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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Václav Klaus' speech for European freedom

I'm sure there are essays floating around about why the greatest advocates of freedom in Europe at the moment come from the central region, Poland, Czech Republic, etc. Decade after decade of repression must leave its mark on countries that have known freedom in the past. Václav Klaus, the Czech president, warns about the growing "substitute ideologies of socialism",
“Illiberal ideas are becoming to be formulated, spread and preached under the name of ideologies or “isms”, which have – at least formally and nominally – nothing in common with the old-style, explicit socialism. These ideas are, however, in many respects similar to it. There is always a limiting (or constraining) of human freedom, there is always ambitious social engineering, there is always an immodest ‘enforcement of a good’ by those who are anointed (T. Sowell) on others against their will, there is always the crowding out of standard democratic methods by alternative political procedures, and there is always the feeling of superiority of intellectuals and of their ambitions.”
Paul Belien of the Brussels Journal comments further
As substitutes of socialism, Václav Klaus cited “environmentalism (with its Earth First, not Freedom First principle), radical humanrightism (based – as de Jasay precisely argues – on not distinguishing rights and rightism), the ideology of ‘civic society’ (or communitarism), which is nothing less than one version of post-Marxist collectivism which wants privileges for organized groups, and in consequence, a refeudalization of society […], multiculturalism, feminism, apolitical technocratism (based on the resentment against politics and politicians), internationalism (and especially its European variant called Europeanism) and a rapidly growing phenomenon I call NGOism.”
There is more of the speech at the link. It is refreshing to see a speech from a European leader genuinely interested in freedom for its own sake.

As an aside, it is probably no coincidence that "health tourism" from the more moribund economies with those great welfare systems to places like Poland and neighbours is taking off.
· Linked Article

Posted by Chefen | 8/31/2005 06:49:00 AM

1 Comments:

Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

US-style liberals write off things like this:
"As an aside, it is probably no coincidence that "health tourism" from the more moribund economies with those great welfare systems to places like Poland and neighbours is taking off."

As simply being a result of high standards of living and more advanced healthcare systems in the "Western countries", rather than the pernicious effect of their own interference in the health industry.

In a decade or two Western Europe will wake up and find itself truly considered the old slow backwaters by Asia and Eastern Europe - what side does New Zealand wish to be a part of?

8/31/2005 02:28:00 PM  

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