Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2020

Department 1



This article examines Václav Havel’s The Power of the Powerless in the context of a broader ideation of dissent, primarily using Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism and William Connolly’s The Fragility of Things as supplements. Havel’s argument remains relevant over thirty years after its initial publication, and his ideas regarding dissent as a fundamental challenge to authoritarian untruth are valuable and deserve further exploration. From this conceptualization, a “politics of dissent” is proposed as a means to express dissatisfaction with authoritarian government and to reevaluate democratic social and political discourse.


Written for PHIL 252: Social and Political Philosophy

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License