Slavoj Žižek spoke at Wall Street today. Occupy Wall Street carries a video and full transcript here. In this excerpt, the crowd repeats his lines like poetry back to the speaker and out to other listeners:
They tell you we are dreamersThe true dreamers are those who thinkThings can go on indefinitely the way that they areWe are not dreamersWe are awakeningFrom a dream that is turning into a nightmareWe are not destroying anythingWe are only witnessing how the system in destroying itselfWe all know the classic scenes from cartoonsThe cart reaches a precipiceBut it goes on walkingIgnoring the fact that there is nothing beneathOnly when it looks down and notices itIt falls downThis is what we are doing hereWe are telling the guys on wall street“hey! Look down!”(Cheers, hollers of enthusiasm)In april 2011The Chinese government prohibitedOn t.v., on films, and in novelsAll stories that contained alternate reality or time travelThis is a good sign for China!It means that people still dream about alternatives!So you have to prohibit these dreamsHere we don’t think about prohibitionBecause the ruling system has even repressed our capacity to dream!Look at the movies that we see all the timeIt’s easy to imagine the end of the worldAn asteroid destroying all life as we knowBut you cannot imagine the end of capitalismSo what are we doing here?Let me tell you a wonderful old joke from communist timesA guy was sent from east Germany to work in SiberiaHe knew his mail would be read by censorsSo he told his friendsLet’s establish a codeIf a letter you get from me is written in blue ink, it is trueIf it is written in red ink, it is falseAfter a month, his friends get a letterEverything is in blueEverything is wonderful hereStores are full of good foodMovie theaters show good films from the westApartments are large and luxuriousThe only thing you cannot buyIs red ink!(laughter)This is howWe have all the freedoms we wantBut what we are missing is red ink!The language to articulate our non-freedomThe way we are taught to talk about freedomWar and terror and so oneFalsifies freedomAnd that is what you are doing hereYou are giving us all red ink!(cheers)There is a dangerDon’t fall in love with yourselvesWe have a nice time hereBut rememberCarnivals come cheapWhat matters is the day afterWhen we will have to return to normal lifeWill there be any changes then?I don’t want you to remember these daysYou know like oh we were young it was beautifulRemember that our basic message isWe are allowed to think about alternatives!The taboo is broken!We do not live in the best possible world!
Courtesy of The New York Observer
Slavoj Žižek speaks to Occupy Wall Street
You can hear this same speaker - audience response calming the crowd at the web viral police brutality incident recently updated with extended video coverage at commondreams. In the extended minutes, while the policeman is beating people, and the crowd screams and reacts, someone proclaims, "We are a peaceful demonstration!" Suddenly, it seems, everyone stops and starts reciting his lines back (i.e. "We are a peaceful demonstration!") - and any sense of impending violence immediately de-escalates at that point (thanks to the protesters). The police themselves are filmed simply standing on the outside of the group, enclosing them, while this horrific incident takes place.
There's a wonderful photograph of an enormous peaceful crowd overflowing at Foley Square at that same link.
Courtesy of Common Dreams
William Rivers Pitt at truthout adds another line to Mahatma Gandhi's famous quote.
A transcript of Naomi Klein on Wall Street Friday October 7th.