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Forum Post: It is time to think, not act

Posted 2 months ago on Aug. 2, 2014, 11:43 a.m. EST by shortNfatNbaldBUTsexy (-113)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

33 Comments

33 Comments


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[-] 2 points by SerfingUSA (65) 2 months ago

Zizek is a philosopher. Of course that is what he would believe. Philosophers are known to think, not act. If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

One luxury the 99% does not have is time. Obviously it would be great if the 99% had the time to throw pebbles in a pond. Gazing at the expanding rings. Hoping that in some distant year a grand ephiphany, a singularity of a perfect solution, would strike us. Sadly we do not. Our foundational societal mechanisms are crumbling. People no longer trust their corrupt leaders. More human labor is being replaced by technology. The public is losing faith in our fiat monetary system. There is a growing class warfare. Wall st has become a casino. etc, etc. We do NOT have the time that Zizek wants. Sadly we do not have the luxury to wait for the perfect idea. We need to put effective, achievable ideas into action. Even if they are not "the perfect idea".

With each passing year the 99% lose more wealth, political power, privacy and options. Each year that we waste taking no action, our options and potential for taking effective action is reduced.

Would Zizek have us wait for more 1% legislation to be passed against us? Or a police state to have a drone outside everyone's window? Or, the 99% lose even more of their resources?

The raft in going over the falls. How close to the edge does Zizek think we can get, before thinking is no longer an option?

[-] -3 points by shortNfatNbaldBUTsexy (-113) 2 months ago

Philosophers have been known to call for action over thinking at times. Do you read philosophy?

Thinking is not waiting. It is doing something, and that something is more important and powerful than acting blindly without proper goals.

To answer your question, yes, I think the 99% would have spent their time better if they had thought instead of did what OWS did. In the end, they didn't even dent the system. They didn't accomplish much.

I would agree with you if actions actually had results. I don't see results from actions right now, do you?

[-] 1 points by SerfingUSA (65) 2 months ago

"I would agree with you if actions actually had results. I don't see results from actions right now, do you?"

Seriously, you don't think actions would have results?

People are much closer than they think to action being able to shed Capitalistic, oppressive controls. The internet offers great potential to undermine Capitalism's strangle hold. Individuals can share knowledge and resources to help each other. Circumvent Capitalism's pay for play institutions. Helping each other to wean themselves off the need for Capitalistic Corporations and institutions. Cutting out Capitalism's parasitic middleman.

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1733) 2 months ago

gotta eat and pay rent and loans

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[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1733) 2 months ago

lol

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[-] 1 points by SerfingUSA (65) 2 months ago

Allow yourself to entertain the premise that the .001% do not have the 99% best intentions in mind. Lately most evidence points that way. Each day their appointees are busy at work taking effective actions against us. Undermining our interests. While Zizek thinks, they do. Eventually if enough power is extracted, and enough damage is inflicted against the 99%, we will have less options.

For most things to be achieved, you must first position yourself in a more favorable position. If your goal is point G, it is preferable to take steps to advance your position and make your goal more realistic. It is more effective to move from point A, to Point B, then C, D, E, F, G. If you always wait at Point A, thinking and not doing, you will be forced into a desparate, losing position.

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[-] 2 points by SerfingUSA (65) 2 months ago

Quick fix, what a bizarre misreading. I'm advocating a slow, incremental fix. Steps taken now to avoid having to take a giant "quick fix" leap later.

You are the one who wants to brainstorm with Zizek while Rome is burning. You are the one waiting for the "quick fix idea".

Your premise is that Capitalism is the monster. Which is a valid one.

Yet your plan is no plan?

Good Luck waiting for Zizek's grand epiphany.

[-] 2 points by MattHolck0 (1733) 2 months ago

private property ownership has resulted in property in the hands of the few

[-] 2 points by publius31 (69) from Fort Lee, NJ 2 months ago

I can 't agree. Thoughts are not for 'thought's sake' Thoughts are guides to action. Today we are communicating at the speed of light with many people simultaneously. And many of us are saying our governments are flawed. And you are right, we are not being offered any viable alternatives. But history has one to offer: Actual Democracy: the people are responsible for the laws and they should implement that responsibility by voting directly on the laws, and no longer delegating that responsibility to others, to representatives. From Pericles to J.S. Mill and Bertrand Russell, with Tom Paine and T. Jefferson in between, the citizens voting directly on the laws is stated to be Actual Democracy. Representative Democracy is 'elected Aristocracy' ( Rousseau ). We give our legislative power to representatives and they use it against us. The same everywhere and throughout history. We had no choice previously. Today technology enables us to vote directly on the laws under which we will live. www.assosactualdemocacy.com.

[-] -2 points by shortNfatNbaldBUTsexy (-113) 2 months ago

Your idea of having people decide laws is interesting, but extremely difficult to do in practice. Most laws are enacted by judges who interpret the constitution. Laws are extremely complex and must follow many concepts. You have to fully understand the constitution + previous law suits and court cases.

[-] 1 points by publius31 (69) from Fort Lee, NJ 2 months ago

Of course you're right. Judges do a lot. And the Executive does a lot, also. My only point is that that the legislature makes the laws before the judges interpret it and the Executive administers it. So, really, who makes the laws, rules. If the people do 't make the laws, some else does, and the people have rulers. Just like ... forever. And, I wish I could take credit for the idea, but as I mentioned above, this is an idea as old as democracy itself. It has been put aside because of 'logistics'. We can practice it today and hopefully fix some of our current problems.

