Weiwei-isms

Princeton University Press
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The quotable Ai Weiwei

This collection of quotes demonstrates the elegant simplicity of Ai Weiwei's thoughts on key aspects of his art, politics, and life. A master at communicating powerful ideas in astonishingly few words, Ai Weiwei is known for his innovative use of social media to disseminate his views. The short quotations presented here have been carefully selected from articles, tweets, and interviews given by this acclaimed Chinese artist and activist. The book is organized into six categories: freedom of expression; art and activism; government, power, and moral choices; the digital world; history, the historical moment, and the future; and personal reflections.

Together, these quotes span some of the most revealing moments of Ai Weiwei's eventful career—from his risky investigation into student deaths in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake to his arbitrary arrest in 2011—providing a window into the mind of one of the world's most electrifying and courageous contemporary artists.

Select Quotes from the Book:

On Freedom of Expression

  • "Say what you need to say plainly, and then take responsibility for it."
  • "A small act is worth a million thoughts."
  • "Liberty is about our rights to question everything."

On Art and Activism
  • "Everything is art. Everything is politics."
  • "The art always wins. Anything can happen to me, but the art will stay."
  • "Life is art. Art is life. I never separate it. I don't feel that much anger. I equally have a lot of joy."

On Government, Power, and Making Moral Choice
  • "Once you've tasted freedom, it stays in your heart and no one can take it. Then, you can be more powerful than a whole country."
  • "I feel powerless all the time, but I regain my energy by making a very small difference that won't cost me much."
  • "Tips on surviving the regime: Respect yourself and speak for others. Do one small thing every day to prove the existence of justice."

On the Digital World
  • "Only with the Internet can a peasant I have never met hear my voice and I can learn what's on his mind. A fairy tale has come true."
  • "The Internet is uncontrollable. And if the Internet is uncontrollable, freedom will win. It's as simple as that."
  • "The Internet is the best thing that could have happened to China."

On History, the Historical Moment, and the Future
  • "If a nation cannot face its past, it has no future."
  • "We need to get out of the old language."
  • "The world is a sphere, there is no East or West."

Personal Reflection
  • "I've never planned any part of my career—except being an artist. And I was pushed into that corner because I thought being an artist was the only way to have a little freedom."
  • "Anyone fighting for freedom does not want to totally lose their freedom."
  • "Expressing oneself is like a drug. I'm so addicted to it."
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About the author

Ai Weiwei is one of China's most influential and inspiring figures. Artist, architect, curator, and activist, he has been an outspoken critic of the Chinese government's stance on human rights and democracy. His work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the Guangzhou Triennial, Tate Modern, the Smithsonian, and other venues throughout the world. Larry Warsh has been active in the art world for more than thirty years. He has collaborated with Ai Weiwei on several projects, including the public art installation Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads (2010). Warsh is a former member of the Contemporary Arts Council of the Asia Society and the Contemporary Arts Committee of the China Institute. He has also served on the boards of the Museum of Contemporary Art, China; the Alliance for the Arts; and the Getty Museum Photographs Council. He is currently on the board of Muse Film and Television and is a member of the Basquiat Authentication Committee.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Dec 1, 2012
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Pages
152
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ISBN
9781400845859
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / Individual Artists / Artists' Books
Art / Individual Artists / Monographs
Philosophy / Political
Political Science / Censorship
Political Science / Commentary & Opinion
Political Science / Human Rights
Political Science / Political Freedom
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Hate speech law can be found throughout the world. But it is also the subject of numerous principled arguments, both for and against. These principles invoke a host of morally relevant features (e.g., liberty, health, autonomy, security, non-subordination, the absence of oppression, human dignity, the discovery of truth, the acquisition of knowledge, self-realization, human excellence, civic dignity, cultural diversity and choice, recognition of cultural identity, intercultural dialogue, participation in democratic self-government, being subject only to legitimate rule) and practical considerations (e.g., efficacy, the least restrictive alternative, chilling effects). The book develops and then critically examines these various principled arguments. It also attempts to de-homogenize hate speech law into different clusters of laws/regulations/codes that constrain uses of hate speech, so as to facilitate a more nuanced examination of the principled arguments. Finally, it argues that it is morally fitting for judicial and legislative judgments about the overall warrant of hate speech law to reflect principled compromise. Principled compromise is characterized not merely by compromise over matters of principled concern but also by compromise which is itself governed by ideals of moral duty or civic virtue (e.g., reciprocity, equality, and mutual respect).

The Open Access version of this book, available at https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315714899, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

Contemporary civil libertarians claim that their works preserve a worthy American tradition of defending free-speech rights dating back to the framing of the First Amendment. Transforming Free Speech challenges the worthiness, and indeed the very existence of one uninterrupted libertarian tradition.

Mark A. Graber asserts that in the past, broader political visions inspired libertarian interpretations of the First Amendment. In reexamining the philosophical and jurisprudential foundations of the defense of expression rights from the Civil War to the present, he exposes the monolithic free-speech tradition as a myth. Instead of one conception of the system of free expression, two emerge: the conservative libertarian tradition that dominated discourse from the Civil War until World War I, and the civil libertarian tradition that dominates later twentieth-century argument.

The essence of the current perception of the American free-speech tradition derives from the writings of Zechariah Chafee, Jr. (1885-1957), the progressive jurist most responsible for the modern interpretation of the First Amendment. His interpretation, however, deliberately obscured earlier libertarian arguments linking liberty of speech with liberty of property. Moreover, Chafee stunted the development of a more radical interpretation of expression rights that would give citizens the resources and independence necessary for the effective exercise of free speech. Instead, Chafee maintained that the right to political and social commentary could be protected independent of material inequalities that might restrict access to the marketplace of ideas. His influence enfeebled expression rights in a world where their exercise depends increasingly on economic power.

