Tomáš Sedláček speaks at Prague Spring 50
Tomáš Sedláček gives his talk "The Greatest Transformation—Reflections on 1989, Growth Capitalism, and the Price of Our Values" at Prague Spring 50.
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[00:00:10.400]It's a little bit humbling standing here in Nebraska,
[00:00:14.863]to be speaking after personalities
[00:00:17.640]whom I always been looking up to.
[00:00:20.090]So once more time, thank you again for including me,
[00:00:22.560]and being able to listen to you and to share my thoughts.
[00:00:25.750]I don't remember much of 1986, because I wasn't born.
[00:00:28.970]I wasn't even in the process of making.
[00:00:31.580]My parents weren't even married
[00:00:33.810]or whatever you call it these days.
[00:00:36.699]I would like to focus on.
[00:00:39.590]A little bit like Petra focused yesterday,
[00:00:42.170]on the events of 1989 and the transition
[00:00:45.330]from communism to capitalism.
[00:00:47.740]I feel somewhat aptly suited for it,
[00:00:52.020]because I was one of the few Czechs
[00:00:54.490]that could live outside of the communist regime
[00:00:57.340]and not be a son or daughter of some communist apparatchik
[00:01:02.280]because my father worked for Czech Airlines,
[00:01:04.380]so since the age of four weeks I've been spending my time
[00:01:08.130]in airplanes and in airports,
[00:01:10.840]and I had to explain to my Finnish friends
[00:01:13.130]how it works in Czech Republic or Czechoslovakia those days
[00:01:16.797]under the communist regime.
[00:01:18.638]At the age of six or seven,
[00:01:20.310]I have involuntarily become an economist
[00:01:22.870]because I had to explain to them
[00:01:24.600]how was it possible that in Czech Republic
[00:01:26.410]the same bottle of milk costs the same price everywhere?
[00:01:31.060]Then coming back to Czech Republic
[00:01:32.930]or Czechoslovakia for brief visits
[00:01:34.330]I had to explain to my Czech friends
[00:01:35.810]how it was it possible that the same bottle of milk
[00:01:39.893]costs differently in different places.
[00:01:42.510]I had to come up with terms like competition,
[00:01:45.110]and they said what do you need competition for?
[00:01:46.840]Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera,
[00:01:47.840]and also I had to become sort of a theologian
[00:01:50.180]because the same problem was
[00:01:51.240]in the theological grounds also.
[00:01:53.340]Czech Republic being an extremely atheist country
[00:01:55.890]all the way until today, by the way.
[00:01:58.530]It's the most atheist country in Europe,
[00:02:00.670]which pretty much makes it the most
[00:02:02.020]atheist country in the world, and Finland was the contrary.
[00:02:06.570]In Finland I had to explain that
[00:02:09.210]my friends don't believe in god,
[00:02:10.570]and my Finnish friends were knocking their foreheads
[00:02:12.980]and said, what sort of idiots do you live next to?
[00:02:16.373]Then in Czech Republic I had
[00:02:17.910]to do exactly the same in reverse,
[00:02:19.620]and my Czech friends were saying
[00:02:20.630]what sort of idiots do you live around?
[00:02:24.720]I even remember I had to promise to my Finnish friends
[00:02:27.818]who wouldn't believe me that there is
[00:02:29.840]such a person as a nonbeliever.
[00:02:31.260]I said well, next time the embassy people
[00:02:33.960]come to my parents for visit,
[00:02:35.980]I promise to show you Ana, and she is for sure atheist,
[00:02:40.740]and you can look at her and touch her if she allows you to.
[00:02:44.669]That was before the me too movement.
[00:02:48.130]So that happened.
[00:02:48.963]They really they made a big procession
[00:02:50.850]in front of our house when Ana came around.
[00:02:55.130]1989 was the most emotional moment for me.
[00:02:59.910]I am really the last generation that remembers it.
[00:03:03.163]My brother who is four years younger
[00:03:05.200]remembers nothing of it.
[00:03:06.790]When today we come into a pub with my brother
[00:03:09.630]and I say, I don't like it here.
[00:03:10.870]It's too communist.
[00:03:12.070]My brother looks at me and says, what do you mean?
[00:03:14.130]I don't understand.
[00:03:16.660]I was 14, 13 when the revolution came about.
[00:03:20.170]My father actually took me
[00:03:21.730]to all these revolutionary days in Wenceslas Square,
[00:03:26.390]where there was an army and my father
[00:03:29.700]always was trying to buy a hotdog.
[00:03:31.700]That was his trick to get into Wenceslas Square,
[00:03:34.620]and he always, when he was dealing with the army
[00:03:36.790]or with the policemen,
[00:03:38.060]and they were all those tanks everywhere,
[00:03:39.750]he always told me, remember this, remember this.
[00:03:42.878]It'll be important later.
[00:03:44.320]I was standing there with my hot dog
[00:03:45.750]not really knowing what's going on.
[00:03:50.290]Just to give you a little bit of the feel,
[00:03:54.840]it was the strongest moment that I remember
[00:03:56.130]was the sort of the unexpected intelligence of the crowds.
[00:03:59.470]So when the communist apparatchik's
[00:04:01.815]were going around the country,
[00:04:04.700]trying to rally support in their most likely bases,
[00:04:09.650]those were the heavy working industry, the miners,
[00:04:12.520]and the heavy iron works and steel works,
[00:04:16.107]I remember he had this big speech in front of the
[00:04:20.920]sort of hardworking proletariat
[00:04:24.470]as we would call them those days,
[00:04:27.290]and the chairman of the communist party was saying
[00:04:31.000]these people on the streets, these children,
[00:04:33.938]they can't tell us what to do.
[00:04:37.260]We can't have this country run by small children.
[00:04:42.200]The crowd, it didn't take the crowd two seconds
[00:04:46.090]to chant back in unison as one person,
[00:04:49.950]immediately screaming back at the chairman.
[00:04:53.910]We are no children,
[00:04:56.080]and that's an answer that I think it would take
[00:04:58.350]a playwright a week or two to come up with
[00:05:00.750]and this crowd who is usually judged that crowds,
[00:05:04.050]anyway this is what sociologists tell us that crowds
[00:05:07.150]usually act in the lowest intelligence of the group.
[00:05:09.960]This wasn't really the case in Czech Republic at that time.
[00:05:16.060]It was also interesting that what happened,
[00:05:21.950]which I think happens in all transitions
[00:05:25.190]is when you want to change from one level of order
[00:05:28.250]to a higher level of order, and this I suppose
[00:05:31.930]works in management of companies as well,
[00:05:35.690]is that the pathway is never straight up.
[00:05:39.620]It's a sort of a reverse J curve rather.
[00:05:43.772]So if you are cleaning your room from one level of order
[00:05:46.769]which is to me very clear but the surrounding world
[00:05:49.660]doesn't understand my level of order,
[00:05:52.006]and if I am usually forced by an outside compulsion
[00:05:54.540]to upgrade the level of order in the room
[00:05:56.840]and if I stopped cleaning in the middle of the cleaning
[00:05:59.975]the room is messier than when we started.
[00:06:02.160]Also this hall, if you choose to repaint it from
[00:06:05.380]this beautiful whitish color
[00:06:07.690]to some color that you find superior,
[00:06:10.480]in the middle of the painting
[00:06:11.790]the room is messier and is actually useless.
[00:06:14.470]The idea is, you do your transformation,
[00:06:16.630]your transitions, as fast as possible.
[00:06:19.400]Also what we've learned in management theory
[00:06:22.830]is that you should have a fall back strategy.
[00:06:25.130]In case the transformation isn't successful
[00:06:27.320]some unexpected event happens,
[00:06:29.090]you should have a fallback strategy.
[00:06:30.690]Usually falling back to the last functional system,
[00:06:33.290]which by the way is one way how to read
[00:06:35.630]the political situation today.
[00:06:37.080]We are trying to fall back to
[00:06:38.790]the last functional political system.
[00:06:41.640]Being a little bit tired of globalization,
[00:06:43.440]we are sort of falling back on the
[00:06:45.543]idea of supremacy of a national state.
[00:06:48.020]But during the early 90s, this was exactly what we
[00:06:51.570]didn't want to do so we were deliberately burning bridges.
[00:06:56.940]There was no fall back strategy
[00:06:58.347]and this was a very deliberate idea.
[00:07:01.530]During the early 90s, when I still was a student,
[00:07:04.360]the predominant debate among the university people
[00:07:08.135]and our professors, was that there is,
[00:07:11.040]a sort of hill of resistance.
[00:07:14.055]If you are transferring from
[00:07:15.516]one level of order to another level of order,
[00:07:17.110]it doesn't go downhill, it goes, there is like
[00:07:19.630]a hill in the middle so if you are going from
[00:07:22.044]communism to capitalism, you have to give the ball
[00:07:24.956]enough of inertia, you have to sort of hit it with
[00:07:27.665]enough force so that the ball gets at least here
[00:07:31.610]just in case the stormy weather arrives,
[00:07:33.830]and we have to let go of our hands,
[00:07:35.950]the ball wouldn't roll back
[00:07:38.823]to this old functioning system.
[00:07:40.740]These two, sort of tools of logic,
[00:07:44.220]were there in advance or in advocacy of a shock therapy.
[00:07:48.520]Which of course had many critics,
[00:07:50.310]but this was the main argumentation that there has to be
[00:07:53.610]A, burning the bridges behind us,
[00:07:55.690]and B, giving the system enough force
[00:07:59.836]so that the inertia gets at least
[00:08:01.960]behind the tipping point so that if things go sour,
[00:08:05.910]we at least end up in closer to the desired location.
[00:08:11.815]Now, as for the debate that I think Petra very
[00:08:14.680]interestingly started yesterday, where is she?
[00:08:17.770]Yeah, so of course this is my big topic,
[00:08:21.060]and these are things that I've been
[00:08:22.970]thinking about for years as all of us,
[00:08:26.130]and I'd like to think a little bit about the third way.
[00:08:30.150]I think that's may be one way how to approach.
[00:08:33.130]Why didn't we develop something new?
[00:08:36.316]I think this was,
[00:08:37.220]and again I will stand corrected by,
[00:08:39.680]especially my American and Western friends,
[00:08:42.610]but I think the West was expecting that of us, little bit.
[00:08:47.847]To show us guys, Havel and others,
[00:08:50.753]you are well equipped to do this.
[00:08:53.100]You have a high level of education.
[00:08:56.170]You have a history of democracy.
[00:08:58.420]You have intellectuals,
[00:08:59.910]both let's say Vaclav Klaus and Vaclav Havel,
[00:09:02.480]who till today I would say are symbols of two ways
[00:09:07.330]or two approaches of doing it.
[00:09:09.210]I remember back in the 90s there was even a prayer
[00:09:12.850]because the patron there is some Catholics
[00:09:16.490]that we have believe in patrons of the nation
[00:09:19.854]so the patron of the Czech nation is St. Wenceslas
[00:09:23.040]and the prayer was thank you Wenceslas
[00:09:25.800]for giving us to Wenceslas.
