Czech President Warns Against “Europeanism”
From the desk of Paul Belien on Sat, 2005-08-27 23:48
The most impressive speech during the recent Regional Meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society was undoubtedly Czech President Václav Klaus’s “View from a Post-Communist Country in a Predominantly Post-Democratic Europe.” Klaus has been an MPS member since 1990 and likes to attend the MPS meetings. Though his political obligations (as Prime Minister from 1992 to 1997 and President since 2002) do not always allow him to attend, he combined his presence at the MPS meeting in Reykjavik with an official visit to the Republic of Iceland.
[inline:02]President Klaus spoke last Monday, warning for the new “substitute ideologies of socialism” such as “Europeanism” and “NGOism.” These “isms” are currently threatening Europe. “In the first decade of the 21st century we should not concentrate exclusively on socialism,” he said.
“There is a well-known saying that we should not fight the old, already non-existent battles. I find this point worth stressing even if I do not want to say that socialism is definitely over. There are, I believe, at least two arguments, which justify looking at other ideologies as well. The first is the difference between the hard and soft version of socialism and the second is the emergence of new ‘isms’ based on similar illiberal or antiliberal views.”Václav Klaus is an indomitable defender of liberty, Europe’s only leader in the mould of the formidable Lady Thatcher. Though communism, the “hard version of socialism” is probably over this has not automatically led “to a system we would like to have and live in,” he said.
“Fifteen years after the collapse of communism. I am afraid more than at the beginning of its softer (or weaker) version, of social-democratism, which has become – under different names, e.g. the welfare state or the soziale Marktwirtschaft – the dominant model of the economic and social system of current Western civilization. It is based on big and patronizing government, on extensive regulating of human behavior, and on large-scale income redistribution.”He urged the MPS members and all freedom loving Europeans “to understand this contemporary version of world-wide socialism, because our old concepts may omit some of the crucial features of what is around us just now. We may even find out that the continuous use of the term socialism can be misleading.”
“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.”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.”
“These alternative ideologies […] are successful especially where there is no sufficient resistance to them, where they find a fertile soil for their flourishing, where they find a country (or the whole continent) where freedom (and free markets) have been heavily undermined by long lasting collectivistic dreams and experiences and where intellectuals have succeeded in getting and maintaining a very strong voice and social status. I have in mind, of course, rather Europe, than America. It is Europe where we witness the crowding out of democracy by post democracy, where the EU dominance replaces democratic arrangements in the EU member countries, where [some people] do not see the dangers of empty Europeanism and of a deep (and ever deeper) but only bureaucratic unification of the whole European continent. They applaud the growing formal opening of the continent, but do not see that the elimination of some of the borders without actual liberalization of human activities ‘only’ shifts governments upwards, which means to the level where there is no democratic accountability and where the decisions are made by politicians appointed by politicians, not elected by citizens in free elections.Václav Klaus called for a European political system not to be “destroyed by a postmodern interpretation of human rights with its stress on positive rights, with its dominance of group rights and entitlements over individual rights and responsibilities, and with its denationalization of citizenship.” He explicitly opposed the “weakening of democratic institutions, which have irreplaceable roots exclusively on the territory of the states,” as well as “the ‘multiculturally’ caused loss of a needed coherence of various social entities” and the “continental-wide rent-seeking made possible when decision-making is done at a level which is very far from the individual citizens and where the dispersed voters are even more dispersed than in sovereign countries.”
The European constitution was an attempt to set up and consolidate such a system in a legal form. It was an attempt to constitute it. It is, hence, more than important that the French and Dutch referenda made an end to it, that they interrupted the seemingly irreversible process towards an ‘ever-closer Europe’.”
He also opposed “excessive government regulation” and “huge subsidies to privileged or protected industries and firms.” He warned that Europe’s social system “must not be wrecked by all imaginable kinds of disincentives, by more than generous welfare payments, by large scale redistribution, by many forms of government paternalism.” Instead, Europe has to “be based on freedom, personal responsibility, individualism, natural caring for others and genuine moral conduct of life.”
“[Europe] is a system of relations and relationships of individual countries, which must not be based on false internationalism, on supranational organizations and on misunderstanding of globalization and of externalities, but which will be based on good neighborliness of free, sovereign countries and on international pacts and agreements.”
President Klaus’s speech was spot on. One rarely hears a politician outlining in such poignant and clear words the problems of our times that others dare not mention out of fear of being “politically incorrect.” It reminded us of Margaret Thatcher’s seminal “Bruges Speech” on 20 September 1988.
Mr. Klaus’s Reykjavik MPS speech of 22 August can be found in full on his website. The Brussels Journal has recorded the speech on audiotape from within the conference room. It can be downloaded here (see "attachments" at the bottom of this article).
there are no geniuses in the Republic of Truth
Submitted by telder1 on Sun, 2005-10-02 04:40.
"These alternative ideologies […] are successful especially where there is no sufficient resistance to them, where they find a fertile soil for their flourishing, where they find a country (or the whole continent) where freedom (and free markets) have been heavily undermined by long lasting collectivistic dreams and experiences and where intellectuals have succeeded in getting and maintaining a very strong voice and social status....They applaud the growing formal opening of the continent, but do not see that the elimination of some of the borders without actual liberalization of human activities ‘only’ shifts governments upwards, which means to the level where there is no democratic accountability and where the decisions are made by politicians appointed by politicians, not elected by citizens in free elections."
What Mr. Klaus and most of the world has not understood is that their own deception that they have free will is what keeps bringing them back to non-democratic /elitists-centric systems of government.
An atheist deceived he or she has free will looks for what they call 'genius' for each area of life. Mechanics. Government. Business.
