Monday, December 19, 2011

Two Leaders' Obits

Coincidence of course -- but the mind is a meaning-seeking instrument. an irrational one that wants coincidences to be meaningful. Today's NYTimes had stories about the deaths of Czech Vaclav Havel and North Korean Kim Jong II -- both of whom have just died. Different sides of the world, entirely different men but both leaders of their country. Havel, a playwright and activist, was instrumental in the downfall of Communism in Czechoslovakia and became it's President. He also became president again when the two countries split. He ha written, spoken and helped restore democracy to his country.

Kim Jong Il was an iron fisted Communist tyrant and passes the leadership of that bleak country behind it's own iron curtain down to his son. This coincidence cannot mean only that the world remains divided. Those are stark contrasts but much else I read in the paper portrays other countries in various shades of murky gray: Myanamr's generals are softening their stance toward the rest of the world, Pakistan is a conundrum, and even great China with it's authoritarian rule from the top, suggests an editorial today, may be largely impotent to maintain the order so precious to them largely because graft is so omnipresent at lower levels the dictates from the top do not get carried out -- and yesterday's paper mentioned several dozen, if not hundreds, of small scale revolt's through out the country every week! We are we to think? For the most part I only read, wonder and make very little sense of it all.



June -- I recommend this book by Havel -- he was a great man and thinker --

Living in Truth: 22 Essays Published on the Occasion of the Award of the Erasmus Prize to Vaclav Havel

-- barbara

June Calender said...

Thanks, Barbara, I'll my library about it later today.

Kass said...

Interesting observations.