CHAPTER 5 Roots of Democracy

For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

I. CORINTHIANS 14:14-15

WHEN he had become the first president of the Czechoslovak Republic, Thomas Garrigue Masaryk recalled that in 1918 when he visited the cemetery at Gettysburg, this thought went through his mind: "Our state, our democratic republic, would have to be based upon an idea; it must have a reason for existence which the world at large would recognize."

Such an idea, a national idea, a democratic idea, the Czechs have had since the beginning of their history. Whenever the idea has burned brightly, the Czech nation has been great; whenever it has flickered and failed, the nation has declined and gone under. The Hapsburgs suppressed the Hussite movement; Hitler smashed the Republic and the Communists have subverted it. But no invader has yet entirely extinguished the light of the Czechs' national and democratic idea.

Today the question is: "Can Russian Communism succeed where other ruthless regimes have failed?"

From Masaryk, the "liberator" of the twentieth century, the idea may be traced back to Frantisek Palacky, the intellectual "father of a nation" of the nineteenth century, and from him to Jan Hus, who anticipated the Protestant Reformation by one hundred years. And from Hus, the idea goes back to Saints Cyril and Methodius, Christian missionaries who came from Constantinople in the second half of the ninth century and

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