A few interesting quotes here.
To read the full article go HERE.
The standard idea is to say, like my friend Alain Badiou in France, “those who are here are from here”. That is to say, no check for roots, open to all of them. Legalize everything. The problem is that they know very well that this radical opening will never happen. So it’s very easy to have a radical position which costs you nothing and for the price of nothing it gives you some kind of moral superiority. It also enables them to avoid the truly difficult questions.
Or, another thing that I really hate as a leftist who tries to be a communist – did you notice how the standard academic left likes nothing more than an attempted revolution going on, but far away from where you are? Today it’s Venezuela, which is why I like to be critical from time to time of Chavez. It’s a very comfortable position: you can do all the dirty work, you struggle for your career, compromises in your country in the west, but your heart is somewhere far away but it in no way affects what you are doing. This is another thing which I think is a fake.
I claim that we have two opponents: pro-capitalist liberals and old Marxists, as far as they still exist. They claim that it’s the same capitalism going on. This is obviously not true – in China and other places, something new is emerging.
This is typical theoretical arrogance. We don’t know what is going on. This is the point of my book: terrific new things are emerging. What’s going on in China today is something very ominous.
My position isn’t that we should sit down and wait for some big revolution to come. We have to engage wherever we can. If Obama wins his battle over healthcare, if some kind of a blow will made against this freedom of choice ideology, it will be a great victory worth having fought for.
All I’m saying is that one should distinguish between short-term battles worth fighting and short-term battles where your protest is of the kind that those in power like. There was a little bit of that in the marches against the Iraq war. Everyone was satisfied. Those who organised the protests knew they wouldn’t change anything. Blair like the protests – he or Bush said,
my god, they are telling the truth!” But this truth was easily appropriated by zionists, who say, “you see, that’s how you fight wars – we had to do it.” If you don’t change the ideological background, facts alone don’t do the job.
Theory is sacred, we need it more than ever.
When people ask me what we should do about ecology, the financial crisis – my god, what do I know? What I can do, as a critical intellectual, is to ask the right questions. Sometimes the way you formulate or perceive a problem can be itself be part of the problem. The classical example is tolerance. Why is it that we today automatically translate or perceive problems of racism or sexism into problems of tolerance.
The problem for me is that if we don’t want to end up in some kind of neo-authoritarian society, in which we’ll have all our private freedoms (…) but in which the social space will be depoliticized and much more authoritarian – here we should make a pact with liberals. Only a more fundamental questioning of our society can save us. It’s clear that we are approaching some kind of apocalyptic zero-point.
My unconditional insight is that we will be pushed into a situation where we will have to make a choice: either we do something or we are slowly approaching a society I’m not sure I’d like to live in.