As promised, here’s the review sheet for next week’s exam.
Please remember that our exam is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on Monday, May 5. We’ll meet in Spes Unica 134, not in our usual classroom.
Some more food for thought:
- In Section X, Havel credits a rock band with the atmosphere for the building of Charter 77. A trial against the band demonstrated lack of political freedom and expression nationwide. Although their music provided no political agenda, do you agree with Havel’s philosophy regarding political movements growing out of everyday experiences, like music? Why are average sectors of life more effective in mobilizing change than traditional political protests?
- Keeping in mind the example of the brewery supervisor, “small-scale work” can become a detrimental to one’s sense of responsibility and creates “dissidents”. However, at the end of this section, Havel directly states he does not condemn those who do not become “dissidents”. Therefore, are there times that it is best to maintain a level of ignorance regarding the “right” thing to do in order to sustain stability?
- Havel discusses the importance behind the role of the dissidents and the potential that the powerless have. In the reading and during the interview we viewed on Wednesday, Havel expressed the the need to stick to ideals regardless of immediate success. Do you agree or disagree with this statement and do you find as much power in the powerless as Havel did?
- Havel says that there is a profound difference between his system and what is traditionally understood by dictatorship. He defines it as a “post-totalitarian” system and explains that it means that the system is still totalitarian, but different from classical dictatorships. How does his new totalitarian system differ from classical dictatorships?
Food for thought from Havel’s “The Power of the Powerless”:
- Havel talks about a “post-totalitarian” society. What does he mean by this? How is the dictatorship that he is talking about dissimilar to a classic dictatorship? Are these differences significant? Why or why not?
- Havel uses the example of the greengrocer and the sign in his window that says, “workers of the world, unite!” Why is this sign so significant even if no one necessarily stops to read it? What does Havel say will happen if the sign is not up in the store window?
For those looking for the Havel reading: it’s available in the class Zotero library. I’ve also added a link in the course calendar.
I’m not doing too well this morning, so we won’t have class. As I look ahead at the calendar, I see we’re actually fine; we had one more day for Marx than we really needed. So please finish the reading from Marx for Monday, and read Boyer’s article for next Wednesday. That will have us right where we should be when we come back from the Easter break.
Just a quick update: I didn’t get quite as far with the grading over the weekend as I expected to, though I’m getting close. If you submitted an annotated bibliography entry this time around, it’s done and you can check your school Google account for a comment sheet. If you submitted an article review, please be patient and hold on for another day or two.
The assignment sheet for Essay #2 is now available to you, both from the link in this post and in your Google Drive accounts.
According to the calendar, the essay is due by class time on Wednesday, April 16, but I will accept it until class time on Wednesday, April 23. Don’t hesitate to devise your own topic if you don’t like the ones I’ve suggested!