Human Dignity and Totalitarianism (An excerpt from the WYA Track A Training Program)

Isječak iz edukacije „Mladi za dostojanstvo i ljudska prava“: Ljudsko dostojanstvo i totalitarizam

Anna Halpine_ Founder of World Youth Alliance

Anna Halpine, Founder of WYA, gave a lecture at Schloss Neuwaldegg, Vienna in November 5, 2004. She shares the inspiration for some of the readings and articles in WYA’s Track A Training program.

By Anna Halpine, Lecture given at Schloss Neuwaldegg, Vienna, November 5, 2004

It is a great honor and with real humility that I address you today. I am a young citizen of the West; I grew up in Canada and the United States, and have had the privileges, securities, freedoms and joys that such an experience brings. My life experience is one of hope and fulfillment – everything that could be done for me to realize my potential, my talents, and to develop in an atmosphere of encouragement and joy has been done. My thoughts on this topic therefore, are of a different nature from the experiences and statements that most of you will offer. What you have lived has been a source of inspiration to me. What you have suffered has shown me, and others like me, the great heights that the human person is able to soar. I would like to outline why this experience which you have had is still inspiring young people around the world today.

Fifteen years ago this month the Berlin wall came down. This wall marked both the real and the symbolic divide between East and West in Europe; the divide between societies built upon the freedom of the person and societies structured in opposition to that freedom. At the time, I was a child. But this event, and the events which preceded it, have marked my life in significant ways.

In 1999 the World Youth Alliance was founded in New York at the United Nations. At a conference on Population and Development, thirty-two young people were brought in to the negotiations and given the floor. They stated that they represented all three (3) billion of the world’s youth, and demanded the following: abortion as a human right, sexual rights for children and a deletion of parents’ rights. They refused, at a conference convened to discuss the needs of the world’s people, to discuss access to clean water, sanitation, education, shelter etc. I realized that these youth did not represent me, and that there were millions of other young people in the world whose voices were not being heard. As a reaction of conscience, I went, with a few others, back into the assembly the next morning and distributed pink flyers that stated that these youth did not represent all of the world’s youth. We were received by the delegates with joy and were told that we must have a permanent presence at the United Nations, and that we must come to their countries and work with their young people.

A year later, we returned to the United Nations for Beijing +5, a global conference on women. At this conference I continued to try to understand why the agenda was so narrow, what the reason for such actions could be, and what the underlying vision of both the UN and many member states must be. At one point, the United States delegation offered a short oral proposal. The proposal was this: “Human rights grant human dignity”. This proposal reverses the human rights tradition that the United Nations and all human rights are now based on. Up until now, there has been no dispute that the dignity of the person is the basis for human rights. Reversing this language threatens the whole human rights project since it places the definition of the person in the hands of the state. The proposal was rejected, but in that moment I was able to see that the debate at the UN is fundamentally a debate about the human person. Do we, as a global community, see the human person as an object which can be used and discarded at will, or do we see the human person as a being with inviolable dignity, which stands at the center of everything that we do?

It was at this time that the link between what we are doing at the World Youth Alliance and what was happening behind the Iron Curtain before 1989 becomes clearer. Václav Havel, in his extraordinary essay “The Power of the Powerless”, talks about the aims of the resistance movements in then Czechoslovakia and Poland. They were not movements which were motivated politically; rather, they were motivated in order to begin to reclaim their dignity as individuals living for and within the truth. The fact that living in the truth had such severe consequences for the Communist regime was secondary to the principles which animated these individual actions. Political action came later, out of a renewed social awareness and culture which recognized and nurtured the truth about the human person. Havel takes great pains to clarify that the authentic dissident movements, and the authentic expressions of renewal which came out of them were simply the result of many small efforts of individual people who decided each and every day to live the truth in themselves and to live that truth in the world around them. Because of this, the political consequences came later, and came out of organic sources rather than an initial strategic plan. Havel puts it this way: ” These movements, therefore, always affect the power structure as such indirectly, as a part of society as a whole, for they are primarily addressing the hidden spheres of society, since it is not a matter of confronting the regime on the level of actual power.” (Havel, The Power of the Powerless, Palach press, 1985 p.83) Havel, the Chartists and Solidarity all understood this clear and primary force of culture as lived out in individuals and communities as the most powerful force available to them, and ultimately for the shaping of societies and nations.