[00:09:27.840]It's a strange name for you to pronounce, I know.
[00:09:30.750]We call it Vaclav.
[00:09:33.914]But most Americans call it Vaclav.
[00:09:35.738]Whichever's your pick.
[00:09:37.210]The prayer was, thank you Wenceslas
[00:09:39.620]for these two Wenceslas,
[00:09:41.160]for giving us this balance,
[00:09:43.555]and this balance wasn't kept for very long.
[00:09:46.725]I think this was a little bit
[00:09:49.650]of a disappointment to the West.
[00:09:52.650]I know that the way the West was looking
[00:09:55.770]at the communist Czechoslovakia,
[00:09:57.670]from an economic point of view,
[00:10:00.304]that it was taught in the classes of comparative studies,
[00:10:04.430]and Czech Republic and other communist countries
[00:10:07.070]were looked at as a laboratory.
[00:10:10.210]Is there an alternative to capitalism,
[00:10:12.550]from which we can learn?
[00:10:14.330]It also should be remembered here
[00:10:16.300]that in 1968 when we had the anti Soviet riots,
[00:10:21.189]there were actually pro-communists riots
[00:10:23.700]in the Western parts of Europe.
[00:10:25.150]Especially in Paris and in France.
[00:10:28.040]There was this sort of misunderstanding
[00:10:30.550]and this is also why except for the Austrian school,
[00:10:34.780]there was little thought developed
[00:10:36.510]to what to do once the regime falls or crumbles down.
[00:10:39.940]In the beginning when the regime was quite successful,
[00:10:42.850]there was even some quite strong voices
[00:10:45.710]from Western economists,
[00:10:47.870]that were going thumbs up to the system,
[00:10:52.660]and there really was no cookbook.
[00:10:55.810]We didn't know what to do.
[00:10:58.426]Where do you go to buy capitalism?
[00:11:02.670]What sort of things do you add first?
[00:11:05.250]There is a famous poem by Seamus Heaney, the Irish poet,
[00:11:08.630]called Instant Fish,
[00:11:10.150]and don't worry it's not long.
[00:11:11.390]It just only has one line.
[00:11:13.472]It's called add water and they swim.
[00:11:15.660]This is sort of what we thought, might work.
[00:11:20.220]Just add water.
[00:11:21.890]Say the word abracadabra capitalism,
[00:11:25.631]and it's just somehow the fish start swimming.
[00:11:29.868]The third way didn't really materialize.
[00:11:34.030]Not because of lack of will,
[00:11:38.295]but it was really an intellectual lack,
[00:11:41.750]which I think we are lacking still today, quite frankly.
[00:11:44.700]If you look at Greece,
[00:11:47.110]six years ago when Sarisa won
[00:11:49.600]the quite unexpected elections
[00:11:52.020]that has really very little to do
[00:11:54.081]with the economic crisis.
[00:11:56.236]They were rather constitutional crises,
[00:11:58.790]where quite strong power was given to the left,
[00:12:03.148]with Varoufakis and others.
[00:12:05.300]I'm quite sure you have been following the situation,
[00:12:08.020]and everybody said okay,
[00:12:10.360]why don't you go ahead and try your hand?
[00:12:12.400]Of course to be fair,
[00:12:13.750]it was already a shipwreck situation for most parts,
[00:12:17.040]and now go and try your steering
[00:12:19.760]at a ship wrecked situation,
[00:12:23.756]where you are already at an impasse.
[00:12:26.260]But even there, the left, or let's even say,
[00:12:29.580]the communist left,
[00:12:30.440]because that's how I think Sarisa would identify themselves.
[00:12:34.020]They were unable to come up with a solution
[00:12:38.220]that would be in any way credible to their own voters,
[00:12:42.420]and to the international community.
[00:12:45.740]There was actually a third way, in Havelian thinking.
[00:12:50.770]There was a third way in democratic thinking.
[00:12:54.028]It was this non partisan democracy,
[00:12:57.070]which I will come back to later,
[00:12:58.620]because I think this idea can be revisited
[00:13:01.290]on a global scale, on a planetary scale,
[00:13:04.535]I think we could have non partisan democracy,
[00:13:08.076]because democracy has always been linked with a nation state
[00:13:11.040]but back then the idea didn't last for long.
[00:13:15.790]When it comes to economics,
[00:13:17.200]there actually was a very minor school of thought,
[00:13:20.449]that mainly developed in Northern former Yugoslavia,
[00:13:26.572]what we know today as Slovenia.
[00:13:29.260]It was something that was called then, back in the day,
[00:13:36.129]and the main idea was that the owners,
[00:13:37.390]I'm sorry, the workers of the company
[00:13:39.360]become the owners of the companies.
[00:13:42.020]In Czech Republic, we adopted the infamous
[00:13:45.870]voucher privatization, which was.
[00:13:52.810]The idea was that the government
[00:13:55.850]gets rid of its property,
[00:13:57.760]but who do you sell it to,
[00:13:59.200]when nobody has money?
[00:14:01.010]The only people who had money.
[00:14:03.488]You can't auction it really,
[00:14:05.335]because you can't auction, let's take,
[00:14:07.100]my favorite example of beer.
[00:14:12.940]You can't really sell the whole brewery
[00:14:15.797]to a nation of have nothings.
[00:14:18.860]98% of Czech GDP was actually government owned.
[00:14:22.540]We were more Catholic than the pope so to speak.
[00:14:26.519]We were the most communist country
[00:14:33.250]of all communist countries,
[00:14:35.040]or real socialist countries.
[00:14:37.280]The only people who had money,
[00:14:39.340]were people who were either stealing from the regime
[00:14:40.900]or people who were political apparatchiks,
[00:14:43.940]or foreigners, and there was very little will to do
[00:14:46.830]the path of Hungary which was quite readily
[00:14:50.360]sell capital to capitalists.
[00:14:52.660]It doesn't really matter whether
[00:14:54.433]they're Greek, Chinese, or Indian.
[00:14:55.550]By the way, who owns the majority share in Coca Cola?
[00:14:58.270]Who knows today, and who cares?
[00:15:01.370]It's not a big deal.
[00:15:02.690]It's not actually an American company,
[00:15:05.023]although it looks like it had
[00:15:06.657]an American management for a long time.
[00:15:08.140]Nobody cares, but back there in the day,
[00:15:10.564]it somehow for reasons
[00:15:11.750]that may be more understandable today
[00:15:13.450]than they were 10 years ago, mattered.
[00:15:16.880]The idea was that we create artificial money,
[00:15:20.000]artificial markets by not giving money out to people,
[00:15:22.690]but giving vouchers.
[00:15:23.720]It was actually a very communist idea,
[00:15:26.310]that everybody should have
[00:15:29.100]exactly the same amount of money, or vouchers.
[00:15:33.200]Everybody who was 18 plus,
[00:15:35.010]had thousand points, vouchers,
[00:15:38.250]that you could invest into any company,
[00:15:40.740]and then there were three rounds of solicitations
[00:15:42.710]and at the end of the day you ended up
[00:15:44.450]with 2% of Pilsner,
[00:15:46.740]and the voucher privatization
[00:15:48.450]wasn't such a bad idea, looking back in these days,
[00:15:52.270]but it had nowhere to land.
[00:15:53.750]We didn't have capital markets.
[00:15:55.830]The idea of voucher privatization,
[00:15:57.750]was couple fold,
[00:15:59.524]and one of the biggest advantages
[00:16:01.294]was that it would create capital markets
[00:16:03.375]out of thin air.
[00:16:04.780]In continental Europe,
[00:16:06.756]we'd rather rely on banking,
[00:16:07.940]when you need to finance a firm.
[00:16:09.400]When an American company,
[00:16:12.271]or an Anglo American company,
[00:16:13.660]rather relies on capital markets for its financing,
[00:16:16.480]traditionally or stereotypically, if you will,
[00:16:19.340]while a continental German type companies
[00:16:22.500]rather go to, and this is also the case in Japan,
[00:16:25.460]they rather finance themselves from banks.
[00:16:29.130]It wasn't even in our tradition
[00:16:30.450]to have very strong capital markets,
[00:16:32.370]but the capital markets were not ready.
[00:16:35.090]For those of you who study economics
[00:16:36.810]and are interested in
[00:16:39.220]whether spontaneous markets work or not,
[00:16:41.460]this was actually a laboratory.
[00:16:43.130]Czech Republic alongside with our other nations,
[00:16:47.959]has become a laboratory.
[00:16:49.840]You guys had what, 200 years to develop
[00:16:52.130]your rules of corporate governance.
[00:16:54.760]Back in the day it was basically a share of rules.
[00:16:58.925]That's the first corporate governance rules, if you will,
[00:17:01.453]and then as time went by you had case after case,
[00:17:03.510]so you fine tuned your rules,
[00:17:05.950]until you came up with what you have today
[00:17:08.290]and God knows as well as you do,
[00:17:10.210]that it still needs a little bit of fine tuning
[00:17:11.930]and we're still not sure
[00:17:13.320]whether we have the system functioning
[00:17:15.210]because one of the nice things about this system
[00:17:16.930]is you can't really tell whether it functions or not.
[00:17:20.416]It's a little bit, and I'll come back to this,
[00:17:23.450]in the year 2008, it was clear that
[00:17:27.970]the whole system of checks and balances in economics,
[00:17:32.077]and this might be also true of politics and democracy,
[00:17:35.160]I'll come back to that later,
[00:17:36.610]but the whole idea was that,
[00:17:38.620]the system of checks and balances,
[00:17:41.100]and all sorts of very carefully weighed interest rates
[00:17:45.320]and securities and credit default swaps,
[00:17:48.430]to make sure that you're very sure
[00:17:50.650]and the whole system look very certain,
[00:17:53.500]but the certainty, the uncertainty sorry,
[00:17:56.080]moved from a business person, vis a vis a company,
[00:18:01.210]there was almost no uncertainty in owning risk,
[00:18:04.340]because you could insure that.
[00:18:05.900]The uncertainty moved from this,
[00:18:09.350]to the system itself.
[00:18:11.460]Resulting in creation of a system,
[00:18:13.700]which a little bit reminds one of an umbrella,
[00:18:18.800]that works always and flawlessly,
[00:18:20.710]and it's a great umbrella,
[00:18:21.620]and it'll protect you from everything,
[00:18:23.726]except for when it rains.
[00:18:25.506]You can also think of a car,
[00:18:27.555]with a air bag system that works flawlessly
[00:18:31.691]with one single exception.
[00:18:35.768]You guessed it, car crashes.
[00:18:38.440]Let me stop here telling you about
[00:18:44.100]how privatization works.
[00:18:45.410]Let me just finish by an example,
[00:18:47.420]which I think is precious even for today.
[00:18:49.950]We created a market,
[00:18:50.930]but we didn't create any landing zone.
[00:18:52.620]We didn't create regulation,
[00:18:54.883]because the idea from the Austrian school
[00:18:55.920]which is tending to be very liberal,
[00:18:58.310]or even libertarian,
[00:19:00.130]was the market will settle its rule itself.
