Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Letting Love In...

The discourse of victimisation is almost the predominant discourse today. You can be a victim of the environment, of smoking, of sexual harassment. I find this reduction of the subject to a victim sad. In what sense? There is an extremely narcissistic notion of personality here. And, indeed, an intolerant one, insofar as what it means is that we can no longer tolerate violent encounters with others - and these encounters are always violent.

Let me briefly address sexual harassment for a moment. Of course I am opposed to it, but let's be frank. Say I am passionately attached, in love, or whatever, to another human being and I declare my love, my passion for him or her. There is always something shocking, violent in it. This may sound like a joke, but it isn't - you cannot do the game of erotic seduction in politically correct terms. There is a moment of violence, when you say: 'I love you, I want you.' In no way can you bypass this violent aspect. So I even think that the fear of sexual harassment in a way includes this aspect, a fear of a too violent, too open encounter with another human being.

Another thing that bothers me about this multiculturalism is when people ask me: 'How can you be sure that you are not a racist?' My answer is that there is only one way. If I can exchange insults, brutal jokes, dirty jokes, with a member of a different race and we both know it's not meant in a racist way. If, on the other hand, we play this politically correct game - 'Oh, I respect you, how interesting your customs are' - this is inverted racism, and it is disgusting.

In the Yugoslav army where we were all of mixed nationalities, how did I become friends with Albanians? When we started to exchange obscenities, sexual innuendo, jokes. This is why this politically correct respect is just, as Freud put it, zielgehemmt. You still have the aggression towards the other.

For me there is one measure of true love: you can insult the other. Like in that horrible German comedy film from 1943 where Marika Röck treats her fiancé very brutally. This fiancé is a rich, important person, so her father asks her why are you treating him like that. And she gives the right answer. She says: 'But I love him, and since I love him, I can do with him whatever I want.' That's the truth of it. If there is true love, you can say horrible things and anything goes.

When multiculturalists tell you to respect the others, I always have this uncanny association that this is dangerously close to how we treat our children: the idea that we should respect them, even when we know that what they believe is not true. We should not destroy their illusions. No, I think that others deserve better - not to be treated like children.
― Slavoj Žižek, “The one measure of true love is: you can insult the other


  1. I really like this, and particularly the "how do you know you're not racist" test. But when he talks about "anything goes" with the one you love, surely he doesn't mean that we can TRY to hurt one another, to really be vicious and hurtful just for the heck of it. Is he talking about being "offensive" in a humorous manner?

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  3. I suspect that you can be candid and share some truths that reflect negatively upon yourself. And even after a long knockdown, dragout, you can forgive?

  4. I don't think he means that we can go out of our way to be hurtful/spiteful.

  5. And even after a long knockdown, dragout, you can forgive?


    Yes. Forgiveness heals. Isn't it funny...when I was very young, I'd watch my grandparents and see how well they got along. They teased each other and fussed a little, but it was never ugly or mean. I thought that it was because marriage must be VERY EASY.

  6. I had some aunts and uncles that made me feel that way. :)