In 1991 Pope John Paul II wrote a letter to the world entitled Centesimus Annus. In it, the Pope reflects on the collapse of Communism in central and Eastern Europe, and comments on what he sees as having happened. At the very beginning, in paragraph 13, the Pope makes a critical statement. Communism, he says, collapsed not for political or economic failure, but because it was based on a lie about the human person. This statement cuts to the heart of modern personal and social failure. It recognizes the necessity of affirming and safeguarding all human life as the cornerstone of free and just societies. It recognizes the great need of modern societies to articulate and understand the human person. When we answer this question correctly, we have the tools needed to build our communities. When we don’t, we have seen the many varied ways in which projects, institutions and nations break apart.

In Vienna in 1946 Viktor Frankl published a small book now titled “Man’s Search for Meaning”. It chronicles his experience in the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Dachau, and in it Frankl makes two key points. He states that man is free. Man can be shackled and chained, as at Auschwitz, yet retain his freedom. He speaks of the men who, at risk to their lives saved a crust of bread for another prisoner, and he says, “this is freedom”. He speaks also of the guards, who did the same. Frankl also says that in order to survive man needs one thing; meaning and purpose to his life. He speaks of reminding the prisoners of what this could be; remembering their wives, their children, who might somehow have survived, reminding them of the book that only they could write. And he says that from the moment a man gave up meaning and purpose in his life, Frankl knew he would be dead within 72 hours. Meaning and purpose were more important in sustaining life in Auschwitz than food, medical care or other basic needs.

Jacques Maritain, another European of the same generation, worked with UNESCO as an expert advisor during the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Maritain wrote a famous essay outlining his response to the declaration in which he worked through the primary struggles at the heart of the document. How could men of mutually opposing beliefs come to agreement on a set of rights? Maritain relates an incident from a meeting at UNESCO to discuss the declaration. “… someone was astonished that certain proponents of violently opposed ideologies had agreed on the draft of a list of rights. Yes, they replied, we agree on these rights, providing we are not asked why. With the “why”, the dispute begins.” (Maritain, Man and the State, Catholic University of America Press, Washington DC, 1998. p. 77) Maritain concluded with his own remarks: “Since the aim of UNESCO is a practical aim, agreement among its members can be spontaneously achieved, not on common speculative notions, but on common practical notions, not on the affirmation of the same conception of the world, man, and knowledge, but on the affirmation of the same set of convictions concerning action. This is doubtless very little, it is the last refuge of intellectual agreement among men. It is, however, enough to undertake a great work; and it would mean a great deal to become aware of this body of common practical convictions.” (Ibid, pp 77-78)

This question of the why remains the area in which new developments and discussions continue to be held, and this question of the why is the continuous question of ‘who is the person’? Is the human person an entity to which the state grants rights and the protection of those rights, or is man or woman a being with intrinsic dignity, already in possession of those rights, which must simply be recognized and respected by the state? This question, which was at the heart of the debate of the drafting committee of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was at the heart of the dissident and resistance movements under Communism, continues to be at the heart of all major debates at the United Nations and in each of our nation states. How we answer this question determines the direction of both our policy and our culture, and ultimately the vision of humanity which we will entrust to the world today and for the next generation. Most clearly, however, this question must first be decided in the hearts of individual people who then make a commitment to live in a manner expressive of these convictions. From here, these ideas will take root and flourish in the culture, and only from there can we legitimately and effectively hope to impact policy and the debates of the state.

In affirming this, it is clear to me that great claims are being made not only about who the human person is, but on the relationship that this question has to the kind of societies we build. In particular, the claim that ideas and culture are ultimately the key shapers of the foundation of our societies seems to be a particularly foreign idea, at least in the areas of policy and education that I have experienced. What has struck me about this is the natural way in which culture asserts this claim. I have indicated the great movements of Central and Eastern Europe. We can see this in the way that universities, entertainment and the arts continue to change lives and impact the culture. Looking at the great questions confronting the world today we can see the impact that ideas, cultural institutions and academia have had on those discussions.

