Montag, 26. November 2012



臣作朕股肱耳目,予欲左右有民 . . .

Kolakowski's " Theses on Hope and Despair "

[page 4]

In such a mechanism " purely technical " criteria, independent of the concern to maintain and strengthen the existing power [structure], cannot exercise any influence over the functioning
of this [ power mechanism ].

Freedom of information -- an indispensable condition for the proper functioning of the economy, the educational system and culture -- is not conceivable without the collapse of the whole poster system.  Inevitably, a free circulation of information would destroy it within a short time.

  But, what is more, to envisage a " closed " system of information, that is, one available only to the rulers -- and that in proportion to their rank in the hierarchy of power -- is just as Utopian. 

In other words, the rulers -- whatever illusions they may harbor about this -- even if they actively seek to get true Information for their own use, would inevitably be badly, or falsely, informed;

they would be the victims of their own lies. 

Certainly, the time has gone when Stalin could deal with unfavorable statistics by having the statisticians assassinated.

 Nevertheless, the  suppression of the crudest type of misinformation does not change the fact that misinformation of the rulers Is itself built into the mechanism.  This is so for at least two reasons. 

In the first place, " closed " information is provided for the most part by those very persons who, on lower levels of the ruling apparat, are responsible for the state of affairs about which they are informing their colleagues.

 In these conditions, to give unsatisfactory information means to denounce oneself: an attitude that one can hardly count on.  The transmission of  favorable information is rewarded, the transmission of unfavorable information leads to sanctions.

It goes without saying that this system naturally extends to the various categories of sources of information.  Examples of sanctions imposed for the transmission of bad news are innumerable and known to all.

Secondly, in order to collect information on social life without any constraint, apart from the effort to reveal the true state of affairs,

it would be necessary to build up a considerable organization, entirely free, liberated from any political servitude, having as its task to gather information, but not having the right to transmit it to the public.

Such an organization would be a strange and artificial phenomenon within the system; it would, moreover, constitute a political menace, because it would be, in principle, a body freed of  " ideological " restrictions and servitudes.

What is more, the mass of information thus gathered would ineluctably ( 不可避免地; 必然地 ) strengthen internal tension and conflicts in the upper echelons ( 階層 ) of the apparat  which is using it, since there can hardly be such a

馬百良八寶 鹽蛇散

Kolakowski's "Theses on Hope and Despair"

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