zundel

Monday 85

Havel

Filed under: Politics — zundel @ pm

Havel’s Specter

What prevented rebellion was “the general unwillingness of consumption-oriented people to sacrifice some material certainties for the sake of their own spiritual and moral integrity.”

In Havel’s analysis, in other words, the basis of Communist power was consumerism. The Communist regimes were not different in kind from the West; they were merely, to borrow a phrase, the avant-garde, and Havel thought the West should consider them “a kind of warning.” In hand-to-hand combat, the dissident’s antagonist was banal greed, a force not destined to pass out of the world with the fall of the Iron Curtain.

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