May it be 4 : 1 in everyday life as well...

During our regular 128th assembly since 1993 - the last time we met in the Palffy Palace in Bratislava in the past year - we bowed to new laureates of the Golden Biatec and the "Peace Prize from Slovakia 2015" and to the winners of traditional public inquiries the World Politician, the BEST BANK and The Most Congenial Personality of Slovak Politics and Society for 2019. I somehow missed to realise that those laureates and winners, and naturally most of the previous ones within the span of 27 years, would not only have a boosting effect on our members but also they would become a message of our ability to detect exemplary actions sent out to the domestic and foreign societies. Using the words of John Naisbitt, the co-author of the bestseller Megatrends 2000 and our honorary member, there will be a new trend in the new millennium involving successful people caring for their environment be it their company, village, city, country or region.

With some hindsight in these civilisation-, economy- and society-wise bad times when consumption and again the brainwashing and "omni-dictating" consumption diminishing the standard of civilisation takes over, I have become so sensitive to how much honesty combined with the character of a concrete personality is healing for a mortal. Although for the time being it is worshiped only when it brings about something exceptional, needed, advanced, business-wise interesting, but also healthy or life-saving.

During a period of decline of Covid-19 then, our 278th event was attended by "only" 81 members, i.e. by 1/5 less than usual. Many were influenced by the disease which brings about consequences that seemed terrifying according to the news from other countries. Our government's boasting about how successful Slovakia was in fighting Covid-19 seemed untrustworthy. The media were sieged by Covid-19 and especially by Prime Minister I. Matovič in the role of the Saviour, which disturbed general mental wellbeing. Scandals around the Chair of the Parliament and the Prime Minister and their theses only contributed to the bad situation. We witnessed hints of "heavyweight" manners and infallibility not only from the Prime Minister but also from several other ministers. And, lo and behold, the majority of the assembly including myself made almost an official declaration saying that we had to give a chance to the new government and to communicate with them.

I said then in my opening address: "We have had, and still do have, so many great people in Slovakia that we cannot fail in the struggle for a real transformation, although we should have been long over it. Hopefully we will live to see it and chiefly to help it expand. It is time to fill our lives with rationality, labour and humanity again, trying to be among the best. Let us hope citizens will commit no more electoral errors...".

The wishes or even desires of our members, including those from abroad, reached the levels of utopian despite the fact that Slovak government coalition politicians and most of the foreign politicians kept saying that things were changing to the better despite the Covid-19 pandemic. In summer they behaved as if the infectionists, epidemiologists and other experts had not been warning about a second wave of Covid-19. Instead of getting united, the society became even more divided. According to the government, which is completely cut off reality, the problem was not their governance, but the behaviour and mindset of the people. Pointing to those citizens, including the government coalition partners, who allegedly are irresponsible and troublemakers.

Six months after my declaration quoted above, far from being united, Slovakia's society is still divided, and its political situation and the situation within the government coalition is close to hopeless in terms of fulfilling promises for change which were the pivot of the parliamentary elections on 29th February 2020. I dare say there is no rule of rationality, labour and humanity here anymore but rather Prime Minister and his cabinet's autocracy and incapacity to understand and show the fact that they are the "servants of the people" not their rulers. Without a pinch of shame new officials started to explain their deliberate subscriptions to violation of law, of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic, of the Human Rights Charter and the similar EU's document. Arousing tensions is the trend also in the international sphere. It climbed from the level of concerns to the level of basic human fear of poverty, social insecurity, unemployment, dependence, or even fear of autocratic fascisizing and of the potential - and so often mentioned by politicians - confrontation, precisely a world war.

There is decadence in our country and abroad, everything is somehow different from what we wish but also from we already had. However, the wish from the first quarter of the previous century is back: "Let's wish the return of better times all together...". I dare not to attribute that wish to a prominent personnality since the author was not recorded. Indeed, it is a cheering wish involving hope in a way - hope that people will recall the why and when their lives were better. Short after the new year commenced I addressed a note to several ambassadors to Slovakia and foreign VIP's here asking them not to judge Slovaks and the different nationalities living in Slovakia by the behaviour and declarations of the current politicians, like it was the case back in the late 90's of the past century. Even far bigger nations do sometimes make bad choices and the Latin proverb "Dum spiro spero." (While I breathe, I hope.) should be kept in mind.

It is not only the matter of the laureates and winners of prizes and public inquiries granted and organised by the Association. It is also the matter of seeing behind them those who work hard and live virtuous lives no matter what goes on in the big world or in the high politics. I was lucky yesterday to depend on four people working in services who were excellent. And to be honest, there was also one who can't but turn a customer off by his inappropriate behaviour. May it be 4 : 1 in our everyday lives as well! Let me invite you to visit the links below which lead to a certain degree of optimism. The same applies to the first nominations in our traditional inquiries for 2021 which you can access from our homepage May it be the sign of the new and so badly needed Enlightenment...

Dr. Peter Kasalovský
Bratislava, January 2, 2021
Guarantor of the prizes and public inquiries granted and organised by the Informal Economic Forum - Economic Club since 1993.

Results of votes of new laureates of the Golden Biatec and of the "Peace Prize from Slovakia 2015" and results of traditional public inquiries in 2020:

Golden Biatec, "Peace Prize from Slovakia 2015" and traditional public inquiries voting protocols of members of the Association and of its International Peace Committee, of guests and visitors for 2020.