The role of the state

Shiny rails testify even in the most western areas of the republic that the state is functioning; rusty or torn out they evoke mourning. Photo by RomanM82, WmC

It’s a paradox: We remember the reluctance with which many accepted our entry into the European Union. They were afraid that the European Union would direct our politics. It will weaken our state and national identity. After all, a significant part of society fights against the EU constantly, because instead of our interests they defend some European ones, and what do we have to do with them. And even today, it is not recognized among people that the interests of Europe are higher than those of the Czech Republic, and it is worth submitting to, because in the end we benefit from them often more than from those of “our Czechs”.

The paradox lies in the fact that now we and Europe would benefit if we were a stronger state, with a greater common will for the coherence of our international and internal policy, i.e. more resistant to arbitrary disintegration. After all, we may not even know what the state is supposed to be and what it is supposed to do. The only thing that is certain is that it still exists, and it is counted on. The state should not be a mere political push from Babiš to Fiala and back again, when there is a danger that anything that suits the politicians can happen to the state.

It seems that the state is not built on the relationship of voter versus politician and politician versus voter, but on the contrary tends to weaken due to the moods in society and current situations. There can be a huge difference between what the voter is asking for and what his state would need.

A healthy state should therefore have some specification of functions that each of its political representatives must respect, even if they don’t want to. And it would be forbidden to experiment with it, as is happening today, for example, in education. There, every minister comes up with some reform, scares teachers and parents, and then disappears into the abyss of history. For example, let’s fix the basic nine-year attendance as an axiom, it is well known why it should be like that — for example, a child who is not yet fifteen years old must not pick up a file or a brick. The multi-year gymnasium has also proven itself, there is no need to question them. The education system in question is supposed to be a guarantee of security for the people, and thus of the stability of the state.

The state is also supposed to guarantee certain social security, which includes pension security and other social consideration. The endless debate about the fact that there will be no pensions in the future goes against the state and undermines people’s trust in it. Finally, let’s abandon the socially harmful thesis, for example, that current workers are generously funding today’s high pensions, which will be much lower when they retire. Or that people with higher incomes pay extra, at the expense of their own pension, to the pension of people with low incomes.

Whatever the pension system is, if we build our whole productive life for the state and if we serve its society, then the state has an obligation to provide us with an adequate, i.e. dignified, pension. Let state policy take that into account. Even in more difficult financial conditions, it may not be at the expense of the company, but there may be less investment in a substance such as concrete, or in various dredging and moving megacubes of soil, which is less important than the good health of the company.

Connections and public transport should also have a sustainable state assignment, so that one can be sure of their function and be able to rely on them. For example, the cancellation of post offices shows the failure of the state and its inability to make the postal service more efficient.

Similarly, the gradual cancellation of regional and local lines. One day, when gasoline runs out and cars are only for the rich, we will miss those tracks. By the way, the Poles are now restoring, for example, the border railways in Lower Silesia, which they canceled in the 1990s. Are they stupid? Shiny rails also testify, even in the most western areas of the republic, that the state is functioning; rusty or torn out they evoke mourning. How can someone recklessly decide on the demise of a railway, on the gradual destruction of a work of immeasurable value, just because it happens to be convenient? Are they thinking about the future?

Considerations about a so-called two-speed healthcare system are also meaningless. It does not have a tradition in our country — since the creation of Czechoslovakia, our health care system has been organized as general, tied to health insurance. And this has proven itself for more than a hundred years.

Taxes can be moved in different ways, it depends on the will and decisions of politicians. However, the introduction of a progressive tax could also be part of the state’s idea. It would allow those who can afford it to participate more in nation building. It’s an honor. The theory of some politicians that it would not bring much to the state, because it would somehow be circumvented anyway, is wrong. Why such amoral reasoning? Even if the benefit is not anyone’s, it brings an encouraging symbolism of solidarity to society.

The role of the state is not how rich we should be in it, but what functions we can count on on our journey through life.

Source: Deník referendum by

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