China’s Nanjing University (NJU) had previously made an agreement with Zizek, a well-known Slovenian left-wing scholar, to hold a “Colloquium on Zizek’s Philosophical Thought” from October 29 to 31, 2021. At the event, Zizek himself was scheduled to deliver a lecture online and conduct a dialogue with Chinese scholars. However, at the last minute, news came out from the NJU Department of Philosophy that Zizek would not be allowed to speak at the conference to discuss his philosophical ideas. The conference was later cancelled with the excuse of “epidemic prevention and control” and “adjustment of schedules of participating experts.” The incident sparked widespread concern and discussion among netizens in mainland China.
An anonymous source at NJU told a reporter that Zizek, a famous Marxist scholar, was “silenced” and the event was even cancelled because his speech involved politically sensitive contents and even “made presumptuous remarks about the leaders of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”
“The simple fact is that what he said in his speech was all about political issues, criticizing many social phenomena that do not fit the CCP’s intention of ‘positive energy’ and its ‘main theme.’” The source said, “What frightened the NJU leaders even more was that he actually made direct comments about the central leadership, mentioning Xi Jinping without naming him, saying that he was engaging in capitalism by cracking down on big companies and opening the Beijing Stock Exchange. He also directly named Wang Huning as a neoconservative. The event, if it were held, would have violated a political taboo. That’s why he was not allowed to speak. The fact that Zizek’s own seminar did not allow Zizek to speak would become a laughingstock. As the university leadership could not afford to lose face, they simply found an excuse to cancel the event.”
Wang Huning, who ranks no. 5 on the 7-member Politburo Standing Committee, China’s top decision making body, is in charge of the CCP’s propaganda.
Source: Boxun, October 30, 2021