The sound of silence and the new nationalism

On the occasion of the 17th of November commemoration the Czechs could also hear their President, attempting to interpret or rather to misuse the historical content of the event.

Causing amazement in Austria earlier this month, the President decided to play the nationalist card up to the end. During his visit of Vienna he concentrated on his „incomprehension“ regarding the Austrian non-atomic policy. Thus, the Austrian public could after some time enjoy his anti-ecological doctrine which the Czechs have to witness on a regular basis. It is quite clear though, that the hatred towards solar cells wasn´t the main cause of such performance. It was rather the fact that nuclear energy has been the main cause of frictions between Austria and the Czech republic for some years already.

After his unfortunate part, which included quite offending behavior towards the journalists from Austrian main journal, Der Standart, the President returned to Prague to take part in the commemoration mentioned. The date has a very specific value for the Czechs, as it is the anniversary of the nazi execution of 9 Czech students, and today the anniversary of the 1989 revolution as well, or the student protests which started it by commemorating the 1939 events. Not for Klaus.

Being publicly imprecated by surrounding crowds Mr. Klaus had his speech, commemorating exclusively the first of the two anniversaries. What an example of saying something quite significant just by holding something back. Suddenly the students of 1939 didn´t probably die for freedom in general, but for the freedom of their country. Regardless of historical facts it is quite evident that for Klaus the 17th of November has the kind of meaning many hoped not to witness again in Europe.

It is no wonder then that the two things criticized by Klaus in the framework of his speech were „forgetting the causes“ (may be translated as „everything was caused by them and only by them“) and, quite surprisingly for anyone from the civilized world, also the internet. The new media with their „unstructured torrent of information“ finally count themselves to the evils – alongside with them – endangering democracy, according to Klaus.

Does anybody wonder anymore that the main slogan of the angry crowd yesterday sounded „Democracy looks otherwise“?

published: 18. 11. 2012