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
JimWhiteGNV @biasedreporter Not that I've seen on either front.
4hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @biasedreporter He gets attacked all the time because he's good. I'm sure he laughed at it taking this long to get a hit piece in Politico.
4hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @kirkmurphy: You speak for Iraq war crimes, @DavidFrum. You earned Nuremberg's short drop,but life in The Hague will do. #cdnpoli https:…
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @RMFifthCircuit @WerlySportsLaw In some fairness, CA8 has cleared a lot of crim cases lately, maybe were just backed up on the impt stuff.
5hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @davidsirota: You represent an administration that has used the Espionage Act against whistleblowers https://t.co/7mFAtZ9yDl https://t.c…
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @RMFifthCircuit So then they would affirm if CA2 did?? Not sure I buy their concern for split. But, dang, "something" is going on!
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @RMFifthCircuit Not sure why they would do that, but who knows?
6hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @ChMadar: Good to see an op-ed on a war crime. Bad to see few op-eds about Afghan War's big picture: strategy, costs, morality https://t…
6hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel That's right: When do we get our 5th anniversary OBL porn stash reenactment, Intel Community? WHEN!?!?!?! https://t.co/Nln8rvneO3
6hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @samsteinhp Curt Schilling, Urban Meyer
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @AriMelber: Breaking: No charges in VA tasing death Officer who tased 15x said suspect grabbed it - but his hands were cuffed: https://…
7hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @kevinjonheller: You mean the doctor who gave fake vaccines, discrediting Western medicine and causing untold suffering to innocents? ht…
7hreplyretweetfavorite
May 2016
S M T W T F S
« Apr    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031