My background is as a musician; I studied piano throughout University and spent the greater part of my teens and early twenties studying the theory, history, and great pieces of the classical music repertoire. I was fascinated by the individuals that I encountered, and in love with the music that I was playing. As a musician, I was engaged in an area where most of my other peers had genuine disinterest or total apathy regarding political questions. While I maintained a cursory interest in politics, I too, was focused first and foremost on the appreciation and understanding of art and music. Despite this, there were two figures who stand out in my mind; one from Poland and the other from Russia; the great Polish pianist and diplomat Paderewski, and the Russian composer Shostakovitch. These men, and others, have helped me to understand the very direct link that exists between beauty, the transcendent, and the truth about what it is to be truly human.

Paderewski placed his art at the service of his country, even while serving at the highest elected office. His art was used to uplift the crowds, and buy time for the resistance movements to meet in the green room during his performance. Art and policy existed side by side.

Shostakovitch lived more recently, under the Communist regime in Russia until his death in 1975. For many years of his life, Shostakovitch lived and worked with his suitcase packed and ready at the door. He never knew when his music would bring him accolades from the state or immediate deportation. Although constantly invited to serve as a state composer and follow direct rules for his art, Shostakovitch chose to freely compose and express himself and his art as authentically as he was able.

There are others; the writers, painters, poets, musicians, philosophers and many other great men and women of courage who pursued their thoughts and ideas despite the great risk it brought to their lives. This is what Havel calls living in truth, and this is what the Communists understood so correctly as posing the greatest threat to their society of lies. What is amazing is the clarity with which the Communist and other totalitarian regimes recognize the power of beauty, truth and culture to topple seemingly impregnable tyrannies – dictatorships which are backed up by armies, spy systems and a systematic and repressive violence quake with fear before a poem, a play, a symphony and short story. The power of truth is most powerful to those who are actively spinning lies.

In our work at the World Youth Alliance, the examples of Solidarity in Poland and Charter 77 have been a constant inspiration. There was the great injection of hope at the election of Pope John Paul II, who started his pontificate with the words “Be not afraid!” and then took that message straight into Poland. There was the work of Václav Havel, and the other members of Charter 77, who articulated the problems created when “the center of power is identical to the center of truth.” (Havel, “The Power of the Powerless,” 25) There were the great activities and unsung heroes of the underground, led in each country primarily by the intellectuals, the poets, the writers and the mystics. There were the ex-patriots, writing and suffering in solidarity, who were honestly and searchingly describing the interior struggles of individuals and movements; Czesław Miłosz, the Polish poet and Nobel laureate comes to mind. In all of this there was sustained vibrancy, a life lived with purpose and intent, and a culture that recognized the choices in front of it.

The ideas and principles which animated the resistance movements under Communism remain in many ways the same ideas and principles still needed in the world. On a global scale the dignity of the person is being threatened in real ways. Human cloning, abortion, HIV/AIDS and the ways which we distribute foreign aid are all symptoms of a flawed understanding of the human person. Our work has involved participation at international conferences, discussion and dialogues with Ambassadors, diplomats, heads of State and young people. We have seen the global response of young people as well as those in government, policy and culture to the ideas which we are proposing. There is an embrace of the dignity of the person, and of the need to experience this on our own and restore it to the culture. What we are witnessing is a new cultural transformation among a generation of youth who are being inspired and equipped with the tools necessary to propose a clear vision of the person to the world. As before, it is the best and brightest who are rising to this challenge, and who are stepping forward to be the lights in a generation and for the whole culture.

The achievements of the resistance movements remain a sure guide and inspiration for us. These movements understood the power of truth; the power of culture; and the power of working together for a common aim. The leadership of these movements confronted reality, shared their vision with the people and trusted that the force of their vision, grounded in the reality of truth, would sustain them in adversity and ultimately free them from the lies enmeshed in the culture. Beyond that, their actions and courage eventually toppled one of the most powerful and evil empires in the world. The lasting legacy that these leaders leave the world is that of a new generation, inspired by their thoughts and actions and willing to take up the challenge to build a world worthy of those people who dwell within it.