A religionist deceived he or she has free will looks for 'gifts' (which are the same as what the atheist looks for): enhancers of the supposed free will in a particular area.
Without realizing it, the people as a whole, both the non-religionist and the religionist have functionally set in motion a caste system, the one based on "observation" the other on "relgious doctrine".
Supposedly, one is a genius in one area over all others and that is their place in the world; their role to play. They do the most good for themselves and others in that place by enhancing the supposed free will of all. They bring good stuff to the emotional marketplace by 'using their gifts'.
So no matter than they start over in any given year with one-person-one-vote, all the voters are deceived they need someone of genius or gifted by god/gods to 'do government'. The people who vote are deceived:
1. they have control of what they do
2. their giving up of some control of one area in their life gives them better freedom to perform their own gift for the betterment of all
Unwittingly, the people bring on themselves their own tyranny, which they do not perceive at the first. It seeems the world is finally taking notice of their model of how the universe works and 'freedoms' based on that model turn out to be tyranny every time.
The difference in past times between the United States and others has been that at least some in America know there is no free will and that the only good happens when God acts through you as born again / new creation in Jesus Christ.
When God acts through you, He can do anything at anytime and sometimes He makes you look smart. The world then says, to uphold its own model of how things work, "You have a genius in area A or B."
But the difference between those who know that God acts through them to do as He pleases and those who are deceived they do as they please, aided by such non-interfering but will enhancing 'x's as 'gifts' and 'genius' is that God can and does do many things. Everything.
God is multipurpose with a determined end in mind. God can at one moment bake a loaf of bread through you. The next he can intall you as a congressman. The next he can save a life. What genius? What gift except His Presence?
There is no such thing as genius and no such thing as a gift God gives as a mere 'unit of power' the will can make use of as it pleases.
Those through whom God and acts know it need a blessing from God of a small government to allow for the maximum flexibility He will do through all. To allow for genuine new creation He performs. The government doesn't take care you as parsing out a small slice of someone else's supposed 'genius' or 'gift'. God does in you where you are.
Those who are deceived they have free will have an unwitteing lens on life and agenda of non-creation and so always need a czar for everything: a genius / gift for every place in society and every job of government to allocate the supposed constant scarcity fairly. They are in business to explicitly parse out what doesn't exist: parts of someone else's genius or gift. They are frozen in place as a functional caste system and know it not while they are absolutely certain their model of how the universe works dictates their form of government.
They only know that they started out with "Democracy! Democracy!" after the "Revolution!" and ended up with tyranny by a few elites. They can't put a name on what is wrong or even discuss it in Truth because what it really is doesn't exist in their model of how the universe works: the non-creating speech of sin that speaks the free will lie.
Nahum 1:14,15 And Jehovah hath given commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown: out of the house of thy god will I cut off the graven image, and the molten image: I will prepare thy grave; for thou art vile. Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth glad tidings, that publisheth peace! Celebrate thy feasts, Judah, perform thy vows: for the wicked one shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.
In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen
Czech President warns
Submitted by Todd (not verified) on Tue, 2005-08-30 16:52.
Liberalism could find a better spokesman than Klaus. He's done more damage than anyone else to public support liberalism in the CR.
While in office he presided over a system that came to be known as "bank socialism" - in the transformation from a socialist economy, the state retained control of the banks, which came to serve the interests of parties and individuals, and prevented banks from doing their traditional set of jobs in a capitalist economy in those early years. They are percieved as having laid a foundation for a new clientelism that incorporated elements and individuals from the old Communist one. But then this problem exists accross the Czech spectrum, and has roots much deeper than a single V. Klaus.
I would describe Klaus's philosophy as a rather extreme form of pragmatism or skepticism(or cynicism,to be less charitable). At times he has made temporary alliances with the Socialist and Communists (he describes himself as a "non-Communist", not an anti-Communist). His former party and himself have resorted to some rather chauvanistic electoral rhetoric. He had "normal" relations with Milosovic during the Balkan wars and saw nothing wrong with that. And he famously suggested to the American ambassador that if the Americans didn't find WMD in Iraq they might well fabricate the evidence. Which made him persona non grata with Bush for a couple of years.
His liberalism doesn't quite correspond to that of a Thatcher or a Reagan, despite his claims to their legacy: there are some other elements in there which tend to be difficult to define, and his views on "multi-culturalism" are an example. Klaus has sometimes seemed more national socialist than free-market liberal or libertarian. I would give him credit for a very finely-sliced version of pragmatism beyond the usual political labels. Unfortunately, it's a pragmatism that's too thorough, too clever by half.
Submitted by SWLiP (not verified) on Tue, 2005-08-30 22:16.
I agree that Klaus has been an opportunist where domestic politics are concerned (though not a criminal, as another commenter suggests). But his Euro-skepticism is sincere, and his position on European integration has been intellectually consistent over the years, as far as I have seen.
klaus in jail
Submitted by v_ Klk (not verified) on Tue, 2005-08-30 12:46.
The only reason V. Klaus is on oportunism to the EU is his deep fear one day comes when he will be treated at the court for his support of political and economic MAFIA in the CR after 1989 turnover and his direct and indirect support of communist party. In fact he was elected as the president of CR by communists at the parliament here.
Klaus in jail?
Submitted by SWLiP (not verified) on Tue, 2005-08-30 15:09.
What a silly comment. The economic "mafia" in the C.R. during the 90s could not have existed but for the incredible capacity of the Czechs to look the other way while criminals steal from others in broad daylight. This situation will continue until Czechs learn to accept some degree of civic responsibility for what happens around them.