All due respect to Christopher Hitchens, but this man had more skin in the game, and more success.
“When the internal crisis of the totalitarian system grows so deep that it becomes clear to everyone,” he declared, “and when more and more people learn to speak their own language and reject the hollow, mendacious language of the powers that be, it means that freedom is remarkably close, if not directly within reach.”
So to me, the question is not whether Havel is as important as Hitchens, but whether he’s as important as Solzhenitsyn.
Don’t expect the media to make a big deal of it. He was the wrong kind of dissenter, being too American for Europe. The fact that he never won a Peace Prize, while Yasser Arafat and Barack Obama did, says something very fundamental about the corruption and uselessness of that once-honorable achievement.