Skip to comments.Vaclav Havel Was Both A Political And An Intellectual Hero. You Couldn't Say That Of Our Politicians
Posted on 12/18/2011 9:58:59 AM PST by Steelfish
Vaclav Havel Was Both A Political And An Intellectual Hero. You Couldn't Say That Of Our Politicians
Ed West December 18th, 2011
Vaclav Havel: thinker, statesman, hero of the people. It says much about Vaclav Havel that, perhaps alone among European politicians, his face can often be seen gracing the walls of restaurants in his homeland. People might wish to pay such a tribute to their monarch, or in some parts of Europe their religious leaders; rarely to politicians. How many of Britain or France's former heads of government might inspire such genuine affection?
Havel, who died today in the Czech Republic, was something rare in history. He was one of the heroes of the anti-Communist movement, but uniquely he was both one of the great intellectual heroes of the Eastern Bloc and one its political heroes. Indeed in politics, where more often than not vapidity and managerialism is rewarded, he was an unusual thinker-statesman. How many other politicians of his era had a Samuel Beckett play dedicated to them, or were genuine friends of leading musicians and poets? While the Communist leadership was ugly, old, predictable and pedestrian, its number one critic was cooler than a rock star.
It was Havel who helped, as much as anyone, to put across the idea that Communism was built on an illusion and that, once people began to doubt the illusion, it would collapse. His essay "The Power of the Powerless" described a system based on the Emperors New Clothes, a fairytale that would perfectly suit the bizarre shadow world of Marxist-Leninism. In Czechoslovakia the brotherly help given by the Soviet Union in 1968 was followed by normalisation whereby 145 historians were expelled from universities and any praise for the inter-war Czechoslovakian democracy banned.
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But Clinton and Obama think they are like Havel
Now we praise idiots because they are said to be great intellects, when it fact they are complete morons.
That is self-defeating and dishonest.
One of the greatest man of the twentieth century. His successor Vaclav Klaus was a better national leader with a clearer vision of what his country should be, but Havel was the inspirational figure.
Clinton and Obama wouldn`t be qualified to shine Havel`s shoes, much less compare to him as a person or leader. A scarce few of modern American politicians could reach the level of a Vaclav Havel.
When Havel was Czech President, he liked to show up unannounced during tours at Hradceny Castle to serve coffee and interact with the visitors. He always had both feet on the ground and never seemed to consider himself anything other than a servant of the people.. a stark contrast to the over-inflated egos we see from most politicians.
“You can’t have socialized medicine and pensions at age 50 and remain competitive in the world market.”