Mohamed Bouazizi

Václav Havel: From the Prague Spring to the Velvet Revolution to the Year of the Protestor

We’re an empire now. And when we act, we create our own reality. –Senior Bush Advisor to Ron Suskind

 

It can be said, therefore, that ideology, as that instrument of internal communication which assures the power structure of inner cohesion is, in the post-totalitarian system, something that transcends the physical aspects of power, something that dominates it to a considerable degree, and therefore, tends to assure its continuity as well. It is one of the pillars of the system’s external stability. This pillar, however, is built on a very unstable foundation. It is built on lies. It works only as long as people are willing to live within the lie. –Václav Havel, “Power of the Powerless

In his essay, Power of the Powerless, Václav Havel described how citizens of “post-totalitarian” societies perform certain rituals–his central example was a green grocer putting the sign, “Workers of the World, Unite!” in his shop window every morning, but he saw the “dictatorship of consumption” to work similarly–to signify their adherence to the ideology on which power in the system rests. The system relies on (and rewards, with access to a comfortable livelihood) the universal performance of such rituals to sustain the ideology that gives the raw power behind the system some legitimacy. He argued that if people began to live within the truth–stopped putting up the sign every morning and paid the consequences in terms of lost benefits–it might expose the lie behind the myths people told themselves about their society.

But the moment someone breaks through in one place, when one person cries out, “the emperor is naked!”–when a single person breaks the rules of the game, thus exposing it as a game–everything suddenly appears in another light and the whole crust seems then to be made of a tissue on the point of tearing and disintegrating uncontrollably.

Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel Steve Young talking shite.
23sreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV .@emptywheel Now I can reveal my winning nefarious plan: the upsidedown lemon cake I made turned Peyton's lemon sucking frown into a smile.
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel It's like Peyton is dead. He's not dead. Not even officially retired, people !!!!
10mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @nickmanes1 Peyton. Cause Megatron COULD have a positive upside.
11mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Again. Peyton Manning just put in a spectacular Trent Dilfer-type performance. You think he'll return?
12mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Riker wants to know if that boring game is finally over yet. https://t.co/meFPcYiTOp
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Peyton children uninteresting in a hug and a touch of the trophy.
15mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel "resilient, unselfish" = defense wins it
16mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @MarcCarig: And, yes, here are the Cubs' World Series babies. https://t.co/jXe8uak0gT
17mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Defenders should get > 50% of the trophies.
17mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Yeah Von!!!!
18mreplyretweetfavorite
February 2016
S M T W T F S
« Jan    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829