Political Action in Václav Havel's Thought: The Responsibility of Resistance [NOOK Book]

Overview

Political Action in Vaclav Havel’s Thought: The Responsibility of Resistance, by Delia Popescu, examines resistance to oppression and individual responsibility in political action, all in the context of Vaclav Havel’s political philosophy. The famous anti-communist dissident, acclaimed playwright, former President of the Czech Republic, and eminent political thinker argues that there is a certain tendency in modern humanity towards the creation, or at least toleration, of a political system that is invasive and ...
See more details below
Political Action in Václav Havel's Thought: The Responsibility of Resistance

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$47.99
BN.com price
(Save 40%)$79.99 List Price

Overview

Political Action in Vaclav Havel’s Thought: The Responsibility of Resistance, by Delia Popescu, examines resistance to oppression and individual responsibility in political action, all in the context of Vaclav Havel’s political philosophy. The famous anti-communist dissident, acclaimed playwright, former President of the Czech Republic, and eminent political thinker argues that there is a certain tendency in modern humanity towards the creation, or at least toleration, of a political system that is invasive and controlling. Not unlike Tocqueville and Arendt, Havel claims that modern liberal democracy contains potential tendencies toward a new form of despotism that capitalizes on modern alienation and social atomization.
Political Action in Vaclav Havel’s Thought suggests that Havel’s theory of individual opposition can be used to secure political freedom under the conditions of modernity. Popescu demonstrates that Havel’s idea of attaining true political participation and freedom requires a strong connection between an individually constructed ethics and the realm of politics. On this basis she reveals that a thick notion of morality can be usefully integrated into an account of both private and public accountability. Vaclav Havel’s essays, plays, speeches, and letters can therefore be integrated into a coherent political theory which contributes significantly to some of the central debates in modern political thought. Delia Popescu concludes that Havel’s theory of individual opposition to totalitarianism may also serve as the foundation for a conception of responsible participation in modern liberal democracies.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
Václav Havel remains among the most--some might say one of the few--appealing public intellectuals of the 20th century. Genial, witty, humane, and (mirabile dictu) politically successful, he deserves exactly the well-informed, lively treatment he receives here. Popescu (LeMoyne College) succinctly presents Havel's critique of modern life and his efforts in thought and action to counteract its toxins. While unhesitatingly preferring the regime of liberal democracy to those of totalitarianism and its flaccid, spiritless successor, "post-totalitarianism," Havel also saw what Tocqueville saw: even relatively decent modern societies tend toward lives of apathy and civic disengagement under the rule of impersonal bureaucracies. The administrative functionalism so admired by Hegel bespeaks not the rule of reason but the rule of rationalism--of reason made into a system of rules that overlook the personality of the human beings so ruled. Against this, Havel not only proposed but lived a life in which he built up Czech civil society, urging his fellow noncitizens to take personal responsibility for one another. While protestors in the Western democracies demanded participatory democracy, Havel worked for anticipatory democracy: "the civic spirit that defeated communism ... is also the proper foundation for successful democratic rebuilding" after post-totalitarianism collapses. Summing Up: Recommended.
Choice
Václav Havel remains among the most—some might say one of the few—appealing public intellectuals of the 20th century. Genial, witty, humane, and (mirabile dictu) politically successful, he deserves exactly the well-informed, lively treatment he receives here. Popescu (LeMoyne College) succinctly presents Havel's critique of modern life and his efforts in thought and action to counteract its toxins. While unhesitatingly preferring the regime of liberal democracy to those of totalitarianism and its flaccid, spiritless successor, "post-totalitarianism," Havel also saw what Tocqueville saw: even relatively decent modern societies tend toward lives of apathy and civic disengagement under the rule of impersonal bureaucracies. The administrative functionalism so admired by Hegel bespeaks not the rule of reason but the rule of rationalism—of reason made into a system of rules that overlook the personality of the human beings so ruled. Against this, Havel not only proposed but lived a life in which he built up Czech civil society, urging his fellow noncitizens to take personal responsibility for one another. While protestors in the Western democracies demanded participatory democracy, Havel worked for anticipatory democracy: "the civic spirit that defeated communism ... is also the proper foundation for successful democratic rebuilding" after post-totalitarianism collapses. Summing Up: Recommended.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739149591
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 12/16/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 200
  • File size: 441 KB

Meet the Author

Delia Popescu is assistant professor of political science at LeMoyne College in Syracuse.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Chapter One—The Choice to Write

Chapter Two—Post-totalitarianism: Havel's New Concept of Power

Chapter Three—The Bridge of Excuses: Unraveling Identity in Havel's Plays

Chapter Four—Between Modernity and Responsibility

Chapter Five—The Breakdown in Tradition: Anti-politics in Havel's Political Thought

Conclusion—The Dorian Gray Image of Modern Times

Bibliography

About the Author

Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)