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Samizdata quote of the day

Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external peace

– Vaclav Havel, tireless fighter against communism and sundry other human absurdities, has died. Ave atque vale.

11 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Indeed.

    I love how I was able to find out what “ave atque vale” means in about six seconds. Not like it were when I were a lad.

  • Tomas

    Yes, it’s a loss, and we Czechs are still searching for a father figure of a similar stature.

    His presidency in the 90s was certainly positive; a couple of “howevers” can be inserted here, though: he formed what conservatives and libertarians here call “brotherhood of truth and love”, in that he was deeply skeptical of partisan politics and would have preferred a rule by the enlightened… not by a dictator but probably by a self-nominated group of “experts” and people with high moral standards, whatever that means.

    Thus he is a controversial figure in my view – a lion, sure, and also an intellectual who’d be quite dangerous to free-markets/free-minds-oriented people if he had the chance to change our society according to his beliefs.

  • Why do you feel you need a father figure, Thomas?

  • In the great fight against communism Havel was a hero, in the great fight against transnational statism he was AWOL.

    However the tranzis don’t have a gulag or tank divisions or the KGB. They do have one hell of a good propaganda network. Hopefully there will be someone out there with Havel’s guts and talent to do unto the new enemy, what Havel did to the old one. David Mamet ?

  • Tomas

    @Alisa: it’s a tradition we have. Our 1st president was “Daddy Masaryk”, the 1st communist president and all his communist successors had an informal title “Daddy of the working peoples”, and even today we look for a fatherly figure in our presidents (and presidential candidates).

    I’m not saying I share the sentiment.

  • Thomas: it is similar to the Russian tradition then – no real surprise there, I guess…

  • Sam Duncan

    he was deeply skeptical of partisan politics and would have preferred a rule by the enlightened… not by a dictator but probably by a self-nominated group of “experts” and people with high moral standards, whatever that means.

    Which explains his love for the EU. The impression I get is that in fighting Communism, he focussed on the job at hand, telling everyone what Communism was doing to wreck people’s lives, and didn’t – ironically, given his trade – think too deeply about why, or more specifically, how its leaders got themselves into the position of being able to do so with – until 1989 – impunity.

    But fight it he did, and will be rightly remembered for it.

  • ragingnick

    George Soros was ‘anti-communist’ too but that doesnt make him a friend of liberty. Much the same with Vaclev Havel; he wasnt fighting against statism, just the version of statism he didnt like. Europe is now lost to transnational totalitarian progressivism, and America will be too if they re-elect Obama.

  • Paul Marks

    Good quote Perry.


    You will not find many people who despise George Soros (let along Barack Obama) more than I do.

    And I also understand that Havel was not into reading Ludwig Von Mises and co (he would have most likely thought that I am a cold hearted monster – and perhaps I am).

    However, Havel was wildly different to Soros (let alone Obama).

    The difference is a MORAL one. And it is vitally important.

    The tactics that Soros uses (the vast armies of filth that he funds – the Tides Foundation, the Centre for American Progress, the liars of Media Matters….. and on and on) would never have been used by Havel.

    Ends and means are closly connected.

    Often the means a person picks determine the end.

    As Soros may one day discover – when his own creatures turn on him.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Of course, one way for citizens to keep free is to be armed. As I live in Sydney, I tend to think that all other Australians are as disarmed as we are. however, there was a shootout in North Adelaide (Capital of South Australia) last night! A gunman entered a restaurant, and shot at three people- but was wounded when another person fired at him! The police seem to be only interested in the original criminal, and have not arrested to citizen who fired back!

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    In an update, it now seems as though both parties were members of a ‘Comanchero’ bike gang, but that doesn’t invalidate the principle of armed citizens being the best defence.