Jan Antonín Baťa; source: ČTK.
Jan Antonín Baťa; source: ČTK.

Let’s Build the State

Jan Antonín Baťa

Surely there are nations in the World that would like Czechoslovakia to continue to lead such a passive life in terms of economy. Surely many people would still like us to use the same methods, to take care of small things and postpone big ones. Surely someone would benefit from it if we were scared to take responsibility, if we’d rather mend unemployment with pittance, if we’d patch leaky laws with laws equally leaky, if we’d limit our political activities to compensation of holes in the state budget according to the practice “take what you can get.” We might keep ourselves alive for a few more decades with this kind of management.
However, there has been a widespread change in Europe in recent years. It’s not a pleasant background for an economy settling for patches anymore.
Europe has slowly been transforming into a system of truly modern states. States connected with perfect highways for the automobile; states strategically penetrated with the most direct railroads; states economically strengthened thanks to a system of commercial water canals.
In this Europe we won’t succeed as apprentices any more. We can defend our political and economic independence only if we let go of the apprentice’s indecisiveness and stand up on our own feet as enterprising young leaders.

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