Saturday, August 23, 2014

Macroscopic and Microscopic Communism

I enjoyed how Milan Kundera delineated all facets of communism by exploring not only the macroscopic, group-oriented aspects but also the microscopic, individual ones. For instance, he described at length the "band-wagon effect" that hypnotized the Czech public that communism would benefit their country and also their immediate regret when the command system had taken its toll. Further, he portrayed the psyche of Tereza's mother in great detail - she exemplified communism applied to everyday life by walking around naked (i.e. - the body could not be private because that would entail private ownership), reading Tereza's diary (i.e. - no such thing as "intellectual property"), and refusing to let Tereza lock the bathroom door (i.e. - the bathroom was to remain a public place at all times, no private places existed). Thus, through one person and one group of people, Kundera effectively revealed the fundamental aspects of communism to the reader.

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