zizek22_Eyal WarshavskySOPA ImagesLightRocket via Getty Images_amiramlevinisraelprotest Eyal Warshavsky/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

National Derangements

In both Russia and Israel today, the social pact is fracturing under the weight of history and disagreements about basic principles and national identity. These conditions lend themselves to increasingly absurd and extreme rhetoric, some of which speaks to the people's deepest fears and preoccupations.

LJUBLJANA – Whenever a country’s social contract unravels, conditions become ripe for rumors and absurdities to circulate. Even when these are outrageous and obviously nonsensical, they can give expression to a people’s deepest fears and prejudices.