[Marxism] Zizek on Tibet

Ruthless Critic of All that Exists ok.president+marxml at gmail.com
Tue Jun 17 22:18:19 MDT 2008

No Shangri-La

>From Slavoj Žižek

When I was a young student in socialist Yugoslavia, criticism of the
regime was dismissed by those in power as 'Western propaganda'. It was
always enough to say threateningly: 'We know whom such reasoning
serves.' To my surprise, the critics of my letter on Tibet and China
rely on the same manoeuvre: my statements are dismissed with the claim
that they repeat Chinese propaganda (Letters, 5 June). But I base my
claim that Tibet before 1949 was an oppressive and corrupted feudal
society on by far the best and most extensive study of the Tibetan
legal system, Rebecca Redwood French's The Golden Yoke: The Legal
Cosmology of Buddhist Tibet (1995), which has absolutely nothing to do
with Chinese propaganda.

If it were the custom to dedicate letters, I would dedicate mine to
the Tibetan exile settlements in Mundgod and Bylakuppe in southern
India. All the media attention is on upper-class Dharamsala: nobody –
the Dalai Lama and Richard Gere included – talks about the destitute
thousands in these two larger camps.

Slavoj Žižek


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