On Direct Democracy and Social Concerns
My Life and Activities
During the last twenty years, the bulk of my custom writings at essay.ws; the books, most essays, and poems I wrote to express some concerns about the flaws of contemporary political systems, we call democracies, and my aim was their improvement. I created this Web site in the hope that some of the issues I wrote about and some theoretical studies I made serve that aim, and they could be useful for humanistic activists and writers.
In Democracy I cover a small part of my activism, establishing Participatory Direct Democracy Association, PDDA, and being among the founders of Worldwide Direct Democracy Movement. Under the same heading, there are references and links to other democratic organizations and activists all over the world. A few of my books can be downloaded, free of charge; scroll down to links under My Activities.
In Philosophy the notion of pure and absolute truth are denied and replaced by the concept of Conditional Knowledge. I spent a considerable amount of time thinking about the concepts of idealism; Platonic ideals, innate ideas, absolute truth revealed by mathematical proofs, the abstract concepts of Euclidean geometry, the purpose of analysis of truth statements; derailing the practical application of philosophical wisdom. I developed 'conditional logic' that is more fruitful than abstract philosophies in practical matters, including the scientific research.
Science and technology are driving the evolution of human civilization. I talk about the 'dual potential' of our age; the positive that reduced the drudgery of the primitive ages, that improved our hygienic conditions, brought electricity to our homes, automated manufacturing processes, created medical diagnostic equipment and drugs, extended the span of human life, made communication instant, and rapid transportation on a global scale. It would require a large book to illustrate the positive consequences of scientific and technological progress. An even larger volume could only describe the 'negative potential' of the same developments. I write about automobile and transportation safety and corporate and political influences that retard technology that could improve safety, reduce injuries, death, pollution, and efficiency by reducing delays and congestions. I make special mention of a number of journals that refused publications of my critical technical and scientific research articles, and the reasons, I think, why.
I hope you will find some of my writings interesting, others educational, and still others thought provoking. It would be heart-warming to me if some of my essays and poems appeal to your feelings, especially those on the insanity and cruelty of war, and the destruction of the environment. You may reach me with your comments and requests via email (scroll down.) In the next pages my resume gives you a glimpse into my life and further, my Biography about my professional and writing activities.
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BRIEFLY ABOUT MY LIFE
I was born in a small city in Hungary on Sept. 27th, 1925. The political circumstances aroused my feelings against continuing my schooling. At almost 14 years of age, I wanted to show 'the world' that I was not lazy to work and became an apprentice in a factory in Budapest, far away from my parents and brother. I had to stand on a soap-box to reach the workbench.
My parents' house did not have regular electrical service, only on those nights when the local grain mill had work and turned the dynamo on from dusk to 11 pm. Yet, from an early age on I was yearning to become an inventor. In the factory I quickly sobered up, I was just an uninformed rural boy among the apprentices and masters, working with transformers, motors, and radios. Recognizing the need I enrolled in night courses at a technical high school. The mind is like the muscles, it must be exercised strenuously to perform at high levels. It took me three month to learn Ohm's Law and really understand its meaning. However, by the end of two years, I learned the theory of electricity, and I built my own radio. In the factory I acquired the practical side of labour and became a journeyman electro-technician, not yet seventeen.
At eighteen I was drafted into a forced military labour camp. I dug for unexploded bombs. My fellow forced labourers and I also worked on restoring bombarded railways with pick axes and shovels. One day, a ten meter long iron rail, we carried on our bare shoulders, was dropped accidentally by the shorter boys at the tail end. I, at the front, was hit and thrown by it. The resulting hernias, on both sides, were operated on after the war.
In September 1944, three friends and I deserted the labour camp. It took us three months, in danger of being captured; we managed to get over the battle front to the Soviet side. When the war was over, Hungary was in ruins, our home vandalized, empty, burnt in places, nothing, but filthy garbage covered everything. I was penniless and homeless. My cousin and I had pulled a borrowed ox cart loaded with food from my village to Budapest. The city was badly damaged by bombardment, no bridges, nor any kind of motorized or rail transportation. The residents were starving. We bartered the food for industrial products. We pulled the heavy cart; loaded with nonperishables,120 kilometres back and forth six times. Each trip took three days during which we slept in fields or in stables of kind-hearted farmers. The effort paid its dividends and from the income I restored my family’s home, although I had no idea if my parents and brother were dead or alive in some German concentration camp. Fortunately, they survived and shortly after the war was over a renewed home was waiting for them.
