Article Title

Remnants of Dissent


In his article, “Remnants of Dissent,” Thomas Docherty explores the relation of dissent to guilty complicity in post-war Europe. The article opens with a consideration of the position of Karl Jaspers in 1945 and examines how Jaspers worked through the various modes of guilt that flowed from diverse modes of living under Nazism. Of particular interest is the status of silence in the face of tyrannical Nazi oppression and murders. The essay explores how the workings of language, and its manipulations by the Nazis, helps to normalize such tyranny and to make resistance to it both dangerous and difficult. The detailed examination finds, via individuals such as Wilhelm Furtwängler and Václav Havel, that there is a vital distinction to be made between dissent and dissidence and that this distinction depends upon the ways in which political discourse is regulated.