Politics of Perversion: Racialised Difference and Common Good


  • Andreja Zevnik University of Manchester, Združeno kraljestvo




perversion, jouissance, anti-racist protest, political statues, race


When anti-racist protestors toppled the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol in June 2020, British political elites across the left-rights spectrum, despite acknowledging that a statue of a slave trader has no place in the contemporary politics, called to firm the application of law and order. Through the example of Edward Colston, the essay examines what Lacan’s idea of perversion can reveal about the power relations between political elites and anti-racist protestors. It opens by discussing the impossibility of ethics in political contexts, before turning to the question of jouissance and its role in the creation of a racialised other and political institutions (and myths of white supremacy). If jouissance of the other racialises the other as deviant, pervert’s jouissance is de-personalised and made to follow “a greater good”. In doing so, the essay argues that perversion reveals the logics of racial hierarchies, which underpin and maintain modern society.


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2021-12-31 — Updated on 2022-04-06


How to Cite

Zevnik, A. (2022). Politics of Perversion: Racialised Difference and Common Good. Filozofski Vestnik, 42(3). https://doi.org/10.3986/fv.42.3.10 (Original work published December 31, 2021)