The Power of the Powerless
How much do I want to read more? 6/10
Not an easy read for me. It's political and historical.
What's interesting though, is this "psychology for the mass", this subtle way to manipulate people without them knowing it.
This is how the author defines Ideology.
I surely could become more aware as a citizen if reading on. Why do most people are not interested into politic. Why do most people don't even think about it. And what are the consequences?
At the beginning of everything,
there is the word. It is a miracle
to which we owe the fact that we are human.
At the same time it is a warning and an attempt and a test.
A spectre is haunting Eastern Europe; It was born at a time when this system, for a thousand reasons, can no longer base itself on the unadulterated, brutal, and arbitrary application of power, eliminating all expressions of nonconformity.
The manager of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: "Workers of the world, unite!"
the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows.
The slogan is really a sign, and as such it contains a subliminal but very definite message. Verbally, it might be expressed this way: "I, the greengrocer XY, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in ihe manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace."
if the greengrocer had been instructed to display the slogan "I am afraid and therefore unquestionably obedient;" he would not be nearly as indifferent to its semantics, even though the statement would reflect the truth. The greengrocer would be embarrassed and ashamed to put such an unequivocal statement of his own degradation in the shop window, and quite naturally so, for he is a human being and thus has a sense of his own dignity.
the sign helps the greengrocer to conceal from himself the low foundations of his obedience, at the same time concealing the low foundations of power. It hides them behind the facade of something high. And that something is 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.
it enables people to deceive their conscience and conceal their true position and their inglorious modus vivendi, both from the world and from themselves.
Their adaptation to the status quo.
It is an excuse that everyone can use, from the greengrocer, who conceals his fear of losing hisjob behind an alleged interest in the unification of the workers of the world.