Battle for Lithuania’s Future

Organised in 1987, 1988 and 1989, the first Rock Marches were of great civil importance. In a number of towns during the concerts people saw, for the first time after the soviet occupation, three-coloured flags fly. The musicians and organisers encouraged people to bravely jettison the inherited soviet relics and start creating a new life based on the principles of freedom.
This summer Rock March, revived after seven long years, surged across Lithuania again, inviting to concerts and other events thousands of people in Klaipeda, Kaunas and Vilnius. Hundreds of thousands of people watched the final concert on the LNK television.
The Lithuanian Free Market Institute was one of the supporters of this event. We contributed to its organisation and preparation of its content.
Battle for Lithuania’s Future
Rock March invites the youth with the symbolic motto: “WE DO CARE”. Each person puts into it his or her pains, worries, and hopes. Whoever utters it, each time it is a different “I DO CARE”.
The motto encourages the youth to be active. But activeness can be twofold.
A young family can hardly make ends meet. How should they demonstrate their activeness? Should they beg for state support or earn their living themselves, demanding only that the authorities do not curtail individual freedom?
You feel confident about starting a business, but you encounter insuperable bureaucracy, intolerable taxes, corruption, and personal favouritism. How should you act¾ask the authorities to provide for you, just like for many others, exemptions and benefits and to shut their eyes where necessary? On what should you pin your hopes? On a generous government, which distributes favours, or a limited government¾not intervening or disturbing¾where there would be nothing to bribe for?
So what way shall we choose to attain a prosperous and meaningful life? The time is ripe for paving the way by means of freedom, consistently reducing the power of government. The more we reduce it, the more we liberate Man’s powers. Other ways have already been tested. They did not give desired results. But they could not have given and cannot give.
If young people are active, they can determine a lot. Elections are underway. And it is the youth that becomes virtually the main political target. So what? Politicians will attempt to allure them with various promises. They will propose “wonder-working” solutions to all problems. They will promise to provide, to support, to guarantee¾you only have to voice what you need. We do not suggest who you should vote for. I trust you will know how to choose. But if you¾powerful and not spoilt by the former system¾pin your hopes of a better life only on the mercy of government, Lithuania will be sure to fight a losing battle.
Why? – Because then we would only replace the former bellicose, revolutionary socialism with an inaudible, evolutional “welfare” socialism. It does not matter that it will go under different names. What does matter is that wherever people renounce their freedom in the interest of the authorities, we have to acknowledge¾it is socialism.
Government is capable only of distributing wealth, but not producing it. This ruins free creation and incentives to work, and squanders public resources, throwing a piece to everybody to make them quiet, to make them hope for more. If the young generation, whose life today is far from enviable, shows the white flag to re-emerging socialism, we will strive again for a better life only by means of a “fairer” distribution. And then our attempts to achieve a genuine welfare¾that is, based on everyone’s freedom, work and property¾will be doomed to failure. What’s more, we will gradually become obedient servants of the authorities, bound to carry out their plans and waiting for their favours.
No, not you and me. There will be no white flags on our part. We do care, and the battle for Lithuania’s future will not be lost.