The capacity of man to have a sense of morality is a characteristic that distinguishes man from other apes. Morality generally is the ability of a person to be concerned about the significance of their actions on others…
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Vaclav Havel an Image of Moral Leadership
What one person or culture regards as immoral could be moral in a different setting. The subject of morality has received a lot of attention over a long period of time. Theologians and philosophers alike have been at work explain the determinants of morality in man. Vaclav Havel will be the main focus of this essay as we seek to establish the fundamentals of moral leadership. Description Vaclav Havel, may he rest in peace, was born in 1936 in Prague. He came from a prominent entrepreneurial family who owned an entertainment company and numerous housing complexes. Havel was a celebrated playwright in Czechoslovakia, way before the country became the Czech Republic. He became a prominent writer in the 1960s, with a majority of his works focusing on absurd political regime of the time. His articles focused on the rampant violations of human rights in Czechoslovakia. He openly criticized the authoritarian rule of the time which included such acts as censorship and human rights infringement. In addition to being a playwright, Havel was also a nonconformist to the authoritarian rule, which he explicitly defied. He was a man of great courage amidst all the terror, violence and human rights abuses of the 20th century, in his country and beyond. His involvement in politics came in 1989 after the fall of the communist system, when he became the informal leader of government opposition. Havel’s concern for morality in the way Czechoslovakia was governed ultimately led his election as the president Czechoslovakia in 1990. Following the split of Czechoslovakia into Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Havel became the first president-elect of the Czech Republic. By the time Havel left office in 2003, he had made an everlasting mark on true democracy. Throughout his theatre and dissidence life and reign as president, Havel exhibited exemplary moral leadership qualities that earned him international recognition. Analysis Even before joining politics, Havel was a strong advocate for fair treatment of the people of Czechoslovakia. During his days as a playwright, he wrote articles and one time wrote a letter addressed to a top government official, to relent on the contravention of human rights. As a dissident he, in collaboration with others such as Jan Patocka founded Charter 77, a human rights movement. Seeing the way the powerful subjugated the ordinary citizens made Havel write one of his greatest works “the Power of the Powerless”. Here, he was telling the leaders of the time that the people had power to dislodge them from office, without resorting to violence. He claimed that Czechoslovakia had become a country governed by morally bankrupt people out to subjugate the citizens. He urged the citizens to do what is morally right; instead of turning violent against the regime, they should continue with their activities like nothing was wrong. Knowing very well that Czechoslovakians were “living within a lie”, he did not advise them to use violence against the oppressive regime. Havel saw violence as an unethical resolve that would only rationalize the tyrannical government’s actions. For example, any foreigner in Czechoslovakia was required by law to register with the police on where they were living. The enforcement of this law however, was not easy for the authorities. The law was finally repealed after Czechoslovakians refused to abide by the ridiculous law, and would not register their guests. This was the power of the powerless that Havel
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