[00:19:03.790]I remembered having this debate with Vaclav Klaus,
[00:19:06.849]and he said when you play tennis,
[00:19:08.750]you don't first start studying the rules.
[00:19:10.860]You start playing tennis,
[00:19:12.259]and then you fiddle around rules later as you go,
[00:19:13.640]and I as a young student remember
[00:19:15.120]raising my hand and saying what about chess?
[00:19:18.220]You also start moving stones around
[00:19:20.355]before there is actually a chess board.
[00:19:26.396]Depends on what game you pick as your example.
[00:19:31.537]Let me say that the answer to this question
[00:19:35.370]was a little bit hard to say.
[00:19:37.620]Another experiment which will test
[00:19:41.040]whether we can organize ourselves continuously
[00:19:43.355]without governments, is actually the internet.
[00:19:46.010]The internet could be a good case study.
[00:19:49.130]I would like to see a thesis written on that.
[00:19:53.690]The government, the internet,
[00:19:54.810]that is actually taxless.
[00:19:56.220]It is actually government less.
[00:19:58.545]The rules on internet are sort of optional.
[00:20:00.910]We have rules, but everybody can work around them quite well
[00:20:05.430]and we do have really good examples
[00:20:07.370]of the internet actually serving greatly
[00:20:09.290]and you know that if you have
[00:20:10.123]a small little problem with the back of your car,
[00:20:12.610]that is 1968 special edition,
[00:20:15.360]you go on YouTube, you press two clicks,
[00:20:17.920]and there's going to be 10 videos
[00:20:19.980]on how to fix your exhaust pipe.
[00:20:22.110]There's actually good examples of altruism,
[00:20:24.620]and people are not being really paid for that,
[00:20:26.822]but there is also the dark side.
[00:20:28.660]The dark net.
[00:20:30.524]The it, the psychological shadow of internet.
[00:20:35.010]There's even a whole new personality
[00:20:36.880]being born as we speak today.
[00:20:38.940]Would you call internet an organization or an organism?
[00:20:42.820]I'd say that it's rather resembles an organism
[00:20:48.188]rather than an organization.
[00:20:52.508]The Czech capital markets almost bankrupted.
[00:20:57.330]Not one fund but the whole of idea of markets
[00:21:00.650]because we started tunneling.
[00:21:02.350]It's also interesting to look in terms of numbers.
[00:21:05.430]In the beginning, the numbers looked really good,
[00:21:08.737]because people in totalitarian regimes
[00:21:11.970]are very much more following the rules than freer regimes
[00:21:16.120]because the punishments
[00:21:19.532]in totalitarian regimes are much more severe
[00:21:23.120]and the judgment takes really shortly.
[00:21:27.260]We just had Easter and it was only in my 41 years of age
[00:21:30.760]that I realized that Jesus was sentenced
[00:21:32.680]and crucified in 24 hours.
[00:21:35.120]Imagine the paperwork that it would take today,
[00:21:38.260]but then it was, Thursday, then they caught him,
[00:21:43.400]and the next day around that time,
[00:21:44.970]he was already crucified.
[00:21:46.560]He had two or three courts to go to.
[00:21:49.750]The Jewish court pilot and Herod's,
[00:21:53.102]and somehow they managed to do that in 24 hours
[00:21:54.940]and it was done.
[00:21:56.300]There are actually advantages to slow bureaucracy,
[00:21:58.850]from that example.
[00:22:02.071]The brutal question which I want to come to
[00:22:07.170]is would communism, would it have ever fallen
[00:22:12.500]if it would have given us 7% of GDP growth annually?
[00:22:19.950]That's the Chinese question, and not anymore,
[00:22:23.180]but a couple of years back,
[00:22:25.198]I got this from very many business people
[00:22:26.893]all over Europe and even in America,
[00:22:28.720]when I was talking about this,
[00:22:31.790]the question was, shouldn't we learn from the Chinese?
[00:22:34.230]Look at their rates of growth.
[00:22:35.990]It's almost double digit, and we're so slow.
[00:22:39.450]The famous example of the airport in Heathrow,
[00:22:44.023]was the second or third terminal,
[00:22:46.250]when they were starting to build that a terminal in London.
[00:22:48.870]Before they even got the paperwork done,
[00:22:53.060]the airport in Shanghai,
[00:22:56.610]which was thought of at pretty much the same time,
[00:22:59.490]the idea was born pretty much the same time,
[00:23:02.628]planes were already landing,
[00:23:04.450]and there were water fountains
[00:23:06.820]in Shanghai already functioning,
[00:23:10.286]and our English friends didn't
[00:23:11.843]even get through the paperwork,
[00:23:13.050]because its quite clear.
[00:23:14.320]A totalitarian wakes up one morning
[00:23:16.500]and says okay, we need an airport,
[00:23:18.060]and in the afternoon just like in the case of Jesus,
[00:23:19.950]there is actually already bulldozers,
[00:23:22.350]bulldozering the villages away and what not.
[00:23:24.690]Nobody has a way to object to that.
[00:23:27.130]There was certain fascination of our bureaucratic
[00:23:31.890]and democratic and caring
[00:23:34.560]and all these sort of rules of the greens and stuff.
[00:23:39.470]The real question is, what caused the fall of 1989?
[00:23:45.590]Was it economic reasons, or was it political reason?
[00:23:48.630]Was it rather freedom?
[00:23:49.960]Would we be ready to sacrifice
[00:23:52.010]certain amount of freedom like they do in China?
[00:23:55.160]The way the system functions there is,
[00:23:57.230]okay, we'll give you growth,
[00:23:58.460]and you shut up about the political executions
[00:24:00.620]that we still do till today in our stadiums,
[00:24:03.540]which basically sacrifice all the political prisoners
[00:24:06.460]by shooting them,
[00:24:08.260]but you will get a percent of GDP growth,
[00:24:10.270]and China seems to be pretty okay with that.
[00:24:18.564]Hard to say what was the main motive of 1989.
[00:24:23.050]Was it an economic motivation to be like the West
[00:24:28.430]like we heard today, the question,
[00:24:31.200]or was it rather a struggle for freedom?
[00:24:34.290]I am firmly convinced that it was the second,
[00:24:37.750]but then again, I am, as I'm learning again and again,
[00:24:41.050]not the majority of even my own country.
[00:24:50.120]The question of whether we can compare
[00:24:52.870]capitalism and communism which was raised
[00:24:54.690]I think quite bravely and quite well yesterday,
[00:24:58.060]and always in my lectures I,
[00:24:59.580]because I compare European Union
[00:25:01.040]with United States of America,
[00:25:02.960]and I say I am fully aware that,
[00:25:05.310]EU is not the same like United States of America.
[00:25:09.220]That's why I can compare it.
[00:25:12.708]People say you can't compare oranges with apples.
[00:25:16.279]Apples and oranges,
[00:25:17.614]and actually that's the only thing that you can compare.
[00:25:19.650]Oranges are orange, and apples are green and red.
[00:25:22.270]I just did.
[00:25:23.140]I just compared apples and oranges,
[00:25:24.690]and in fact that's what you do most of the time,
[00:25:26.840]and then always somebody asks a question,
[00:25:28.430]oh, but you can't really compare,
[00:25:29.590]because America's not Europe.
[00:25:31.577]I said yep, that's exactly why I'm comparing it.
[00:25:33.140]You can't compare the same.
[00:25:34.640]Nobody compares one with one.
[00:25:37.090]You compare one with two.
[00:25:38.710]Or one with half.
[00:25:40.060]One weighs double the size of half,
[00:25:41.640]and one is half of two, but one is not two,
[00:25:44.340]just because when you're comparing something
[00:25:45.950]you are not saying that it's the same, by no means.
[00:25:49.890]Let me ask a second provocative question.
[00:25:53.240]One way, how to look on our system,
[00:25:55.210]which I would call liberal democracy,
[00:25:57.017]for lack of a better word,
[00:25:58.900]because it's not liberal,
[00:26:00.302]is that it's actually somewhat of a miracle
[00:26:02.274]if you think about it historically,
[00:26:05.010]that from a clash of two totalitarian regimes,
[00:26:08.590]which today we call extreme right, Nazism or fascism,
[00:26:12.800]with extreme left which is communism,
[00:26:15.566]from a clash of those two systems,
[00:26:17.900]the remaining particle was liberal democracy.
[00:26:22.370]It's the large hydron collider.
[00:26:24.870]Two great systems were clashed together,
[00:26:27.990]and the remaining particle
[00:26:29.610]was quite surprisingly not totalitarian communism,
[00:26:33.530]and not totalitarian Nazism either.
[00:26:35.290]It was actually a sunny side hippyish,
[00:26:37.810]almost meek caring liberal democracy
[00:26:43.527]and the irony about liberal democracy is,
[00:26:45.680]and this is something that I find extremely interesting,
[00:26:47.700]is that we won over both of these systems,
[00:26:50.990]in their own arms of choice.
[00:26:55.210]We won over Nazism, with their weapon of choice,
[00:26:59.240]which was brute force.
[00:27:01.945]We actually beat them in fist fight,
[00:27:06.947]because that was their weapon of choice.
[00:27:10.306]Communism was beaten in terms of ideology.
[00:27:13.600]If you reread some parts of Marx,
[00:27:15.812]which I don't recommend.
[00:27:17.740]It's just enough to read The Communist Manifesto
[00:27:19.780]if you are so inclined.
[00:27:21.410]For study reasons it's a very short.
[00:27:23.250]It's six, seven pages, of a manifesto,
[00:27:27.789]and in there at the end of it,
[00:27:29.900]there is eight or ten dreams that Marx and Engels have
[00:27:36.070]about what they want to do, what they want to achieve,
[00:27:38.620]and you take a pen and you can actually crisscross it.
[00:27:41.749]General Insurance, yeah we've got that in Europe,
[00:27:45.431]and here now too, I believe still.
[00:27:48.162]No, not anymore.
[00:27:49.920]But in Europe we got that.
[00:27:52.344]Free education for everybody.
[00:27:56.120]In Europe all the way to University level.
[00:27:58.460]Here all the way to some degree of education.
[00:28:02.800]You go one requirement after another,
[00:28:05.890]and we in Europe can say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:28:10.274]We got that.
[00:28:11.670]Without the revolution that Marx was saying,
[00:28:14.380]because the basic idea of Marxism was
[00:28:16.994]that capitalism will never be nice.
[00:28:22.420]Easy example is that a capitalist
[00:28:26.900]will always try to take all the profit from its workers.
[00:28:31.120]If a capitalist decides to give increased wages
[00:28:36.064]just because he or she is nice.
[00:28:38.630]Let's say okay I made this much profit,
[00:28:41.310]I will increase your wages by 20%.
[00:28:43.520]That person will go bankrupt next year
[00:28:47.213]because he will or she will
[00:28:48.813]not have enough return over capital,
[00:28:49.860]not enough money to reinvest.
[00:28:51.110]Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:28:53.421]This logic Marx used to say it has to be done by force.
