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Let us take the case of neoconservativism: on the level of the signified this ideology offers us a field of meaning structured around the opposition between secular, egalitarian humanism and the values of family, law and order, responsibility, and self-reliance. Within this field, freedom is supposed to be menaced not only by Communism, but also by the welfare state bureaucracy, etc, etc. At the same time, however, this ideology works “between the lines,” on an unspoken level. A whole series of fantasies are in play without which we cannot explain the efficacy of neoconservatism, the fact that it can capture subjects in such a passionate way: sexist fantasies about the menace that unruly “liberated” female sexuality presents for men; the racist fantasy that the WASP is the embodiment of Man qua Man and that beneath every black, yellow, etc., there is a white American longing to emerge; the fantasy that the “other” — the enemy — endeavors to rob us of our enjoyment, that he has access to some hidden enjoyment, inaccessible to us; and so on. Neoconservativism lives on this difference, it relies on fantasies that it cannot put into words, integrate into the field of its ideological signification. The frontier that divides neoconservativism from rightist totalitarianism is trespassed precisely at the moment there is a short circuit between the field of signification and these fantasies, i.e., when fantasies directly invade the field of signification, when they are directly referred to — as, for example, in Nazism, which openly articulates (includes in the field of its ideological meaning) the whole texture of sexual and other fantasies that serve as support of anti-Semitism. Nazi ideology openly states that Jews seduce our innocent daughters, that they are capable of perverse pleasures, etc.; this ideology does not leave it up to the addressee to surmise these “facts.” Herein lies the grain of truth of the common wisdom according to which the difference between the “moderate” and “radical” right consists merely in the fact that the latter says openly what the former thinks without daring to say. Zizek, Looking Awry, 1991, pp.179-80 (note 4)

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