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From the November 2001 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 48, No. 11)


Lithuania: Crossroads in Ruins


Ricardas Gavelis, Respublika (independent), Vilnius, Sept. 12, 2001.

The liberal democratic civilization is based on human trust. Other means of existence are not possible. It is impossible to control everything. The liberal democratic civilization is not based on force and total control. It is based on the mutual accord of society. In a civilized world, some things are impossible in principal, and some things are self-evident. For example, you don’t need to bring a gun to a shop to get your change. It is also impossible to look for terrorists and to fight them everywhere and at all times. Until today, Western civilization existed because some things were implicitly understood, without any words.

Humanity stands today at a bombed-out crossroads. Some of us are saying that the government failed to prevent the attack of terrorists because of a weak state. Such thinking is very dangerous. Total control is theoretically possible. But there will be no place in a completely secure world for initiative and creativity. Total control itself will bring about the end of our civilization.




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