I would like to react to this article ["Telecom price rises seen as Internet barrier" by Peter Barecz Vol. 7. No. 28 July 16-29] from the American perspective. My girlfriend is from Levice and so I have an interest in Slovak matters.
I believe this is representative of a greater problem with politics in Slovakia and Europe as a whole. The concept of charging a per minute 'pulse' rate for the privilege of connecting a computer to the Internet is absolutely ludicrous. What is even more ludicrous is that it seems that the people of Slovakia don't really care enough about politics to do anything about it. Why is this? Through my girlfriend, I know that there are many good, freedom-loving people in Slovakia. So why do people in Slovakia complain about politics but do nothing to change the situation?
As long as countries have monopolies and corrupt government 'power brokers' in positions where they dictate self-serving policy with no good, freedom-loving people willing to stand up and say "No, this is wrong, we won't let you do this" nothing will ever change. Remember the saying in English "All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing". I have been told by Slovaks "But our land is beautiful, and our culture and traditions are rich and that makes life wonderful and worth the sacrifice of bad politics." My friends, I tell you this is the wrong way to think. I ask you, what good is it to be attached to a beautiful land and have ancient castles to walk through and rich traditions if you are not politically and monetarily free to enjoy it because you have to work months out of the year to pay your taxes?
Joseph T. Gazarik,
30. Jul 2001 at 0:00