When Hungary began recovering from the damages of the war, I returned to work in various factories, where I built transformers, transmitters, amplifiers, loudspeakers, X-ray apparatus, and electron tubes. In 1948, I resumed my studies. I received an electronics engineering diploma in 1953. In December 1956 I took my three-year old daughter on my shoulder and with my wife we defected from Hungary. The Canadian government adopted us as refugees and placed us in a refugee camp in Vienna. We slept on straw for six weeks. After that we were moved to Budel, Holland, where thousands of us refugees, received new clothing and lived under much better conditions. Then we were transported to Falkenburg, another city in the Netherlands, for over three months.
In Canada I worked as a professional engineer for the City of Winnipeg. Eventually I became Assistant Signals Engineer and later Branch Manager of Communications Branch (electronics.) Subsequently, I obtained a M.Sc. degree at the University of Manitoba. An invention of mine led to the establishment of a budding electronics company, of which I became a small shareholder. Through a number of years and several coincidences I became the majority owner. I spent company earnings mainly on research and development.
In 1957, my first scientific paper was published in Hiradastechnika (an electronics journal) in Hungary despite of my defection. The Academy of Science also awarded me a $5,000.00 Forints (equivalent to about ten months salary) a reward for my research, which was published while I was still in Hungary. In Canada and the USA I published six professional papers. And a 25,500 word essay, 'Transformation of Society,' at the international conference of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, IEEE, at University of Toronto/Ryerson Polytechnic Institute, in 1991. The general theme of the conference was: 'Preparing for a Sustainable Society.' During my carrier I also obtained a few patents for my inventions.
After my retirement in 1981, I became a full-time graduate student of Philosophy at the University of Manitoba. The credit for my thesis, 'Bertrand Russell's Logical Analysis,' reached me in Florida, where I have been spending my winters. My main focus since my retirement in 1981 is on societal issues of our culture. Surviving the war, fascism, communism, the 1956 revolution, I devoted most of my attention to studies of social, political, economic, philosophical, and a few scientific issues. Concerns for the decline of our culture have grown gradually in me. As my analytical abilities increased with age and experiences, I write about the adverse effects of science and technology on society and the future, in the hope that I could contribute stopping and reversing the decline. But I am not confident that my writings and activism, and works of others--better activists and humanistic thinkers than I am--will achieve this goal.
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I was a practicing electronics engineer with a M.Sc. and an innovating technical writer; and obtained a few patents. During the past forty years, seeing the ‘dark side’ of science and technology, I studied humanities; philosophy, social and political science, and economic theories. I wrote my thesis on Bertrand Russell’s Analytical Logic, at the University of Manitoba, Canada,. I presented a paper on Transformation of Society at a Technology and Society Conference in Toronto. My book New Democracy was published in 1996, Budapest, Hungary. I have written several books, Studies Leading to Direct Democracy was published in Canada and in Czech translation. Both versions can be downloaded, free of charge, from http://democracy.mkolar.org/pdda/DownldSagi.html
These books and other topics of writings can be seen by clicking the blue links in the Welcome banner of this page. Chant to Remember, commemorating the end of WWII, was recited on CBC Radio in 1995. Some of my works and commentaries were published by Authors Magazine and the latest in the Journal of Public Deliberations, JDP. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/liberal_arts/poli_sci/journal_public_deliberation/fictions/ruins.htm
I am a member of the Canadian Authors Association, and the Manitoba Writers Guild. At the 1998 Continued International Conference on Direct Democracy, CICDD, I was one of the initiators to organize a group, which stands for the citizens’ right to govern themselves. This group, Worldwide Direct Democracy Movement, WDDM, was formed during the second conference in Greece, in 2002. I was elected to be its first spokesperson. WDDM became inactive, due to lack of experience of the members and for internal disagreements. During late 2004 plans to renew the movement were made, and in April 2005, WDDM renewed activities www.world-wide-democracy.net as an international network of direct democrats: under the leadership of Dr. Miroslaw Kolar. A broad range of topics on direct democracy can be found in http://www.world-wide-democracy.net/Wiki/WddmWikiMain
I retired from activism in September 2005 and devote my remaining time to edit and publish my unpublished writings. Interested literary agents and publishers are welcome to contact me. My royalties had been and will be donated for cancer research and the Canadian Red Cross. Individuals can also contact me with comments and inquiries by email [email protected]