[00:28:56.480]If one of them decides to be nice,
[00:28:58.900]the others will not follow,
[00:29:00.430]and this will lead to the collapse,
[00:29:03.300]so it's even a vicious circle.
[00:29:04.534]Not even beneficial circle like we know in business cycles,
[00:29:08.920]but a vicious circle.
[00:29:11.130]There must be a revolution.
[00:29:12.580]It is not natural for the system,
[00:29:15.530]for the spontaneous system of capitalism
[00:29:17.560]to produce these eight or ten outcomes
[00:29:20.262]that we want to do,
[00:29:22.550]and we want to achieve that by revolution.
[00:29:24.870]Today we are living much better off,
[00:29:28.102]than any Marx even dreamed.
[00:29:32.582]Why am I saying this?
[00:29:34.395]Nazism we managed to beat
[00:29:36.240]in their own weapon of choice, which was brute force.
[00:29:38.740]Communism, our system of liberal democracy
[00:29:41.210]managed to beat in their own weapon of choice,
[00:29:43.630]which was welfare and prosperity.
[00:29:47.510]It's also challenging to,
[00:29:51.067]when you compare these two systems,
[00:29:54.900]one of the most clearest ways of comparison for me,
[00:29:57.990]is that capitalism does allow communist experiments.
[00:30:01.590]If you want to take your friends,
[00:30:03.856]and you want to start a farm out there
[00:30:05.264]and not use money, not use electricity,
[00:30:06.160]not use social stratification,
[00:30:07.860]you're really welcome to do that,
[00:30:09.750]and everybody will applaud you
[00:30:11.610]and there will be articles and movies
[00:30:12.980]and documents written about you,
[00:30:14.200]and nobody will really go around
[00:30:15.460]shooting you or putting you to prison.
[00:30:18.118]The other thing on the contrary,
[00:30:20.310]was not allowed, and was not welcome.
[00:30:21.770]You could not have a capitalist experiment
[00:30:23.570]in the middle of communism.
[00:30:25.360]These systems are comparable,
[00:30:27.720]but the comparison of course,
[00:30:29.780]shows quite quite quite quite clearly.
[00:30:34.924]Now, also one way of looking at this,
[00:30:41.850]is the crises that we had during the communist time.
[00:30:46.570]That's another topic, I would say.
[00:30:48.730]We had crises of communism,
[00:30:50.900]and we know in economics,
[00:30:52.080]we divide everything on demand and supply.
[00:30:56.970]During communism we had crises of supply.
[00:31:00.581]We wanted razor blades.
[00:31:06.000]The demand was fine.
[00:31:07.750]It was ready.
[00:31:08.830]There was hunger,
[00:31:10.350]but there were no razor blades.
[00:31:11.510]The supply side simply was collapsing all the time
[00:31:14.440]because the whole idea of communism was,
[00:31:17.737]it was a monopolistic system.
[00:31:20.610]Because the ideas of Marx was that
[00:31:22.600]there is so much waste in competition.
[00:31:25.510]So much energy put in neutral fighting,
[00:31:28.310]that it would be better if we all do this.
[00:31:30.410]If there's actually one company
[00:31:31.710]that produces razor blades,
[00:31:33.010]because we pretty much know
[00:31:34.100]how many razor blades we need,
[00:31:36.201]so we all put that to those many companies.
[00:31:38.110]We save a lot of money on advertisement.
[00:31:40.030]We save a lot of money,
[00:31:41.694]and that will be huge economics of scale,
[00:31:45.555]which means that if you're making one car,
[00:31:47.850]in the factory that car is gonna cost
[00:31:49.700]you billions of dollars.
[00:31:51.580]If you make hundred cars,
[00:31:52.970]it's gonna be much cheaper.
[00:31:54.150]If that same company make million cars,
[00:31:55.980]the average cost of a single car
[00:31:58.040]goes dramatically down.
[00:31:59.880]The larger your company is,
[00:32:01.370]the cheaper the average price of the car is.
[00:32:04.990]That's why communism was monopolizing companies.
[00:32:09.360]The basic idea was that this clash,
[00:32:11.990]this fighting, this competing,
[00:32:13.880]is a waste of energy.
[00:32:15.410]We should put all our energy
[00:32:16.880]into making cars or razor blades.
[00:32:18.610]We shouldn't fight each other.
[00:32:19.650]We should be nice.
[00:32:20.810]In theory, that's how it sounded.
[00:32:22.730]That's the ideology, the argumentation,
[00:32:27.305]But this was faltering all the time.
[00:32:33.810]You remember this much better than I,
[00:32:35.330]but I still remember there was a summer
[00:32:37.370]where we didn't have sugar.
[00:32:39.320]It was really random and unpredictable.
[00:32:40.970]That was the whole trick,
[00:32:41.803]that it was unpredictable,
[00:32:44.638]and as a Boy Scout,
[00:32:45.670]we were running around town buying sugar,
[00:32:48.300]and that was the task,
[00:32:50.930]and there were no razor blades,
[00:32:52.310]and there also was no toilet paper,
[00:32:54.240]and I'm quite sure you would be able
[00:32:55.600]to come up with more better examples.
[00:32:58.010]I remember though that in the time
[00:32:59.630]where we didn't have toilet paper,
[00:33:01.770]my parents were saying that
[00:33:03.347]that was the only time that newspapers
[00:33:04.470]were actually useful.
[00:33:09.710]To give an example from more common experiences,
[00:33:15.990]people were hungry, the demand was there,
[00:33:18.500]but there was nothing to eat.
[00:33:20.470]The table was, so to speak, empty.
[00:33:23.090]That was a typical situation, of a communist country.
[00:33:28.435]On the contrary, the crises that we see
[00:33:31.891]in our day, in our time,
[00:33:34.120]in capitalist or liberal democracies,
[00:33:36.810]are crises of demand.
[00:33:39.000]The problem is exactly opposite.
[00:33:41.630]There are enough cars.
[00:33:43.010]There are enough razor blades.
[00:33:44.420]You can get out of here and in five minutes.
[00:33:46.830]I'll bet you'll be able to get,
[00:33:48.400]maybe 10, maybe seven different types
[00:33:50.950]of razor blades according to your preference of sharpness.
[00:33:55.570]You can even get five of them in one go.
[00:34:00.442]The amount of choice is,
[00:34:02.793]you can make jokes out of that.
[00:34:05.850]The supply is fine.
[00:34:07.280]We have more than we want, but we don't want.
[00:34:10.958]It's not the problem to produce,
[00:34:12.320]a certain number of cars.
[00:34:14.200]The problem is to sell them.
[00:34:16.340]Here today, we are in a opposite problem.
[00:34:21.590]The table is full of food,
[00:34:23.690]but we're not hungry.
[00:34:25.580]I don't know if anybody,
[00:34:26.580]if you saw the disturbing French movie.
[00:34:28.850]Sorry, that's redundance.
[00:34:31.240]If you saw the French movie, La Grande Bouffe.
[00:34:39.980]There you go.
[00:34:43.950]There's a movie of gluttonous French.
[00:34:47.800]Again, maybe redundance.
[00:34:50.290]Sorry for that.
[00:34:52.100]My cousin's French, so I can make fun of that.
[00:34:56.238]They decided that they will die by overeating,
[00:34:59.650]and I remember one very disturbing scene in the movie,
[00:35:03.600]is one man was completely full and couldn't eat anymore
[00:35:06.500]and they had these delicacies,
[00:35:09.410]and the other comes to him and say,
[00:35:11.342]come eat they're really nice
[00:35:12.633]and he starts praising the quality of the food.
[00:35:14.841]How it was picked during the full moon and what not.
[00:35:17.160]You hear that today a lot in restaurants
[00:35:18.840]and the guy said no really I can't,
[00:35:20.643]and then this other guy
[00:35:21.945]starts telling him about poor people in India
[00:35:24.686]who are dying from hunger,
[00:35:27.118]and we were sort of importing their hunger psychologically
[00:35:33.700]to continue our gluttony,
[00:35:35.843]and I don't know if your parents did that to you.
[00:35:38.950]Yeah, they did.
[00:35:42.275]This was really brutal.
[00:35:43.108]My grandmother, bless her heart,
[00:35:44.630]she would open a book of concentration camp kids
[00:35:47.875]and put that in front of me and say come on look.
[00:35:50.910]You should be grateful.
[00:35:52.110]You should eat more,
[00:35:54.830]because, use their hunger for your gluttony.
[00:35:59.370]Which is as perverse an image as you can imagine,
[00:36:02.930]but from your head nods, head nods?
[00:36:07.200]Not have nots, but head nods,
[00:36:10.099]I understand that this is a common experience.
[00:36:12.489]I would say this is what's happening
[00:36:16.777]in terms of the crises of capitalism
[00:36:20.517]and the crises of communism.
[00:36:24.160]Now one other way to look at the situation today
[00:36:29.470]which I think is quite difficult to read,
[00:36:31.290]but this is the task of us readers
[00:36:34.750]to read the situation around us,
[00:36:36.740]is that what happened in 1989.
[00:36:39.930]There was a very famous book called
[00:36:42.070]The End of History,
[00:36:43.200]which I think as a little bit maybe over criticized
[00:36:46.174]and it does still today deserve some respect,
[00:36:49.480]if for nothing else for being still quoted,
[00:36:52.310]and the idea was that the great ideological crash
[00:36:55.380]between communism and capitalism was won.
[00:36:57.710]There is no single happy communist country today,
[00:37:01.075]except for North Korea,
[00:37:03.027]which by the way, I think,
[00:37:07.294]if you want a country where
[00:37:09.250]people love their politicians, go to North Korea.
[00:37:14.220]I think the tears when the older one died,
[00:37:17.100]those are genuine tears.
[00:37:19.370]People really really really loved him,
[00:37:21.993]because he was a demi-God.
[00:37:24.890]Virgin born by the way.
[00:37:28.410]He's a little bit like Chuck Norris.
[00:37:32.990]He was born in a hut that he himself built
[00:37:35.490]by his bare hands,
[00:37:38.370]but people really really really love their leaders
[00:37:41.900]in totalitarian countries.
[00:37:43.620]In free liberal countries,
[00:37:45.700]they usually despise their own leaders,
[00:37:47.420]which is interesting,
[00:37:49.120]because there has never been a time
[00:37:55.500]where you could voice your opinion so audibly
[00:37:57.940]as you do today.
[00:37:59.570]Yet, people have a genuine feeling
[00:38:01.100]of not being able to speak.
[00:38:03.200]There is never a time where politicians
[00:38:05.010]were so lip reading, the wish of their own people,
[00:38:11.347]Read through the history of Western civilization.
[00:38:14.420]The leaders usually didn't give a care
[00:38:16.460]about what the people are saying or what the people want,
[00:38:19.955]because that's why you are the boss.
[00:38:21.240]The feudal leaders, the kings,
[00:38:23.080]exceptionally paid attention.
[00:38:25.460]Those were the good kings like Charles IV
[00:38:27.920]but otherwise it was not your duty to do
[00:38:30.460]to care about whether your people are happy or not.
