Tuesday, December 20, 2011
RIP, Vaclav Havel
It is a shame that the death of a contemptible dictator, Kim Jong Il of North Korea, has overshadowed the death of one of the few great political figures of history, Vaclav Havel. A great poet and a great statesman, Havel oversaw the peaceful transition of Czechoslovakia from communism to capitalism, and the peaceful breakup (following the will of the people!) of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Following the lead of Havel, the Czech Republic remains one of the few bastions of economic freedom (and sanity!) in Europe. May Havel be remembered forever as one of the few true defenders of freedom -- and one of the few poets of the 20th century to be willing to sacrifice everything for true freedom, standing against most of his fellow European poets against the horrors (and ugliness) of communism.