Anna Halpine, Predavanje na Schloss Neuwaldeggu, Beč, 5.studeni 2004

Obraćam Vam se večeras s velikim zadovoljstvom i iskrenom poniznošću. Mlada sam građanka Zapada. Odrasla sam u Kanadi i SAD-u, i imala sam privilegije, sigurnosti, slobode i radosti koje takvo iskustvo može donijeti. Moje životno iskustvo je iskustvo nade i ispunjenja. Učinjeno je sve što se moglo učiniti kako bih ostvarila svoj potencijal, talente i kako bih se razvijala u poticajnoj i radosnoj atmosferi. Moja razmišljanja o ovoj temi su dakle drugačije naravi od onih iskustava i izjava koje će većina od vas ponuditi. Ono što ste vi preživjeli bio je izvor moje inspiracije. Vaša patnja je meni, i drugima poput mene, pokazala da se ljudska osoba može vinuti u visine. Željela bih ukratko objasniti zašto smatram da  ovo iskustvo koje ste prošli i dalje inspirira mlade ljude diljem cijeloga svijeta.

U ovom mjesecu prije petnaest godina srušen je Berlinski zid. Taj je zid označavao pravu i simboličnu razdvojenost između Istoka i Zapada ili podjelu između društava koja se temelje na osobnoj slobodi i društava koja su organizirana suprotno toj slobodi. Tada sam još uvijek bila dijete. Međutim, taj događaj i svi događaji koji su mu prethodili značajno su obilježili moj život.

1999. godine u New Yorku pri Ujedinjenim narodima, osnovan je Svjetski savez mladih. Na Konferenciji o populaciji i razvoju, trideset i dvoje mladih ljudi dovedeno je na pregovore i dana im je riječ. Izjavili su da predstavljaju tri milijarde mladih i tražili su sljedeće: pobačaj kao ljudsko prvo, seksualna prava za djecu i brisanje prava roditelja. Odbili su raspravljati o temama konferencije koja je sazvana kako bi se razgovaralo o potrebama ljudi u svijetu, pristupu čistoj vodi, zdravstvu, obrazovanju, skloništu itd. Shvatila sam da me ti mladi ne predstavljaju i da postoje milijuni drugih mladih ljudi čiji se glasovi ne čuju. Slijedeći glas savjesti, sljedeće sam jutro s nekoliko drugih ljudi otišla natrag na saziv i podijelila zajedno s njima ružičaste letke na kojima je pisalo da ta mladež ne predstavlja svu svjetsku mladež. Delegati su nas rado primili i rekli nam da moramo biti stalno prisutni u Ujedinjenim narodima i da moramo doći u njihove zemlje i raditi s njihovim mladima.

Godinu kasnije, vratili smo se u Ujedinjene narode na Peking 5+, svjetsku konferenciju o ženama. Na toj konferenciji nastavila sam pokušavati razumjeti zašto je plan djelovanja tako uzak, koji je razlog takvom djelovanju, i koja je vizija u podlozi UN-a i mnogih država članica. U jednom trenutku, delegacija SAD-a je iznijela kratki usmeni manifest. Manifest je glasio: „Ljudska prava jamče ljudsko dostojanstvo“. Taj rečenica je obrnula tradiciju ljudskih prava na kojoj su tada Ujedinjeni narodi i sva ljudska prava bili bazirani. Sve dosad uopće nije bilo rasprave o tome da je dostojanstvo osobe temelj za ljudska prava. Preokretanje jezika prijeti projektu ljudskih prava s obzirom da definiciju čovjeka stavlja u ruke države. Ta izjava je odbijena, ali u tom sam trenutku uspjela shvatiti da je debata u UN-u u osnovi debata o ljudskoj osobi. Vidimo li mi, kao svjetska zajednica, ljudsku osobu kao objekt koji se može koristiti i odbaciti po želji, ili vidimo ljudsko biće s nepovredivim dostojanstvom, koje stoji u središtu svega što radimo?

