Tuesday, April 20, 2010

an additional note about Zizek, and so on

When Slavoj Žižek in his Violence says that the most violent thing to transform the society is sometimes doing nothing, he dreams a kind of situation that the majority cast blank ballots and the powerful people find that they suddenly lose their "balls(if I refer to a joke he mentions in his First as Tragedy, the as Farce)." Casting a blank ballot is not abstention, but more active act. So actually it is doing something. So why does he call it doing nothing?
I can note that he doesn't say you should cast a blank ballot. What I can imagine is that it has to be done without someone urging "Let's cast a blank ballot to disapprove our politicians," so the people have a tacit agreement to do so. Such an agreement may be so powerful, Žižek may imply. I imagine why he sees the power of the unspeakable is not only because he is a Lacanian, but also because he saw such a thing happened in the former Yugoslavia. He also knows what happened to the people under Stalin's regime: the people started communicating and understanding each other without uttering what they wanted to say.
My question is that whether our liberal (permissive) society was build aiming at preventing such a thing from happening. I imagine it is difficult for us to have that kind of tacit agreement. Instead, we are forced to come out by a voice saying "Act now!" So I understand Žižek's ambivalence: he wants to awake us without uttering "Act now!"

At this moment I just correct the pronunciation of the Japanese company's name they (Amy Goodman and Jean Friedman-Rudovsky) mention in the above clip...it's not "Sumimoto", but "Sumitomo," the name of a prominent part of "Corporate Japan."

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