The Power of the Powerless

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The Power of the Powerless is an essay by Václav Havel written in October, 1978. It was released to conincide with the launch of Charta 77[1] and distributed in samizdat form and was influential not only in Czechoslovakia in the struggle against communism in Central and Eastern Europe.


The essay, The Pwned Mind which krozruch planned and worked on from the summer of 2013 following the Edward Snowden revelations, and which he plans to work on, perhaps collaboratively, for Marginálie, is likely to draw on some of the ideas expressed in The Power of the Powerless, applying them to surveillance capitalism. Havel used the example of a greengrocer who might refuse to put up a poster extolling the virtues of the communist regime, it is easy to conclude that one way for a citizen to exercise autonomy and oppose unjust structures would be to deactivate Facebook and stop feeding Google and other such services.
  1. See ie. the Background section of the Wikipedia page.