13 January 2012

Havel & Kundera

I came across this depiction of the drawn out, cross-genre disagreement between Václav Havel and Milan Kundera over politics and efficacy and moralism. When I teach Max Weber, I use Havel as an example of 'value rational' action, mostly to establish how rare the category actually turns out to be. For Weber, action is value rational just insofar as (1) it is undertaken with no hope of success and (2) regardless of the consequences to the actor. Havel's brand of dissent in the 1970s and early 1980s seems to fit the bill. But, as this description of the dispute with Kundera - who mocks such action as self-aggrandizing moralism - makes clear, it worked after all (at least it contributed mightily to the course of Czechoslovak politics in 1989 and thereafter).

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Blogger Marianne said...

The link doesn't work..?

14 January, 2012 06:16  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Sorry! Should be fixed ...

14 January, 2012 10:30  

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