ZDENEK MAHLER- Some thoughts (abbreviated).

1 2013 Rozhovory English

“Some time ago we invented a helpmate to assist us to exchange values- namely money. Over time money got emancipated to such an extent that it became the master- even a god. It got into the world of values, e.g. into the value of education, science and  the school system. It appears that the world is now ruled by banks. That produced another effect- namely universal indebtedness."

How can we get back to the values that had disappeared?

We should realize that the greatest capital of this world is an idea, a thought, an invention. Those do not depend on quantity, but on quality. Thoughts and ideas are  always in demand. Here we have a great chance and a great tradition.

Another tradition: Czech humor. Our people were often in a very distressful situation. How did they cope? Observe that they often sought help in humor. The humor was black, of the gallows variety, but it had a certain nobility in it. This fact  had a long tradition. Humor became the nobility of the ordinary folk. I think we should read Svejk again. He is basically our Chaplin.

Tomas Masaryk always emphasized that he came from a very austere home and he talked about himself  as of a man who was trained as  a smith’s apprentice. He was very ambitious and was  convinced that- because we were a numerically small nation – we must be three times as efficient as the big ones. Such ideas inspire me very much. And it can be said that he stepped into a situation- not only as a professor, but also later as a politician-where he started to formulate the most basic and binding guidelines.  He actually came from the large, big world, but he did not stop being the one who looks at things from the bottom up. Later he learned to look at things from above. You know that he worked out in those five important books of his something like a catechism of Czech politics—in which he confronted all the most important things including the historical bequest and purpose of history, the home front and the world  in the Czech question, in religion and the churches, bigotry, the Enlightenment thinking and the social question.

Translated by Marie Dolanska

Vydavatelem Českého dialogu je Mezinárodní český klub

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