Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wall Street Lecture Hall

Slovenian philosopher and public intellectual Slavoj Zizek appeared at the “Occupy Wall Street” protest in lower Manhattan on Sunday, where he encouraged the demonstrators to “think about alternatives.”

“We can see that for a long time we allowed our political engagement also to be outsourced,” he said. “We want it back. We are not communists. If communism means the system which collapsed in 1990, remember that today those communists are the most efficient ruthless capitalists. 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 yourselves to be blackmailed that you are against democracy. The marriage between democracy and capitalism is over.”

  Raw Story

Perhaps there is not so much danger of the Occupy movement being co-opted by any one political agenda due to the diversity of the people in its mix and the fact that economic woes have affected citizens of all political persuasions. I really don’t think the country is ready to heed a call away from capitalism, but the corporate media can and will take something like this to try to brand the movement as communistic and scare others away. Will we need another House Unamerican Activities Committee? More blacklisting?

Zizek is absolutely right – there’s no bond between capitalism and democracy (there never was). One is an economic system, and the other is a political system. There are many successful socialist democracies in the world, and there could even be a successful communistic democracy, if that’s what a group of people wanted as an economic system. What the US leadership calls democracy is merely the trigger word they use to garner support for their forays into empire building and the spread of capitalism – for capitalism is the economic system that accrues most wealth and power to the limited few. People need to be able to separate the two different agendas, the economic from the political. And then they need to be able to recognize what is capitalistic and what isn’t. That’s a long shot. We’re not that well educated, and we’re not that open-minded. To understate the situation. We'll see, I guess.

In the meantime, our corporate media, having just come off a round of praising the "Arab Spring" protests as a great victory for democracy, are systematically denouncing the protests in this country as unpatriotic and dangerous.

....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.

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