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.

→']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel RT @JasonLeopold: Fred Phelps and the FBI: Their Greatest Hits, Part 2 https://t.co/5P2yObCPy6 via @vicenews
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @johnson_carrie Is he a candidate for the job? Just seems awkward time, particularly given Welch's clusterfuck. @lrozen
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @johnson_carrie How long has he been acting? @lrozen
5mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @johnson_carrie Meanwhile what's up w/DOJ hiring a new PIN head at this time? @lrozen
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Would it be extreme of me to suggest Ronald Brockmeyer be asked to pay his taxes in TesticalCoin? http://t.co/wyrJHLS7a1
9mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Okay, here at the TeePee Taproom, the natives on the patio have a version of a cross between bocce ball and corn hole that is questionable.
15mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @NickBaumann Moving trains are overrated. Think of all the nice train restaurants. @amtrak
22mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Already enjoying @keithellison's tweets from trip to Selma with his daughter this weekend. Definite follow.
37mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Holf crap, there is some SeaSquawks fan here at the @TeePeeMex trying to explain how BillBel and the Pats didn't steal lunch+drink milkshake
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz .@gideonstrumpet My name is Lucifer, and I'm in need of some restraint. #SoHaveSomeCourtesy #EveryCopIsACriminal
1hreplyretweetfavorite
March 2015
S M T W T F S
« Feb    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031