October 11, 2011

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Slavoj Žižek Speaks at Occupy Wall Street: Transcript | The Parallax | Impose Magazine Here's a transcript of Zizek's remarks at Occupy Wall Street (thanks, Alain, for the heads up). I don't share all the views that he voices here. I wonder whether he shaped his language to fit the format of a general audience or if this is pretty much what he thinks. Given his writing, it could go either way. Rather than try to parse it, I'll just provide my own responses. We are not Communists if Communism means a system which collapsed in 1990. Remember that today those Communists are the most efficient, ruthless Capitalists. This doesn't quite make sense. The system collapsed in 1990 and now ruthless capitalists are in power in Russia. So, it's not that 'those communists' are capitalists--'those communists' are gone. China is not communist. 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. The change is possible. Of course, Zizek himself has said that no one should talk about communism who is afraid to talk about--criticize--democracy. I am assuming that he is invoking democracy in an ideal sense (rather like Ranciere when Ranciere describes all politics as democratic). For many at OWS, it is likely the case that "democracy" is the term they use for their aspirations. They likely see the political system as anti-democratic in the sense that they feel...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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