Legal Luck

By Slajov Zizek

“A “postmodern” boss insists that he is not a master but just a coordinator of our joint creative efforts, the first among equals; there should be no formalities among us, we should address him by his nickname, he shares a dirty joke with us… but in all this, he remains our master. In such a social link, relations of domination function through their denial: in order to be operative, they have to be ignored. We are not only obliged to obey our masters, we are also obliged to act as if we are free and equal, as if there is no domination – which, of course, makes the situation even more humiliating. Paradoxically, in such a situation, the first act of liberation is to demand from the master
that he acts as one: one should reject false collegiality from the master and insist that he treats as with cold distance, as a master. From my military service, I remember how I rejected a commanding officer’s friendly offer to drop the formalities in our communication, which made him explode in rage… The same goes for patriarchal domination over women: in modern societies, this domination is no longer admitted as such – which is why, one of the subversive tactics of the feminine resistance is to act as mockingly subordinated…”

Read full article at International Journal of Zizek Studies, Volume 3, Number 1, 2009.

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