[00:38:32.730]Your duty was to make your country large
[00:38:34.500]or to make your family prosperous.
[00:38:36.370]Et cetera, et cetera.
[00:38:37.850]There was never a government,
[00:38:39.470]that would be so lip reading the whims of its population,
[00:38:45.320]Even today, we have populism.
[00:38:47.450]We have a special name for that.
[00:38:48.640]That's a new feature.
[00:38:50.268]Populism is only possible in democracy, by the way.
[00:38:54.050]As we have today, yet people feel
[00:38:56.900]that their leaders are detached,
[00:38:58.780]far, foreign, distant, unapproachable,
[00:39:00.980]and going their own path.
[00:39:03.280]There has never been a time where
[00:39:04.480]transparency was so cheap and easy
[00:39:06.260]and actually quite readily available.
[00:39:08.680]Thanks to internet and to all the NGOs, as today,
[00:39:12.100]and yet few people feel, they can't see through.
[00:39:16.260]Even I can't read the system anymore,
[00:39:18.830]and I'm paid to do that, or sort of paid.
[00:39:22.760]I get bed and lodging for that,
[00:39:24.730]which amounts to being paid.
[00:39:29.127]There was another example.
[00:39:30.640]There's never been a time
[00:39:33.606]where you really literally
[00:39:35.900]could elect your leaders
[00:39:38.930]and give them your voice,
[00:39:40.260]and yet there's also never been a time
[00:39:42.550]where so massive demonstrations.
[00:39:44.840]Which leads me to a second point.
[00:39:46.940]What we manage to do in this great idea
[00:39:49.300]of the last man and The End of History,
[00:39:52.680]it seems to me when it comes to liberal
[00:39:59.207]or free market democracy,
[00:40:00.970]there are two things in that system.
[00:40:05.050]Capitalism or social capitalism.
[00:40:06.770]Whatever you wanna call it,
[00:40:10.270]Two systems, which are actually
[00:40:11.620]more independent than we thought.
[00:40:13.820]I remember when I was a student your age,
[00:40:16.260]they were always teaching us,
[00:40:17.580]these two things go hand in hand, like love and marriage.
[00:40:24.650]This marital sex.
[00:40:25.640]I really enjoy that.
[00:40:30.780]It's also the hardest.
[00:40:34.800]These two things.
[00:40:37.470]Sorry, market capitalism, and democracy,
[00:40:40.710]are more independent than we thought,
[00:40:42.960]and what we managed to do since 1989,
[00:40:46.100]is I think we managed to export capitalism really well.
[00:40:49.700]Pretty much everywhere,
[00:40:51.990]but export of democracy not so good,
[00:40:56.250]and this is of course elicit question.
[00:40:59.530]I just leave that to disturb your
[00:41:01.570]falling asleep process.
[00:41:03.840]If you could choose,
[00:41:05.350]out of these two systems,
[00:41:06.580]which one would you export rather?
[00:41:09.620]Would it be democracy and freedom of expression,
[00:41:12.600]freedom to travel, tolerance.
[00:41:14.330]Et cetera et cetera.
[00:41:15.868]Being able to be free.
[00:41:18.160]Or being able to be rich?
[00:41:20.780]Would you rather export democracy?
[00:41:22.440]Would you rather, if you had a magic wand,
[00:41:25.550]and you could have one wish fulfilled,
[00:41:27.380]would it rather be a democratization of the world,
[00:41:30.740]or would it rather be a capitalization of the world,
[00:41:34.230]and again I leave that question burning I hope
[00:41:37.160]as a splinter in your head,
[00:41:39.020]because that in fact is the role of intellectuals
[00:41:42.450]is to put a splinter in your head.
[00:41:44.230]I also think this is the role of art.
[00:41:45.880]Not to make things more beautiful or more ugly,
[00:41:48.270]but to put a splinter in your head.
[00:41:53.192]Why did I love or hate?
[00:41:57.587]What you see is again,
[00:41:59.900]in Arabic countries with Arabic spring,
[00:42:02.540]whether it was a disappointment or not
[00:42:04.480]is a good question to ask.
[00:42:07.200]In my understanding, it majorly was a disappointment,
[00:42:10.440]but again I'm not trying to push that on you.
[00:42:13.960]We've managed to export.
[00:42:15.340]Capitalism managed to export itself to Russia,
[00:42:17.758]and to Africa and to Latin America.
[00:42:21.340]Democracy not so much.
[00:42:23.580]I would even claim that Czech Republic
[00:42:25.220]alongside with our neighbors,
[00:42:26.430]let's call that Central and Eastern Europe,
[00:42:28.660]is about the only region where the export
[00:42:31.280]or re export of democracy actually went reasonably well.
[00:42:36.420]We are members of European Union.
[00:42:38.930]Some of the countries are even using Euro as their currency
[00:42:41.430]and we are sort of legitimate members of the debate,
[00:42:45.681]as long as we enjoy it.
[00:42:51.170]In terms of capitalism,
[00:42:53.170]we westernized the east,
[00:42:56.240]but in terms of democracy,
[00:42:58.040]I'd say west got easternized.
[00:43:02.350]We now in my country, and in other countries,
[00:43:06.650]understand democracy rather as a means
[00:43:09.860]of getting to power,
[00:43:12.040]rather than a means of steering the country.
[00:43:14.520]We don't understand democracy
[00:43:15.990]according to what I see majority vote.
[00:43:18.430]We don't understand democracy
[00:43:19.590]as the process in which the best ideas are chosen,
[00:43:22.520]and your opponents are appreciated
[00:43:24.140]because it's written also somewhere in the bible,
[00:43:27.665]in the Old testament in the book of Proverbs actually,
[00:43:30.790]that iron sharpens iron.
[00:43:32.250]This is I think exactly.
[00:43:33.440]Iron is not sharpened by wax or by clay.
[00:43:37.120]You need iron to sharpen iron.
[00:43:38.960]You need somebody sharp to sharpen you
[00:43:41.440]and that's to me, the whole idea of democracy.
[00:43:44.170]Iron sharpens iron,
[00:43:45.140]and thank you for correcting me,
[00:43:46.380]and it's important,
[00:43:47.790]especially in humanities,
[00:43:49.370]where we don't have a laboratory.
[00:43:51.632]When we don't have reality,
[00:43:53.114]to slap us back into our faces and correct our theories.
[00:43:55.010]We don't have that.
[00:43:55.843]We have to talk.
[00:43:56.676]We have to talk a lot,
[00:43:58.620]because I'm allowing you to
[00:43:59.770]pick the bad splinters in my head
[00:44:02.050]and to correct my opinion,
[00:44:03.150]and if you do so I will love you
[00:44:05.210]forever and ever and ever,
[00:44:06.380]because you've served me.
[00:44:07.830]You've corrected me.
[00:44:09.500]You've made my view better.
[00:44:10.510]You took a splinter,
[00:44:14.225]or a whole log out of my eyes.
[00:44:18.748]It would be little bit,
[00:44:20.210]and I hope what I'm gonna say now
[00:44:22.860]is not in any way insulting,
[00:44:24.300]but it's just that democracy is the fashion today.
[00:44:28.330]If it be 200 years ago, those would be warlords,
[00:44:31.790]because that's how you got to power 200 years back,
[00:44:34.510]but today we don't do that anymore,
[00:44:36.740]so it's rather democracy and market manipulation.
[00:44:41.780]Whatever weapons are allowed we're gonna use,
[00:44:44.730]because we get to power.
[00:44:45.720]Once we get to power, we insult our opponents.
[00:44:50.310]Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:44:52.840]Now you tell me,
[00:44:53.980]whether what to do with a nation,
[00:44:56.610]and whether it is a collapse of democracy,
[00:44:59.710]and you can please check this out.
[00:45:02.311]There is this thing.
[00:45:04.030]I don't know if you do this in the United States of America
[00:45:05.900]but in Europe we do this.
[00:45:06.820]From time to time we happen to elect
[00:45:09.969]the biggest Czech
[00:45:11.066]and the French elect the biggest French.
[00:45:11.899]I don't know.
[00:45:13.201]Do you do this here?
[00:45:14.034]Americans electing the biggest.
[00:45:15.010]It's happens once five years,
[00:45:16.460]just like the elections,
[00:45:18.236]but those are not the elections.
[00:45:19.069]It's just a popular survey
[00:45:20.500]where people get to send their favorite Czechs.
[00:45:23.783]When it comes to Czechs in 2012, five years ago,
[00:45:32.150]Timelmon you will not know
[00:45:33.936]because he's a fictional non existent character.
[00:45:35.480]A very funny inventor who always came second.
[00:45:38.530]He was famous in discovering blind alleys,
[00:45:41.760]which is of course as you know for science,
[00:45:43.100]very very important,
[00:45:44.000]because simply there's nothing there,
[00:45:45.800]and nobody else has to inquire,
[00:45:48.210]but Czechs elected this guy,
[00:45:50.893]which then was ruled out by our much more boring
[00:45:53.910]British colleagues who invented the whole idea
[00:45:56.800]of finding the best Czech,
[00:45:58.410]but now the sad news,
[00:45:59.630]you know who won in Russia in 2017?
[00:46:03.680]The biggest Russian,
[00:46:05.390]and Russians were electing the biggest historical Russian.
[00:46:15.240]The murderer who murdered his own people.
[00:46:21.270]But you know, he had a mustache, or what.
[00:46:27.320]This also happened in the year 2012.
[00:46:30.500]This was Stalin won 2017, a year back.
[00:46:34.260]Guess who was second?
[00:46:37.190]Yeah, he was third.
[00:46:41.350]Vladimir Putin was second,
[00:46:44.360]and he even won this a couple of years back,
[00:46:47.500]and in the year 2012 Stalin got 42%.
[00:46:51.740]It's an easy number to remember,
[00:46:53.570]if you know Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
[00:46:55.740]42 is usually your answer to pretty much everything.
[00:46:59.710]Stalin sadly, got 42% of Russian votes.
[00:47:09.030]Second to none.
[00:47:10.450]Second was 28%.
[00:47:13.330]Very very clear.
[00:47:15.745]Putin combined with Stalin would make the perfect rule.
[00:47:19.860]Talking about Russia,
[00:47:21.110]also one must bear in mind
[00:47:22.550]that communism never crumbled in Russia.
[00:47:25.590]There was no revolution against communism.
[00:47:28.530]We had a small revolution.
[00:47:29.860]Pole had a small revolution.
[00:47:31.510]Luckily nobody was murdered,
[00:47:32.910]but it was quite dangerous.
[00:47:33.920]I remember the beatings,
[00:47:35.690]and till today I have goosebumps
[00:47:37.970]when I think back to that time,
[00:47:40.740]when hippy flower power won over
[00:47:43.160]heavily armed police men,
[00:47:47.650]who were just a second from the orders of shooting,
[00:47:52.820]and the dogs and the gasoline in the air,
[00:47:56.120]and the immense electricity,
[00:47:59.810]of hope combined with fear,
[00:48:01.810]that no movie can ever make inside of you.
[00:48:06.920]It's also interesting.