U tom je trenutku postala jasna veza između onoga što radimo u Svjetskom savezu mladih i onoga što se događalo iza Željezne zavjese prije 1989. godine. Václav Havel, u svom izvanrednom djelu  Power of the Powerless, govori o ciljevima pokreta otpora u tadašnjoj Čehoslovačkoj i Poljskoj. To nisu bili politički motivirani pokreti, već im je motivacija bila povratiti vlastito dostojanstvo kao osobama koji žive za istinu i u istini. Činjenica da je život u istini imao tako opasne posljedice za komunistički režim bila je sekundarna principima koji su vodili ta pojedinačna djelovanja. Političko je djelovanje došlo kasnije iz obnovljene društvene svijesti i kulture koja je prepoznala i njegovala istinu o ljudskoj osobi. Havel je mukotrpno objašnjavao kako su autentični disidentski pokreti i autentični izrazi obnove koji su se pojavili iz potonjih jednostavno posljedica mnogo malih pokušaja pojedinaca koji su svaki dan odlučili živjeti istinu u sebi i u svijetu oko sebe. Zbog ovoga su kasnije došle političke posljedice, proizlazeći iz organskih izvora radije negoli strateškog plana. Havel to objašnjava ovako: „Ti pokreti, stoga, uvijek tek posredno utječu na strukture moći kao takve, kao dio društva u cjelini, jer se primarno odnose na skrivene sfere društva, obzirom da nije riječ o tome da se suprotstavljaju režimu na razini stvarne moći.“ (Havel, Power of the Powerless, Palach press, 1985 str.83) Havel, tvorci Povelje 77 i članovi Solidarnosti, razumjeli su ovu jasnu i primarnu moć kulture koju žive pojedinci i zajednice kao najmoćniju silu koja im je dostupna, i koja naposljetku oblikuje društva i nacije.

Godine 1991., papa Ivan Pavao II. napisao je encikliku pod naslovom Centesimus Annus. Papa u enciklici promišlja o padu komunizma u Središnjoj i Istočnoj Europi i komentira svoje viđenje događanja.  Već na samom početku, u trinaestom odlomku, Papa daje ključnu izjavu. Komunizam se, kaže on, nije urušio zbog političkog ili ekonomskog neuspjeha, već zbog toga što se temeljio na laži o ljudskoj osobi. Ova izjava pogađa u srž modernog osobnog i društvenog neuspjeha. Prepoznaje nužnost potvrđivanja i čuvanja cjelokupnog ljudskog života kao ugaoni kamen slobodnog i pravednog društva. Prepoznaje veliku potrebu modernih društava da artikuliraju i shvate ljudsku osobu. Kada na to pitanje odgovorimo točno, onda imamo potrebne alate za izgradnju naših zajednica. Kada se to ne učini, projekti, institucije i nacije propadaju. Već smo vidjeli da se to dogodilo na mnoge načine.

U Beču 1946. Godine, Viktor Frankl objavio je malenu knjigu pod naslovom „Čovjekovo traganje za smislom“. U njoj je zapisao svoje iskustvo u koncentracijskim logorima Auschwitzu i Dachau, i zaključio dvije bitne stvari. Tvrdi da je čovjek slobodan. Čovjek može biti u okovima i lancima, baš kao u Auschwitzu, a opet zadržati svoju slobodu. Progovara o ljudima koji su čuvali koru kruha za druge zatvorenika unatoč riskiranju vlastitog života, i kaže „to je sloboda“. Opisuje i čuvare koji su učinili isto. Frankl također objašnjava kako čovjek da bi preživio treba jednu stvar: smisao i svrhu svog života. Govori kako je podsjećao zatvorenike u čemu bi aj smisao mogao biti: sjećanje na njihove žene, djecu, koji su možda nekako preživjeli ili možda na knjigu koju samo oni mogu napisati. Frankl kaže da bi 72 sata od trenutka kada su odustali od smisla života ljudi umirali. Smisao i svrha života bili su važniji za preživljavanje nego hrana, medicinska briga i druge osnovne potrebe.

Jacques Maritain, još jedan Europljanin iz iste generacije, radio je za UNESCO kao stručni savjetnik tijekom izrade nacrta Opće deklaracije o ljudskim pravima. Maritain je napisao poznati esej u kojem daje kratki pregled svog razmišljanja o središnjim točkama Deklaracije na kojoj je radio. Kako se ljudi suprotnih uvjerenja mogu složiti oko skupa prava? Maritain spominje događaj sa sastanka u UNESCO-u kako bi govorio o Deklaraciji. „netko je bio zadivljen što su se određeni pripadnici posve suprotnih ideologija složili oko nacrta popisa prava. Da, odgovorili su mu, složili smo se oko tih prava pod uvjetom da nas se ne pita „zašto“. S ovim „zašto“ rasprava započinje.“ (Maritain, Man and the State, Catholic University of America Press, Washington DC, 1998. p. 77) Maritain zaključuje svojim opaskama: „S obzirom na to da je UNESCO-ov cilj praktične naravi, slaganje među članovima organizacije može biti postignuto ne na zajedničkim misaonim idejama, već na zajedničkim praktičnim idejama, ne na prihvaćanju  istog poimanja svijeta, čovjeka i znanja, već na prihvaćanju istog skupa uvjerenja s obzirom na djelovanje. Ovo je bez sumnje vrlo malo , to je zadnje utočište intelektualnog suglasja među ljudima. Međutim, to je dovoljno da bi se započeo veliki posao i puno bi značilo kada bi postali svjesni ovog nacrta zajedničkih praktičkih uvjerenja.

