Reading Václav Havel in the Age of Trump

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This paper explores the explicit self-deprecation in Vaclav Havel’s writings in order to outline a unique contribution to thinking about resistance contained in Havel’s oeuvre. What Havel offers is a timely critique of messianic political gestures. I will focus on how Havel’s self-deprecation offers a subtle but significant critique of western politics which also contains the kernal of a virtue ethics of sorts, instead of a blueprint for radical action. I will also explain the important and related critique of messianic politics entailed in Havel’s thought and outline the significance of this critique for the current political climate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-70
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Horizons
Issue number1
Early online date17 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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