From a New Year’s Day Speech

Masaryk founded his politics on morality. Let us try, in a new time and in a new way, to revive this concept of politics. Let us teach both ourselves and others that politics ought to be a reflection of the aspiration to contribute to the happiness of the community and not of the need to deceive or pillage the community. Let us teach both ourselves and others that politics does not have to be the art of the possible, especially if this means the art of speculating, calculating, intrigues, secret agreements, and pragmatic maneuvering, but that it also can be the art of the impossible, that is the art of making both ourselves and the world better.

We are a small country, but nonetheless we were once the spiritual crossroads of Europe. Is there any reason why we should not be so again? Would this not be another contribution through which we could pay others back for the help we will need from them?

The home Mafia—those who do not look out of their airplane windows and eat specially fed pigs—are still alive, true, and make trouble from time to time, but they are no longer our main enemy, and international Mafias are even less of an enemy. Our worst enemy today is our own bad qualities—indifference to public affairs, conceit, ambition, selfishness, the pursuit of personal advancement, and rivalry—and that is the main struggle we are faced with.

We are going into free elections, and an election battle. Let us not allow that battle to sully the still clean face of our gentle revolution….

Václav Havel

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