Skip to main content

The Spires of Renewal

PRAGUE - A dominant feature of Prague is the Gothic tower of the Cathedral of St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert. That tower is now wrapped in scaffolding because – for the first time ever and, so to speak, at the eleventh hour – it is being renovated. Temporarily, the scaffold conceals the tower’s beauty. That concealment, however, is designed to preserve this beauty forever.

Perhaps this scaffolding serves as an analogy for all postcommunist countries. If some of our best features are not quite visible for the time being, it is because our societies are covered by scaffolding as they undergo reconstruction, striving anew – this time in complete freedom – to rediscover and restore our true identities.

Perhaps this analogy should also be applied even more generally, in the hope that, behind some of the unsightly features of today's world, seeds of an endeavor to save, preserve and creatively develop the values offered to us by the history of nature and the human race can be found.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.


Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.;
  1. drew47_Drew AngererGetty Images_trumpgiulianasmiling Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    Will Trump Be Removed from Office?

    Elizabeth Drew

    Assuming the US House of Representatives votes to impeach President Donald Trump, the fact remains that there are far fewer votes in the Senate than will be needed to convict him and remove him from office. But the willingness of Congress – including the Senate – to continue tolerating his dangerous conduct is now truly in question.

  2. rudd9_Darrian TraynorGetty Images_climateprotestburningaustralia Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

    Unsustainable Australia

    Kevin Rudd

    Before the current conservative government came to power in 2013, Australia was well-positioned to make the necessary transition to a low-carbon economy. But now, the country is heading in reverse, and has already fallen behind most developed countries, and even China, on reducing emissions and building resilience against climate change.


Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions