Sunday, December 18, 2011

Vaclav Havel RIP

Via The Telegraph,It was Havel who helped, as much as anyone, to put across the idea that Communism was built on an illusion and that, once people began to doubt the illusion, it would collapse. His essay
"The Power of the Powerless" described a system based on the Emperor’s New Clothes, a fairytale that would perfectly suit the bizarre shadow world of Marxist-Leninism. In Czechoslovakia the “brotherly help” given by the Soviet Union in 1968 was followed by “normalisation” whereby 145 historians were expelled from universities and any praise for the inter-war Czechoslovakian democracy banned. Havel, in trouble with the authorities from 1968 when he worked for a radio critical of the Soviets, and spending many years in jail, expertly described the world of “Post-Totalitarianism”, where people “live within a lie”. (Or as the Russian joke went: we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.) No political system based on a lie could ever be just. So his slogan, “Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred”, was not an empty one.
UU's get the Love and Hate right, but struggle mightly with Truth and Lies. Get some experience with Marxist double talk as did Hitch and Havel, and the demarcation's stark. The importance obvious...

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