Title

The Market, Multiculturalism and Leitkultur: Responding to Žižek's Challenge

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

As illustrated in this article, there are no such things as singular issues in politics. Be that as it may, no one will remember German Chancellor Angela Merkel's remarks on immigration in October 2010 as being about anything other than immigration. Her remarks ought to be remembered, however, more for what she didn't say than for what she did say. Her omission of salient facts regarding the history of the guest-worker agreement between Germany and Turkey shines just a hint of light on what the authors of this article reveal to be a much broader pattern of denial that they describe as playing out in the United States as a form of bad political theatre between Republicans and Democrats. Much of the theatre is only meant to distract Americans from the reality of the Leitkultur that they now share with nearly every country in our globalized world - namely, the market. This article describes the role of this Leitkultur as well as the role of its denial in shaping public perceptions on the issue of immigration, and offers the beginnings of a response to Slavoj Žižek's call for a new Leitkultur defined in a manner that transcends national borders.