Multiculturalism and diversity

19 Jan

As we outlined in previous posts, there is no way to talk about conflict and peace these days without addressing the cultural background issue and in them the philosophical ideas that are a background and how it could not be otherwise is also discussed by Zizek.

The discourse of cultural diversity, politically translated into multiculturalism, has not solved the problems of the contemporary world, Angela Merkel speaking on October 17, 2010 to a youth meeting of the Christian Democratic Union declared: “This multicultural approach, which says that we simply have to live side by side side by side and be happy with each other, was a complete failure” (p. 51), and there introduced the Leitkultur (dominant culture) debate which insisted “that every state is based on a predominant cultural space that must be respected by members of other cultures who live in the same space” (idem).

What was found is that “the conflict over multiculturalism is already a conflict over Leitkultur: it is not a conflict between cultures, but a conflict between different visions about how different cultures can and should coexist, about the rules and practices that these cultures must share if they want to coexist” (idem), and what happened was that the dominant culture wanted to dictate its vision of particular diversity.

I was once in a dialogue between Christians and non-believers full of spirit and curiosity and what I saw was an attempt to impose a particular vision of Christianity on atheism, double betrayal and no dialogue.

Clarifies Zizek, when speaking of gays: “At this level, of course, we are never tolerant enough, or we are always too tolerant, neglecting women’s rights, etc. The only way out of this impasse is to propose a universal positive project, shared by all interested parties, and to fight for it” (ibidem), this is the end of Chap. 3 “The return of the bad ethnic thing” that I purposely avoid to just listen and shut up, since as a white person of European descent, I am part of Leitkultur.

Just as many European thinkers want, Edgar Morin in his defense of a global citizenship, Peter Sloterdijk who asks Europe to wake up, in his own way Zizek asks for a positive emancipating Leitkultur, “not just respecting others, offering a common struggle, because today our problems are common” (Zizek, 2012, p. 52).

Chapter 4 could now be rewritten, since “the desert of post-ideology” has given way to the return of the ideological struggle of the beginning of the last century, we are going in circles and going backwards.

The rest of the book talks about the Arab spring, the “occupy” movements and ends with “beyond envy and resentment”, the one that Nietzsche drew so well, but just look at the current discourses and they are nothing but resentments and hatred distilled and Unsuccessful envy and “the signs of the future” of conclusion now seem obscured by a lack of subtleties, clarity and sane policies interested in the common good.

ZIZEK, Slavoj. (2012). O ano que pensamos perigosamente (The year we dream dangerously). Trans. Rogerio Bettoni. Brazil, São Paulo: Boitempo.





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