By Žižek, Slavoj; Žižek, Slavoj; Parker, Ian
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Additional resources for Slavoj Zizek : a critical introduction
The key issue is how this ‘affect’ could be transmitted and reactivated 500 years later. The only way to answer this question without resorting to some kind of genetic or telepathic account is to treat the ‘reactivation’ as a process that comes to fix something unbearable and incomprehensible, to make it real retroactively. That retroactive production of the event in the past so that it will then be felt to have ‘caused’ the traumatic affect in the present is exactly how Freud accounts for the appearance of a symptom.
66 What we have seen so far, of course, is that the Yugoslav state was constituted around certain forms of structural imbalance, and that the difference between the republics already constructed certain distinctive forms of ethnic rivalry. 67 One thing to notice about this proposal is that the call for a ‘distance’ between the state and civil society repeats what Zizek had been calling for well before capitalism had been reintroduced. The strategies of resistance he had been advocating during the 1980s were already being used to contest the local bureaucracy and the grip of the Slovenian League of Communists.
The strategy of overidentification also keys into the way that ‘civil society’ is often understood by Hegelians and Marxists in the ‘Eurocommunist’ tradition, after Antonio Gramsci,91 as operating in opposition to the state. 92 This would not only have to be forged in distinction to the way the state tried to articulate all activities within its scope, but also be ‘opposed to any idea of harmonious community’ that would represent nationalist and xenophobic interests. The first of these options – the assim- Parker 01 intro 1/29/04 12:32 PM Page 33 YUGOSLAVIA – TO SLOVENIA 33 ilation of all activity in civil society to the state so that opposition would be effectively stifled – was a powerful strategy employed by the state during the first half of the 1980s.