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[-] -3 points by shortNfatNbaldBUTsexy (-113) 2 months ago

Yes, thoughts are guides to action. Exactly. Without those guides, actions become confused and inefficient. Zizek explains how we haven't fully understood what is going on yet. We haven't fully developed a theory that understands our time, less one that can predict how to solve problems of our time. Hence why he says it is time to think, not act. I suggest you watch the video instead of commenting before doing so.

[-] 1 points by publius31 (69) from Fort Lee, NJ 2 months ago

I did watch it and thought I responded to its content. I might have missed his point. I thought he was saying we we were acting without a solid, well understood, objective in mind. If that was the case I offered the alternative of Actual Democracy advocated by almost all political philosophers as close the ideal form of democracy but impractical to be implemented in their day, because the populations could no longer fit under the tree in the center of town. Today we all fit under the umbrella of the internet and very fast telephony. We can debate, argue, agree, disagree, be logical or illogical; we can do politics and advocacy. And when we're done we can vote. And after time we will learn if we were right, or wrong, then continue on or change the law. Only that is democracy. Only that is political equality.

[-] -2 points by shortNfatNbaldBUTsexy (-113) 2 months ago

Occupy was not about creating a new system, it was focused on trying to destroy the current one. That's what the protests were all about. Zizek talks a lot about various theories on how to dismantle capitalism. You need to do that before implementing whatever other system. We need to keep thinking about how to stop capitalism, as OWS showed, acting without a proper plan doesn't do much. OWS didn't even make a dent in the current political economic framework of US.

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1733) 2 months ago

occupy was about a bail out for wall street overseen by multiple presidency

and the realization that we do not control our economy and therefor our destiny

that is decided by those in control of the money "the job creators"

granted we choose how we spend that money rent, loans, food

but disproportionate sums are in the hands of the few to determine what work is to be done

[-] 1 points by publius31 (69) from Fort Lee, NJ 2 months ago

Again, I probably misunderstood Zizek; I thought he said we didn't have alternatives thought out to replace our current government and economic system. If that is the case and he wants us to think about not just tearing them down, but making ' a more perfect Union' then a more perfect government is called for. The only only I see is Absolute Democracy. It appears to be a logical evolution of democracy: from Representative to Actual, because we can solve the logistics problem..

[-] -3 points by shortNfatNbaldBUTsexy (-113) 2 months ago

Your idea of absolute democracy is not that great.

First, It's plagued by an argumentum ad populum logical fallacy.

Also, the advantage of representatives is that they micromanage for us. Without them, everyone would have to be voting on all kinds of mundane decisions all the time.

I suggest you do as Zizek suggests and rethink things through.

[-] 2 points by publius31 (69) from Fort Lee, NJ 2 months ago

It's not simply my idea gotten over a beer bitching about how bad things are. The idea of Actual Democracy is written large throughout philosophy and literature: Pericles Oration, Rousseau's Social contract, Tom Paine's Common Sense, Jefferson's letter to Taylor, John Stuart Mill's Representative Government, Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy all simply state that the best for of democracy is where all the people participate directly: an Actual Democracy. Logistics mad it impossible, all the people could no longer fit into the meeting place. Representative Democracy was the best compromise, but far from perfect. Rousseau called it 'Elected Aristocracy'. But we live under an umbrella of communication satellites feeding telephones, televisions, computers with almost instantaneous communication. Today we can, each of us and all of us, openly debate, openly do politics, argue, reason, lie, cheat, agree and disagree -- we're all doing it everyday, but we're leaving out the most important point: after the debate we aren't voting on how to implement our conclusions, only Representatives vote for laws, all we vote for are representatives. And we can hire clerks to work for us, we'll be spending trillions of dollars a year, for our own good, and the good of those who lobby (even bribe?) our representatives. We should support this idea of www.assosactualdemocacy.com and change the democracy into what it's meant to be: people voting for laws and not people voting for people.

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[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1478) 2 months ago

Ah, the ol think vs act debate. What are we pondering today?

[-] 0 points by ZenDog (-18) from Burlington, VT 2 months ago

Was OWS ready to act, or should they have thought things through?

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1478) 2 months ago

Ready is a pretty relevant term. Care to elaborate?

Generally speaking, social uprising isnt really planned, its more a result of systemic failure. I believe you were the one I debated before on this, correct?

[-] 0 points by ZenDog (-18) from Burlington, VT 2 months ago

OWS was planned. It wasn't the result of systematic failure.

Do you think what OWS did made a dent in capitalism?

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1478) 2 months ago

It can be said there was a planning element to it initially, yes, but you can throw any event, people dont show up unless it resonates. Sometimes people just need those few that actually put things into action.

Made a dent in capitalism? No. Make a dent in whatever anyone would like to call this perverse system we are living under? No.

Is there enough outrage in the overall public to overthrow a system at this point? No.

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1733) 2 months ago

broke inapproachable authority ?

[-] 0 points by ZenDog (-18) from Burlington, VT 2 months ago

Good points.

[-] 3 points by turbocharger (1478) 2 months ago

Thanks. Although usually thats not what I get from the ol ZD, its more along the lines of, well... lets just let that one ride lol

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (-18) from Burlington, VT 2 months ago

Times change. People change.

[-] 5 points by ShadzSixtySix (1406) 2 months ago

Why have you sTolen oTher users' monikers ?!!!

fiat lux ...