Final Word from Wednesday, January 7, 2004





Few influential people in the CR are beholden to no one - have no boss, no voters, no clients. That's why the words of writer, ex-dissident and one-time street cleaner Ivan Klíma (who spoke recently to both the FT and Právo) are so interesting. With books translated into 30 languages, he's earned his "drop-dead" money and is only beholden to his readers. He calls himself an optimist but is worried about the inevitable catastrophic shock that excessive consumerism will bring, the dehumanizing effect of SMSes and emails, the creation of a class of dishonest privatization nouveau riche, and the thought that the decline in culture will give rise to new dictators. Unlike the politicians he criticizes, though, he doesn't favor forcing people to change. According to the FT, he just wishes mankind would choose a set of values that lead people to behave differently. Financial Times

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