Slavoj Zizek at OWS

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Slavoj Zizek at OWS Empty Slavoj Zizek at OWS

Post by melittophily on Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:47 pm

Before video begins: [...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 already socialism -- for the rich. They say we don't respect private property. But...]

in 2008 financial crash
more hard earned private property was destroyed
than if all of us here were to be destroying it night and day for weeks
they tell you we are dreamers
the true dreamers are those who think
things can go on indefinitely the way they are
we are not dreamers
we are awakening from a dream which is turning into a nightmare.
we are not destroying anything
we are only witnessing how the system is destroying itself

we all know the classic scene from cartoons.
the cat reaches a precipice,
but it goes on walking
ignoring the fact there is nothing beneath it
only when it looks down and notices it,
it falls down
this is what we are doing here
we are telling the guys there on wall street
"hey look down!" [applause]

in april 2011
the chinese government prohibited
on TV, films, and in novels
all stories that contained alternate reality or time travel
this is a /good/ sign for china
it means that people still dream about alternatives
so you have to prohibit this dream
here we don't think of prohibition
because the ruling system has even oppressed our capacity to dream

look at the movies 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
so what are you doing here?

let me tell you a wonderful old joke from communist times:
a guy was sent from east germany to work in siberia
he knew his mail would be read by censors
so he told his friends
lets establish a code:
if the letter you get from me is written in blue ink
it is true, i say.
if it is written red ink
it is false
after a month his friends get a first letter
everything is in blue.
it says, this letter:
everything is wonderful here
stores are full of good food
movie theaters show good films from the west
apartments are large and luxurious
the only thing you cannot find
is red ink. [laugh]

this is how we {?}
we have all the freedoms we want
but what we have missing is red ink
the language to articulate our non-freedom
the way we are taught to speak about freedom
"war on terror" and so on
falsifies freedom

and this is what you are doing here:
you are giving all of us red ink! [applause]

there is a danger:
don't fall in love with yourselves
we have a nice time here
but remember, carnivals come cheap
what matters is the day after
when we will have to return to normal life
will there be any changes then?

i don't want you to remember these days
you know like, "oh, we were young, it was beautiful."
remember that our basic message is:
we are allowed to think about alternatives

if the rule is broken
we do not live in the best possible world
but there is a long road ahead
there are truly difficult questions
that confront us
we know what we do not want
but what *do* we want?
what social organization can replace capitalism?
what type of *new* leaders do we want?
the problem is not corruption or greed
the problem is the system
which forces you to be corrupt

beware not only of the enemies
but also of false friends
who are already working to dilute this progress
in the same way you get coffee without caffeine
beer without alcohol
ice cream without fat
they will try to make this into a harmless moral process
a decaffeinated process
but the reason we are here
is that we have enough of a world
where to recycle coke cans

or to buy a starbucks cappuccino where one percent goes to the world's starving children...
is enough to make us feel good.
after outsourcing work and torture,
after marriage agencies are outsourcing our love life, dating,
we can see that for a long time
we allowed our political engagement also to be outsourced
we want it back

we are not communists,
if communism means the system
which collapsed in 1990
remember that today
those communists are the most efficient, ruthless capitalists.

in china today
we have capitalism
which is even more dynamic than your american capitalism
but doesn't need democracy

which means
when you criticize capitalism
don't allow yourself to be blackmailed
that you are against democracy.
the marriage between democracy and capitalism is over

[puts away paper]

the change is possible.
what do we consider today possible?
just follow the media.
on the one hand, in technology and sexuality, everything seems to be possible.
you can travel to the moon,
you can become immortal by bio genetics
you can have sex with animals or whatever
but look at the fields of society and economy.
there almost everything is considered impossible.

you want to raise taxes a little bit for the rich.
they tell you it's impossible,
"we lose competitivity.[sic]"
you want more money for health care.
they tell you, "impossible,
this means totalitarian state."

is something wrong in the world
where you are promised to be immortal
but you cannot spend a little bit more for health care?

maybe that will set our priorities straight here.
we don't want higher standards of living;
we want better standards of living.

the only sense in which are communists
is that we care for the commons.
the commons of nature
the commons of what is privatized by intellectual property
the commons of bio genetics
for this and only for this we should fight

communism failed absolutely
but the problems of the commons are here
they are telling you we are not americans here
but the conservative fundamentalists who claim they are really american
have to be reminded of something -

what is christianity?
it's the holy spirit.
what is the holy spirit?
it's an egalitarian community of believers who are linked by love for each other,
and who only have their freedom and responsibility to do it

in this sense,
the holy spirit is here now
and down there on wall street
there are pagans who are worshiping blasphemous idols
so all we need is patience

the only thing I'm afraid of
is that we will someday just go home
and then we will meet once a year
drinking beer
and nostalgically remembering
what a nice time we had time here

promise ourselves that this will not be the case. [applause]

we know we will often desire something but do not really want it
don't be afraid to really want what you desire

thank you very much


Posts : 61
Join date : 2011-10-06

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