Sergio Cantone: “According to you, globalisation is one of the primary sources of the current migration crisis. Why?”
Slayoj Zizek: “I think that the other side of globalisation is the rise of new invisible walls. We have unemployed, we have precarious workers, even here in Slovenia. I read somewhere that almost half of the workers already work only precariously. You have failed countries, you have those who live in slums, who are excluded.
“So it’s no longer the old clear class distinction, it’s a much more vague distinction between those who are in, enjoying a basic security, full civil rights and so on and those who are out. We need some transnational power to enforce more global decisions. Ecology cannot be saved, migration cases cannot be saved without such mechanisms.”
Sergio Cantone: “But the European Union should deal with these kinds of transnational issues. But it failed. They are not doing that.”
Slayoj Zizek: “Yes, that’s the tragedy of the European Union. Europe doesn’t know what it wants. We have basically today two Europes. One Europe is this Brussels technocratic Europe – and even they, they just want somehow to be part of the global market, they don’t give a clear idea.
“Then we have the anti-immigrant populist Europe; this I think is the true threat to Europe. I am not really afraid of massive invasion; we will deal with that. I am really afraid of those who want to defend Europe today. Will a Europe where, for example, Le Pen is in power in France, and so on, will this still be the Europe that we all know – and I hope – love? Europe will still stand today for some emancipatory values, social security, equality, women’s rights and so on, and so on.”
Sergio Cantone: “Why should western weakened working classes and also middle classes join the struggle of impoverished masses from other continents?”
Slayoj Zizek: “You ask a very important open question which most of the left avoids, you know. Because … ordinary people who are afraid of migrants, in some sense they have a point. If Europe totally opens itself to migrants it’s not the rich who will suffer it’s them who will get less jobs, lower salaries probably; and so on and so on.
“So, the only solution I can imagine is to find, to make it clear, or to articulate a kind of a shared struggle, so that the problem is not just that of humanitarianism, will we receive refugees or not? But the problem is that there is a certain rage in Europe, like the decline of the welfare state, and so on and so on. What those dissatisfied people in Europe, what bothers them, is part of the same crisis: imbalance of global capitalism.
“And this is absolutely crucial, that we somehow connect our struggles with their struggles. If we don’t accept this, if we remain at this level – refugees are coming here, they are burdens and so on – than we are lost. We need transnational organisms able to make very strong decisions.”
Sergio Cantone: “With law enforcement capacities?”
Slayoj Zizek: “Absolutely, I don’t have any problem here.”