Dialogue and Samizdat (2011) by Jasna Koteskа [ENG]



Dialogue and Samizdat

Jasna Koteskа






Published in: Решенија/Zgjidhje/Cure, Journal on Political Culture and Dialogue, Civil Center For Freedom, 2011, 306-316.


Macedonian version of the text here.
Albanian version of the text here.



Dialogue and Samizdat
(In Light of Julian Assange Detainment)
Jasna Koteska


1.

Xhabir Derala [President of Civil – Center for Freedom] invited me to write a text on the political culture and the dialogue in the Republic of Macedonia. Culture seemed as a wide topic for me, so I decided to take the second one: the dialogue. The first thing that occurred to me was the three dialogues that ended up recently in the court room. Irena Cvetkovic [human right activist] has opened a dialogue on the homophobic high school text-books, so she ended up in court. Zarko Trajanoski [columnist and human right activist] has opened a dialogue on the public calls for lynch of unlike-minded people with the government by Milenko Nedelkovski [TV host], so he ended up in court. And Nikola Gelevski [columnist and publisher] debated with Dragan Pavlovic Latas [TV journalist], so he ended up in court; then he lost, and he had to pay fine for slander. In all three cases the dialogue has been initiated by people from the civil society. The message has become worrying. Will everyone opening a public dialogue end up like this? And whether this is a new phenomenon linked to small countries without a critical mass? Those were my first, instinctive questions.

I have decided to find the answers in the past. Michelle Montaigne has a very important text on the "Art of Conference", which seemed to me as a good introduction. But as soon as I have started to read the text, I was shocked. Montaigne starts the essay on the dialogue literally as follows: 'Tis a custom of our justice to condemn some for a warning to others. To condemn them for having done amiss, were folly.... but 'tis to the end they may offend no more and that others may avoid the example of their offence". And adds to this: "we do not correct the man we hang; we correct others by him". Isn't it an irony that the essay of Montaigne on the art of conference mentions the court in the very first sentence? If the things were like that in the 16th century, did anything change in these four centuries in the combination dialogue - court? It seems that this has been the case in the communist times as well. My father had criticized the state system, so he ended up in court and served two years to prison. But it was a totalitarian system. Could it be that democracy, for which we are all proud of, nowadays only oddly finds its continuity in totalitarianism?

Montaigne does not have an answer to these dilemmas, but his essay continues: why is it of use to have a dialog? He says that reading a book "heats not", whereas conversation with a tough, strong minded interlocutor incites you to raise yourself above yourself. But Montaigne makes the main difference by saying that "I love to discourse and dispute, however it is with but few men and for myself". And that is quite different from the public dialogue, isn't it? Well, yet, just a few things on Montaigne. He says that "when any one contradicts me, he raises my attention, not my anger."

And he also says that it was hard to find a man in his time that has the courage to correct, because "people do not have the courage to oppose". There is another similarity with present times. People do not discuss because of fear. They are afraid that they will insult somebody from the ruling power, but they are also afraid that they will be criticized as well. On the contrary, Socrates had always received with a smile the objections offered to his arguments, knowing by that the powerlessness of his interlocutor; on the other hand, there is something insipid and not persuasive in people that admire us or give way, telling us how good we are. Antisthenes for example, advised his children never to take it kindly when any man commended them.

But when the rightful attacks by our weaker interlocutors cease to be interesting and become tormenting? When we are not asking them only to be strong or witty, but to respect the rules as well; when, if we go to court, we demand the court to judge without fear the arguments on both sides? But do our judges act in this way? It is impossible to debate with a fool, and it is also impossible to do that in front of a judge who's frightened, isn't it? In conversations, what happens is this: first, we start a quarrel about arguments, and then we move on to the people. The judge also judges us in this manner as well. Plato in his Republic prohibited the spiritually incapable and ungrateful people to conduct a dialogue. They can often be found among politicians, journalists and judges, and Macedonia is full of them.

And another thing: Montaigne says: "I had rather my son should learn in a tap-house to speak, than in the schools to prate". He is right. Teachers have the advantage of great knowledge, but yet they do not conduct public debates. Why? Knowledge carries a heavy burden, and they fall under such burden. Teachers also sink in the fear, same as judges. In Plato, Socrates disputes with his interlocutors in order to train them. I am often reading the Macedonian portal Okno, and I see how Kolja trains his interlocutors. In one of his numerous responses, I have found a really funny sentence that cheered my day, and it went like this: "I am fed up teaching you here. Let the party enroll you in a night school, to mingle and to learn through games." 

