December 18, 2011

"Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred."

Vaclav Havel, RIP.
An avowed peacenik whose heroes included rockers like Frank Zappa, he never quite shed his flower-child past and often signed his name with a small heart as a flourish.

35 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

Classy Guy.

Real gutsy Patriot.

He'll be missed

The Drill SGT said...

“Keep the company of those who seek the truth- run from those who have found it”
― Václav Havel

SGT Ted said...

He was so staunchly anti-Communist/collectivist and pro-individual rights. Hardly the flower child wanna-be commie portrayed by that sentence.

ic said...

Wonder who'd be next:
Hitchens, Havel, ...

The Drill SGT said...

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

Craig said...

He gave new meaning to the defenestration of Prague.

EDH said...

I could picture Havel and Hitchens meeting for a drink and a smoke tonight.

Joe Schmoe said...

I agree with you, Drill Sgt. I couldn't get into the canonization of Chris Hitchens, nothing against him, but Havel was a man of real substance.

edutcher said...

What the sergeants said; very gutsy guy.

Jose_K said...

He was so staunchly anti-Communist/collectivist and pro-individual rights... No, Erica Blair was anti-communist but of the social democrat strain.

Ken Pidcock said...

On Sunday, Mr. Klaus paid tribute to Mr. Havel, calling him “the symbol of the new era of the Czech state.”

Now that's how you damn with faint praise.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"At their meeting in March 2009, Mr. Havel warned of the perils of limitless hope being projected onto a leader. Disappointment, he noted, could boil over into anger and resentment. Mr. Obama replied that he was becoming acutely aware of the possibility."

I wonder what Mr. Havel thought of the Havaad Pause-in-Chief in more recent times.

I appreciate his sentiments regarding truth and love; the fact is, there are far too many truth-deniers.

And there always will be if preference is given to the interests of groups, above that of individuals.

Nothing saps the soul more than an organized mob.

somefeller said...

I remember reading an essay years ago by Havel in which he discussed a near-death experience that occurred just before he became President of Czechoslovakia, where he fell into a sewer pit after a rowdy evening with friends and almost drowned. He used that as a discussion of absurdity (namely, the absurdity of nearly dying in a sewage pit at the moment of his greatest life's triumph) and hope. Unfortunately, I can't find it online but it was a great one, and he was a great one. RIP.

Sgt Ted says:He was so staunchly anti-Communist/collectivist and pro-individual rights. Hardly the flower child wanna-be commie portrayed by that sentence.

There's nothing wanna-be commie in that or any of Havel's other comments. He was, however, someone who thought moving his country towards capitalism entailed moving it towards the mixed-economy form of capitalism that is dominant in the West and he wasn't the sort of person who thought every government intervention in the economy was socialism. (And to the extent he might have thought so, he didn't think that was a deal-killer, he was a social democrat, unlike his rival Vaclav Klaus.) He realized that individual rights can and do thrive best in such societies. He also was a cosmopolitan intellectual who enjoyed the works of people like Samuel Beckett and the company of people like Lou Reed. In other words, he wasn't a simplistic mouthbreather. The world needs more people like him and God rest his soul.

The Crack Emcee said...

I'll take truth and hatred over lies and love any day.

That's the true formulation,...liars.

Meade said...

ic said...
"Wonder who'd be next:
Hitchens, Havel, ..."

I hate to even think it. But I'm afraid the answer to that question is: George W. Bush.

kcom said...

"It's shameful that they intentionally omitted these important details of his life."

That was in his old and senile phase. They omitted it out of compassion.

And yes, that was sarcasm. Because I noticed that, too. The obituary I read didn't mention a single thing about his take on global warming alarmism either. He was standing up for freedom as he always had but they wouldn't even acknowledge it because it doesn't fit their idea of political correctness.

Paco Wové said...

Too many Vaclavs.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

phx: You're right. Thanks for the correction. Sorry about the confusion.

bagoh20 said...

"""Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred."""

Sadly, two groups of humans with swords at the ready to destroy each other, can both still believe that passionately as they go into battle.

Which brings into question our supposed superiority over the animal kingdom, and the value of higher intelligence.

EDH said...

Meade,

Did you mean George H. W. Bush, or do you know something we don't?

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff with one 'f' said...

I met him in Philadelphia in 1994 when he was in town to receive the Philadelphia Liberty Medal. He helped me move a table when I was setting up a dining room for a dinner in his honor!

He graciously signed a volume of his plays for me.

rcocean said...

Havel was a TRULY courageous man, unlike our silly English Popinjay who died recently.

R.I.P.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meade said...

EDH said...
"Did you mean George H. W. Bush, or do you know something we don't?"

No. And I want to say I wish George W. (and H. W.) a long and happy life.

My thinking: "Rule of 3", die too young, battled successfully against enemies of freedom and democracy, respectively: Socialist Tyranny, Theocratic Fascism, Islamist Terror.

Simon Hawkin said...

He most certainly was not a peacenik. Calling him one does disservice to his memory.

Kirk Parker said...

Meade,

Nah, not Bush. Clearly it's somebody named "Hardel", "Haarens", or "Gzabinski".

ricpic said...

Why does somefeller insist on twisting SGT Ted's perfectly straightforward statement into its opposite? Not everyone has to confirm your statist religion, somefeller, especially not a staunch anticommunist.

Maguro said...

"Now that's how you damn with faint praise."

Not at all, when one considers the tyranny and depravity of the old era Czech state. Sorry the modern Czech Republic isn't a Ken Pidcock-approved utopia, but Havel and company achieved something truly great by overthrowing the communists. It's nothing to sneer at.

Revenant said...

Rest in peace.

caplight45 said...

He was not a Christian though he recognized the value of Christian belief and practice and considered it the strength of the West. He warned against losing it.

Carnifex said...

"Soft words will turn wrath. When wrath isn't looking, shoot it in the head"--Schlock Mercenary

bagoh20 said...

I have read of the heroic struggles of those like Havel throughout the old Soviet sphere around the time of the soviet collapse, but since it collapsed so completely, and there were so many like his story all over the place, maybe it was the weakness of the empire as much as anything that was the cause. I don't mean to diminish Havel or others like him, but it was almost common at the end, to stand up.

Unfortunately, the millions who stood up long before the collapse mostly disappeared without much notice because they were not lucky in that their hunger for freedom was untimely, and life is short. I wish there was more acknowledgement of those truly brave lovers of freedom who fought too far from the days of victory.

Freder Frederson said...

I don't mean to diminish Havel or others like him, but it was almost common at the end, to stand up.

You seem to be implying that after a life of silence under communism, Havel seized on the collapse of the Warsaw Block to aggrandize himself.

Before you damn with such faint praise you should do a little research. Havel was a lifelong dissident who was constantly harassed and frequently arrested by the government.

Nate Whilk said...

I was reminded of the WI unions and making businesses put their placards in their windows when I read this from the essay "The Power of the Powerless" by Havel.

"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? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? Has he really given more than a moment's thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?

"I think it can safely be assumed that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and carrots. He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be. If he were to refuse, there could be trouble..."