Friday 19th September 2014

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by Vaclav Havel

Václav Havel (photo: Reuters)

WHAT an intellectual that - thanks to the stubborn efforts explore the happenings, look for cause-effect relationships, recognize the existence of the individual as part of a larger entity, and then become aware of the world, was responsible for it - tied to politics?

If so, I got the impression that every intellectual has a duty to intervene in politics. However, the requirement does not make sense. Politics has a large number of requirements that should be imposed only to himself. There are those who meet the requirements. Some are not. No matter let alone he is an intellectual.
I have faith that the world is now more in need of wise and enlightened politicians have considerable insight and a strong mind to be able to weigh all the things that are far ahead.
We need politicians who are willing to overcome all the interests of the power, even the interests of the party or state. We need them to take action in line with the interests of humanity today; namely how to behave properly even though many of them will fail.
Previously, there was never a situation when politics is so dependent on the moment, on the mood of the public and the media are so easily changed. In the past, politicians not been so eager to pursue any short-term nature and was blurred.
For me, life is just a lot of politicians currently moving from television news that they watch when night to survey public opinion that was held the next day. I'm not entirely sure of this era, which is crowded with mass media, encouraging politicians to rise up and grow into a class Winston Churchill. I actually doubt it. Of course there are always exceptions.
In short: we increasingly lack time to choose the politicians who want to take the time to think, the higher we will need that kind of politician. In the end, will increasingly many intellectuals - at least that meets the requirements that I asked - which should be welcomed to join in the political sphere. Support can come from the people or groups involved in politics but never agreed to have the politician. At least, they were able to share the same ethos.
Of course there are objections. The politicians should be selected. Public vote for candidates who they think have the mind line. If someone wants to have a smooth political career, he must knowingly with the state of the human mind in general. He must respect the views of the voters lay. A politician, like it or not like it, should be a mirror.
He would not be the bearer of unpopular truth: an honor that is, from the standpoint of humanity, considered not so urgent for most voters.
I believe that the political aim to meet the long-term expectations. A politician must be able to captivate the public through his ideas, even unpopular though. Politics requires voters who believe that the politicians know better than the voters of a problem. For that reason, the voters should vote for him. Public can thus delegate certain issues that they do not understand or become a burden to the mind of a politician. But he, the politicians, have to work around this on their behalf.
Obviously, the mass persuader, potential tyrants, or fanatics group, have used this argument to sue: the communists never changed when they proclaim themselves as enlightened group. From that statement, they have the right to govern as they wish.
The real art of politics is the way to win the hearts of the public to support the noble goal despite the way it collides with the public interest. The political art is that possible without sacrificing a way to reach that noble goal. Thus, no citizen led to a culture of lies.
Intellectual foul was really there. They exaggerate their intellect more than anyone. They boast that if the public does not understand the brightness of an intellectual project offered, it is because the public mind barren. This century, recognizing the intellectual rot - or rather pretend intellectual - is not too difficult. Let us remember how many intellectuals who contributed to create the various modern dictatorships!
A good politician should be able to describe the information without having to throw enticements. He must have the humility to seek the truth without having to claim it as his own truth. He also had to remind the public of the quality of their self. He should not be subject to the mass media and the public are giddy.
In the political sphere as it is, the intellectual should be able to make the public feel their presence in two ways. They may have a position and use his position to do things that are considered true by the public. They are not there to defend his power alone. Second, they become a mirror for officials and ensure that they are doing something noble. They do not give promises as sweet as a cover crimes that have been performed by many intellectuals in politics in the past. []
*) Václav Havel served as President of the Republic Checks (1993-2003), last President of Czechoslovakia (1989-1993), and the author of 21 plays. He died on December 18, 2011.
*) Translated from the pages www.project-syndicate.org
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