Some quotes from Slavoj Zizek

The Democracy Now podcast I was listening to on my travels today finished up with Zizek being interviewed. Now, nearly my full understanding of Zizek comes from one week’s reading for a 4th year subject and, while I think he is a highly entertaining read, I did not think I would ever point someone towards him. In other words, I feel like I should be issuing some sort of disclosure before chucking up these block quotes I might want to find later, but here they are anyway.

I listened with amazement and great pleasure to the report about how here in the States the universities, which are financed by taxpayers’ money, are more and more used by companies. In Europe, we are even worse. I’ll tell you why. Because they stated clearly the program in Europe. It’s not only this concrete problem—big companies controlling, through money donations, universities. It’s something more fundamental going on. It’s a well-organized, all-European campaign to turn us scientists, human or natural, into experts. The idea is, we have a problem—let’s say oil spill in Louisiana—oh, we need experts to tell us how to contain it. We have a public disorder, demonstrations; we need psychologists and so on. This is not thinking. What universities should do is not serve as experts to those in power who define the problems. We should redefine and question the problems themselves. Is this the right perception of the problem? Is this really the problem? We should ask much more fundamental questions.

 

BP is evil, but are we aware that it may have happened also to another company? So the problem is not BP. The problems are much more general—the structure of our economy, why are we living like this, our way of life, and so on and so on. I think that this is the problem today. I’m saying this ironically as a leftist. We have maybe even too much anti-capitalism, but in this overload of anti-capitalism, but always in this legal, moralistic sense: ooh, that company is using child slave labor; ooh, that company is polluting; ooh, that company is—that company, whatever, is exploiting our universities. No, no, the problem is more fundamental. It’s about how the whole system works to make the companies do this. Don’t moralize the problem, because if you moralize it, you can say in the States whatever you want.

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/10/18/slavoj_zizek_far_right_and_anti

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