Truly, people are sometimes more offended by dullness and lack of sense of humor, rather than by ignorance or untruth. Montaigne reminds us of a scene when Megabyzus, a nobleman, visited the painting-room of the Greek artist Apelles, who at first stood a great while without speaking a word, and at last began to talk extensively about his own works, to which Apelles responded: "Whilst thou wast silent, thou seemedst to be some great thing, by reason of thy chains and rich habit; but now that we have heard thee speak, there is not the meanest boy in my workshop that does not despise thee."

One of the wise traps is when the dialogue is transferred to a meta-level. For example, if I want to argue with my husband, he acts to that strategy accordingly. If I ask him: "why are these glasses here?" he replies: "Sorry, did you say "glass" or "drag"? Since "drag" is an informal word". And this is when the dialogue turns into a dialogue on the dialogue and creates a closed system, as in the Esher's graphics Drawing Hands (1948), where the drawing hand has a hand, which draws a hand, which draws a hand. Or, as in the iconographic painting about the television which shows a television, which shows a television, etc. The series of this kind either continue to infinity or the human mind cannot grasp them. In these cases we are hardly talking about the form, as in many of our public debates. 

2.

The most influential people in Macedonia are often those who are most incompetent. Once I had been invited in a live debate show on television. The main politician was so dull and boring that made me wish to fall asleep out of misery, so that I do not have to listen to him for an hour. I was counting spots on the wall in the studio, to stay awake. How did those feel in front of the TV screens? We do not judge people with high positions according to their opinions, but according to their suit and the illusion of their greatness. As the Roman saying: “I didn't see him since he was darkened by words”, but here it was quite the contrary: "I didn't hear him, since the irrelevant words were subdued by his high rank." Public offices make the incompetent people look like clowns, scorned by the whole nation. Yet, they have the power and the citizens - blinded by their suits, often times are forcibly trying to find virtue in their words, where there is none.

Aren't the free babblings on public debates and on television also from the same category? When in the debates one can hardly notice table-talk babble, an ease created from the vague closeness in the studio, a place where one can practice everything but the spirit of conversation and debate - one should keep in mind that these people are talking only not to say anything pertinent. One should not listen to them at any cost. There is anecdote from the 19 century from the cabinet of the Hungarian psychoanalyst Balint, holding sessions with a charming lady: likeable, interesting, talkative, a woman that only talks, talks and talks, without a beginning and an end. At one of the sessions, after an hour of hard babbling, Balint has gently touched upon her symptom, asking for help. The charming lady had got a recommendation for a new job. It was written in the recommendation that she was a "person of full confidence". The concerning moment was in the fact that she didn't want to be seen as confident. She didn't want anyone taking her word for granted. Because the word means a commitment. If she stops talking, she will have to start working and respecting the agreements. It is exactly due to this charming non-binding behavior, people are babbling and babbling when debating. They are doing this in order not to say something significant, and not to commit to anything.

In one TV show I had been asked for an opinion on the antic roots of the Macedonians. I said that the antic root of the Macedonian nation is a nebulous myth. I am teaching at the Department of Macedonian Literature and Macedonian language, as Slavic language is part of my most intimate identity. My mother is from the Aegean Macedonia, in that country I have lost much more than many other Macedonians. My mother and my grandmother spoke Macedonian Slavic language. My grandmother died at the age of 93 a decade ago, she lived in Michurin, in the Aegean district in Skopje, where I live today with my family. Her mother tongue was Slavic, she was born in the area of Kostur, which was then Slavic minority language in a neighboring state, the Greek state; my grandmother was part of the minority and only due to the fact that she was minority, she was expelled from her property; she lived in a country with ordinary people, but with unfair politicians. That is why today, I consider that I should defend the right of minorities in my country with the same severity and force with which my grandmother was condemned to exile, only because she was a minority. One should always respond to injustice with fight for justice.

