Author Topic: Frontline Club: Julian Assange in conversation with Slavoj Žižek/02 july 2011  (Read 10894 times)

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greekemmy

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ok, let's do this, who is going to put new post? tabula rasa, I think you can do this, but keep it simple pleeease....

@Nefn, what does "das ding an sich" my German does not go further than Grundstuffe eins and I was bad at it anyway.

Thanks!

Offline Nefn

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@greekemmy

"Das ding an sich" is German for "the thing in itself", also called "noumenon", from greek. Wikipedia has an article for the latter, like with many other things: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noumenon

Btw, I wanted to mention it here in this thread, because if one is to start reading Zizek it is imho very important that one try to get better at the use of language, preferably English and your own native language,  to improve ones literary standard to that of academics. One of the important milestones to go with this improvement (expanded vocabulary, a more precise and practical use of language), so to speak, is learning how names (aka. words)  are not some quality really inherent in any object but simply a social construct.

So if someone somewhere in a news article were to mention "the world economy" in an indirectly way because he would not be pointing or referring to something more specific, one should be aware that this is one example of something that does not even exist, but is rather just known as an idea and better yet, a concept. A more to the point example, of how a name or word is not really inherent in a physical object, it would be to point out that a so called coffee cup does not contain an essence of being a cup or a coffee cup in itself, as if an essence in the object made you recognize it for what it is. All this can be summed up, as the problem of representation. Not the difficulty or annoyance of representation, but "the problem of representation". Problems are problems, intellectual propositions describing something or a context, with nothing negative about them as such, but of course people probably talk about problems in such a quick and shortened way that we tend to simply say they have a problem when they perhaps only mean that they want to get your attention about them having difficulty with something, yet perhaps doing so without ever learning about WHAT the circumstances were or WHY they thought it was interesting.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 11:16:13 AM by Nefn »

greekemmy

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Interesting article reviewing the 2nd July Assange/Zizek event.


Is Assange the "world-spirit embodied"? A Hegel scholar reports from the Žižek/Assange Troxy gig, By Petri Autio, 9 July 2011

WikiLeaks combats the hidden but constant brutality of institutionalized violence, not just by the news content it brings to light but by disturbing the formal functioning of power itself: it has the power to circumvent the oblique ways in which information flows and thereby rewrite the very rules which regulate how rules can be violated. The critical task is to keep this disruptive strength alive.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/petri-autio/is-assange-world-spirit-embodied-hegel-scholar-reports-from-%C5%BEi%C5%BEekassange-troxy-gig

I will return to the discussion later. :)

Offline Nefn

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*goes off to read the article*
*comes back*

Hrm, I am not fond of the headline. Very much pretentious and really nothing understandable. Edit: I think the author was silly having done this.

Btw, I found an instance with google of Stalin as ”World Spirit Embodied” ( Lukács related), which does not necessarily is as bad as it probably sounds like (I pretty much only associate Stalin with negative stuff, though I understand he was something of an intellectual at some point). Still, I think the author is pushing it, with imo being clumsy using such an reference to Hegel. If anyone know if or where Hegel has written anything about, "World Spirit Embodied" or "World-Spirit Embodied" (the exact phrase is important) I would very much like to learn about it.

The author mentions "philosopher of freedom" which I find particulary interesting for a specific reason, however (I am by far no expert on Hegel) in the first paragraph he writes about Napoleon as "producing emancipation in his wake", which to me seem abit odd. All in all making me believe that the author have misunderstood Hegel or having wrongly atributed the notion of being a "philosopher of freedom" to Hegel, for the wrong reasons. I do not understand what "producing emancipation in his wake" would or could mean. The author does not explain what he means by this. One might get the impression that it could have something to do with the sense of revelation or authenticity, when learning about something horrible in the news, mentioned down in the article with Zizek making apoint about how important it was for people to be confronted with things in a naked way without being able to be merely cynical about it.

"That Wikileaks is disruptive(...)" I think it is a unfortunate that there is no elaboration about this other than the author having stated this, or at least made a point of the idea of Wikileaks somehow being disruptive. Btw, both me and the author apparantly spell the name WikiLeaks wrong. :)

I probably agree with the author of viewing Wikileaks as having a valuable and imo probably a needed contribution with its existence. I liked how Assange made a point of Wikileaks being a publisher of last resort, underpinning this contribution.

Hrm, I wish Zizek did not use the phrase "my god". Probably just a common phrase, I stopped using similar expressoin some time ago. Using these kinds of expressions was simply weird and inappropriate to me.

Wikipedia have Hegel (1770-1831) to have published four works in his lifetime. The author refers to his "Phenomenology of spirit", being his first published work which apparantly came out in 1807, when Hegel was 37 years old (died at age 61).

