In "Disturbing the Peace," a book that is essentially an interview with Vaclav Havel conducted through the underground mail in 1985-86 by Karel Hvizdala, a Czech journalist who had emigrated to West Germany, Havel is invited to discuss his ideas about systems. This song puts some of his response into lyrical form.




score: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10


Songs for Vaclav Havel




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Some of Havel's Ideas About Systems


When it comes to an economic system,

I tend to like decentralization:

privately owned and managed operations

like crafts and trades and service providers:


Small enterprises varied in structure,

prizing the forms of different traditions

and the locations of their operations,

resisting strains toward uniform decisions.


One-party systems like Communism

don't measure up to two-party models,

but even two or three major parties

won't guarantee democracy's values.


Big multinational corporations

function like little Socialist nations:

centralization, specialization

leading to human devaluation.


Who will control the means of production,

private concerns or public endeavors?

That is the old traditional question,

but I would make a different suggestion.


What's more important is that these structures

be scaled to the human dimension,

not that the people working inside them

be made to fit the needs of some framework.