"In an old joke from the defunct German Democratic Republic, a German worker gets a job in Siberia; aware of how all mail will be read by censors, he tells his friends: 'Let's establish a code: if a letter you will get from me is written in ordinary blue ink, it is true; if it is written in red ink, it is false.' After a month, his friends get the first letter, written in blue ink: 'Everything is wonderful here: stores are full, food is abundant, apartments are large and properly heated, movie theaters show films from the West, there are many beautiful girls ready for an affair--the only thing unavailable is red ink.'
And is this not our situation till now? We have all the freedom one wants--the only thing missing is the 'red ink': we 'feel free' because we lack the very language to articulate our unfreedom. What this lack of red ink means is that, today, all the main terms we use to designate the present conflict--'war on terror,' 'democracy an freedom,' 'human rights,' etc.--are false terms, mystifying our perception of the situation instead of allowing us to think it. The task today is to give the protesters red ink."
"One should therefore assume the paradox that concentration camps and refuge camps for the delivery of humanitarian aid are the two faces, 'human' and 'inhuman,' of the same socio-logical formal matrix. In both cases, the cruel joke from Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be applies: when asked about the German concentration camps in the occupied Poland, the character called 'Concentration Camp Erhardt' snaps back 'We do the concentrating, and the Poles do the camping.' (And does the same not hold for the Enron bankruptcy in January 2002, which can be interpreted as a kind of ironic commentary on the notion of risk society? Thousands of employees who lost their jobs and savings were certainly exposed to a risk, but without any true choice--the risk appeared to them as blind fate. Those, on the contrary, who effectively did have an insight into the risks as well as a possibility to intervene into the situation [the top managers], minimized their risks by cashing in their stocks and options before the bankruptcy--actual risks and choices were thus nicely distributed. So, again, apropos of the popular notion that today's society is that of risky choices, one can say that some [the Enron managers] do the choices, while others [the common employees] do the risking.)