[00:48:07.753]I don't understand how we did that,
[00:48:09.792]without Facebook and Twitter,
[00:48:10.625]and we didn't even have cell phones,
[00:48:12.450]and yet, the crowds knew exactly what to do.
[00:48:15.300]It was amazingly energetic.
[00:48:19.380]It's also funny,
[00:48:20.213]and I wanted to thank you especially
[00:48:21.870]because we Czechs,
[00:48:23.360]when you invited me here to celebrate this Prague spring
[00:48:26.120]I thought to myself,
[00:48:26.953]but that happened in Summer.
[00:48:28.330]That was the summer events, until I realized,
[00:48:31.780]no, no, no that was the end of Prague Spring.
[00:48:34.830]That's what we celebrate in Czech Republic today.
[00:48:37.270]We don't actually celebrate Prague Spring in the Spring.
[00:48:39.900]We celebrate that, the invasion,
[00:48:42.680]that quenched the Prague Spring,
[00:48:44.700]and made it over.
[00:48:48.581]You have this situation where,
[00:48:53.950]and is that a fault of democracy?
[00:48:57.050]The people really genuinely,
[00:49:00.020]we would say brainwashed,
[00:49:01.260]but that would be too easy a solution.
[00:49:04.210]The other solution is that people
[00:49:05.810]really actually enjoy this style of politics.
[00:49:08.350]It was very difficult for me to understand
[00:49:10.310]until Brexit happened,
[00:49:13.640]and until Trump happened.
[00:49:15.760]To me it was very difficult to understand,
[00:49:18.500]how am I to explain to my students,
[00:49:20.810]that United States of America,
[00:49:24.560]with the Republican president,
[00:49:26.040]who is right of Republican.
[00:49:29.051]Republic party is too left leaning to him,
[00:49:32.760]from and forgive my European reading of your politics.
[00:49:36.420]We shouldn't meddle,
[00:49:37.560]but then again I'm not a diplomat, so I can,
[00:49:41.060]and yeah, how can that China today
[00:49:45.040]is a bigger proponent of free trade
[00:49:47.210]than United States of America.
[00:49:59.320]How much more time do I have?
[00:50:03.250]Oh, see I'm good at this.
[00:50:08.470]The thing with competition is,
[00:50:10.040]put three children in a room
[00:50:11.350]and they start competing at something,
[00:50:13.530]and actually if you realized,
[00:50:15.660]and we even compete in stupid things like dancing.
[00:50:18.130]We have this dancing contest.
[00:50:19.690]What's it called, on TV?
[00:50:23.890]Dancing with the Stars.
[00:50:25.380]Since when was dancing supposed
[00:50:26.950]to be a competitive thing?
[00:50:30.950]Or I don't know, beauty contests.
[00:50:32.640]I just learned that you have Czechoslovakian
[00:50:34.790]beauty contests not far from here.
[00:50:36.690]Since when was beauty made to be competed with,
[00:50:39.310]but yet, we, and nobody's forcing us.
[00:50:41.560]No bad evil capitalist forcing you to compete,
[00:50:44.810]and in fact if you think of the way we play games.
[00:50:47.270]Games are an interesting example.
[00:50:49.030]Games always begin in sort of a communist dream.
[00:50:55.320]Monopoly is a good example.
[00:50:56.820]Same number of money everybody,.
[00:50:58.820]and the dice is fair.
[00:51:03.346]It starts in communist ideal,
[00:51:05.640]but the very point of the game,
[00:51:07.080]is to end in what?
[00:51:10.925]That's where the name of the game comes from.
[00:51:13.744]Now, it will be extremely unfair,
[00:51:15.420]if when you are fooling around,
[00:51:17.440]at the age of 18 or 21,
[00:51:19.430]you would play such a monopoly game once in your life
[00:51:22.060]and then you would win for example,
[00:51:24.410]and the rest of us would be cleaning your shoes
[00:51:26.220]and you would be giving us funny paper money.
[00:51:28.150]Also realize the value of the funny paper money
[00:51:30.544]is valuable in monopoly,
[00:51:32.730]only as long as the game lasts.
[00:51:35.580]You would kill for those little fun paper money,
[00:51:37.580]while the game is on,
[00:51:38.640]but then when the game is off,
[00:51:40.540]everybody knows that it's just funny paper money.
[00:51:43.350]The whole system has to be done,
[00:51:44.880]in a way so that people want to play again.
[00:51:48.731]The idea is to start equal,
[00:51:50.890]but the idea is not to end equal.
[00:51:52.770]The would make sports irrelevant.
[00:51:56.920]It would make music, well music.
[00:51:58.950]Music is a different,
[00:52:00.622]but even in music you have competitions.
[00:52:02.448]You have best CD, and the best band,
[00:52:04.900]and the whole idea is to make the system such
[00:52:07.100]so that everybody wants to play again.
[00:52:09.780]So that the game is fair,
[00:52:11.427]but let me end here with a great hope.
[00:52:16.000]We are forgetting one great Czech here who is.
[00:52:19.700]Also Vaclav Havel talked about this.
[00:52:21.510]If you want to make.
[00:52:23.370]When he was here.
[00:52:24.640]Accepted by your congressman
[00:52:26.846]in the joint session in 1980.
[00:52:28.450]This was many times remembered here.
[00:52:30.280]They ask him what can we do to help you,
[00:52:32.820]and I'm quite sure you and others remember his answer,
[00:52:36.170]and he said if you want to help us, help Russia,
[00:52:39.810]and I'm a great fan of theoretical physics.
[00:52:43.020]This is a tendency for which I apologize,
[00:52:47.250]but there is a Kardashev scale in theoretical physics,
[00:52:50.570]judging the advance of a civilization
[00:52:52.280]according to the use of energy they use.
[00:52:54.530]Civilization type one can harvest
[00:52:56.150]the energy of the entire planet.
[00:52:57.430]Civilization type two can harvest the energy
[00:52:59.330]of their nearest star,
[00:53:01.570]which is in our case the sun.
[00:53:03.720]Civilization type three,
[00:53:04.750]can harvest the whole galaxy,
[00:53:06.830]which is the sort of energy you need,
[00:53:08.066]if you want to do Star Trek and Star Wars.
[00:53:11.210]Now guess which planetary type,
[00:53:14.520]civilization type is our planet.
[00:53:21.570]Say it out loud.
[00:53:27.420]Physicists just like economists
[00:53:28.830]like to have things precise.
[00:53:31.530]Why am I torturing you with this?
[00:53:32.970]Well the Kardashev scale says that,
[00:53:36.046]type one is a planetary organization.
[00:53:39.520]Type one is a organization which has global rules.
[00:53:43.330]Just realize that we are living in the year 2018,
[00:53:47.507]and we do not have one single planetary rule.
[00:53:50.330]We have suggestions.
[00:53:53.290]United Nations and World Health Organization and what not.
[00:53:59.831]Just imagine that I took your rules away
[00:54:01.020]and I made them into suggestions.
[00:54:03.160]Don't murder, but if he's real pain in the neck,
[00:54:05.820]then yeah, do it,
[00:54:06.653]but do it in the humane vein.
[00:54:08.460]Do it quickly,
[00:54:09.293]and so that his kids are not watching.
[00:54:11.550]That wouldn't work.
[00:54:13.187]Even the fine people of United States of America
[00:54:14.840]would turn into brutes,
[00:54:16.000]which there's a beautiful movie about that.
[00:54:17.700]Guys, please tell me that you've seen The Purge.
[00:54:21.180]The girls say yes.
[00:54:24.360]Anyway, look at The Purge.
[00:54:26.440]It's actually a horror movie.
[00:54:28.430]A slasher horror movie about
[00:54:29.730]what happens when law is dismantled for one day.
[00:54:33.790]You can do whatever you want to.
[00:54:36.419]I'm going to close with this.
[00:54:39.063]In 30, 40 years,
[00:54:41.800]this civilization will transition
[00:54:43.410]from type zero which is a local
[00:54:45.790]type of civilization where green against blue
[00:54:48.640]and blue against red,
[00:54:49.740]and Germans against Czechs,
[00:54:50.970]and Czechs against Chinese,
[00:54:52.360]and Chinese against Americans,
[00:54:54.250]and this planet will according to physicists
[00:54:56.580]which I by the way,
[00:54:58.371]find the best political theory comes from physics
[00:55:00.290]to my great surprise.
[00:55:01.850]That I've found anyway,
[00:55:05.016]and we will be a planetary civilization type one.
[00:55:06.720]Also this is why I think,
[00:55:09.040]we are over regulated at the level of governments,
[00:55:11.690]because we are trying to regulate
[00:55:14.120]things that should have been regulated on a global level
[00:55:17.920]and we're doing that in an appropriate level of regulation.
[00:55:21.480]What I'm saying is, our rules,
[00:55:23.770]our bureaucracy would be much much smaller,
[00:55:25.860]if it would be planetary.
[00:55:27.940]I was very happy when your president Donald Trump
[00:55:33.400]actually had this great motto in his campaign.
[00:55:39.875]The campaign motto of Donald Trump was,
[00:55:41.730]when I heard it first,
[00:55:42.610]I rejoiced in my heart.
[00:55:44.500]This let's make America great again.
[00:55:46.310]I thought to myself, wow.
[00:55:48.110]Finally a politician who thinks little bit type one.
[00:55:51.886]There is actually a huge Freudian slip
[00:55:54.650]of tongue in that motto.
[00:55:56.860]Did you ever spot it?
[00:56:01.770]Again, that's wrong,
[00:56:03.500]but its not a Freudian slip.
[00:56:05.940]I would say.
[00:56:06.773]There's a bigger Freudian slip.
[00:56:10.220]Last time I checked,
[00:56:11.860]no country called America.
[00:56:16.430]I'm thinking oh my God, finally somebody,
[00:56:18.979]president of United States of America,
[00:56:21.160]who wants to make America great again.
[00:56:22.930]Including Canadians, Mexicans, Venezuela,
[00:56:27.256]Cuba, the whole continent of America,
[00:56:32.090]and I rejoiced in my heart,
[00:56:34.010]that we finally have a president who understands this.
[00:56:37.150]That the only way how to make
[00:56:38.710]United States of America,
[00:56:40.020]because I think that's what he meant maybe.
[00:56:43.340]The only way how to make United States of America
[00:56:45.678]great again is to make America great again.
[00:56:47.713]There's no peace here until
[00:56:49.300]there's peace in the Middle East.
[00:56:53.198]You guys have become willy nilly.
[00:56:55.050]Willingly or unwillingly you've become the consciousness
[00:56:57.290]and also the policeman of the world,
[00:56:58.660]so you will not rest in peace
[00:57:00.230]if there is one human being
[00:57:01.410]who is actually suffering from hunger
[00:57:02.730]and that's the great thing about this wonderful country.
[00:57:07.070]Let's maybe hope, and this is absolutely
[00:57:09.960]in line of thinking of Vaclav Havel
[00:57:12.270]and also one other Czech great name
[00:57:14.211]who has not been mentioned yet,
[00:57:15.406]but he is mentioned here to my great happiness.
