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.

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bmaz @Ali_Gharib Them "helping him craft the question" is not in there. @MichaelKelleyBI just pulled that out of vapor @NoahShachtman @benwizner
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bmaz @Ali_Gharib Other than that it is disingenuous+unsupported for @MichaelKelleyBI tonasser they contributed. @NoahShachtman @benwizner
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bmaz @ammartin33 Agree has been some degree of a shift. But think the Danger Room guys always went out of their way to stay close to govt sources
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bmaz @WilsonValdez12 are you full of shit, or just have very brown eyes? @NoahShachtman @benwizner
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bmaz @kgosztola @thedailybeast Exactly. That said, looks to me like DB+Schachtman puffed the hell out of what was said.
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bmaz If that is the kind of treatment they get from the Daily Beast, you have to wonder why the "Snowden Camp" bothered talking to them.
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bmaz Wherein @NoahShachtman disingenuously contorts and stretches what @benwizner actually said. http://t.co/YC55GpNZMJ
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bmaz RT @rickhasen: Unbelievable: DOJ in "no fly List" case demanded that Court's description of gov't as "Kafkaesque" be blacked out http://t.c…
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bmaz @Pachacutec_ Er, full reset of your browser+cache
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bmaz @Pachacutec_ Theoretically, every time you do a full reset on you should get a new 10 articles.
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JimWhiteGNV O's no!
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