Recently, we commemorated the anniversary of the Slovak national uprising, which is seen among our traditions as an armed fight of our ancestors for our freedom. To know how to fight for freedom is important. But it is also important to know how to preserve this freedom. And a look into our recent past unveils that we lost it right in the years 1948 and 1968, although in the second case, we lost more or less only the hope for freedom. And unfortunately, we may lose it again.
In November of 1989, we all cheered that we acquired freedom. Not only political one, but also economic one; yet it didn’t last long. We started to lose it again, but not because of any external forces. This time it’s our own fault. The political establishment of the November aftermath started to exploit political freedom to restrict the economic freedom of a part of its population: the entrepreneurs. The more time has passed since the November ’89, the more intense was the restriction of economic freedom. And the ways to achieve this goal were more sophisticated and multifarious. The necessity of fees, regulations or sanctions is increasing in a geometric progression. It seems that long-lasting complaints on constant worsening in this area don’t matter.
The meaning of commemorative feasts, which remind us of our revolution traditions, should not be all about laying wreaths and expressing respects towards our ancestors and their deeds. Politicians should use these moments as an opportunity to reflect. They could think for a moment about their own deeds. And think about the same freedom our ancestors were willing to die for, and stop hampering this freedom in the lives of citizens and entrepreneurs.
This reflection would be a much needed one. Our politicians (with a few exceptions) have the tendency to act as if they were the owners of Slovakia for an undetermined period. They lack humility, the awareness that even in their short period as an authority, damage can be done for many years to come. Our law is full of such “tombstones” – various regulations which make a mess long after their authors are gone from their posts and sometimes even gone from the public scene for good without having to take the slightest responsibility for theirs “ambitious” deeds.
For those who currently work as authorities and are still in public life, one memento: Think, as a main characteristics of economic policy choose maximization of freedom, and maybe you will manage to prevent another chapter of our revolutionary traditions – the Slovak national uprising of entrepreneurs – from happening.
Translated by Filip Bolčo