When I had been given the possibility to teach literature to students at the Departments of Albanian and Turkish language, I felt really happy, and today I am proud for each student that I managed to get through to, in one way or another. For me personally, that meeting has been a return to my roots and to the possibility to fight the differences - right of origin, embedded if you wish in the history of my ancestors. My grandmother and I have been speaking the Macedonian Slavic language in the same way, with minor differences as in a dialect. Those differences were not Greek. Nothing more to say on this topic. In all my conscious life I have been taught to make a difference between languages and literatures. My ancestors were expelled from their homes, but they will not be able to return their estate with the forged history created and sold by our politicians in the last years. Also, as a scientist, I am quite aware that there is no scientific way to join ten centuries of non-existing history, without lying about it. I know many classicists that in these desperate times are sinking under the burden of their knowledge and instead of making clear to the public the differences between the ancient and the modern Macedonia today, they are silent, and their place is filled with people with selective or no knowledge at all. At the same time, we need our antic lie only to justify our failures and semi-products, the all illegal constructions of our provincial thoughts. And this is why I have answered in the show: "No, the Macedonian antic origin of my people is nebulosity."

But then, on the site of the show I had to read many comments that I am a traitor of my own people, traitor of my father, that I am leftist with rightist origin; as if, My God, that sentence is a death penalty or a fate insult. My students came utterly upset on the next class. Why do people think that I am a traitor? I have answered them with a line from the Death Poets Society, the first thing that occurred to me that arduous morning. When the English teacher, played by Robin Williams, took his students on the first class in the school yard and told them to march. Just to march. At first, each student marched in his or her best way, only for himself or herself, and later on they started to synchronize, to coordinate their speed, the tempo and the rhythm of their steps, and at the end they were all walking jointly as one big body. That was their first lesson of hypocrisy: the lesson that sometimes we yield our most intimate knowledge and the specialness as if they are trophy weapons taken from us by our enemy, only because at that particular moment we were thinking that everybody walks in the same way. Because we have never heard a different step. Once I wrote, and now I will repeat. My favorite verse is from the 16th century, which is not by Montaigne, but by an anonymous wise man, a priest who said: "Never say that it is silent. Say I didn't hear anything".

And just a few more words on the legs. Kierkegaard describes that once, due to the circumstances in the 19th century, he had to travel for thirty-six hours from his city to Berlin in a narrow coach, together with five other passengers. And he gradually felt how the six passengers are all of a sudden becoming one big, giant body in which he could not find out whose leg is his. Life in narrow circumstances and Macedonian life is necessarily condemned to be such (each one of us is constantly activating his or her memory that we are a leg in a giant body), is a phenomenon to which we should constantly and alertly remind ourselves, if we want to have an authentic dialogue.

Finally, many times in the dialogues you can see that after you have presented well your arguments, the collocutor will answer to you: "I meant the same, but I had no words to say so". Montaigne says that one should fret and vex at folly with evil. Of course, one should not be evil in conversation, but to instruct wherever possible, however that is not possible in all cases. Why to give a hand to the fools? One should allow them to perceive their dullness through the rejection. As Montaigne says: “A man does not become a good musician by hearing a fine tune”.

Prlichev in his Autobiography depicts the narrow streets of Ohrid, and all of a sudden he says that they were so narrow that two donkeys could not accost without affronting each other. This is how small towns and communities function. Stubborness and obstination are not only a proof of stupidity, but also a sign in the small communities on the culture of mule's stubborness. There are so many rude and unreasonable public duels - hard to watch and boring to hear.

However, there are debates in which you simply should not participate. Everyone is quite familiar with the aversion of Gilles Deleuze towards dialogues. When a man in a cafeteria would approach him by saying" "Let's debate on this topic", the great philosopher would just stand up and beating a hasty retreat, would simply leave the cafeteria.

In justifying his strange behavior, paradoxically, we have at disposal a major part of the Western philosophy. In Plato, the conversation is a thoroughly asymmetric exchange of arguments. Plato (the man who invented the format of the conversation in the Western world) had immediately brought the disturbing sentence that one should not leave same room for discussion to all the interlocutors.  In early Plato, Socrates often disputes. In late Plato, only the main character disputes, while his collocutor serves from time to time to say some wooden replica:"Yes, it's true." "In the name of Zeus, you are completely right".

Isn't Slavoj Zizek right when he says that all Western thought consists of no conversation or of not understanding the interlocutor’s arguments? Aristotle did not understand Plato. Hegel did not understand Kant. Nietzsche did not understand Jesus. Marx did not understand Hegel. Stalin did not understand Marx. It's a fact that all western thought movement is based on deaf ears.

