Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1941 during WW II, Vaclav Klaus grew up during the Cold War. After earning a doctorate in economics, he pursued a career in academia and at the Czechoslovak State Bank. Immediately after the Velvet Revolution of 1989, Klaus entered politics. A founder of the Civic Democratic Party, he served from 1992 to 1997 as prime minister of the Czech Republic. In 2003 he was elected president, a position to which he was reelected in 2008.
In retelling his experience of living through the Velvet Revolution, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the lifting of the Iron Curtain, Vaclav Klaus offers his views on what students today need to understand about life under communism. He also defends his opposition to the idea of a European superstate -- "I do not consider the Lisbon Treaty to be a good thing for Europe, for the freedom of Europe, or for the Czech Republic" -- and compares the ideology of environmentalism and global warming alarmism with the ideology of communism.
Finally, he ponders the question of what lessons from history his grandchildren are learning.
Vaclav Klaus was born in the Vinohrady district of Prague on July 19, 1941. He spent his childhood and youth in the neighborhood of Tylovo namesti.
He studied at the Prague School of Economics (majoring in the Economics of Foreign Trade and graduating in 1963), and economics became his lifelong specialist field. He took advantage of the relative thaw in Czechoslovak public life at that time to study in Italy (1966) and the USA (1969). As a research worker at the Institute of Economics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, he completed a PhD in Economics in 1968.
In 1970, he was forced to abandon his research career for political reasons and left to work for many years at the Czechoslovak State Bank. He returned to an academic post at the Forecasting Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences in late 1987.
He entered politics immediately after 17th November 1989, but he did not lose his contacts with the world of economics. He continued his lectures and published occasionally and in 1991, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Economics at Charles University. In 1995, he was appointed Professor of Finance at the Prague School of Economics.
Vaclav Klaus started his political career in December 1989, when he became Federal Minister of Finance. In October 1991, he was also appointed Deputy Prime Minister of the Czecho-Slovak Federation. In late 1990, he became Chairman of what was then the strongest political entity in the country - Civic Forum. After its demise in April 1991, he co-founded the Civic Democratic Party, and was its Chairman from the outset until December 2002. He won the parliamentary elections with this party in 1992 and became the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. It was in this position that he took part in the peaceful division of Czechoslovakia and the foundation of an independent Czech Republic. In 1996, he successfully defended his position as Prime Minister in the elections to the Chamber of Deputies, but he resigned after the break-up of the government coalition in November 1997. After the early elections of 1998, he became the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies for a four-year term of office.
On February 28, 2003, Vaclav Klaus was elected President of the Czech Republic. Vaclav Klaus is married to economist Livia Klausova and has five grandchildren and two sons: Vaclav is the headmaster of a private grammar school in Prague and Jan works as a financial analyst.
Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits the Hoover Institution's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover's television program, "Uncommon Knowledge."
Robinson is also the author of three books: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life; It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP; and the best-selling business book Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA.
President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus compares the ideologies of communism and global warming alarmism.
"They are structurally very similar," says Klaus. "They are against individual freedom. They are in favor of centralistic masterminding of our faiths. They are both very similar in telling us what to do, how to live, how to behave, what to eat..."
Country, central Europe. Area: 30,451 sq mi (78,867 sq km). Population (2009 est.): 10,504,000. Capital: Prague. Czechs make up about nine-tenths of the population; Slovaks and Moravians are the largest minorities. Language: Czech (official). Religion: Christianity (predominantly Roman Catholic, also other Christians, Protestant). Currency: koruna. The landlocked country is dominated by the Bohemian Massif, a ring of mountains rising to 5,256 ft (1,602 m) at Mount Snezka to encircle the Bohemian Plateau. The Morava River valley, known as the Moravian Corridor, separates the Bohemian Massif from the Carpathian Mountains. Woodlands are a characteristic feature of the Czech landscape; most regions have a moderate oceanic climate. The economy, privatized since 1990, is now largely market-oriented. The Czech Republic is a unitary multiparty republic with two legislative houses; its head of state is the president, and the head of government is the prime minister. Until 1918 its history was largely that of Bohemia. In that year the independent republic of Czechoslovakia was born through the union of Bohemia and Moravia with Slovakia. Czechoslovakia came under the domination of the Soviet Union after World War II, and from 1948 to 1989 it was ruled by a communist government. Its growing political liberalization was suppressed by a Soviet invasion in 1968 (seePrague Spring). After 1990, separatist sentiments emerged among the Slovaks, and in 1992 the Czechs and Slovaks agreed to break up their federated state. At midnight on Dec. 31, 1992, Czechoslovakia was peacefully dissolved and replaced by two new countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, with the region of Moravia remaining in the former. In 1999 the Czech Republic joined NATO, and in 2004 it became a member of the European Union.
I love this guy. His speech at the EU last year was amazing. If you know anything about history, you will listen to this man. What he says is BOTH educated and informed. He goes beyond the popular assumptions and digs at the base of messages that the general public swallows whole.
