[eDebate] k/policy/zizek ev

Ross Smith smithr
Mon Apr 13 13:17:33 CDT 2009

Thanks, Brian Schrader, for the link to Zizek's "policy debate good" ev.

For those who missed it: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v00/n03/zize01_.html

And the "card":

What all this indicates is that the market is never neutral: its 
operations are always regulated by political decisions. The real dilemma 
is not ?state intervention or not?? but ?what kind of state 
intervention?? And this is true politics: the struggle to define the 
conditions that govern our lives. The debate about the bailout deals 
with decisions about the fundamental features of our social and economic 
life, even mobilising the ghost of class struggle. As with many truly 
political issues, this one is non-partisan. There is no ?objective? 
expert position that should simply be applied: one has to take a 
political decision.

On 24 September, John McCain suspended his campaign and went to 
Washington, proclaiming that it was time to put aside party differences. 
Was this gesture really a sign of his readiness to end partisan politics 
in order to deal with the real problems that concern us all? Definitely 
not: it was a ?Mr McCain goes to Washington? moment. Politics is 
precisely the struggle to define the ?neutral? terrain, which is why 
McCain?s proposal to reach across party lines was pure political 
posturing, a partisan politics in the guise of non-partisanship, a 
desperate attempt to impose his position as universal-apolitical. What 
is even worse than ?partisan politics? is a partisan politics that tries 
to mask itself as non-partisan: by imposing itself as the voice of the 
Whole, such a politics reduces its opponents by making them agents of 
particular interests.

This is why Obama was right to reject McCain?s call to postpone the 
first presidential debate and to point out that the meltdown makes a 
political debate about how the two candidates would handle the crisis 
all the more urgent. In the 1992 election, Clinton won with the motto 
?It?s the economy, stupid!? The Democrats need to get a new message 
across: ?It?s the POLITICAL economy, stupid!? The US doesn?t need less 
politics, it needs /more/.

Ross K. Smith
Director of Debate
Wake Forest University

336-251-2076 (c)
336-758-5268 (o)


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