A conversation with an anti-mafia Slavoj Žižek

In a very short time, I’ve been interviewed by Voice of America, al-Jazeera, BBC, a plethora of smaller media outlets, and several academics, but few have been as interesting — or as conceptually and professionally dangerous — as one I did last night with my friend Vincenzo Fatigati, a fellow Leuven student from Naples who is also an anti-Camorra activist.

Vincenzo explodes with enthusiasm, and he’s very quick on the theoretical draw. He reminds me a lot of Slavoj Žižek, except he’s far more serious: for him philosophy is not just a theoretical tool for cultural criticism, but actually a weapon for justice in his personal crusade against organized crime. For example, one of his most interesting philosophical projects is working out — I kid you not — a phenomenology or epistemology of the mafia. And believe me when I say that the guy is really putting his life on the line to do this. I’ve seen proof of what he’s up against. I admire him.

So, our conversation was in two parts:

(1) The advantages and dangers of blogging from professional development and personal perspectives, with glances to various related subjects: http://soundcloud.com/vincenzo-fatigati/interview-to-christopher

(2) The challenge of understanding WikiLeaks, with glances to Julian Assange and Barack Obama (given that both men are personifications of the Internet) and the question of digital Orwellianism: http://soundcloud.com/vincenzo-fatigati/chris-schwartzs-interview-part

The second part is much more free-wheeling than the first, and I say things therein that could potentially get me in trouble with, well, a lot of people. With that in mind, I’d like to take a moment to remind readers/listeners that like any intellectual, my views are always evolving. Nevertheless, I realize that for many, such flexibility might smack of promiscuity or inconsistency. I also concede that my perspective in general is probably idiosyncratic, so I welcome any criticisms.

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One thought on “A conversation with an anti-mafia Slavoj Žižek

  1. Yay! Vincenzo is a good friend of mine. I admire him so much. He is charismatic, inspired, and nonetheless he always acts with great understatement. Chapeau =)

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