Slavoj Žižek: Leader of the Global Left
With his combination of pop culture references, humor and fresh political insights, Žižek has become one of the most charismatic and sought after voices of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
What's the Latest Development?
Žižek, the Slovenian philosopher and social critic, has an indefatigable travel schedule which recently landed him in New York while the Occupy Wall Street movement was just heating up. After giving a lecture on Communism elsewhere in the city, he traveled to Zuccotti Park to get an impression of the protests. "The basic insight I saw is that clearly, for the first time, the underlying perception is that there is a flaw in the [capitalist] system as such. It's not just the question of making the system better."
What's the Big Idea?
Žižek's fear is that the Wall Street Occupation will be romanticized into oblivion, that protesters will be so in love with their own image as revolutionaries that they will forget to act. To counter that risk, he recommends that the they begin making a solid foundation on which future action can be based and to focus on specific policy areas, like healthcare, which are emblematic of current unjust societal inequities. Žižek defends communism, more as an important question than an answer, for his vision of a radically egalitarian future.
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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