Untangling the libertarian legacy, Graber points out the disjunction in the libertarian tradition to show that free-speech rights, having once been transformed, can be transformed again. Well-conceived and original in perspective, Transforming Free Speech will interest political theorists, students of government, and anyone interested in the origins of the free-speech tradition in the United States.
"JUST STAY QUIET AND YOU'LL BE OKAY."

That's what Mohamed Atta told the doomed airline passengers on 9/11. And we still hear the exact same message today from the powerful but shadowy lobby that is working behind the scenes to gut the First Amendment and prohibit "hate speech"—or any criticism—of Islam.

As bestselling author Robert Spencer shows in his startling new book, The Complete Infidel's Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies), aggressive Muslims and their appeasers have mounted a dangerous and disturbingly successful campaign against our constitutional rights. Spencer reveals:
How social media behemoths Facebook and Twitter—not to mention student groups at American college campuses—are doing the bidding of anti-First Amendment Muslim activists Why core Islamic teachings make criticism of Islam punishable by death How American representatives at the United Nations have already agreed to limit freedom of speech How Curt Schilling and other outspoken conservatives have lost their jobs for criticizing Islam Why Twitter and Facebook now regularly censor speech critical of Islam—while allowing death threats against its critics How blasphemy laws in Muslim countries are used as a pretext for arresting, even lynching Christians How European "hate speech" laws are used to prosecute and harass critics of Islam Why appeasement of Islam is endangering our First Amendment freedoms and could lead to your prosecution for "hate speech"
If you value your First Amendment rights, you owe it to yourself to read The Complete Infidel's Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies). It will give you the information and tools you need to fight back—because Islam and its progressive fellow travelers have only begun their campaign to define what you can read, say, and think.
How should a liberal democracy respond to hate groups and others that oppose the ideal of free and equal citizenship? The democratic state faces the hard choice of either protecting the rights of hate groups and allowing their views to spread, or banning their views and violating citizens' rights to freedoms of expression, association, and religion. Avoiding the familiar yet problematic responses to these issues, political theorist Corey Brettschneider proposes a new approach called value democracy. The theory of value democracy argues that the state should protect the right to express illiberal beliefs, but the state should also engage in democratic persuasion when it speaks through its various expressive capacities: publicly criticizing, and giving reasons to reject, hate-based or other discriminatory viewpoints.

Distinguishing between two kinds of state action--expressive and coercive--Brettschneider contends that public criticism of viewpoints advocating discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual orientation should be pursued through the state's expressive capacities as speaker, educator, and spender. When the state uses its expressive capacities to promote the values of free and equal citizenship, it engages in democratic persuasion. By using democratic persuasion, the state can both respect rights and counter hateful or discriminatory viewpoints. Brettschneider extends this analysis from freedom of expression to the freedoms of religion and association, and he shows that value democracy can uphold the protection of these freedoms while promoting equality for all citizens.

Manifestos and immodest proposals from China's most famous artist and activist, culled from his popular blog, shut down by Chinese authorities in 2009.

In 2006, even though he could barely type, China's most famous artist started blogging. For more than three years, Ai Weiwei turned out a steady stream of scathing social commentary, criticism of government policy, thoughts on art and architecture, and autobiographical writings. He wrote about the Sichuan earthquake (and posted a list of the schoolchildren who died because of the government's “tofu-dregs engineering”), reminisced about Andy Warhol and the East Village art scene, described the irony of being investigated for “fraud” by the Ministry of Public Security, made a modest proposal for tax collection. Then, on June 1, 2009, Chinese authorities shut down the blog. This book offers a collection of Ai's notorious online writings translated into English—the most complete, public documentation of the original Chinese blog available in any language.

The New York Times called Ai “a figure of Warholian celebrity.” He is a leading figure on the international art scene, a regular in museums and biennials, but in China he is a manifold and controversial presence: artist, architect, curator, social critic, justice-seeker. He was a consultant on the design of the famous “Bird's Nest” stadium but called for an Olympic boycott; he received a Chinese Contemporary Art “lifetime achievement award” in 2008 but was beaten by the police in connection with his “citizen investigation” of earthquake casualties in 2009. Ai Weiwei's Blog documents Ai's passion, his genius, his hubris, his righteous anger, and his vision for China.

The New York Times bestseller from CNN Political Commentator and 2020 former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, this thought-provoking and prescient call-to-action outlines the urgent steps America must take, including Universal Basic Income (UBI), to stabilize our economy amid rapid technological change and automation.
The shift toward automation is about to create a tsunami of unemployment. Not in the distant future--now. One recent estimate predicts 45 million American workers will lose their jobs within the next twelve years--jobs that won't be replaced. In a future marked by restlessness and chronic unemployment, what will happen to American society?

In The War on Normal People, Andrew Yang paints a dire portrait of the American economy. Rapidly advancing technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and automation software are making millions of Americans' livelihoods irrelevant. The consequences of these trends are already being felt across our communities in the form of political unrest, drug use, and other social ills. The future looks dire-but is it unavoidable?

In The War on Normal People, Yang imagines a different future--one in which having a job is distinct from the capacity to prosper and seek fulfillment. At this vision's core is Universal Basic Income, the concept of providing all citizens with a guaranteed income-and one that is rapidly gaining popularity among forward-thinking politicians and economists. Yang proposes that UBI is an essential step toward a new, more durable kind of economy, one he calls "human capitalism."
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