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
bmaz @VICE @radleybalko "author of 'Rise of the Warrior Cop' and noted Tennessee traffic scofflaw"
15mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @shannynmoore Cause they can't reach the pedals?
35mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @OBEYshiba Where to for law school?
37mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @bungdan Hey, if Saudi princes want a divorce, I believe that DOES work. So they can be forgiven for believing the same would work here.
37mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @OBEYshiba Ah, fine cause then.
41mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @granick Me, I jumped right to the "Bates stamping." phase of things. But I'm making progress there: http://t.co/0xEYaCJ7Ak
41mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @granick You engaged in such sustained serious discussion b4 you lapsed into snark: "another tchotchke for your Curio Cabinet of Naïveté."
43mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @OBEYshiba Now you got my curiosity up: why do you care?
57mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @joanneleon Saying blowjob is not DQing for PFIAB. Suggesting someone investigate torture is. @OKnox
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @bungdan the Saudis have issued 8 disavowals of ISIS in last 2 weeks. Doesn't that count?
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel .@OKnox But I do think it's nifty Jules Genachowski gets to be on PFIAB--FCC rather interesting prep to be on PFIAB.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @TyreJim NVM. It's a bad boyfriend story. But I did pre-infiltrate EFF, years before they were there. @onekade @EFF
1hreplyretweetfavorite
August 2014
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31