Put everything together for us, from Angela Merkel talking about the end of multiculturalism — even what that means, "multiculturalism" — to the mass protests that are taking place in France and beyond.



SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK: I really think that usually we Europeans are a little bit arrogant, like we are the model of tolerance and so on. Now something horrible has happened, and what is really worrying is that it’s not only the countries, the parts of Europe, that we usually associate with intolerance, like southeastern Europe, Romania, Hungary and so on, it’s even the very models of tolerance — Netherlands, Norway and so on.

What really worries me is — I will say something very simple, almost commonsensical, that, you know, for me, I’m here always for censorship. Through democracy, tolerance, in an authentic sense, means that you simply cannot say certain things publicly. You are considered — you know, like if you say publicly an anti-Semitic, sexist joke, it’s unacceptable. Things which were unacceptable ten, fifteen years ago are now acceptable. And what I really am worried about is how the far right, what was twenty years ago the domain of the far right, is setting — even if they are a minority, they are setting the general agenda.

The typical rhetorical trick here is in two moves. First, you of course condemn the far right — "no place in our developed democracy." But then you add, "But they are addressing the real worries of the people," and so on and so on. So, in precisely — that’s the dirty sophistic trick — in order to prevent hatred outbursts, we have to control the situation. You know what is significant about Sarrazin, the banker, that you mentioned? You know that he was politically close to social democracy.

from Slavoj Zizek: Far Right and Anti-Immigrant Politicians on the Rise in Europe



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