Saturday, July 2, 2011

Julian Assange and Slavoj Žižek

I stayed up to watch live broadcasting of a discussion with Julian Assange and Slavoj Žižek, moderated by Amy Goodman. The Frontline Club hosted the event.

Assange said many interesting things. Goodman first asked him to talk about the Iraq Warlogs and footage of "Collateral Murder," and he pointed out a paradox that while CNN didn't show most of the footage, Fox showed a part of the killing. Fox might have done so just because of its sensationalism, but CNN is in a way more problematic because not showing the footage on moral grounds shows a deadlock so-called liberal media are facing. Žižek responded him that what important about Wikileaks is not that it violates the rules, but that it changes how we are allowed to violate the rules.

I liked Assange saying that rights to free speech are actually rights to being connected with people: what use is shouting on the moon? I agree with him--in so-called free countries, we are taught that we can speak out anything, but each of us tends to be isolated from the others and act like shouting on the moon. A forum is missing.

He also mentions that people's way of living under a dictatorship (such as one in Egypt before the revolution) is not different from ours in democratic countries, but at some point the people become to see their history differently, and then it causes a radical change. There may be a point of no return, undeniability: "we cannot pretend that we don't know(Žižek)."

Watch live streaming video from democracynow at livestream.com

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