In the past, it was not monsters that accepted totalitarian leaders,,,, Tito, Hitler, Mussalini,,,
It was the common man, accepting liars and cheats.
Sheep have been led around time and time again. It will happen again.
Chamberlain believed in, "Peace in our time." War makes more money than peace and true democracy.. Terminology is being used to define your mind. Question ALL.
Ignore the terminology and go beyond the headlines.
"The general public believes intellectuals." We all know statistics changed. If it is printed, it must be true...??
If you would like to comment,,,please add your explanation of the EU President. How was this a TRUE democratic selection? How was the vote taken?
Re: PrincessFaissl, cap and trade
The problem with cap and trade is who decides who gets how much? the politically favored will pollute just as much, with the added bonus of being able to extort the unfavorable with the sale of the excess credits they have been allocated. its a lobbyists fantasy.
Yes we know this is not Vaclav Haval it is Vaclav Klaus, the second president of the Czech Republic. Should we be doing something to achieve a cleaner environment, absolutely. Should we be trying to get better cleaner energy, absolutely. Have politicians seized on global warming as an issue to tax people, absolutely. Cap and trade does absolutely nothing to provide a cleaner environment. Politicians have been looking for something to raise government revenues and can you only imagine to tax us on "the climate". At first it was "global warming" but now that we have entered into a world wide cooling cycle it is now "climate change". Talk about trying to have it both ways. At any given moment in history you could look to the climate in any part of the world and make a case for cooling or heating of the earths surface. Did you know that antiartica has generated more then a million cubic feet of new ice in the last three years. You won't read about in the media because it not what they want you to hear. Any time you hear a politician use the term "climate change" it should raise red flags. In reality "climate change" means "raise taxes".
If you want to do something about carbon, just set a price on carbon and get the fuck out of the way.
As I see it mainstream environmentalism is the last vestige of socialism. Socialism can't produce more goods, it can't produce better quality goods; whenever it's actually tried it ends in a massive statist meat grinder whose only reedeming feature is that it's so inefficient that the harm it is able to inflict is reduced. The same cretins who were telling me the Soviet Union is such a wonderful workers paradise and will rapidly overtake the west, and they were telling me this right up until the glorious year it imploded, are now telling me well at least socialism is necessary to save the environment. These are the same people who in the 80's wanted to phase out our nuclear plants(~50% of our grid) and import natural gas from the Soviet union to replace them; a ruionous policy both for the economy, for the environment and for energy security.
Economic calculation is impossible under socialism, even weak socialism where you "play market" to try and emulate its function. Just look at Germany to see the effect of the government's micromanagement of the economy. Why are they building all these idiotic wind turbines that barely do anything to reduce CO2 emissions(spinning reserve + higher percentage single cycle turbines negate most of the benefit) and require all this gas from Russia? Why are they still thinking about trying to phase out their nuclear plants and build 26 new filthy, lignite coal plants? The only material reduction in CO2-emissions happened when the Berlin wall fell and the crummy Soviet coal plants were replaced with more efficient ones in the early 90's.
I was born in Poland.
There is a saying about people, who were on the top of big changes of eighties:
"From zero to hero ... and back."
I do not mean to offend Czech people, but this gentleman is fits it quite well.
It is not limited to Eastern Europe, thou.
Can someone tell me, why politics resembles so much a stirred night pot?
Why our "leaders" remind so much of that "floating thing" in that long forgotten bedroom necessity?
Setting a carbon cap, right now, would be devestating to the American economy. Right now we do not have the alternative forms of energy in place to compleatly move away from fossil fuels succesfully.
The United States produces steel. Companies in other countries do not buy American Steel because of the cheep labor that produces it or because the quality of the steel is that much better from America. Our companies are very competative in the world market, because the Iron Ore and the Coal that is needed to fuel the fires, to produce the heat neccisary to refine the iron, are found close enough together that the Material cost is low enough to pay the American Workers wages and still keep the prices low. If there was a limit of Carbon use allowed by a steel mill, where they would be forced to buy carbon credits to run their plant, the Cost of manufacuring would sky rocket. Which would raise the price of the steel, forcing themselves out of the market, which would force the plant to close -or- they would be forced to cut the jobs of "non-essential" member of the work force. Either way a substantail blow to our allready weak economy.
This will surley be the way for most other manufacturing industries STILL located inside of the United States...
We do not have the Nuclear Power plants ready to make a smooth transistion, and as of right now it takes 11 years of Red Tape before a new plant will be APPROVED for construction. We dont have the wind or solar farms in place yet either, and there has been debate whether or not the wind turbines would produce enough energy in 10 years to pay for their production and maitenence.
Why shouldn't the United States wait untill we have the Alternative Energies in place before we swear off of Carbon fuels. Imagine if we capped the carbon output in 1900.. we never would have been able to make the machines and plants that would allow for the new forms of energy we are creating, and the Nuclear power technology would never had been developed here.
The Lisbon Treaty...is the worst thing that has ever happened in European politics. Goodbye sovereignty...goodbye democracy...It's time to wake up to the true nature of this treaty... Repeal now before it's too late.