“The communist type of totalitarian system has left both our nations, Czechs and Slovaks…a legacy of countless dead, an infinite spectrum of human suffering, profound economic decline, and above all, enormous human
(Yet) our experience and the knowledge that has come from it….The specific experience I’m talking about has given me one more certainty; Consciousness precedes Being, and not the other way around, as Marxists claim. For this
reason, the salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human modesty, and in human response-ability.
Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better…and the catastrophe toward which this world is headed, whether it be ecological, social, demographic or a general breakdown of civilization, will be unavoidable.”
— Vaclav Havel in an address to the joint meeting of the U.S. Congress.
From The Art of the Impossible by Vaclav Havel; trans. Paul Wilson et al. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1997, pp 17-18.)