Slavoj Zizek's Speech at Occupy Wallstreet Protests
Hi guys, this is a thread to talk about your opinions on the recent occupy wallstreet protests. One of the interesting things I think that has come out of it is a speech by Slavoj Zizek to the protesters; here it is in part:
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: Let’s establish a code. If the letter you get from me is written in blue ink ,it is true what I said. If it is written in 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 buy is red ink.
This is how we live. We have all the freedoms we want. But what we are missing is red ink. The language to articulate our non-freedom. The way we are taught to speak about freedom war and terrorism and so on falsifies freedom. And this is what you are doing here: You are giving all of us red ink.
Remember: the problem is not corruption or greed. The problem is the system that pushes you to give up. Beware not only of the enemies. But also of false friends who are already working to dilute this process. 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 protest.
The speech reminded me of the animal rights movement, especially the ideas presented in the book "Why we love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows". The book was written by social psychologist Melanie Joy and describes how our society maintains and perpetuates the practice of eating animals. This is done by ignoring animal suffering, hiding it, encouraging people to accept it, raising children to believe it, justifying it, calling people in opposition to it extremists, and using reasonable moderates and professionals whom are already entrenched in the system to normalize it. By entrenching everyone within the unnamed system, they have removed the 'red ink'.
I like that quote. I find that the best true-isms are those that aren't subject specific, but fit the subject to which they're referring.