I remember when Henry Miller in a documentary said: “The first pupil is the one that will distort the truth”. Exactly. The one that will first overvote him has a sound voice, and not the one that will listen to him first, or will discuss with the other.

Then, isn't it fairer to accept a radical philosophical gesture and to honestly say to ourselves: we should not pretend that there is always a way to talk with our ideological unlike-minded people! Sometimes it is healthier to just start with a wrong choice and say frankly to our ideological enemy: "I do not want to talk to you", instead of deceptively filling in the pit among our misunderstandings, so that conditions can eventually be created for some kind of a conversation. I don't know to what extent we can have a compromise in the conversation, since today we are governed by proliferation of the right that everyone can shit (apology to the sensitive readers) his or her opinion, even when that opinion is close to pure fascism? And one should not negotiate with fascists.

There is one icon scene: the Nazis ask the mother the impossible question: "Which of the two kids Madam, would you like not to be shot?" One cannot and should not, and under any circumstances have a conversation.

3.

We can constantly hear: "In the debates, we should include as many analysts as possible". But why, for God's sake? There are situations when the task of the analyst is NOT to take part in the debates, especially since participation means acceptance of basic coordinates by which government elites formulates the problem. Or the medium itself.

Anyone called on a TV "conversation" knows that well. The analyst is given three minutes slot, which should be filled with roustabout talking from the stomach, asking for punctual sentences that actually do not serve anyone but the medium, as a huge Matrix.

Didn't Hardt and Negri exactly formulate the problem when they said that democracy and the right of conversation are in the center of all present permanent conflicts and wars. Today, behind the demand for a common dialogue, sharing and communication, there is a clear military hegemonyzation of the world.

If we agree that without a medium, there is no conversation (except as a private, almost confident exchange), then what stands behind the medium? Let us remind ourselves on the scandal with the Macedonian A1 TV in November and December 2010. First, the police had made a raid around the TV building on grounds of corruption in the work of the companies owned by the owner. Then the owner came out with a shocking confession that government bought the marketing space from him not with party, but with state money – which means he replied back with a bigger corporation and state scandal. At the end, the owner himself, a day after, apologized to the public for giving a wrong statement in a fit of rage.

The major problem in this potentially criminal series of actions is that even if these statements would be true, even if all actors would admit their guilt without any objection, the truth for these events will change with such vertiginous speed, from one day to another, that at the end the truth will merely become an ephemeral category, without status, without stability and sustainability, and in the long run only a short-term sensation. In all that, the public will be placed in a position to swallow the truth, which at the moment will be served as such. The medium addresses a passive, and by that damaged public, for which the truth is merely a daily event. Regardless of the real illusion for the virtue or the corruptness of the medium, the liberal or the conservative image, the style that may vary from attractive to boring, from vulgar to refined or both, the medium always serves to interrupt the conversation and to confirm the Plato diagnosis that the louder wins the conversation, and not the more reasonable one.

In the Samuel Beckett's Film (1965) nobody talks to each other, and the characters show a vague, but dreadful fear from something mysterious, to which we cannot define the shape, until the last part in the move, when one can see that without exception, they fear from our gaze, from the gaze of the camera with which they refuse to have a dialogue. Similar to Negri and Hardt, Beckett defined the medium as a place for an impossible dialogue: hence, the generic name of the movie is simply: Film. For Beckett, the format of the medium becomes its content, which later on McLuhan packed in an elegant sentence: "The medium is the message." No conversation brings a message through the medium; it only makes the medium legitimate.

But there is something even more dramatic. Isn't it a case in Plato? We owe him the concept of a dialogue, and to his Polis - the concept of democracy. But from ancient times the two of them come in a package with the symptom: democracy is based on the allowed conversation, precisely because the conversation becomes irrelevant. Brought to its philosophical extreme, the public dialogue is either addressing deaf ears or vice versa, asking the impossible question: "Which of your two kids Madam, would you like not to be shot?" And to a very similar prohibition of the voice in The Thief (1952) movie is based. In it, we are really hearing some unclear murmuring of the people behind or noise by the cars passing by, but there is no scene in which the character would be forced or enabled to enter a dialogue.

