The Courage Foundation is excited to announce and welcome internationally renowned philosopher and author Slavoj Žižek to our Advisory Board. A senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, in Slovenia, and the international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, in London, Žižek has written more than eighty books, and he’s written and starred in several documentaries about his own philosophy.
In June 2014, Žižek wrote “How WikiLeaks opened our eyes to the illusion of freedom”, in which he said:
Not only have we learned a lot about the illegal activities of the US and other great powers. Not only have the WikiLeaks revelations put secret services on the defensive and set in motion legislative acts to better control them. WikiLeaks has achieved much more: millions of ordinary people have become aware of the society in which they live. Something that until now we silently tolerated as unproblematic is rendered problematic.
In September 2013, Žižek wrote an op-ed declaring Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange “our new heroes” and whistleblowing “an essential art.”
He explains why he supports these truthtellers:
…whistleblowers play a crucial role in keeping the “public reason” alive. Assange, Manning, Snowden, these are our new heroes, exemplary cases of the new ethics that befits our era of digitalised control. They are no longer just whistleblowers who denounce the illegal practices of private companies to the public authorities; they denounce these public authorities themselves when they engage in “private use of reason”.
Žižek says we “need Mannings and Snowdens in China, in Russia, everywhere,” and foresaw the need for an organisation like Courage:
…we need a new international network to organise the protection of whistleblowers and the dissemination of their message. Whistleblowers are our heroes because they prove that if those in power can do it, we can also do it.