Pitanje „zašto“ ostaje prostor u kojem se nastavljaju odvijati novi razvoji i rasprave. To pitanje „zašto“ duboko je povezano s pitanjem „tko je osoba“. Je li ljudska osoba subjekt kojem država osigurava prava i zaštitu istih ili jesu li muškarac i žena bića sa svojim intrinzičnim dostojanstvom koji već posjeduju prava koja država mora prepoznati i poštivati. To pitanje koje je bilo u središtu rasprave Komisije za nacrt Opće deklaracije o ljudskim pravima, i u središtu disidentskog pokreta otpora pod komunizmom, i dalje nastavlja biti u središtu svih većih rasprava u UN-u, i u svakoj od naših država. Način na koji odgovorimo na to pitanje određuje smjer naše politike i kulture te na kraju vizije čovječanstva koju ćemo povjeriti današnjem svijetu i budućoj generaciji. Međutim, posve je jasno da ovo pitanje prvo mora biti odgovoreno u srcima pojedinaca koji se potom mogu  obvezati na život u skladu s takvim uvjerenjima. Otuda će se te ideje ukorijeniti i procvasti u kulturi i samo otamo se možemo opravdano i efektivno nadati utjecaju na politiku i državne rasprave.

Potvrđujući to, jasno mi je da su izrečene snažne tvrdnje ne samo o tome tko je ljudska osoba nego i o vezi između tog pitanja i društva koje gradimo. Na poseban način, tvrdnja da su ideje i kulture krajnji i ključni oblikovatelji temelja naših društava čini se kao sasvim strana barem u područjima politike i obrazovanja kojima sam se ja bavila. Ono što me je pogodilo u tome jest prirodan način na koji kultura sama brani tu tvrdnju. Spomenula sam velike pokrete u Središnjoj i Istočnoj Europi. Možemo vidjeti kako sveučilišta, zabava i umjetnost nastavljaju mijenjati živote i utjecati na kulturu.  Promatrajući velika pitanja s kojima smo suočeni u današnjem svijetu, možemo vidjeti utjecaj koji ideje, kulturne institucije i akademije imaju na ovu raspravu.

Ja sam glazbenica. Studirala sam klavir i provela velik dio tinejdžerskih i ranih dvadesetih godina proučavajući teoriju, povijest i velika djela klasične glazbe. Bila sam fascinirana pojedincima koje sam susrela i zaljubljena u glazbu koju sam svirala. Kao glazbenica bila sam aktivna u području za koje većina mojih vršnjaka nije bila zainteresirana ili je prema njemu bila u potpunosti apatična. Dok sam održavala površni interes za politiku ponajprije sam bila fokusirana na razumijevanje umjetnosti i glazbe. Unatoč tome, dvije figure se izdvajaju u mom sjećanju: jedna iz Poljske, a druga iz Rusije. Veliki poljski pijanist i diplomat Paderewski i ruski skladatelj Shostakovitch. Te su mi osobe, i mnoge druge, pomogle shvatiti izravnu vezu koja postoji između ljepote, transcendentnog, i istine o tome što znači biti uistinu čovječan.

Paderewski je stavio svoju umjetnost u službu svoje zemlje, čak i dok se bavio visokom politikom. Njegova je umjetnost služila podizanju naroda i kupovini vremena kako bi se pokreti otpora mogli sastati u zelenoj sobi za vrijeme njegovih nastupa. Umjetnost i politika postojale su jedna uz drugu.