Of course, the two movies play on the claustrophobic atmosphere, the acoustical universe is suspended, and the senseless murmuring of the people, as in the Balint's lady, does not serve a thing - the more the media produces a nice noise, the more the audience is deprived of the response. We know this from our thorough experiences when people say to us: "Why do I have to present my opinion, when it is lost in the senselessness of many conversations?", by which the whole dialogue is reduced to the polite stereotype of the British conversation on weather conditions. Dialogue draws its infinite perpetual force exactly by the fact that it is dumb.

However, this approach is capricious. It is not senseless to debate, but while debating, to be aware on the parasite stuck on the dialogue's body - the media and the government dictating the conversation.

Derrida asks what would our media machineries do out of Rimbaud or Lautreamont, out of Nietzsche or Proust, or of Kafka or Joyce? These authors were saved by a bunch of readers, by a minimum rate of popularity, they were saved by the privacy, and not by the publicly. On that scale, if a book is not read by more than ten thousand copies, Derrida says that it should be treated as hardly a private correspondence.

Let me get back to the beginning of the text. After the news on offence charges brought against Irena Cvetkovic by the writers of the homophobic textbooks,  the Makfax Agency have called me for an opinion on the homophobic school books. I answered that they are incompetent if they are defining the homosexuality as an illness, and added that I want to live in a country in which my son or his friends, when they grow up, would be able to say loud and clear that they are gay, if they are, and to be proud of it. They did not publish my opinion. That is why our dialogues are not conditioned only by journalists who may be helpless, even not only by the media, but by what we call "general atmosphere" (whatever this vague axiom means). This is why I am saying that dialogues are sometimes impossible, except as private debates. And those are of no use.

4.

Then, what is remaining?

Between the private (our books and analyses, that are basically reduced to a conversation between three people) and the public (the media and their vertiginous speed from one truth to another), there is a grey zone that is called Samizdat. Samizdat is the only form of a dialogue in which I still nurture faith.

On 2 December 2010 (six days prior to the deadline for this text) Amazon had refused to host the site of Wikileaks.  The same day Wikileaks replied: "If Amazon is so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should give up the business of selling books", and since they have left the public terrain for a conversation, the same day they have precisely defined their space in the world: "Wikileaks is the first global Samizdat movement". I could not agree more.

At the moment, Wikileaks leaking information network is the only global political dialogue, which belongs neither to the private - they do not share the truth mutually, but give it to all people with internet, from Johannesburg to Skopje unconditionally; while at the same time they do not belong to the public - many states and banks in the world (even the Swiss ones) are tightening the ring around the leading persons of Wikileaks, mainly around the founder Julian Assange, with a highly suspicious legal case, and Internet companies have been cancelling their space.

We are living in an era of the post-politics, each fool starting from Berlusconi, to Sarkozy or Sarah Palin, as well as our own political fools, looks more like show business, media clowns than as politicians, and in return, people feverishly take over the role of politics, talk only about politics, helplessly endeavoring to keep things under control. But, with Wikileaks we are entering into a post-Samizdat era, with a range of resistance unknown to our civilization up to now. In that sense, Wikileaks have a decent historical predecessor in the Samizdats from the times of totalitarianism, but also with a technological support unknown so far.

Wikileaks at the moment is not only redefining the history as a science (Timothy Ash wrote for Guardian that what was available to history after 20 or 30 years, with Wikileaks is available for 30 weeks, calling Wikileaks a feast for historians), but also to journalism as profession. Guardian, CNN, New York Times and Time can do nothing but follow Wikileaks and dedicate their first main three news and editorials to the data leaking from them.

It is interesting that four years ago Wikileaks started as a concept for dialogue. They called their network Wikileaks according to the model of Wikipedia, where each member of the global community can give their contribution for the truth of events. Wikileaks had a similar idea. They believed that if they published information on the corruptive-environmental crimes in Albania, for example, that part of the Albanian citizens would be interested in giving authentic testimonies and that the two concerned parties would open a dialogue to come to the truth. It seemed that the world is not ready, neither for research, nor for conversation since the damaged audience after a long training, actually does not know how to communicate, if the conversation is unfolding out of the established rules on empty talking, out of ceremonies, rituals and simulations. Many people have a sincere wish to correctly edit the dictionary database on Tolstoy, on the national parks in Malaysia, or about the electrons, but it turned up that very few, or none knows how to talk on the focal political, financial or media pillars of our civilization.

