Law and Critique

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 1–18 | Cite as

The Secret Clauses of the Liberal Utopia

  • Slavoj Žižek

The Western liberal media had their laugh when, in August 2007, the Chinese State Administration of Religious Affairs passed ‘Order Number Five’, a law due to come into effect on 1 September, which covers ‘the management measures for the reincarnation of living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism’. This ‘important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation’ stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate – to cut it short, it basically prohibits Buddhist monks from reincarnating without government permission: no-one outside China can influence the reincarnation process, only monasteries in China can apply for permission.

Before we explode in rage at the Chinese Communist totalitarian intent to control the lives of its subjects even after their death, we should remember that this measure is not foreign to European early modern history. The Peace of Augsburg in 1555, the first attempt to come to terms with the division between Catholics and Protestants, declared the Prince’s...


Individual Freedom Social Link Unwritten Rule Liberal Vision Falun Gong 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Slavoj Žižek
    • 1
  1. 1.Birkbeck Institute for the HumanitiesBirkbeck, University of LondonLondonUK

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