– Slavoj Žižek
The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers by Richard McGregor ….
Khrushchev’s speech in 1956 denouncing Stalin’s crimes was a political act from which, as his biographer William Taubman put it, ‘the Soviet regime never fully recovered, and neither did he.’ Although it was plainly opportunistic, there was just as plainly more to it than that, a kind of reckless excess that cannot be accounted for in terms of political strategy. The speech so undermined the dogma of infallible leadership that the entire nomenklatura sank into temporary paralysis. A dozen or so delegates collapsed during the speech, and had to be carried out and given medical help; one of them, Boleslaw Bierut, the hardline general secretary of the Polish Communist Party, died of a heart attack. The model Stalinist writer Alexander Fadeyev actually shot himself a few days later. The point is not that they were ‘honest Communists’: most of them were brutal manipulators without any illusions about the Soviet regime. What broke down was their ‘objective’ illusion, the figure of the ‘big Other’ as a background against which they could exert their ruthlessness and drive for power. They had displaced their belief onto this Other, which, as it were, believed on their behalf. Now their proxy had disintegrated. ….
Read more : London Review of Books
TVs go black in China as dissident Liu Xiaobo awarded Nobel Peace Prize
– Bjoern H. Amland and Karl Ritter, Associated Press
OSLO—Imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights” — a prize likely to enrage the Chinese government, which had warned the Nobel committee not to honour him.
Thorbjoern Jagland, the Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman, said Liu Xiaobo was a symbol for the fight for human rights in China and the government should expect that its policies face scrutiny.
“China has become a big power in economic terms as well as political terms, and it is normal that big powers should be under criticism,” Jagland said.
Unlike some in China’s highly fractured and persecuted dissident community, the 54-year-old Liu has been an ardent advocate for peaceful, gradual political change, rather than a violent confrontation with the government.
In China, broadcasts of CNN, which is available in tourist hotels, upmarket foreign hotels and places where foreigners gather, went black during the Nobel announcement and when reports about the award later aired.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that the award should have gone to promoting international friendship and disarmament.
“Liu Xiaobo is a criminal who has been sentenced by Chinese judicial departments for violating Chinese law,” it said. Awarding the peace prize to Liu “runs completely counter to the principle of the prize and is also a blasphemy to the peace prize.”
It said the decision would damage bilateral relations between China and Norway. It did not give any details. …
Read more : The Star
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