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The End of Experiment by Michal Pullman

April 29, 2011

IllustrationDear friends, we would like to invite you to the launch of Michal Pullman’s book, The End of Experiment. Reconstruction and Fall of Communism in Czechoslovakia which will take place in Montmartre Gallery on Tuesday, 3rd May from 19:30.

The End of Experiment deals with the dynamism of Reconstruction in Czechoslovakia during the period of 1985-1989. It presents the first overview of the history of Czechoslovakian Reconstruction and also analyses the preconditions for the subsequent collapse of the dictatorship. According to the pivotal argument, not the system of oppression but the decreasing ability of its participants to reach consensus about the basic issues of the existing arrangement on a daily basis was collapsing in the period of Reconstruction. The historical-semantic method is used specifically to uncover the process in the course of which the hyperstandardised language of the 1980s was breaking down and the state-socialist establishment imploded.

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Power of the Powerless – samizdat essay

„Technology – that child of modern science, which in turn is a child of modern metaphysics – is out of humanity’s control, has ceased to serve us, has enslaved us and compelled us to participate in the preparation of our own destruction. And humanity can find no way out: we have no idea and no faith, and even less do we have a political conception to help us bring things back under human control. We look on helplessly as that coldly functioning machine we have created inevitably engulfs us, tearing us away from our natural affiliations (for instance, from our habitat in the widest sense of that word, including our habitat in the biosphere) just as it removes us from the experience of Being and casts us into the world of “existences”.“

Václav Havel:
Power of the Powerless – samizdat essay, October 1978