Thanks to the influence of my good friend Wess, I have been doing a little more reading up on Slavoj Zizek. Wikipedia refers to him as a “Post-Marxist sociologist, philosopher, and cultural critic”…and he’s also a psychoanalyst among many other things. In fact, last week I watched the documentary Zizek on the Sundance Channel. I have actually been interested in his work for some time, but am just now beginning to do read some of his writing.
Zizek had an interesting post in the London Review of Books concerning the economic situation. And though I always don’t agree with everything he is saying, I really like a lot of what he does have to say.
H(at)T(ip) to Wess for sending me the article Don’t Just Do Something, Talk by Zizek. It is worth your read. So please check it out in it’s entirety.
I do agree with much of his premise of the article and am curious about your thoughts. But he is right. Sometimes we are too quick into rushing to doing something without actually thinking about what we are doing. And I think the handling of the economic crisis is just that case. People will argue that if we didn’t rush things would get worse. And that could be true. But the reality is, that by our rushing in without thinking through all of our actions potentially sets us up for something worse I’m afraid.
Faced with a disaster over which we have no real influence, people will often say, stupidly, ‘Don’t just talk, do something!’ Perhaps, lately, we have been doing too much. Maybe it is time to step back, think and say the right thing. True, we often talk about doing something instead of actually doing it – but sometimes we do things in order to avoid talking and thinking about them. Like quickly throwing $700 billion at a problem instead of reflecting on how it came about.
On 23 September, the Republican senator Jim Bunning called the US Treasury’s plan for the biggest financial bailout since the Great Depression ‘un-American’:
Someone must take those losses. We can either let the people who made bad decisions bear the consequences of their actions, or we can spread that pain to others. And that is exactly what the Secretary proposes to do: take Wall Street’s pain and spread it to the taxpayers . . . This massive bailout is not the solution, it is financial socialism, and it is un-American.
And I will leave you with this quote. Sometimes I do wonder if we actually, really do want to be free, or if that is too scary of a proposition. We say we do, but in reality we are too dependent upon things like money, politics, Wall St., etc.
I wonder if we (the American people) in attempting to avoid the pain of our decisions, we are actually setting up future pain for our children and the generations to come?
We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligence to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be.‘ We are forced to make choices without having the knowledge that would enable us to make them; or, as John Gray has put it: ‘We are forced to live as if we were free.’