Customer Review

Reviewed in Australia on 2 December 2016
A tour de force on refugee crisis, this book establishes a root cause analysis, World nations’ track record of handling it and what needs to be done to solve it.

There are points that I agree and others I don’t. In this review I will attempt to cover both ends.

The reasons I gave two stars are mostly technical. This is not a cohesive narration, but rather a very messy one with varying degrees of meshed up complexity and plenty of divergence. Hence it suffers from lack of fluency, consistency and consequent punchline. Despite all the noise it creates, a hard one to read.

I agree with root cause analysis:

“The ultimate cause of refugees is today’s global capitalism itself and its geopolitical games.”

I also acknowledge his criticism of Western liberals and left, in regard to their passive stance, their boundless blind tolerance based on cultural relativism, “respect their culture regardless”.

“should we tolerate it if refugees settling in Europe prevent their children going to school; if they force their women to dress and behave in a certain way; if they arrange the marriages of their children, if they maltreat (and worse) gays among their ranks.”

However Zizek fundamentally sees tolerance problem less relevant than it sounds with respect to the necessity of bringing ever-famous communist motto, “class struggle”, BANG, on to the table:

“The only way to break out of this deadlock is to move beyond mere tolerance of others. Don’t just respect others: offer them a common struggle, since our problems today are common; propose and fight for a positive universal project shared by all participants.”

There are countless occurrences of the word “emancipatory” and “emancipation” in this book, there is no mention of the word “secular” or “secularism”, which is surprising really, as development of secularist ideas was the most significant aspect of the Western Enlightenment. Either Zizek does not think secularism can be useful as a toolset or he just simply misses the point.

Finally, Zizek brushes out his “solution” in the last chapter “What Is To Be Done”. In a nutshell he seeks global solidarity and demands class struggle back, i.e. same old dress, Communism.
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