Vaclav Havel


Victor Havel poster

On July 4, 1994, Vaclav Havel, president of the Czech Republic, gave a speech which might be called a state of the times address, while standing in front of the Philadelphia Liberty Bell and receiving The Philadelphia Liberty Medal.

“Today, this state of mind or of the human world is called post-modernism. For me, a symbol of that state is a Bedouin mounted on a camel and clad in traditional robes under which he is wearing jeans, with a transistor radio in his hands and an ad for Coca-Cola on the camel’s back. I am not ridiculing this, nor am I shedding an intellectual tear over the commercial expansion of the West that destroys alien cultures. I see it rather as a typical expression of this multicultural era, a signal that an amalgamation of cultures is taking place. I see it as proof that something is happening, something is being born, that we are in a phase when one age is succeeding another, when everything is possible. Yes, everything is possible because our civilization does not have its own unified style, its own spirit, its own aesthetic.”

As a world leader, a writer and the former president of the Czech Republic, his is a provocative response to this civilization struggling to locate its style, its spirit, its aesthetic? If you want to explore a little further, I’ve provided the link below.

This spring is pouring in today; it is a day of much hope!

Speech by Vaclav Havel


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