On 3 December 2010, we have heard the news that the Columbia University careers service administration in New York has warned its students not to make public conversations on Wikileaks; otherwise, they face to endanger their future professional careers. In other words, it has sent the same message as the states, banks and media: that it is OK to be a hypocrite. As a person working at university for years, this news was shocking for me. Aren't universities a place where truth is defended by all means, where you believe that humanity can win, where you believe in ethical gestures? Where is Al Pacino coming from the Scent of a Woman (1992) to slap the obvious truth to the corrupted members of the university committee through the legendary sentence: "And I have seen boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there isn't nothin' like the sight of an amputated spirit; there is no prosthetic for that." This movie from school desks asked the ancient old question on the ethical gesture: "Are your words worth enough in the moment when you can lose your personal wellbeing? Are you ready, if the circumstances are not in your favor, to eat your own words?" And answered that there are moments when even at the cost of your whole visible universe falling apart, what you should not sell out is the truth. But life is not a movie and the moral amputation of the Columbia University, of Amazon are only part of the surprises that will follow in the months to come, when we shall see the sale of the morale from top instances that have advocated it just yesterday.

This phenomenon, although new, brings us paradoxically back to the 16th century, right in the time of Montaigne. But not in a sense to bring us back (Umberto Eco commenting Wikileaks gave a witty remark that from now on the diplomats will use pigeons to carry confidential information), but quite the contrary.

Several analysts have already commented that Wikileaks to the modern world is what printing houses were in the 16th century. When, as a result of the availability of printing press, in Netherlands they started spreading pamphlets and newspapers with confidential information, a phenomenon which final outcome was to annul the censorship of the Catholic Church, which had earlier controlled the books publishing. This led to development of science, and finally to democratization of the world. Then newspapers were more and more regulated with severe legal orders that eventually created today's media monsters, disgusting political animals, as another tool for the world dominance.

However, practical politics shows that the influence of Wikileaks, unfortunately, will not have a long-term effect. The spokesperson of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, on 7th December was detained in London. And now we are back to the relationship between: "free dialogue - court", from the beginning of this text. Probably more surprises are waiting for us about Wikileaks. Yet, the influence that they currently have on the history, diplomacy, and journalism is enormous.

One of the most probable scenarios for the end of Wikileaks will be that the concerned states, the banks and the media will finally manage to pack such a network of information and stories that will convince each citizen of this planet that Wikileaks was part of the plots for power, and that it was just a branch of CIA, FBI, of the great spy networks. Personally, I will need a lot of time to accept this cynicism, even after months of brain washing to which we will be exposed in the months to come.  But even for a moment, Wikileaks has made visible the essence of being of our planet.

For many years now, and for more than a half decade, I have been publicly speaking of the need for de-classifying the archives of communist Macedonia and opening them through internet, and immediately, on the principle "all for all", and without mediation of political structures and the media. What does not seem to work here, worked for Julian Assange immensely, and so far to an unparalleled degree, not only for the past, but also for the current archives of the secret services and of diplomacy. That is why to me, Assange and his team are the heroes of our time. While I am writing this, it is still unclear what will his personal destiny be. When you read this text, you will probably know much more than me at the moment. But, Wikileaks is not only Assange and a lot of work and logistics will be needed (which, to be realistic, the empires have it in tons­) to catch Wikilieaks and to put it on lynch and execute it. Still, the information from Wikileaks are already downloaded on millions of PCs on the planet, and a lots of invisible persons are working everyday on the secret documents, to de-classify them while we are speaking. Nonetheless, Wikileaks, for the time being, has regained the confidence in the dialogue, and at least today, without any regrets, I can repeat the comment of Socrates' interlocutor, from the Plato: "In the name of Zeus, it's as it is written in the Wikileaks document of 29 November 2010."

For the end, a true story. The philosopher Alain Badiou, was once sitting in the audience, while Slavoj Zizek was delivering a public lecture. All of a sudden, the mobile phone of Badiou rang. Instead of turning it off, Badiou has gently interrupted Zizek and asked him if he can talk in front of the public quieter so that he can hear his interlocutor on the other side of the phone. For this event, Zizek jokingly wrote that this is the only sign of a lasting and deep friendship. If I use this anecdote as a parable, Wikileaks, at the moment, would be the ringing of the global Samizdat to all our mobile phones at once, and our job is to ask those shouting from the speaker’s platform to speak quieter, if they can, we kindly ask them. We may have a direct link online that addresses the whole world, at the same time. We should hear it.

8 December, 2010



 

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