The politically correct version enacts a weird reversal of racist hatred of Otherness -- it stages a kind of mockingly Hegelian negation/sublation of openly racist dismissal and hatred of the Other, of the perception of the Other as the Enemy which poses a threat to our way of life. In the PC vision, the Other's violence against us, deplorable and cruel as it may be, is always a reaction against the "original sin" of our (white man's imperialist, colonialist, cetc.) rejection and oppression of Otherness. We, white men, are responsible and guilty, the Other just reacts as a victim; we are to be condemned, the Other is to be understood; ours is a domain of morals (moral condemnation), whilst that of others involves sociology (social explanation). It is, of course, easy to discern how, beneath the mask of extreme self-humiliation and self-blame, such a stance of true ethical masochism repeats racism in its very form: although negative, the proverbial "white man's burden" is still here -- we, white men, are the subjects of History, whilst others ultimately react to our (mis)deeds. In other words, it is as if the true message of PC moralistic self-blame is: if we can no longer be the model of democracy and civilization for the rest of the world, we can at least be the model of Evil.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
I don't want to give the impression that Zizek is an idiot. This is pretty sharp, for example: