Várady Tibor

Tibor Várady is an internationally-recognized scholar and expert on international commercial arbitration, private international law, and international business transactions. He was on the faculty of the Novi Sad Law School in the former Yugoslavia and served as director of its Center for International Studies for many years. Since 1993 he is a professor at the Legal Studies Department of the Central European University in Budapest, and Chairman of the International Business Law Program. He is holding the title of a “Professor Emeritus” at the CEU, and he has also been appointed by the President of Hungary as a “university professor” in Hungary. Professor Várady was appointed as a full professor at Emory University (Atlanta) in 1999 and since 2012 he holds the position of Professor Emeritus of Law. Professor Várady is a Member of the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration , and he is on the list of arbitrators of ten arbitral institutions including institutions in the former Yugoslavia, in Hungary, in Egypt. He has been acting as agent, counsel and advocate in 11 cases before the International Court of Justice. He has about 260 publications written in five languages. His most recent publications include: International Commercial Arbitration (co-authors: J. Barcelo and A. Von Mehren) 5th Edition West 20012; Language and Translation in International Commercial Arbitration, T.M.C. Asser Press 2006.

22 September 2016

How and (Why) to Keep a Dissident Spirit in Spite of Transition

One of the best products of communism were its dissident intellectuals, who managed to challenge dogmas, and earned reputation both in communist and in Western countries. The question has arisen whether the virtuosity of dissident thinking is sustainable after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and in a period of “transition”.

One of the questions that arise pertains to the concept of transition. Under communism, the party did not say that we were communist countries.

What the party said, was that we are building communism, we are on the right road towards communism. Dissidents perceived our environment as a reality, not as a transition towards reality. What should dissidents do today? Is the present perception of “transition” helping, or impeding us to see the reality? Dissident intellectuals were under much more pressure under communism, and this had many damaging consequences, but it also made dissident thinkers truly important. Can such an importance be achieved today? A great danger for dissident thinkers today is to continue to criticize what they courageously criticized under communism. Some observations may still hold ground, but they do not have any more the flair of bold discoveries. Dissident thinkers who stayed with old observations are not dissident thinkers anymore.

The question has also arisen how to find a proper focus in times of “transition”. Under communism, the elections did not yield an actual change of government, and there was no balance or compromise between government and opposition. The government was practically the system. Hence perceiving what the government was actually doing, amounted to demasking the system. And this is what dissidents were doing. Criticizing the government was a criticism of the system. Today, the party (or coalition) making the government is not the system. Criticizing the leftist or rightist government is not clairvoyance, and it is not a debunking of the system. It is just part of the system. The question is how to return to a critical perception of the system, instead of merging into polarizations within the system.
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