Czechs Don't Want Democracy

Article excerpt

In his book Respublica Bojema written in 1643, M. Pavel Stransky (probably no relation) wrote: "The Czech nation is both handicapped by faults and supported by positive traits." As a result of the its history and location in the heart of Europe, the country has helplessly watched itself be drawn into greater conflicts--both religious as well as territorial--which it could not influence due to its small size. Its people consequently withdrew into themselves and thus excelled: today the Czech Republic has per capita an unbelievable number of renowned composers, artists, leading scientists and sport superstars. On the other hand, the country's inward withdrawal hurt its ability to self-criticize and engage in constructive dialogue or compromise--the modus operandi of a healthy democracy.

Today's Czech politicians are prime examples, arguing among themselves as six-year-olds would during a temper-tantrum, and ruining their EU presidency via internal governmental collapse. The recent communist past is of course the latest catalyst for today's negative societal traits. What is now labeled as the "post-totalitarian syndrome" is characterized by the following: jealousy, absence of faith, a positive resonance with populist politics, unwillingness to confront change, a need for immediate personal and social gratification, absence of civic duty, and a preference for simple and authoritarian solutions over complex ones. …