The Meaning of Czech History

By Tomáš G. Masaryk; René Wellek et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7

The Social Question

Through a natural process of evolution, we have progressed from a Kollárian concept of humanism, taken in a one-sided, nationalistic sense, to a broader humanism with a greater social emphasis. I have tried to show that the social question was a central one in all the areas of our thought and work—in politics, literature, art, science, and philosophy. This development followed its natural course until today when the social question is in the very foreground of the Czech question. But the social problem of our nation leads us back to the fifteenth century, for it was then that we first attempted to solve it and we did a poor job. We must now expiate the year 1487. If we fail to find a just solution to social demands, if we do not proceed in the spirit of our historic ideals, in the spirit of universal human ideals, if we turn from love to violence—then we will return to our grave never to be resurrected again.


The social question does not only concern the workers but
also morality

The social question is not merely the problem involving workers, just as 1487 was not merely a problem involving peasants. The

____________________
From Tomáš G. Masaryk, Česká otázka: Snahy a tužby národního obrození (Prague, 1969), Chapter V.

-143-

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