An exploration and critique of Vaclav Havel's The power of the powerless
Keywords: 
Comunismo
Checoslovaquia
Régimen político
Economía
Política
Democracia
Issue Date: 
2010
ISBN: 
84-8081-208-7
Citation: 
Ybarra, R., Langan, J. ""An exploration and critique of Vaclav Havel's the power of the powerless"". En: UNIV Forum Scientific Committee, Can Christianity Inspire a Global Culture? UNIV Forum 2010 Presentations / ¿Puede el cristianismo inspirar una cultura global? Comunicaciones Forum UNIV 2010, Universidad de Navarra, 2010. Pags. 95-97
Abstract
In 1978, Vaclav Havel wrote “The Power of the Powerless” criticizing the cruelty of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia. The regime pressured its citizens to betray themselves and their true beliefs through repressive measures. I explain three aspects of Havel’s speech and political theory: first, economic and political models can only be good if they give the greatest priority to the individual over theory, theoretical rights, etc. Two, such models should rely on a coherent understanding of the common good, which can be explained as a set of social conditions which enable citizens to flourish. Third, law by nature is limited and cannot be expected to fix society. Havel spends most of his work critiquing Communism but he also has incisive concerns for citizens in Western Democracies. Havel questions whether Western Democracies have truly given the individual greatest priority. Also, he thinks that the wide freedom Western Democracies provide may ironically be problematic for citizens. Last, Havel offers a solution that calls for a greater sense of responsibility that goes beyond oneself for others and the world
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