Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vaclav Havel's dramas, meanwhile, offered a road map to follow the fate of free thought in a repressive world. Young is the one that plunges in the future and never looks back When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object
-- Milan Kundera

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.
-Donald Rumsfeld - What started poorly has shown no sign of improving

In Poland it took ten years, in Hungary it took ten months, in East Germany it took ten weeks: perhaps in good old Czechoslovakia it will take ten days ; Soros helped finance the Czech Republic's 1989 “Velvet Revolution” that brought Vaclav Havel to power. and the rest is history

Now Swimming at Bondi Then Swimming across the Iron Curtain

Václav Havel: the unlikely leader who became a symbol of liberation Helsinki Treaty Spurred Fall of Berlin Wall, End of Communism
Within a year the 106-kilometer-long Berlin Wall was being dismantled, former jailed dissident Vaclav Havel was president of Czechoslovakia
I had a piece in Crikey on Thursday about the Lisbon treaty, which is all set to come into force, but I wouldn’t want to let the occasion pass without a comment on the actual concession that secured its final ratification.
Czech president Vaclav Klaus only agreed to sign the treaty after he was promised that his country would be allowed to opt out of the treaty’s Charter of Fundamental Rights.

I cherish the words of hope of former Czech President Vaclav Havel, during his days of imprisonment. Those words captivated the imagination of many people ...
Every now and then when the world seems to be falling apart and problems appear to be insurmountable, I recall with gratitude the heroes of the Velvet Revolution who helped to bring down the reign of Communism 20 years ago. I cherish the words of hope of former Czech President Vaclav Havel, during his days of imprisonment.

Those words captivated the imagination of many people as we witnessed the Communist regime finally come to an end: "The more unpropitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper that hope is. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

• But How the moral have fallen[Where did Vaclav Havel's anti-communist dream take us? Vaclav Havel, father of the Velvet Revolution 20 years ago, tells Adrian Bridge why he is still wary of the Russians ; Reservations]
• · Václav Havel, the former president of Czechoslovakia, dissident and one of the key figures of the Velvet Revolution that toppled Communism in the former federation has become an honorary citizen of Bratislava. The Slovak capital granted him honorary citizenship on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the totalitarian regime for his fight for freedom, democracy and assisting in the process of Slovakia's integration into Europe Bratislava grants honorary citizenship to Václav Havel ; For older people, Czechoslovakia inevitably comes in a sentence that includes Hitler, Munich, Chamberlain, Daladier, appeasement, World War II and the falling of dominoes. Well, OK, technically, dominoes comes from just after World War II, but the dominoes threaten to fall in Southeast Asia precisely because of a presumed failure to learn those lessons of Munich. Neville Chamberlain, after all, has given us the final justification for appeasement when he explained to Britain in 1938 how “incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a
far away country between people of whom we know nothing.”
• · · From Prague to Berlin, liberty will always owe youth
Vaclav Havel, the dissident who led Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution, has used the 20th anniversary to warn Russia remains a threat despite the demise of the Soviet Union. The 73-year-old who played a pivotal role in freeing his country from communist rule in 1989, said that the Russian government had mastered the art of manipulating its population while maintaining democratic façade. The era of dictatorships and totalitarian systems has not ended at all
Velvet Revolution Gave Teenager Freedom, Sent Havel to Castle
; There’s one sound I shall never forget about the revolution that bustled the Communists out of power in Czechoslovakia 20 years ago: the jangling of door keys. Every night for a week, crowds gathered in Prague’s Wenceslas Square. At regular intervals, thousands of people in unison waved their keyrings above their heads. The noise echoed throughout the city, signifying to their hated communist masters: Vaclav Havel attacks Russia on anniversary of Velvet Revolution; Go home, here’s your key. It’s time to leave.
• · · · Use the implicit wisdom and shared experiences of those inhabitants of a galaxy far, far away to raise your profile What Star Wars can teach us about career management ; More than half of what happens in the business world often seems to be outside the control of management. Dealing with the unknown
• · · · · Michael Moore is back. The self-styled guerilla documentary maker has declared war on capitalism, branding it “inherently evil” and seeks to discredit everything and everyone within sight who has profited from such a system. Film review: 'Capitalism - A Love Story' directed by Michael Moore ; The exploitative capital accumulation system means that our bosses expropriate the value we workers create and return a small amount to us in the form of wages. Real tax reform: a love letter to Ken Henry; Private equity funds and the pillage of Australia
Private equity funds are the bottom feeders of capital. They buy up what they judge to be under-valued companies, take a chainsaw to jobs and costs to increase the seeming value of the company in the short term and then flog off the entity at a large gain a little later. by John Passant ; "Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." Douglas Adams.
Adrian Low with John Passant