European leftist elite, which, on the surface shows understanding or compassion, but does so in an imperfect manner, actually making the situation worse. For example, Germany pledges to accept fleeing refugees. Fine. But at the same time requires the least capable countries in the EE, such as Greece, to accept these refugees.
But most of all Zizek points to the global effects of neoliberal capitalism, western military interventionism and other factors in creating the crisis. This creates what Zizek calls a “double blackmail,” where as long as the root causes of the Refugee Crisis remains unresolved, the refugees will continue to pour into EE borders.
The Refugee Crisis is not just a European problem, and the issue affects North America. Zizek seems to concentrate his discussions to Europe. The crisis is world-wide, and could just as easily be applied to other parts of the world other than Europe. As he discusses in this enlightening book, the Refugee Crisis is a problem with no easily defined resolution.
For Zizek, the Leftist call to throw open the borders and blame the crisis on the West is considered "The White Man's Burden" in reverse. With Europe adopting a kind of masochistic attitude to this issue, Leftists are still romanticizing the Other and depriving themselves of their own autonomy by putting their problems on Europe. Now, Zizek is of course not letting the West off easy, he is aware and lays out the responsibility of Western governments [namely US, UK, France, etc] for their meddling in the Mideast. In addition to this, Zizek's call for breaking leftist taboos regarding Muslims [no more treating them as children and protecting them from criticism of Islam, which in itself is condescending and as racist as the right] and acknowledging that there is a European/Western culture/values worth preserving, and not being afraid to be Eurocentric [he notes, after all, that Marxism itself is Eurocentric].
All in all, a good read. Though given Zizek's willingness to break Leftist taboos as of late, it is no wonder many on the Left are turning on him