The flock of “black swans” we have been facing for several years may be affecting us more psychologically than realistically. We dedicated the last live performance of the Dobrovský & Šídlo podcast this year to the current protests against the government and the reasons that lead to them.
It is not exactly anger that drives the protesters and strikers in our country today. This is how Jan Dobrovský evaluates the events of the last week. “Anger looks different. Just like in France, where cars are burning in the streets during protests and their shop windows are smashed. But this gives me the impression that it is a kind of warning to the government: we are here, we are often your voters, we can understand many of your motivations, but still – please understand what we are saying.”
Jindřich Šídlo recalls that many governments were protested in our country, and he considers the railway strike of February 1997 to be the biggest triumph of the trade unions. “Dušek then stopped the trains for a week. Whereupon Klaus stopped the transformation of the railway.’
However, the 1990s were a time of trade union protests, which mostly did not have a hidden political character. Trade union leaders like Jaromír Dušek did not have political ambitions themselves, or it was not as clearly visible in them as it is today in Josef Středula.
After all, since the presidential election, his every public activity can be considered a form of reparation. That is, more for a political act than a trade union act, especially if the trade union leadership teamed up with various figures from the disinformation scene such as Jindřich Rajchlo.
Not that we don’t live in a time of both fear about the future and the feeling that there is a lack of money in healthcare, education or culture. However, Jan Dobrovský considers psychological reasons to be the main engine of protests against the government:
As if we are going nowhere, we have no vision of the future. One black swan after another. First covid, then one war, now another. We feel that it threatens our safety and well-being. But that is not the main reason for our dissatisfaction, it is psychological.
“Due to inflation, we lost a huge part of our savings. Printing money and giving it away means making new money from inflation. Investments have stopped. The price of money is high. And all this creates the image of not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. And the current government has relatively little to do with all of this.”
“There is a moment of hope missing,” agrees Jindřich Šídlo. “Last fall, we thought we were going to have rough times. In the spring, we breathed a sigh of relief: after all, it was actually almost done. And now in autumn, we already have the feeling that we will never live to see spring, especially politically. And the government and its voters think so.”
Jan Dobrovský compares the transformation of politics and its emptying in recent years to how rapidly the world around us is changing in a technological sense. As if we were “updating” the performance of politics faster and faster, but at the same time its meaning was being emptied.
“At first it was mild populism: we read the polls and adapt to the wishes of the people. Then we cross from right to left. And today we are so far that even the voters do not know what their true orientation is. Many people consider themselves center-right voters. But then when the research agencies ask them specific questions, it turns out that they are completely to the left.”
Could our political and social situation be “refreshed” by a well-thought-out and well-planned cabinet reshuffle? New people? But where to take them? And do we want new faces at all, or will we like to return to the ones we already know? And why are the Pirates the only political party that can destroy itself even without opposition? Listen to this year’s last live performance of the Memory of the Nation podcast as part of the Hradec Memorial on November 27 – in the player at the beginning of the article.
Dobrovský & Šidlo. The Memory of the Nation Podcast
Your favorite podcast produced by Pámě národa. A regular dose of opinions, memories, information and sentiment. From the nineties to the present. What did we go through and how did we survive? Politics and history in a unique mix.
Listen to it on Seznam Zprávách, Podcasty.cz and in all podcast applications.