Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

Gerard Van der Leun, quoting Vaclav Havel, calls it "The Poster Test":
The manager of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!”
Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world?
What, indeed?

The slogan is really a sign, and as such it contains a subliminal but very definite message. Verbally, it might be expressed this way: “I, the greengrocer XY, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in the manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace.
Emphasis mine.  The implication, of course, is that if you do not obey, you will not be left in peace.

In pieces, perhaps.  But not in peace.

If you think that is an unintended consequence, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale that you might be interested in.

The test itself?
If you go into an institutional environment - a government office, a school or college, a hospital or doctor's surgery, a museum, public transportation - and you observe posters adorning the walls on politically-correct topics such as diversity, fair trade, global warming, approved victim groups, third world aid - remember Havel's essay, and that the correct translation of such posters is as follows: 
"I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient"
The frequency of such posters nowadays, compared with a generation ago, is a quantitative measure of the progress of totalitarian government.

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