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Isn't it symptomatic that multiculturalism exploded at the very historic [[moment ]] when the last traces of [[working]]-[[class ]] [[politics ]] disappeared from [[political ]] [[space]]? For many former leftists, this multiculturalism is a kind of ersatz working-class politics. We don't even [[know ]] whether the [[working class ]] still [[exists]], so let's talk [[about ]] exploitation of [[others]].There may be [[nothing ]] wrong with that as such. But there is a [[danger ]] that issues of [[economic ]] exploitation are converted into problems of [[cultural ]] [[tolerance]]. And then you have only to make one step further, that of [[Julia Kristeva ]] in her essay 'Etrangers à nous mêmes', and say we cannot tolerate others because we cannot tolerate [[otherness ]] in ourselves. Here we have a pure pseudo-[[psychoanalytic ]] cultural reductionism.
The second [[thing ]] I find wrong with this multiculturalist tolerance is that it is often hypocritical in the [[sense ]] that the [[other ]] whom they tolerate is already a reduced other. The other is okay in so far as this other is only a question of food, of [[culture]], of dances. What about clitoridectomy? What about my friends who say: 'We must respect Hindus.' Okay, but what about one of the old Hindu customs which, as we know, is that when a husband dies, the wife is burned. Now, do we respect that? Problems arise here.An even more important problem is that this [[notion ]] of tolerance effectively masks its opposite: [[intolerance]]. It is a recurring theme in all my books that, from this [[liberal ]] perspective, the basic [[perception ]] of [[another ]] [[human ]] [[being ]] is always as something that may in some way hurt you.
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.
<ref>[[The One Measure of True Love Is: You Can Insult the Other]]</ref>
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