Appropriating values from the 'parallel world' into official structures, in order to adjust the imbalance between the regime and society.
Structural and Ideological Reforms. Havel see this as a smokescreen
Internal Differentiation: Parallel cultural organisations - without regime change
Union of University Students: Some independent organisations tolerated and demonstrate social self-organisation
Ultimate Phase of Adaptation: New independent structures that evolved from below
No dissident movements before 1968 - a gradual awakening
Ideology came up against reality of power - made people self organise in the hidden sphere
Regime was rotting from within in 1968. Not static and so incapable of opposing the 'pre-political' social tensions.
Post 1968 Changes: Reforms only, political structures remained
The future: Continued conflict with main and parallel Polis
'These dissident movements do not have their point of departure in the invention of systemic changes but in a real everyday struggle for a better life' p.205.
Themes and ideas
Main ideas are slogan-like and recur throughout the essay, in relation to new themes:
Hidden sphere / Living within the Truth / The system demands conformity / Ideology creates a bridge of excuses / A world of appearances / A player in the game / Ideology becomes removed from reality / Panorama of everyday life / Everyone becomes agents of the system's automatism / Pseudo... / Utilitarianism / consumerism / Independent life of society / Parallel Polis / Second culture /
Theoretical, not pragmatic.
Moral Leadership and foundation to dissidents movement
22 Chapters on Power in society
Written to be responded to by Soviet Bloc Dissidents and in the West
Text asks many questions
Each chapter develops one theme
Mentions next theme, sometimes halfway through the chapter, for continuity of thought.
Notice Charter 77 within the development of the whole essay.
Example: Development of the theme in Chapter 20.
Technological Society - Post Industrial Society - Traditional Democracy - Post-Democracy.
Tom Stoppard, Playwright: Born Tomas Straussler in Zlin, Czechoslavakia in 1937. Jewish refugee. Moved to England in 1946 and took his stepfather's name 'Stoppard'. He returned to Zlin for the first time in 1998.
Excerpt from Tom Stoppard's interview on the BBC South Bank Show, 2008. (3:11 to 7:23)
Jan and Ferdinand
JAN: Thinks the communist reforms are working. He is apolitical and wants to be left alone to listen to his music, especially Pink Floyd.
Jan refuses to sign Ferdinand's petition in 1972 to free intellectuals, due to its moral exhibitionism.
Jan becomes disillusioned when the Plastic People lose their licence to perform. He spends time in prison, for cultural opposition.
FERDINAND: An intellectual and dissident. His character is based on Havel. He is against signing Jan's 1974 petition to support the Plastic's band, who aren't dissidents. He is sent to prison, as a dissident