The President of the Czech Republic is a defender of the ramparts of civilization and the inaugural member of the new ROC category, People We Should Know. Vaclav Klaus is the 69 year old Czech president first elected in 2003 and re-elected in 2008 who has made it his vocation to speak his mind in a very libertarian and free-wheeling mode. This has shocked the staid establishment of the European bureaucratic elite that have opined for a singular top down voice for European political and societal correctness for the past 60 years based on a socialist model, but Klaus has withstood the pressure to conform. At a time when the socialist democracies of the traditional western power centers of Europe are creaking under the burden of mandated regulations of the European Union and the sclerotic addiction of their populations to public entitlements, Vaclav Klaus and like minded politicians from eastern European governments in Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, and Georgia are immersing themselves in the freer expression and experimentation of their more recent, hard won freedoms, and questioning the wisdom of following in the economic footsteps of the European establishment.
Klaus is a particularly vocal skeptic of two European political establishment philosophical mantras, European political unity and anthropomorphic global warming. Klaus is a university trained economist who finds the lack of diversity and competition in the regulation laden EU economic model as stultifying and inevitably damaging to the individual aspirations of free market enterprise in the developing economies of eastern Europe. He remains an opponent of the Lisbon Treaty, an attempt of European Union countries to codify constitutionally the social regulatory model of the EU to take precedence over local elected officials. Klaus , the libertarian, finds it an affront to free action and a frankly unhealthy economic process. He eventually signed the treaty to prevent the Czech Republic from being labelled the outcast that prevented passage, but remains convinced that the theories espoused by his economic hero Friedrich Hayak remain the salvation to a growing European answer to the competition provided by America, Brazil, India, and China. On the issue of global warming as a phenomena driven by man made factors, he is an even more vociferous critic. He has said that serious scientific review provides little support for the projections of the global warming scientific establishment, and is a direct assault on the sovereignty of the individual, designed for the solitary purpose of conforming people’s habits and forcing a socialist economic system through that conformity. He feels strongly as a survivor of communist times in his country that radical environmentalism is the new weapon for leftest elements to infuse irreversible societal mandates , achieving the control of capitalist economies at a global scale only dreamt about by their communist forebears.
President Klaus has brought to focus the civilized concept of freedom of thought and expression that is the foundation of the western ideal. Love him or hate him, his intelligent, cogent, and incisive opinions guarantee that there still resonates in Europe the love of the intellectual free thinker, and with it, the hope that Europe might yet still escape from the worst elements of the socialist economic harness it has placed upon itself.