Czechoslovakia: the Velvet Revolution and Beyond by Robin H. E. Shepherd

By Robin H. E. Shepherd

Czechoslovakia, some of the most inflexible and authoritarian of the previous Soviet Union's satellite tv for pc states, begun the transition from communism with excessive hopes. yet a decade of swap has uncovered the entire quantity of the wear and tear wrought to the rustic via a long time of communist rule. For something, the rustic couldn't carry jointly, splitting aside into autonomous states in 1993. This ebook seems to be on the political and monetary alterations of 2 international locations in transition and argues that a lot is still performed ahead of they've got shaken off the legacy of a very harsh communist past.

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9 Contrariwise he sets out the anti-vision: Our main enemy today is our own worst nature; our indifference to the common good; vanity; personal ambition; selfishness and rivalry. The main struggle will have to be fought out on this field. Nearly eight years later, speaking to a packed audience at the Rudolfinum in Prague, Havel delivered the most important speech Havel- Power to the Powerless 47 of his presidency. How successful did he believe his country had been in avoiding the vices outlined in the warning just qu0ted above?

Instead he secured the loyalty of his new possessions through what Hugh Seton-Watson described as a period of increasingly 'bogus coalition'. Communists took significant but not total control of the apparatus of state power, being sure to get their hands on the police and security forces, all the while building party support and laying plans for an eventual takeover. The prelude to the coup in Czechoslovakia was the resignation of non-communist ministers precisely in protest over communist moves to take control of the police.

It may, he concedes, be better at concealing their importance Havel- Power to the Powerless 45 because of the fundamentally healthier nature of society. It allows greater space for discussion of the problems, but it has not found any solution. However the answers are to be found, from whichever 'God who alone can save us', the result that Havel is looking for is a reinvigoration of values such as trust, responsibility and love and the relocation of man in the universe of higher values from which his materialistic and technological obsessions have alienated him.

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