The Bible and Critical Theory, Vol 1, No 1 (2004)

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A Plea for Ethical Violence

Slavoj Žižek

Abstract


There is nothing more ethically repulsive than the idea that, beneath the surface of differences, we all share the same kernel of humanity, of human weaknesses, hopes and pleasures. Against this fake humanist notion of ‘solidarity’, one should ruthlessly assert the Platonic core of ethical violence articulated in a most pointed way, as one may expect, by Brecht in one of his stories about Herr Keuner: ‘Herr K. was asked: “What do you do when you love another man?” “I make myself a sketch of him,” said Herr K., “and I take care about the likeness.” “Of the sketch?” “No,” said Herr K., “of the man”.’ (Brecht 1995, p. 24).

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Bible and Critical Theory: ISSN 1832-3391