Monday, October 12, 2015

Back to Havel - Ideology

Havel with Still Another Cigarette
Google Images

I'm still reflecting on Vaclav Havel's essay "The Power of the Powerless," thinking about "Living within the Truth." Consider its opposite, the mirror image of living within ideology:
Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world. It offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them. As the repository of something suprapersonal and objective, it enables people to deceive their conscience and conceal their true position and their inglorious modus vivendi, both from the world and from themselves. It is a very pragmatic but, at the same time, an apparently dignified way of legitimizing what is above, below, and on either side. It is directed toward people and toward God. It is a veil behind which human beings can hide their own fallen existence, their trivialization, and their adaptation to the status quo.
Living within an ideology is thus a means of avoiding the truth that one should recognize and that exists even if unrecognized.

But how does one know that one is living within an ideology?

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