Edit: It should be mentioned that the legacy of Hegel is roughly categoricalized into a following of left- (aka. young hegelians) and right-hegelians (conservative, nationalistic) with the people preoccupied with Hegel after his death. I wonder if the author would subscribe to being a right hegelian, but I have to guess. Not sure if contemporary writers/philosophers/politicians can easily be attributed with such a distinction either. On second thought, I guess a distinction between division between left and right hegelians is simple enough (when they somehow make a reference to the works or the person Hegel, with one focusing primarily on the role of the individual and the other focusing primarily on the role of society, but please don't quote me on this.

Edit2: Hegel was employed by the Prussian state so I guess that might perhaps explain his opinions about the Prussian state (1525–1947, abolished by Allied Control Council in the end).

Edit3: Looking up some stuff on Hegel, I came across this imo nice audio clip which seem to be a sensible approach to begin trying to understand Hegels philosophy: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/philosopherszone/stories/2010/3071671.htm
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 22:51:25 PM by Nefn »

Offline tabula rasa

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ok, let's do this, who is going to put new post? tabula rasa, I think you can do this, but keep it simple pleeease....

Done, one new thread created for Tabula rasa discussion!  :)
https://www.wikileaks-forum.com/index.php?topic=3537.0
There is a certain dramatic irony attached to all this. A synchronicity that borders on predestination, one might say.

Offline willow

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I like this clip a lot. it is how Žižek explain  our behaviour, special when he explain what is charity and why is useless.
RSA Animate - First as Tragedy, Then as Farce


Offline Nefn

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Afaik, Zizek has NEVER said that charity is useless. Please explain your statement.

Offline tabula rasa

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IIRC Zizek said something like charity gives hope to people needlessly as it doesn't fix the situation that caused their suffering, it masks it temporarily...?

I was a bit surprised by what he said but I can see his point.
There is a certain dramatic irony attached to all this. A synchronicity that borders on predestination, one might say.

Offline Nefn

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I am sure there is this moment in the clip shown above (RSA Animate - First as Tragedy, Then as Farce), where Zizek says "don't get me wrong" and then he talks about how charity probably is helping people nonetheless.

Offline tabula rasa

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Now if we could have afforded tickets to the Assange/Zizek lunch we could have had a fantastic debate with Slavoj about this!  ;D

Maybe next time!
There is a certain dramatic irony attached to all this. A synchronicity that borders on predestination, one might say.

Offline willow

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I agree with Žižek about charity. Poverty should not be allowed, charity just prolong misery. For example, Angelina Jollie likes to visit refugee camps, she arrived there, listen ppl stories, cries a little bit, gave some money, then leave.
Angelina flies with helicopter in her luxurious, beautiful rich world, and refugees are still in their dirty, dusty camps. What has changed? Nothing. Except Angelina can put 'humanitarian work' in her biography, and refugee has nice photo taken with Angelina. Angelina is still rich, and refugees are still poor. Solution is change of system, charity does not help to solve poverty. Charity become hypocritical in our modern society.

Offline Helene

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This is what Zizek said at the end of the RSA Video:  8)


"All the cherished values of liberalism – I love them -
but the only way to safe them is to do something more.
You know what I am saying. I am not against charity, o god.
In an abstract sense … It is better than nothing.
(…)
For example:  it is horrible to see a child whose life is ruined because of (a lack of) an operation that costs 20 $. (…)
If you just operate the child it would live a little bit better but in the same situation which produced them...."



What he means it to change economy
not only give some peanuts to the poor

greekemmy

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@Nefn

Thank you very much for explaining about "Das ding an sich" from the link you provided me I quote:

“The noumenon (play /ˈnuːmɛˌnɒn/) is a posited object or event that is known (if at all) without the use of the senses... Modern philosophy has generally denied the possibility of knowledge independent of the senses, and Immanuel Kant gave this point of view its classical version, saying that the noumenal world may exist, but it is completely unknowable to humans. In Kantian philosophy the unknowable noumenon is often linked to the unknowable "thing-in-itself" (Ding an sich), although how to characterize the nature of the relationship is a question yet open to some controversy....

Noumenon (νοούμενoν) is a Greek word. It is the medium-passive present participle of νοεῖν (noein), "I think, I mean". (I should correct this point,  νοεῖν (noein) is an infinitive and should be translated “to think” not “I think” ie the thinking process not the action, so Noumenon (νοούμενoν) is what can be perceived by a thought process)* Thus a rough equivalent in English would be "something that is thought", or "the object of an act of thought". The plural is noumena (νοούμενα). Noein in turn originates from the word "nous" (roughly, "mind").

*by me, since you like to be precise   

I was startled to see that my question about  a German expression brought me back to my own language and I did lol at the time. You can appreciate why.   

I was also struck by your...”... is learning how names (aka. words) are not some quality really inherent in any object but simply a social construct.

I refer you to my signature. I arrived at it through contemplating personal emotional experience. It is interesting that now I come across this idea as an object of interest in philosophical theory.

So if someone somewhere in a news article were to mention "the world economy" in an indirectly way because he would not be pointing or referring to something more specific, one should be aware that this is one example of something that does not even exist, but is rather just known as an idea and better yet, a concept.” You explain your point beautifully with this example.

Will be back at the discussion after my holiday, bye.