Shostakovitch je djelovao kasnije, pod komunističkim režimom u Rusiji sve do smrti 1975. godine. Mnogo je godina svoga života živio i radio sa spremljenim koferom. Nikada nije znao hoće li mu njegova glazba donijeti slavu ili pak trenutnu deportaciju. Iako su ga stalno zvali da služi kao državni skladatelj i slijedi državne naputke, Shostakovitch je izabrao slobodno skladati i izražavati sebe i svoju umjetnost što je autentičnije mogao.

Postoje i drugi pisci, slikari, pjesnici, glazbenici i filozofi te mnogi drugi veliki i hrabri muškarci i žene koji su slijedili svoje misli i ideje unatoč velikom riziku za vlastiti život. To je ono što Havel zove život u istini i to je ono što su komunisti jako dobro prepoznali kao najveću prijetnju njihovom društvu laži. Nevjerojatna je jasnoća kojom komunistički režim i drugi totalitaristički režimi prepoznaju moć ljepote, istine i kulture da obori naoko nepropusne tiranije – diktature koje štite vojske, špijunski sustavi, i sustavno represivno nasilje tresu se u strahu pred  pjesmom, predstavom, simfonijom ili kratkom pričom. Moć istine je najmoćnija za one koji aktivno šire laži.

U našem radu u Svjetskom savezu mladih, primjeri Solidarnosti u Poljskoj i Povelja 77 stalno su nadahnuće. Veliki poticaj nade pojavio se kod izbora pape Ivana Pavla II koji je svoj pontifikat započeo riječima „Ne boj te se“ i onda tu poruku donio ravno u Poljsku. Rad Vaclava Havela i ostalih članova Povelje 77 artikulirali su probleme koji nastaju kada „centar moći postane centar istine“. (Havel, The Power of the Powerless, 25) Velike aktivnosti i neopjevane heroje podzemlja vodili su u svakoj zemlji prvenstveno intelektualci, pjesnici, pisci i mistici. I domoljubi izvan države pisali su i trpjeli u solidarnosti. Oni su iskreno i predano opisivali unutarnje borbe pojedinaca i pokreta. Pada mi na pamet Czesław Miłosz, poljski pjesnik i nobelovac. U svemu tome bila je živost, život sa svrhom i namjerom, i kultura koja je prepoznala izbore pred sobom.

Ideje i principi koji su potaknuli pokrete otpora pod komunizmom ostaju na mnogo načina iste ideje i principi koji su još uvijek potrebni svijetu. Na globalnoj razini dostojanstvo osobe ugroženo je na mnogo različitih načina. Kloniranje ljudi, pobačaj, HIV/AIDS i način na koji raspodjeljujemo stranu pomoć su sve simptomi nepotpunog razumijevanja ljudske osobe. Naš rad uključuje sudjelovanje na međunarodnim konferencijama, raspravama i dijalozima s ambasadorima, diplomatima, poglavarima država i mladim ljudima. Vidjeli smo globalnu reakciju mladih ljudi kao i onih u vladama, politici i kulturi na ideje koje predlažemo. Postoji prihvaćanje dostojanstva osobe i potreba da ga osobno iskusimo i ponovno uspostavimo u svojoj kulturi. Svjedočimo novoj kulturološkoj promjeni među generacijom mladih koji su nadahnuti i opremljeni sredstvima potrebnim za predlaganje jasne vizije osobe čitavome svijetu. Kao i prije, najbolji i najbistriji odgovaraju na ovaj izazov i rade iskorak prema svjetlu u svojoj generaciji i za cijelu kulturu.

Uspjesi pokreta otpora ostaju siguran vodič i nadahnuće za nas. Ti su pokreti razumjeli snagu istine, snagu kulture i snagu zajedničkog rada prema istome cilju. Vodstvo tih pokreta suočilo se sa stvarnošću, dijelili su viziju s ljudima i vjerovali su da će ih snaga njihove vizije, utemeljena na stvarnosti istine, očuvati u nevoljama i u konačnici osloboditi od laži zapletenih u kulturi. Povrh toga, njihova djela i hrabrost na kraju su srušili jednu od najmoćnijih i najopakijih vladavina. Trajno nasljeđe koje su ti vođe ostavili svijetu jest nova generacija, nadahnuta njihovim mislima i djelima, spremna preuzeti izazov izgradnje svijeta dostojnog ljudi koji žive u njemu.