[00:57:18.440]Arkomenus who wrote a wonderful book called
[00:57:21.080]The betterment or the improvement of all things.
[00:57:25.052]Let's hope following personalities like that
[00:57:29.360]somewhere in the future,
[00:57:30.310]that maybe one day we will be really
[00:57:32.470]able to vote for a politician
[00:57:33.940]who will without a slip of tongue say
[00:57:36.550]let's make the world great for the first time.
[00:57:39.840]Thank you very much.
[00:57:50.960]Is there time for debate, questions?
[00:57:55.970]I'd welcome to critical remarks first,
[00:57:58.353]because those will be more valuable for me.
[00:58:04.450]You can express the level of your criticism from one to ten.
[00:58:12.647]Sir, if you just wait a second.
[00:58:14.700]Do we have one mic or two mics?
[00:58:19.110]He is the yielder now.
[00:58:23.271]You mentioned that liberal democracy
[00:58:26.162]in Western culture
[00:58:27.990]checks all of the boxes of Marx's and Engel's manifesto
[00:58:33.180]and that it actually offers a brighter conclusion
[00:58:38.880]than the manifesto.
[00:58:40.920]How do you reconcile this with the fact that
[00:58:44.040]capitalism, in America, has created,
[00:58:47.142]swaths of abject poverty,
[00:58:51.370]leaving people with no access
[00:58:52.810]to education, leaving them hungry, with no housing,
[00:58:56.944]and no healthcare?
[00:58:59.110]I think, that's a great question,
[00:59:02.090]and to be quite frank,
[00:59:04.090]it's a very legitimate question.
[00:59:05.430]If you look at what happened in the last 30 years,
[00:59:08.454]and I'm quite sure you are aware of this,
[00:59:11.470]because I hear that in your question,
[00:59:13.851]in the last 30 years,
[00:59:16.020]what capitalism did for us,
[00:59:18.416]if you pull up the advantages and your income level,
[00:59:22.410]but don't think now about Americans only.
[00:59:24.580]Think about the whole world.
[00:59:26.576]This is another thing that the communists
[00:59:28.251]always had the proletariat of the whole world unite.
[00:59:31.299]It looks like this elephant shape.
[00:59:34.320]You're familiar with this.
[00:59:36.530]People who earned zero are still earning zero.
[00:59:39.960]That would be the extremely poor,
[00:59:42.230]but a very small portion of population of the planet.
[00:59:45.560]Very very very poor people didn't gain anything,
[00:59:48.432]in the last 30 years.
[00:59:50.390]Then there are the Chinese, the Indian,
[00:59:54.128]the India Indians,
[00:59:57.510]and Latin America, also partially.
[01:00:01.896]There were famines in Ukraine as well,
[01:00:04.430]and those were deliberate famines.
[01:00:06.690]During communist regime.
[01:00:08.776]Things you are describing,
[01:00:10.870]are unfortunately something that does happen,
[01:00:13.970]but it happened on both sides of the game.
[01:00:16.490]Anyway, I don't use PowerPoint but now I wish I had it,
[01:00:19.490]and then there is this back of an elephant,
[01:00:21.910]all these Chinese people rising dramatically out of poverty
[01:00:27.966]going up and then it dips again and it goes up.
[01:00:32.950]It looks a little bit like an elephant
[01:00:34.220]with what do you call this?
[01:00:39.940]Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.
[01:00:41.299]My bad, sorry.
[01:00:42.814]Slip of the tongue is not only for president elects.
[01:00:47.646]The point is that, a huge part of the globe,
[01:00:53.840]People who lived on $2, and $2.25 a day,
[01:00:59.000]have decreased radically.
[01:01:01.510]Life span of an average human being on this planet
[01:01:05.010]went up unbelievably.
[01:01:07.450]15 years in the last three decades.
[01:01:11.006]Also child mortality is going down every year
[01:01:14.820]annually by 4%.
[01:01:17.000]That to me is something to celebrate
[01:01:18.700]much much more than some hideous increases in GDP
[01:01:22.750]in certain rich countries, and we don't look at that,
[01:01:26.290]but then these people gained tremendously.
[01:01:29.040]Czech Republic would be somewhere here.
[01:01:30.550]Poland and others.
[01:01:32.380]Then there is a dip,
[01:01:34.120]and that's exactly the class that you're speaking of.
[01:01:36.100]It would be the American working class.
[01:01:39.219]Those didn't really gain, and then the trunk.
[01:01:45.490]Trunk, like in a car?
[01:01:48.670]Cool with me.
[01:01:49.940]It's your language.
[01:01:53.840]Those will be the extra rich.
[01:01:55.190]That would be your 1% or 5% actually.
[01:01:58.908]That's the honest snapshot of who gained and who lost.
[01:02:04.280]Yes, there is a class of people
[01:02:06.500]who have not gained from the 30 years,
[01:02:08.570]but on average the living and dying people
[01:02:19.080]Needs to be addressed.
[01:02:20.040]I'm not saying, by the way,
[01:02:21.200]that the world is perfect,
[01:02:22.550]but people were literally dying.
[01:02:25.670]When was the famine in Ukraine?
[01:02:28.935]Those people were dying.
[01:02:31.770]These poor impoverished American people
[01:02:35.280]who really are in need of help,
[01:02:37.790]in need of education, et cetera, et cetera,
[01:02:39.300]their situation is terrible, but they're not dying,
[01:02:42.172]and again hard to compare, but you get my point.
[01:02:53.020]Havel came to Washington to Georgetown University
[01:02:57.310]and he emphasized democracy.
[01:02:59.680]The liberation and the freedom.
[01:03:02.490]One student asked, how did this all happen,
[01:03:05.490]and Havel simply pointed to the six students
[01:03:08.200]he brought with him from Prague and said,
[01:03:10.310]they're the ones who did it, ask them.
[01:03:13.420]10 years later,
[01:03:14.770]the president of South Korea came,
[01:03:17.550]and I remember he formulated it this way.
[01:03:20.340]The great benefit of democracy is,
[01:03:22.718]that it brings prosperity.
[01:03:25.700]I was wondering at the time,
[01:03:27.300]what happens when the prosperity disappears.
[01:03:31.130]You still appreciate democracy so much.
[01:03:35.020]10, 20 years later,
[01:03:36.630]you have in Europe and in America,
[01:03:39.130]people who are economically
[01:03:41.470]better off according to the raw statistics,
[01:03:44.730]but then feeling it's failing them somehow,
[01:03:48.410]and thinking here of the,
[01:03:50.570]people said in Czech Republic,
[01:03:53.246]that Klaus and his party,
[01:03:55.496]forced prosperity and they brought Thatcher capitalism
[01:03:59.150]but without the safety net,
[01:04:01.250]and so I don't know if that lacking safety net in some areas
[01:04:05.110]is enough to explain populism
[01:04:07.336]or is it at least a factor?
[01:04:09.770]It's a very good question, sir,
[01:04:12.072]and what happened in 1919.
[01:04:13.320]You can see this wonderfully in our data,
[01:04:16.930]and as much as I criticize GDP let's just use it now
[01:04:19.700]because for this question it will suffice.
[01:04:23.980]Like I said, that when the system goes through
[01:04:27.120]a reverse J curve.
[01:04:28.070]When you are upgrading from
[01:04:30.036]one level of system to another,
[01:04:30.869]this seems to be philosophically true.
[01:04:33.150]You have this in mythology as well.
[01:04:35.894]That's exactly what happened to our GDP.
[01:04:38.560]Our GDP dipped, and they're actually,
[01:04:43.711]I was listening to Petra yesterday, I remember.
[01:04:46.176]I don't know what his name was.
[01:04:47.734]Maybe you will remember,
[01:04:49.760]but in 1990 there was an American singer
[01:04:52.930]or an intellectual visiting Czech Republic,
[01:04:55.410]and he said, and I'm sorry but it's a direct quote,
[01:04:58.290]this is the parallel he used.
[01:05:01.452]He said you've been holding your,
[01:05:03.542]what's the polite way of saying shit?
[01:05:07.820]You've been holding your stuff,
[01:05:09.150]thank you, inside for 40 years.
[01:05:12.000]That stuff needs to come out,
[01:05:15.318]and there were warnings,
[01:05:17.216]and my mother and I were very angry at him.
[01:05:19.920]How can you spoil our enthusiasm,
[01:05:23.440]and in fact if you actually listen
[01:05:25.270]to Vaclav Havel's first presidential speech,
[01:05:28.210]it wasn't a hippy happy speech.
[01:05:30.690]It was a speech of only saying,
[01:05:32.235]that I will not lie to you.
[01:05:34.120]This country is not flourishing
[01:05:36.390]and it will not flourish,
[01:05:38.130]and even Klaus said very clearly,
[01:05:39.730]we have to we say tighten our belts,
[01:05:41.803]so that these warnings were in place
[01:05:44.140]and we all knew that this dip will happen.
[01:05:46.690]It little bit reminds me of this example of Moses
[01:05:50.868]going from the land of slavery to the promised land,
[01:05:55.540]through 40 years of desert,
[01:05:58.270]where they're exactly the children of Israel
[01:06:00.590]were complaining about the thing you're asking.
[01:06:03.940]Why don't we go back to Egypt
[01:06:05.630]to the land of slavery,
[01:06:07.490]where we have pots of flesh,
[01:06:09.570]which they didn't, by the way.
[01:06:11.550]This is also another thing,
[01:06:13.760]that we tend to have the better memories,
[01:06:15.350]from things like that,
[01:06:17.693]and I think it was the brilliance of Moses,
[01:06:22.090]as fictional as that character could have been
[01:06:23.910]to explain that freedom is much more important than wealth
[01:06:29.950]and the 40 years that these people
[01:06:31.480]had to spend in the desert, that's beautiful,
[01:06:33.810]because the road from Egypt
[01:06:37.472]to what is today Israel and Palestine,
[01:06:40.380]that's a two weeks trip max,
[01:06:42.886]and people used to do that all time.
[01:06:45.210]Remember Joseph would send his
[01:06:46.440]brothers back and forth like yo yo.
[01:06:49.428]Go back to your father to bring Benjamin
[01:06:51.892]and they would come back
[01:06:53.729]in a couple of days, a couple of weeks.
[01:06:56.110]It was even a known route,
[01:06:58.420]and so I think that was exactly the reason
[01:07:00.700]for this longitude which
[01:07:02.210]goes against this shock therapy method,
[01:07:04.540]is you stay in poverty,
[01:07:06.630]you stay homeless, literally homeless,
[01:07:09.210]not homeless, homeless,
[01:07:11.460]sleeping under the bridge, but homeless homeless.
[01:07:13.791]Not even having the idea of a home.
[01:07:15.920]Never even having one.
[01:07:17.160]You stay homeless till you get the point,
[01:07:19.466]that you are not going to be rich
[01:07:22.500]in any other way except for wandering around.
[01:07:27.278]That's how I would answer.
[01:07:32.350]If that was the first part of your question.
[01:07:34.010]Was there a second part to your question?
