Vaclav Havel Quotes (57 Quotes)


    I really do inhabit a system in which words are capable of shaking the entire structure of government, where words can prove mightier than ten military divisions.

    Even a purely moral act that has no hope of any immediate and visible political effect can gradually and indirectly, over time, gain in political significance.

    Our task is to feel the danger of these regimes.

    If you want to see your plays performed the way you wrote them, become President.

    Drama assumes an order. If only so that it might have - by disrupting that order - a way of surprising.


    There are times when we must sink to the bottom of our misery to understand truth, just as we must descend to the bottom of a well to see the stars in broad daylight.

    The role of the writer is not simply to arrange Being according to his own lights he must also serve as a medium to Being and remain open to its often unfathomable dictates. This is the only way the work can transcend its creator and radiate its meaning.

    The attempt to devote oneself to literature alone is a most deceptive thing, and often, paradoxically, it is literature that suffers for it.

    The dissident does not operate in the realm of genuine power at all. He is not seeking power. He has no desire for office and does not gather votes. He does not attempt to charm the public, he offers nothing and promises nothing. He can offer, if anything, only his own skin -- and he offers it solely because he has no other way of affirming the truth he stands for. His actions simply articulate his dignity as a citizen, regardless of the cost.

    Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point; only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it.

    Genuine politics -- even politics worthy of the name -- the only politics I am willing to devote myself to -- is simply a matter of serving those around us serving the community and serving those who will come after us. Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole.

    As soon as man began considering himself the source of the highest meaning in the world and the measure of everything, the world began to lose its human dimension, and man began to lose control of it.

    Isn't it the moment of most profound doubt that gives birth to new certainties? Perhaps hopelessness is the very soil that nourishes human hope; perhaps one could never find sense in life without first experiencing its absurdity.

    For 15 years the Government of Burma (Myanmar) has refused to implement recommendations made by the UN and the situation is getting worse,

    That is very dangerous, ... in an absolutely legal way and in accordance with the wording of the law, but against the spirit of the ... constitution.

    Either we have hope within us or we don't it is a dimension of the soul, and it's not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation. Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart. . . . Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather, an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. . . . Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. . . . It is also this hope, above all, which gives us the strength to live and continually try new things, even in conditions that seem as hopeless as ours do, here and now.

    Just as the constant increase of entropy is the basic law of the universe, so it is the basic law of life to be ever more highly structured and to struggle against entropy.

    The deeper the experience of an absence of meaning - in other words, of absurdity - the more energetically meaning is sought.

    Twenty or thirty years ago, in the army, we had a lot of obscure adventures, and years later we tell them at parties, and suddenly we realize that those two very difficult years of our lives have become lumped together into a few episodes that have lodged in our memory in a standardized form, and are always told in a standardized way, in the same words. But in fact that lump of memories has nothing whatsoever to do with our experience of those two years in the army and what it has made of us.

    He tries to explain why man behaves most improbably, strangely, at variance with his nature, how it is possible for instance that a calm, rather neutral petty bourgeois is all of a sudden capable of commanding a concentration camp, burning to death or gassing thousands of people, and afterwards returning to his clerk's life as if nothing happened,

    A state that denies its citizens their basic rights becomes a danger to its neighbors as well internal arbitrary rule will be reflected in arbitrary external relations. The suppression of public opinion, the abolition of public competition for power and its public exercise opens the way for the state power to arm itself in any way it sees fit. A state that does not hesitate to lie to its own people will not hesitate to lie to other states.

    None of us know all the potentialities that slumber in the spirit of the population, or all the ways in which that population can surprise us when there is the right interplay of events.

    The award is destined for scientists who do not fear to touch on some of the darkest aspects of being without betraying what they have achieved. On the contrary, they head in this direction,

    Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

    When a truth is not given complete freedom, freedom is not complete.

    Sometimes I wonder if suicides aren't in fact sad guardians of the meaning of life.

    For 15 years the Government of Burma has refused to implement recommendations made by the UN and the situation is getting worse, ... In fact, the situation in Burma is much more severe compared to other countries in which the Security Council has chosen to act in recent years.

    True enough, the country is calm. Calm as a morgue or a grave, would you not say

    Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external peace.

    The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility.


    More Vaclav Havel Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Sense & Perception - Facts - Hope - World - Truth - Life - Power - People - Success - Danger & Risk - Work & Career - Liberty & Freedom - Government - Duty - Actions - Law & Regulation - Optimism - Art - Man - View All Vaclav Havel Quotations

    Related Authors


    Sai Baba - Margaret Thatcher - Deng Xiaoping - Yasser Arafat - Ramakrishna - Paramahansa Yogananda - Muammar al-Gaddafi - Mao Zedong - Jawaharlal Nehru - Charles de Gaulle


Page 1 of 2 1 2

Authors (by First Name)

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Other Inspiring Sections

Login to your account below

Fill the forms bellow to register

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.