Václav Havel is known around the world as a revolutionary against communism. It is less well known that he had relatively friendly relations with the communist regime. And also that he suffered a debacle in every free election he took part in after 1989. The Czechs never elected Havel anywhere. He became president on the basis of backroom deals. The police even arrested one MP for a few hours to prevent him from voting against him. Havel then won the parliamentary election by one vote.
…suffered a debacle in every free election he took part in after 1989. The Czechs never elected Havel anywhere.
I’m afraid the Havel brand was created by global PR agencies. In a magazine poll on the anniversary of his death, I said this:
“Václav Havel wrote no work from which his political and social views could be clearly identified. We have only sketchy notes that make it possible to attribute virtually any position to Václav Havel. The same is true of his politics, which were guided by a single principle. Václav Havel was subject to virtually any pressure, whether from foreign allies, investors or the local media. Thus we must read the famous interview on ‘humanitarian bombing’, in which he declared that the American attack on Serbia and the bombing of civilian buildings was a humanitarian act. Václav Havel probably did not hold the view, typical of American neocons, that all resistance states should be attacked. He simply expressed loyalty, as was expected of him. Perhaps only the conviction that whatever he did was morally right and made him a significant moral figure followed him throughout his political career. If I am Havel (or at least a Havelist), everything is permited. In that sense, the new Czech government, focused primarily on waiting for instructions from abroad and on personal enrichment, is authentically Havel-like.”