After the Fall: The Pursuit of Democracy in Central Europe

By Jeffrey C. Goldfarb | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER 4
What's Left? What's Right?

On November 9, 1990, through a series of accidents, I found myself having a philosophical, discussion with the Czechoslovak minister of the interior, Jan langoš. The circumstances leading to our meeting, and the substance of this discussion, nicely represent the complex and ironic framework of the post-totalitarian political situation.

I went to Czechoslovakia one year after the "Velvet Revolution" (so named by Václav Havel) for three reasons: to help my Slovak colleagues initiate a branch of the democracy seminar in Bratislava; to give lectures in Bratislava and Prague on recent developments in the sociology of politics and culture as part of a New School initiative to reconstitute the social sciences in Eastern and Central Europe; and to take a look at Slovak nationalism and its impact on the formation of Czechoslovakia's new democracy. The arrangements for my visit proved to be quite faulty. The person who was supposed to meet me

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