By H.Gordon Skilling
Recording the perspectives of dissidents at the nature in their personal actions, this booklet includes over 20 brief essays via a few best humans from constitution seventy seven. individuals comprise Vaclav Havel, Eva Kanturkova, Libuse Silhanova, and Zdenek Rotrekl.
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Extra info for Civic Freedom in Central Europe: Voices from Czechoslovakia
For further discussion see Skilling, Charter 77 and Human Rights in Czechoslovakia (1981), pp. 76-7. Benda's essay was published in 0 svobode a moci, cited in note 4 below. , 1985), pp. 65-6. This publication was based on translations of most of the articles in a samizdat volume, 0 svobode a moci (On Freedom and Power) (Prague, 1979), which was published abroad under the same title (Cologne, 1980). , The Power of the Powerless, English edn, pp. 145-51, quotation at p. 149. , The Power of the Powerless, English edn, pp.
Czechs and Slovaks would have to avoid nationalist hostilities inherited from the First Republic and the communist period, and restore and improve the federal system which had been created on paper in 1969 but seriously weakened under Ht·sak. Vaclav Havel, newly elected president, of Czechoslo•1akia, in an eloquent address on New Year's day of 1990, frankly described the problems facing his country and, it might be added, all his neighbours. He acknowledged that, after decades of comn,unist dictatorship, 'We have become morally ill because we are used to saying one thing and thinking another.
At the same time they were still far from having 'even a slightly normal political culture'. A real public life does not exist . . nor a 'general ... experience of civic freedom'. The outcome depended not so much on new declarations or demonstrations as in 'patient and daily work, in the spirit of Masaryk, so as to cultivate and spread the taste for discussion, the foundation of every democracy, and thus to till the soil for civic life ... We would thus prepare ourselves as much as possible, both in the sphere of concrete plans, and in the creation of a general civic consciousness, without which even the most respectable project would have no hope of success'.
Civic Freedom in Central Europe: Voices from Czechoslovakia by H.Gordon Skilling