Thursday, November 29, 2007

Vaclav Havel's Warning

In the course of my reading this morning by coincidence I have come across this quote by Vaclav Havel in 3 different sources:

"Totalitarian societies always appear strong. It looks like everyone is loyal and the regime will be here for centuries, that nothing will ever change, and it's easy to believe that. At some moment, though, the regime's invincibility facade cracks, people gain confidence that they can change things and soon it is all over. Without anybody organizing a demonstration, the passersby had turned into demonstrators who filled the main square in Prague."

There are minor variations in each, but even though one of them is in a book published by Random House in 2001, none of the 3 provide attribution beyond "as Vaclav Havel said." If anyone knows the primary source for this statement by Mr. Havel, I would like to know what it is.

1 comment:

David said...

There is a collection of Havel's writing called 'Open Letters' published by Vintage Books in 1992. You may find it in there. It looks like a remarkable book; I've only leafed through it but this is a good reminder to get back to it.