* This letter appeared in “New York revyu OJ boxwood” in response to the speech by President Havel, published in the same edition 27 May 1993 of the year.
Dear Mr. President,
I decided to write you this letter, because we have something in common: we are both writers. In this occupation word carefully weighed, I suppose, than with any other, before you entrust them with paper or microphone. Even when you find yourself involved in public affairs, I try to do everything, to avoid buzzwords, Latinisms, all sorts of jargon. Of course, in dialogue with one or more interlocutors it is difficult, and it may even seem pretentious. But in a conversation with yourself or monologue is, I think, achievable, although, of course, we always kroim his speech for the audience.
We still have something in common, Mr. President, — is our past in our police states. To put it less pompously: our prisons, where lack of space is compensated by an excess of time, that sooner or later a, regardless of temperament, contemplation. Of course, you in your spent more time, than I am in my, although I got my long before the Prague Spring. but, despite my almost patriotic belief, that some kind of hopeless stinking urine cement hole in the depths of Russia opens you arbitrariness of existence faster, than, I once pictured clean, plastered loner in a civilized Prague, I think, that as beings we contemplate, possibly, are.
in short, fellow writers we have been long before, I thought of this letter. But I thought of him not as a result of the literalness of consciousness, not because, that our current circumstances are very different from the past (nothing could be more natural than this, and no one is obliged to be a writer forever: how is not required to be signed). I decided to write this letter, because some time ago I read the text of one of your recent speeches, and set out in it about the past, present and future so different from my considerations, I thought, one of us, must be, wrong. And just because, that it present and future have been affected — and not just your own, or your country, but general — I decided, that letter to you is to be open. If we were talking about the past, I would not have written this letter, and if they wrote, with it swept “private”.
Your speech, I read, It was published in “New York revyu OJ boxwood” and ozaglavlena “post-communist nightmare”. You start out with memories of a time, when your friends and acquaintances to avoid encounters with you on the street, because in those days you had a tense relationship with the state and under police supervision. You explain the reasons, for which they have shunned, and speak in his usual mild manner, which you rightly famous, for those friends and acquaintances you were a nuisance; but “inconvenience” — you bring conventional wisdom — “best to avoid”. Then, in the most part of your speech you describe the post-communist reality (in Eastern Europe and in particular in the Balkans) and equate the behavior of the democratic world in the face of this reality in an attempt to avoid the inconvenience.
This is a great question with a lot of great insights and compelling conclusion; but let me go back to its starting point. It seems to me, Mr. President, that your famous politeness had your hindsight disservice. Are you so sure, that you avoid those people out there, and then only because of embarrassment and fear “potential prosecution”, not in fact, what do you, given the apparent stability of the system, they have been written off? Are you sure, what, at least, some of them thought you were simply labeled, doomed, man, on which it would be foolish to spend a lot of time? Do you think, instead of or in addition to the, what, It is a nuisance (like you insist), you were also a convenient example of inappropriate behavior and thus a source of considerable moral satisfaction, in the same vein, as usual for the patient is the most healthy? Do not you imagined, as they say in the evening to their wives: “Today I saw on the street Havel. He's a goner”. Or am I wrong to judge the character of the Czech?
the, that they were wrong, and you are right — It does not matter. First of all, they have written off you, because even by the standards of our half a century you were not a martyr. Besides, He does not live in each of us some wine, no relation to the state, but nonetheless palpable? So whenever, when the hand of the state catches up with us, we dimly perceive this as retaliation, as touching blunt, but nevertheless predictable Providence guns. In that, frankly, and is the raison d'etre of police institute, whether it is in a form or in plain clothes, or, at least, our total inability to resist arrest. We can be absolutely convinced, that the state is not entitled to, but we rarely confident in his own integrity. Not even speaking about, that plants and releases the same hand. Therefore, we rarely wonder, that we avoided after release, and do not expect, that we were welcomed with open arms.
Such expectations in such circumstances would not be justified, because no one wants, to be reminded of impenetrable complexity of the relationship between guilt and retribution, and in a police state is a reminder provided, where for the most part and there is a heroic behavior. it alienates, as any emphasis on the virtues; not even speaking about, what a hero is always best to observe from a distance. To a large extent, Mr. President, people, you mentioned, avoid you just because, for them you were something of a test-tube, where virtue is fighting against evil, and they did not interfere with the experiment, because they had doubts about both of them. In this capacity, you again were comfortable, because in a police state absolutes compromise each other, for they give rise to each other. Do not you imagined, these sensible people say to their wives in the evening: “Today I saw on the street Havel. He's too good, to believe it”. Or am I wrong again about the Czech character of the judge?
the, that they were wrong, and you are right, repeat, It does not matter. At that time, they have written off, because they were guided by the same relativism and self-interest, that, I believe, help them to succeed in the new scenario,. And as most of them healthy, undoubtedly, played a significant role in your velvet revolution, which ultimately claims, as always it makes democracy, it is self-interest. If this is the case, but I'm afraid, that the way it is, They get even with you for their excessive prudence, and you are now in a society prezidentstvuete, which most of, than your.
Nothing unnatural in it there. In addition, it could have turned out quite differently: for you, of course; not for them (Revolution was as velvet, because the very tyranny that time was dressed rather in wool, than in the armor — otherwise I would not have had the honor to comment on your question). By this I want to say, what, talking about inconvenience, you, quite possible, imprecisely expressed, For your own interest, whether the interest of individuals or entire countries, always maintained at the expense of others. It would be truer to say about the baseness of the human heart, Mr. President; but then you would not be able to bring your speech to calls conclusion. Some things come along with the pulpit, although they should resist, never mind, writer or not. Since I am not burdened with your task, I would like to start from there, where, I think, could result in your reasoning. Interesting, Do you agree with the result.
“For many decades,”, — starts your next paragraph, -“mostly a nightmare for the democratic world was communism. Today, three years after the collapse of its avalanche, It begins to feel, that he was replaced by another nightmare: postkommunyzm”. Then you describe in some detail the existing forms of the democratic world's response to environmental, economic, political and social catastrophe, unfolding there, where before we only distinguish between smooth fabric. You compare these reactions with the reaction to your “inconvenience” and say, that such a position is “to escape from reality and, ultimately, humility in front of her. It leads to peace, even to cooperate. The consequences of such a position may even be suicidal”.
Right here, Mr. President, I think, your metaphor brings you. For neither communist, no post-communist nightmare is not limited to the disadvantage, because it helps, It helps and for a sufficiently long period of time will help the democratic world to seek and find the cause of evil outside. And not only the democratic world. For many of us, who lived in this nightmare, and especially for those, who fought with him, his presence was a source of considerable moral satisfaction.
for he, who are struggling or resisting evil, almost automatically he considers himself a good and avoids introspection. So that, possibly, time to — and for us, and the world as a whole, whether it is democratic or not — scrape term “communism” with the human reality of Eastern Europe, that it was possible to recognize this reality is, than it has been and remains, — mirror.
For human evil always is such.