Friday, January 05, 2007

Exercises in panic

There's an incisive essay by Slavoj Žižek in today's New York Times. One excellent point he makes is this:

The violent outbursts of the recent Bush politics are thus not exercises in power, but rather exercises in panic.


Recall the old story about the factory worker suspected of stealing: every evening, when he was leaving work, the wheelbarrow he rolled in front of him was carefully inspected, but the guards could not find anything, it was always empty. Finally, they got the point: what the worker was stealing were the wheelbarrows themselves.


This is the trick being attempted by those who claim today, “But the world is nonetheless better off without Saddam!” They forget to factor into the account the effects of the very military intervention against him. Yes, the world is better without Saddam Hussein —but is it better if we include into the overall picture the ideological and political effects of this very occupation?

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