Tag Archives | Slavoj Zizek

Rethinking Democracy

rubio_jeffersonA pretty compelling read introducing the radical idea that maybe Democracy needs to be reconsidered. Old hat to postmodernism, of course, but maybe it’s time for some mainstream exposure for these notions.

via Salon:

This is what democracy looks like: grotesque inequality, delusional Tea Party obstructionism, a vast secret national-security state, overseas wars we’re never even told about and a total inability to address the global climate crisis, a failure for which our descendants will never forgive us, and never should. Maybe I’ll take the turtle costumes after all. The aura of democratic legitimacy is fading fast in an era when financial and political capital are increasingly consolidated in a few thousand people, a fact we already knew but whose implications French insta-celebrity Thomas Piketty and the political scientists Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page (of the “oligarchy study”) have forcefully driven home. Libertarian thinker Bryan Caplan sees the same pattern, as Michael Lind recently wrote in Salon, but thinks it’s a good thing.

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Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot’s Prison Letters to Slavoj Žižek

nadezhda-tolokonnikova-profileDissident musician Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek exchange letters:

Via the Guardian:

2 January 2013

Dear Nadezhda,

I hope you have been able to organise your life in prison around small rituals that make it tolerable, and that you have time to read. Here are my thoughts on your predicament.

John Jay Chapman, an American political essayist, wrote this about radicals in 1900: “They are really always saying the same thing. They don’t change; everybody else changes. They are accused of the most incompatible crimes, of egoism and a mania for power, indifference to the fate of their cause, fanaticism, triviality, lack of humour, buffoonery and irreverence. But they sound a certain note. Hence the great practical power of persistent radicals. To all appearance, nobody follows them, yet everyone believes them. They hold a tuning-fork and sound A, and everybody knows it really is A, though the time-honoured pitch is G flat.” Isn’t this a good description of the effect of Pussy Riot performances?

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Slavoj Zizek Speaks At Occupy Wall Street

DSC_0384 A transcript of an inspiring speech by the Slovenian philosopher at Occupy Wall Street yesterday, via Impose Magazine:

In mid-April 2011, the Chinese government prohibited on TV, films, and novels all stories that contain alternate reality or time travel. This is a good sign for China. These people still dream about alternatives, so you have to prohibit this dreaming. Here, we don’t need a prohibition because the ruling system has even oppressed our capacity to dream. Look at the movies that we see all the time. It’s easy to imagine the end of the world. An asteroid destroying all life and so on. But you cannot imagine the end of capitalism.

They are saying we are all losers, but the true losers are down there on Wall Street. They were bailed out by billions of our money. We are called socialists, but here there is always socialism for the rich.

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Julian Assange And Slavoj Zizek In Conversation

What good is freedom of speech if you're on the moon? Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman moderates an entertaining two-hour conversation in London between Julian Assange and Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, discussing the broader meaning of Wikileaks, the media, and "the attack on the public use of reason". Thanks to Zizek, the discussion also veers between everything from dirty jokes to Stalinist propaganda to Psycho to the rumors linking him romantically to Lady Gaga. Things get going about ten minutes in.
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Capital Is The Real Of Our Lives

humanbeingVia Adbusters‘s Kick It Over project, philosopher Slavoj Zizek sums up the reality that the financial meltdown laid bare:

Although we always recognized the urgency of the problems, when we were fighting AIDS, hunger, water shortages, global warming, and so on, there always seemed to be time to reflect, to postpone decisions (recall how the main conclusion of the last meeting of world leaders in Bali, hailed as a success, was that they would meet again in two years to continue their talks…). But with the financial meltdown, the urgency to act was unconditional; sums of an unimaginable magnitude had to be found immediately. Saving endangered species, saving the starving children…all this can wait a little bit. The call to “save the banks!” by contrast, is an unconditional imperative which must be met with immediate action.

Do we need any further proof that Capital is the Real of our lives, a Real whose imperatives are much more absolute than even the most pressing demands of our social and natural reality?

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