vak lands. Husak was convinced in any case that Gorbachev's policies were only window dressing, and that the system would not substantially change in the Soviet Union. There were many proofs to the effect that the Husak regime was not about to loosen its reign over the country. Dissenters were persecuted as before, and religious people were singled out for especially brutal treatment by the communist secret police. There were perfunctory calls for the elimination of corruption and for the rejuvenation of the party leadership, but hardly anyone from among the hard-line nomenklatura was removed.
What changed the situation was that, by 1985, the Czechoslovak economy was sputtering. It was in economics that perestroika was finally employed. In July 1987, the leaders endorsed minor reforms in the style of management. The size of the central planning apparatus and its influence were reduced. Enterprise managers were promised greater latitude in determining production targets, and workers were going to receive the right to influence the selection of enterprise directors. The concept of profit was still considered to be tabu, but the idea of financial incentives for producers began to appear in official announcements. Next, prices were to be modified in order to relate them more closely to the costs of production. The general direction of foreign trade was also to be altered.
Many of these proposals resembled those offered during the Prague Spring of 1968, but there was one great difference. In 1968, the changes went against the wishes of Soviet leaders; the historical irony of 1987 was that now Soviet leaders were advocating reforms while Husak and his supporters dragged their collective feet in implementing them. Consequently, the changes were enacted and effected at such a slow pace that the communist system collapsed before full implementation had taken place.
Dawisha Karen, Eastern Europe, Gorbachev and Reform: The Great Challenge ( Cambridge, England 1988).
Hajek, Jiri (1913- ). Hajek was a member of the Czechoslovak Social Democratic party in the interwar years, and was placed in a Nazi concentration camp during the occupation of Czechoslovakia. In 1945, he was freed and appointed Professor of Philosophy at Charles University in Prague. He was appointed a member of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist party and a parliamentary deputy in 1948. Between 1952 and 1954, Hajek was chairman of the committee on Foreign Affairs of the Czechoslovak parliament. In 1954, he was appointed ambassador to Britain where he remained until 1958. In 1958, he returned to Czechoslovakia and was appointed deputy foreign minister, a post in which he remained until 1962. In that year, he was named permanent Czechoslovak representative to the United Nations. He stayed in New York until 1965. In 1965, he returned to Czechoslovakia and was appointed minister of education and culture, then only of education between 1967 and 1968. Between April and September, he served as foreign minister.