Václav Havel

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 @richardSFO True. Tho not sure if you saw him w/Execs fr Comcast and TW. Pretty great at hammering them on lies abt merger.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Of a book that starts lying at word 64, http://t.co/YfPsXVeVpN @benjaminwittes says, "Rizzo is just being honest." http://t.co/b3JtB1eSdo
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @LegallyErin Hang in there!
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @arcsine Yes, that is how I read it too; which, considering how they communicate, makes sense. @MichaelKelleyBI
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @MichaelKelleyBI Think DB article very disingenuously constructed+ that you have no way of supporting your claim short of rank supposition
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @adamsteinbaugh Good grief, good way to exacerbate the initial pain.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @MichaelKelleyBI Good of you to assign who they are with no evidence.
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Ali_Gharib Them "helping him craft the question" is not in there. @MichaelKelleyBI just pulled that out of vapor @NoahShachtman @benwizner
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Ali_Gharib Other than that it is disingenuous+unsupported for @MichaelKelleyBI tonasser they contributed. @NoahShachtman @benwizner
4hreplyretweetfavorite
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
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @kgosztola @thedailybeast Exactly. That said, looks to me like DB+Schachtman puffed the hell out of what was said.
5hreplyretweetfavorite
April 2014
S M T W T F S
« Mar    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930