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Slavoj Zizek answers a question at Occupy Wall Street protests, 9/9/2011, Zuccotti Park

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Published on Oct 10, 2011

Influential Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek answers a question at the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City.

The full question asked by the woman, which I was not able to fully capture, was if he knew of any strategies of how the protesters can most effectively spread their message to those who do not understand its meaning, to which Žižek responded:

"I think it's a crucial question. The only thing I can tell you is that if you want to convert them, you should do it in an immanent way. You should show them how by what they are doing, they are already undermining their own values. Even naively how in the long term, they are working against their own interests. Let me give you an example: two years ago, the first wave of Tea Parties, I was sitting here in United States in a hotel watching TV jumping between two channels: TBS, a documentary on Pete Seeger, and of course on Fox TV a report on Tea Party in Texas where there was a right wing folk singer singing a song against Washington and so on. When I compared the two singers, what surprised me was how at an abstract level, it was very similar what they were singing, because the Tea Party guy from Texas was also complaining how the rich guys on Wall Street and Washington, are exploiting the poor working class. This I think is maybe the single greatest ideological triumph of those in power. They are practicing a false class warfare. Today in the United States, the way to protect the interests of the rich people is to complain how the state is exploiting the poor working people. So, the tragedy is that much of the Tea Party people should be on our side. That's where we should work. They may be stupid, but don't look at them as the enemy."

The reason why the crowd is repeating everything he says is so that all the people that are not within earshot can hear him, since the NYPD banned the use of microphones.

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