Monday, December 19, 2011


There is a particular group of politicians who emerged in central and eastern Europe (as well as the Balkans) in the late 1980s, who played a major role in the dismantling of Communism and bringing about "democracy". Along with Nelson Mandela of South Africa, NATOland has made these people into a fetish of sorts, epic heroes deserving of worship.

It is indicative, though, that in their own countries they are either shunned, or outright reviled (as is the case with Gorbachev, for example), rightfully regarded as people who made out well for themselves and their cronies, but brought widespread misery to everyone else, through the great robbery project known as "transition".

One of these men, Vaclav Havel, died yesterday. His opus as a writer is already pretty much forgotten. Likewise his tenure as Czech president. What Havel may well end up being remembered for is his enthusiastic support for the Imperial doctrine of "humanitarian intervention", which he preached in 1999 as bombs were raining on Serbia. As victims of the original Munich "agreement," the Czechs may also find it ironic that Havel supported its modern-day equivalent

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the events of the past two decades were not some sort of "end of history," but rather a temporary distortion of world affairs due to the demise of the USSR and the ensuing vacuum the Atlantic Empire endeavored to fill. What order of affairs will end up replacing this age of transition, I do not know. However, I do hope it won't remember Havel and his ilk as heroes.


buzz.word said...

Bravo! We will, hopefully, not see the likes of Havel and Gorbachev again. With Slavic Blood on their hands, if not in their veins, these reviled creatures surely were "Quislings" for the debauched Western Empire that seeks to equate Slav with slave. One must wonder if Havel saw, on his deathbed, the coming end of Empire and the rebirth of Eastern Europe and Russia, the Mother of us all?

Eugene Costa said...

Life is short and art is long. So goes an ancient jingle.

Hippocratic, is it?

Apologies to the Czechs, therefore, for having been so long lost in the fateful adventures of the good soldier Schweik during the world war (that would be World War I, yes? ) and in closely watching the closely watched trains of the war that followed (that would be World War II, right?) that one has not had much time for latter day titans like Havel.

The pedant, however, always has time for a footnote. In this case, that it was not the colossus himself who coined “Velvet Revolution” but apparently a certain Rita Budinova, later Klímová, who also wrote under the the name Adam Kovárc.

Is that “Adam Smith” in English by any chance?

Born in Czechoslovakia but raised in New York, Klímová became Havel's mouthpiece to “the English-speaking world”.

One is not quite sure who may have coined the term “the English-speaking world”. Does that include Ireland, the Bahamas, New Zealand and the Malvinas?

Anyway, the color of the velvet was never noted, but Klímová, not Havel, must be acknowledged as the mother of the revolutions by adjective that followed.

Did Klímová intend the allusion to steel under soft glove?

There is no evidence whatever that Klímová and the great impressario of propaganda and public relations, Edward Bernays, ever met, let alone colluded. But Bernays, who died in the '90's, doubtless was impressed.

There is also no evidence that Bernays had anything directly to do with the renaming of the US military establishment in 1948, when “War” became “Defense”.

This is less Orwellian than it might seem, since the first change, from “War” to “Defense”,was the imagery of a certain Harold Lasswell, American political scientist and propagandist, who is said to have oberved that the psychological resistance of modern nations to war was so great that "every war must appear to be a war of defence..."

What better way to assure that than to rename the government department that wages it “Defense”-- pardon the American spelling.

Has Falcon perhaps unlocked the next step, which is to say, renaming DOD as “Department of Humanitarian Intervention”(DHI)? This only as an intermediate step toward the final veil when it becomes simply the DOP, “Department of Peace”?

Lasswell by the way was a close student of the Committee On Public Information during the same World War I, on which young Bernays served as a shining light and the main job of which was to demonize Germans.

World War I again—wasn't that the war “to make the world safe for Anglo-American empire”? Whatever one wishes to do with that, one might note, as one has seen no one else do, that what began as mainly domestic propaganda in World War I, expanded into a domestic and world effort during and after World War II.

But that is a vast subject, even for a footnote.

Obviously with all these footnotes and good soldiers and trains one again has run out of time for Havel's masterpieces.

Perhaps Angela Merkel deserves the final word on Havel as politico. Greeting his demise with dismay, reports Reuters, Merkel is said to have written: "His dedication to freedom and democracy is as unforgotten as his great humanity. We Germans also have much to thank him for. Together with you, we mourn the loss of a great European.”

Merkel is almost universally portrayed—and portrays herself?--in the western media as a homey and homely figure, closer to a dumpy Little Orphan Annie than Mrs. Thatcher's slick and glossy attempt at Daddy Warbucks. Might it be noted that she was raised and educated in auld East Germany, and highly educated at that--as a physicist. If one dares to attribute her a certain irony, one will find the above message not only as finely crafted as anything you are likely to find in Havel, but far more witty--indeed hilarious.

Eugene Costa said...

Correction: apparently Klimová was born in Romania but was a Czech national.

Steve Hayes said...

Nelson Mandela is not despised in South Africa. His venal successors, are, however.