Category Politics

Slavoj Žižek at Occupy Wall Street: Transcript

From Impose

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. They say we don’t respect private property, but in the 2008 financial crash-down 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 the awakening from a dream that 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 that there is nothing beneath this ground. 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!”

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.

So what are we 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: “Let’s establish a code. If a letter you get from me is written in blue ink, it is true what I say. If it is written in red ink, it is false.” After a month, his friends get the first letter. Everything is in blue. It says, this letter: “Everything is wonderful here. Stores are full of good food. Movie theatres 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 on terror and so on—falsifies freedom. And this is what you are doing here. You are giving all of us red ink.

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How the Dutch Got Their Cycle Paths

Hiroshima Peace Center

Via ArchDaily, by Brian Pagnotta

Architect: Kenzo Tange
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Project Year: 1949-1955

Tange combined Le Corbusier’s five points with elements drawing from Japanese traditions, such as the sun-screens and the modular arrangement of the facade. Moreover, the parabolic shaped sculpture in the garden resembles a saddle, evoking the way of the Haniwa, the habitual tombs of former rulers of Japan.

Hiroshima made it a rule to continue using the building as much as possible by maintaining it properly. Most modern Japanese architecture built in the 1950′s has been demolished, but this building still survives, pioneering all modern architecture in Japan. The best way to know the real value of the park is to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony, held on August 6th each year. The ceremony attracts a variety of politicians, religious organizations, and artists.

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Rick Perry Really Only Cares About $$$

From NY Times

Tracking the Flow of Money

The administration of Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, a Republican presidential candidate, has doled out millions of dollars in grants that benefit some of his most generous donors. State money awarded to G-Con, a pharmaceutical start-up, provides an example of how state grants appear to be paying dividends for some major Perry contributors.

Former Nazi Resort Rebuilt as Huge Youth Hostel

From msnbc europe

A gigantic Nazi seaside resort on Germany’s Baltic coast in the town of Prora has been turned—after decades of disuse and decay—into one of the country’s largest youth hostels.

Yet initial advertisements highlighting its Nazi past as the “World famous” Strength through Joy (Kraft durch Freude) project caused objections from local historians and led to a marketing U-turn, but not before the German media took notice.
Originally built as the world’s biggest hotel, stretching along 4.5 km (3 miles) of one of Germany’s best beaches with 10,000 rooms, it was never used as a holiday resort for the masses in World War Two or afterwards although it was used by the military.

As part of the Nazi’s Strength through Joy programme, the resort’s aim was to prepare up to 20,000 citizens for war through organized leisure.

The outbreak of World War Two put an abrupt end to its construction in 1939, yet even in its incomplete version it was one of the biggest Nazi building projects.

The opening of one of the site’s parts as a youth hostel on Monday has also led extreme right-wing forums on the web to express their enthusiasm over the event, which attracted widespread media attention in Germany.

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Situationist Theses on Traffic

Revolutionary urbanists will not limit their concern to the circulation of things, or to the circulation of human beings trapped in a world of things. They will try to break these topological chains, paving the way with their experiments for a human journey through authentic life.

Guy Debord, Situationist Theses on Traffic, Situationist International Anthology, Edited and Translated by Ken Knabb, Bureau of Public Secrets, p. 70

Revolutionary-Romantics, Theses on Cultural Revolution, Part 4

We are excluded from real control over the vast material powers of our time. The communist revolution has not yet occurred and we are still living within the confines of decomposing old cultural superstructures. Henri Lefebvre rightly sees that this contradiction is at the heart of a specifically modern discordance between the progressive individual and the world, and he terms the cultural tendency based on this discordance “revolutionary-romantic.”

Guy Debord, Theses on Cultural Revolution, Situationist International Anthology, Edited and Translated by Ken Knabb, Bureau of Public Secrets, p. 53-54

Theses on Cultural Revolution, Part 3

An international association of situationists can be seen as a coalition of workers in an advanced sector of culture, or more precisely as a coalition of all those who demand the right to work on a project that is obstructed by present social conditions; hence as an attempt at organizing professional revolutionaries in culture.

Guy Debord, Theses on Cultural Revolution, Situationist International Anthology, Edited and Translated by Ken Knabb, Bureau of Public Secrets, p. 53-54

Theses on Cultural Revolution, Part 2

Art can cease being a report about the sensations and become a direct organization of more advanced sensations. The point is to produce ourselves rather than things that enslave us.

Guy Debord, Theses on Cultural Revolution, Situationist International Anthology, Edited and Translated by Ken Knabb, Bureau of Public Secrets, p. 53-54

Theses on Cultural Revolution, Part 1

The goal of the situationists is immediate participation in a passionate abundance of life by means of deliberately arranged variations of ephemeral moments. The success of these moments can reside in nothing other than their fleeting effect. The situationists consider cultural activity in its totality as an experimental method for constructing everyday life, a method that can and should be continually developed with the extension of leisure and the withering away of the division of labor (beginning with the division of artistic labor).

Guy Debord, Theses on Cultural Revolution, Situationist International Anthology, Edited and Translated by Ken Knabb, Bureau of Public Secrets, p. 53-54

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