[01:07:35.980]Okay, thank you.
[01:07:40.474]If anybody else has a question,
[01:07:42.560]raise your hand so that we can get to you, microphone.
[01:07:45.751]In one part of your speech,
[01:07:48.700]you mentioned this crisis of capitalism.
[01:07:52.216]When the supply is okay but the demand is changing,
[01:07:56.570]or is going through changes.
[01:07:58.575]I think it's, I'm not sure if
[01:08:00.273]this is causal relationship or not,
[01:08:02.747]but it's given to the demographics,
[01:08:05.580]the millennials, internet, sharing economy,
[01:08:08.530]and so on and so forth,
[01:08:10.070]but don't you think we are sort of
[01:08:12.680]fighting the changing back
[01:08:14.910]and we want to have this system we have right now.
[01:08:19.823]We don't want this capitalism 2.0,
[01:08:23.683]given the example of Air BnB's getting banned in some cities
[01:08:28.820]as well as Uber.
[01:08:31.370]I think Uber got banned last month.
[01:08:34.543]Now in Prague the mayor
[01:08:38.511]is facing a big pressure from
[01:08:41.498]the lobby of the cab companies, taxi companies.
[01:08:46.930]Don't you think we are holding on to this status quo
[01:08:50.570]that we have right now?
[01:08:55.980]What I see today,
[01:08:57.043]that we are actually living through two tectonic changes.
[01:09:00.040]One tectonic change I touched on a little bit.
[01:09:01.840]This is the transfer from type zero to type one.
[01:09:04.710]By the way GDP is a good example.
[01:09:06.930]GDP as objective as it looks,
[01:09:09.870]it's actually a remnant of nationalism,
[01:09:12.340]because it measures gross national product.
[01:09:16.000]We're no longer nationalists like the Nazi sort,
[01:09:18.692]but we still that's why we measure it,
[01:09:20.960]because we want to compare.
[01:09:23.354]If we measured GDP of women versus men,
[01:09:26.541]which we could, which we basically do,
[01:09:30.863]but nobody gives a damn about these statistics,
[01:09:33.000]the news that you would read in financial times would be
[01:09:35.370]okay the GDP of males went down 4% again.
[01:09:38.682]Now should the females be fiscally solid with the men,
[01:09:41.818]or should we make some incentives
[01:09:44.230]to make these men work harder?
[01:09:48.602]That's one trend, is globalization,
[01:09:54.290]or I prefer the world planetization.
[01:09:56.230]Trying to understand with each other.
[01:09:57.860]We're no longer racist,
[01:09:59.760]when it comes to the color of skin.
[01:10:01.090]At least legally we're not racist.
[01:10:02.780]It's not allowed.
[01:10:04.345]It's against the law, thank god,
[01:10:05.178]but it's completely legal,
[01:10:06.690]to be judging people according
[01:10:08.660]to the color of their passport.
[01:10:11.720]Simply if you are a member of the European Union
[01:10:14.100]you are welcome to this and that,
[01:10:16.350]but if you happen to be a Syrian refuge,
[01:10:19.354]then we will not.
[01:10:22.110]That I think is yet another hurdle,
[01:10:24.140]that I think is perhaps for your generation to tackle.
[01:10:28.271]I think what we had in Europe,
[01:10:30.910]this refuge wave also here,
[01:10:32.530]that to me was a case study.
[01:10:33.990]That's a case study of much much more bigger movement
[01:10:36.620]of nations which will happen most likely in the future.
[01:10:40.210]You might be refuges as you once were.
[01:10:42.010]We might be refuges as we once were.
[01:10:44.160]Let's take this as a case study.
[01:10:45.810]Small case study.
[01:10:47.120]Couples of hundreds of thousands of people
[01:10:48.620]and let's come up with rules for the next one.
[01:10:51.550]No, we were unable to do that.
[01:10:55.160]That's one tectonic change.
[01:10:56.530]Going from zero to one.
[01:10:58.450]How would democracy look like,
[01:11:00.030]if it was actually not national,
[01:11:01.270]but it was actually planetary?
[01:11:02.740]What sort of questions would we ask?
[01:11:04.070]I think it's a completely interesting topic.
[01:11:07.250]The other great change that I didn't have time
[01:11:10.420]to speak on today, is digitalization.
[01:11:14.276]Is actually great movement of nations from here
[01:11:16.180]to some abstract new digital world
[01:11:19.110]that is actually habitable.
[01:11:20.800]All the abstract worlds that we have in art, cinema,
[01:11:24.200]mythology, religion, are functional but not inhabitable.
[01:11:29.140]You can't live in the world of mathematics,
[01:11:30.930]for more than half an hour,
[01:11:31.840]if you're lost in it.
[01:11:33.510]I hope this happens to you sometimes.
[01:11:36.810]It's a little bit like when you read a book
[01:11:38.890]and you forget that you're that reader
[01:11:40.210]reading the book,
[01:11:41.934]and you're literally there
[01:11:43.063]with Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
[01:11:44.463]having slightly racist comments at each other.
[01:11:46.522]That part of the soul is moving to here.
[01:11:51.940]This is actually.
[01:11:52.773]This is the wormhole we carry.
[01:11:55.440]This is the biggest neighbor.
[01:11:56.960]No longer a human being.
[01:11:58.150]Our biggest neighbor is this.
[01:11:59.630]Look at where we carry it.
[01:12:01.080]It's either close to our heart, or in our pockets.
[01:12:05.039]That is another great tectonic change,
[01:12:09.040]that the world of abstract has become habitable
[01:12:11.180]and I have lecture about this on Youtube
[01:12:13.487]that you're welcome to watch.
[01:12:14.350]Those are in English, and in Czech.
[01:12:15.850]I understand that you are concerned
[01:12:18.724]so you must be Czech.
[01:12:19.612]These two tectonic changes,
[01:12:22.150]that have been building up for millenia,
[01:12:23.820]are now going up against each other,
[01:12:25.910]and what's happening very often,
[01:12:27.140]you can see that beautifully here,
[01:12:28.240]in the case of Trump,
[01:12:29.550]is that instead of fighting digitalization.
[01:12:32.071]Let's put it this way.
[01:12:33.874]He's fighting and many politicians do the same,
[01:12:37.500]he's fighting digitalization,
[01:12:39.360]with the weapons of the last warfare,
[01:12:41.500]which is nationalism.
[01:12:44.150]Instead of actually addressing
[01:12:46.260]the problem of millions of unemployed drivers,
[01:12:49.724]he is building a wall.
[01:12:52.880]I always say that a stupid New York taxi driver
[01:12:56.130]is afraid of cheap competition from Mexico.
[01:13:00.562]A clever New York taxi driver
[01:13:04.020]is afraid of self driving cars.
[01:13:06.360]Because that is the proper fear.
[01:13:07.930]That is the uncanny.
[01:13:10.070]There's this whole new useless class as Herari calls it
[01:13:13.720]that will be here,
[01:13:14.880]and maybe you will already be graduating
[01:13:16.780]into a world where your skills and my skills
[01:13:19.260]will be useless.
[01:13:20.640]I always say become philosophers,
[01:13:22.620]because that probably will never be solved.
[01:13:25.010]That's what, I think what was happening,
[01:13:28.510]we're fighting the challenge of digitalization,
[01:13:30.810]with the weapons of last warfare.
[01:13:35.569]Comments on books.
[01:13:40.039]Yeah, the comments are brief.
[01:13:40.872]The answers are the problem.
[01:13:44.764]One last question.
[01:13:46.226]This is the last one.
[01:13:49.424]I want to go back to the razor blades.
[01:13:52.059]Your explanation about the cause of these endemic shortages
[01:13:58.791]the cause of these shortages is monopoly,
[01:14:03.230]but it would seem to me,
[01:14:04.700]if you're thinking about central planning,
[01:14:07.290]it would seem to me,
[01:14:08.123]you have a finite number of male faces,
[01:14:10.600]and a finite number of human bums,
[01:14:13.790]why are there,
[01:14:14.830]even with monopoly you should be able to produce enough
[01:14:17.543]toilet paper to satisfy the needs of the bum
[01:14:20.540]and blades for the face.
[01:14:24.933]That is a great question,
[01:14:26.760]and it actually comes from extreme right wing economics.
[01:14:32.320]The tea party,
[01:14:34.060]which ironically believes that human behavior
[01:14:38.510]is so perfectly mathematical modeled
[01:14:40.890]that you don't have to include things
[01:14:43.010]like culture and sociology and whims,
[01:14:45.400]et cetera, et cetera.
[01:14:46.300]Again here you see,
[01:14:47.630]how the extremes unite perfectly,
[01:14:49.780]because actually Nazi regime, and communist regime,
[01:14:53.520]these two regimes I would compare.
[01:14:55.470]I don't think it's really comparable
[01:14:58.120]with liberal democracy with communism.
[01:15:00.160]It was rather the extremes.
[01:15:02.930]Extreme right with extreme,
[01:15:04.190]but they were united in their planned economy
[01:15:06.530]because Nazis were using planned economy
[01:15:08.850]just like in communist China and Russia till today.
[01:15:14.680]In Russia, oh I didn't finish that thought.
[01:15:16.650]In Russia, communism, they didn't have men in Moscow.
[01:15:21.500]In Russia, the system just happened
[01:15:23.940]to unfortunately collapse.
[01:15:26.791]They didn't want its collapse.
[01:15:29.270]They were very sad when it did.
[01:15:31.870]We did these revolutions
[01:15:33.480]and Chinese tried to do revolutions.
[01:15:35.300]They were quenched in their case.
[01:15:36.627]Not in our case, thank goodness,
[01:15:38.600]but this did not happen in Russia,
[01:15:40.510]but anyway, sometimes I don't finish my thoughts
[01:15:43.620]at the expense of others better, I hope.
[01:15:47.079]The answer to your question,
[01:15:48.470]which I've been thinking about that since my youth,
[01:15:51.380]is that communism actually would only be possible
[01:15:54.430]after a period of capitalism,
[01:15:57.367]because you would know your relative prices
[01:15:59.666]and you would know your demand and supply
[01:16:01.138]because you would know,
[01:16:02.108]but it would not be possible
[01:16:03.473]to have communism right from the beginning,
[01:16:06.300]and also this idea of weakened planet,
[01:16:08.210]comes from the fact that,
[01:16:09.720]human behavior has no freedom in it,
[01:16:11.690]which is irony because the extreme right
[01:16:14.620]economic policy actually don't account
[01:16:19.750]for human freedom at all.
[01:16:21.220]It's based on the assumption of human freedom, ironically
[01:16:24.080]but then in the models it completely disappears.
[01:16:26.860]Human behavior is absolutely modelable,
[01:16:29.080]so let's say an extreme crazy social scientist
[01:16:34.354]on the right wing would agree with a mediocre
[01:16:38.700]communist social planner,
[01:16:41.190]and they would use each other's models, ironically.
[01:16:46.520]Thank you very much.
[01:16:47.353]It was a great pleasure for me,
[01:16:49.074]and a great enjoyment.
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