The Czech Republic is experiencing the biggest wave of strikes since the end of communism. People are protesting against a government policy that includes, on the one hand, gigantic payments to US corporations and involvement in unnecessary wars and, on the other, austerity measures and increases that are bankrupting hundreds of companies and driving millions of people into poverty.

The government’s response is even more interesting than the strike itself. These people are not at all attempting rhetoric like, ‘We know it’s hard. We are in a difficult situation. Let’s be patient, let’s grit our teeth, let’s get through this together” etc. We do not hear anything like that. Instead, there is clearly an aggressive figure that the discontented people are evil, selfish, hypocritical, amoral, etc. That is, not an appeal for unity, but for division. Not an appeal to the best in people, but an appeal to the worst.

This worked quite well as long as the opposition was led by the “alternative”, i.e. small radical groups isolated in opinion from the mainstream. But now the mainstream unions are standing against the government! Agency surveys show that the protests have the support of the majority of the public. This is certainly not a situation where attacks can be beneficial.

But the difference can hardly be realised by someone who lacks basic analytical thinking, having spent years learning only to repeat platitudes and censor the opposition. Moreover, it must be mentally difficult for people who have spent years purposefully deepening social divisions to talk about unity and common goals. Nothing is further from their minds.

In the vanguard between communism and liberal democracy, this social stratum did not exist at all. It was cultivated by constant travel to Brussels and Washington and in the local branches of multinational corporations.

Leave a Reply