Monday, July 30, 2018

Tomáš Haas, Czech Steve Bannon (1947-2018)

On Friday, Mr Tomáš Haas died at 15:30. Lots of his Facebook friends including your humble correspondent were sad. He was a major Czech right-wing thinker and a former aide to President Klaus and two Czech prime ministers – he was perhaps one of the crucial guys who do lots of the mental work behind the scenes but remain largely unknown to everybody. His health problems have lasted for some year or years but I think that a month ago, I still saw him at Klaus' birthday party in Prague where my shortage of time (and excess of sweat, due to running uphill in Prague) was unfortunately extreme.



I was a bit worried that former president Václav Klaus wouldn't write about the sad event. But here it is:
Václav Klaus's eulogy of Tomáš Haas

Tomáš Haas was an extraordinary personality of the Czech Right. He was a complete exception among the Czech emigrants who were returning from the U.S. or Canada to their homeland after the 1989 fall of communism. All of them were tainted by the American "liberal" world. Haas was the only white crow among them.

He stood for freedom, democracy, and common sense. He was against the political correctness, multiculturalism, and the fawning over the migrants in the contemporary Europe. His texts and interviews were a great source of energy and refreshment for all of us.

He was a close friend of the Institute of Václav Klaus and I must reveal that he was a top candidate for the Annual Prize of IVK for 2018. For some time, we will reproach ourselves for having missed the opportunity in 2017. Now we can't fix it anymore but we will never forget about Tomáš Haas.
I've talked to him for an hour in 2007 – when both of us were most active in the fight against the climate hysteria. He was an incredibly kind man.




Haas was born in 1947. In 1969, after the Warsaw Pact occupation of Czechoslovakia (we will commemorate the 50th anniversary in 3 weeks), he emigrated to Canada and the U.S. He completed his studies of history and political science at the University of Toronto. 1969 was the "year of choice" for most emigrants – it was still possible and the reasons to do so were already strong enough. My mother's brother went to Australia in 1969, too.

Between 1977 and 2000, he worked as an analyst for the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto and from 1997 through 2005, he served as a consultant for Maxim Group – Technisource in Indianapolis. He was one of the earliest members of Václav Klaus' Civic Democratic Party and the boss of its Prague 10 local organization – probably the largest one in Czechoslovakia at that time.




In the early 1990s, he was often sitting next to the finance minister Klaus during negotiations. He was hired as an aide to President Klaus between 2005 and 2008; and as an adviser of two prime ministers, Topolánek and (technocratic) Fischer, in 2009-2010. (Fischer branded himself as a centrist; Topolánek always wanted to view himself as a right-winger but that view was sometimes not shared by others. Sometimes Topolánek wanted to sell himself as the staunchest warrior for Klaus' ideas; sometimes he acted very differently. A text message about the "vacuous and counterfeited Topol [poplar tree]" on Klaus' phone, photographed by a papparazzo, became the second Topolánek's nickname.)

As a publicist, Haas wrote a lot of articles about domestic and global political issues. Around 2007, I was proud to see his blog: the template was copied from this blog of mine, including the clock widget at the same place. More recently, he was writing for the Parliamentary Letters and had a blog at Aktualne.cz, among a few other places.

Like Klaus and many truly right-wing common sense folks, Haas lost most of his love for the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) in recent 5 years, due to the ODS' drift towards the unreadable center, especially after ODS has endorsed the Ukrainian coup and the national socialists over there. He was one of the staunchest Czech critics of those Ukrainian events around 2014.

I remember those long discussions in 2007. He was also my fellow warrior in several battles. In Spring 2007, he wrote a text Strange Doubts for the Invisible Dog (and it has appeared at several other places) where he defended me against Mr Ladislav Metelka, a climate alarmist and a would-be climate scientist. Metelka hadn't liked a previous text of mine (I wrote lots of polemics against Metelka, and so did he, about the weather records and other things – I am proudest about the title "Pravdu má Hrad, ne Hradec" i.e. "The Castle, and not the town of Hradec, is right" – Klaus was the boss of the Prague Castle and Metelka's office was in a similarly sounding but "smaller" Hradec, "Queen's Minicastle" in Eastern Bohemia) where I stated that climatologists who refused to support the alarmist narratives are badly treated by the universities and the system in general. Metelka went ballistic and treated me very badly, too. Haas has shown numerous proof that I was right.

Entomologist Martin Konvička, a well-known Czech critic of Islam whom I e-know very well (actually for almost 20 years), has mentioned that he will always be grateful to Haas for a vaguely analogous text (on Haas' Facebook profile) that urged everybody to apologize to Konvička because the things he had been saying about the right treatment of the mass migration from the Muslim world had turned to the mainstream view and the official policy within a year or two. But for some reasons, Konvička is still criticized as a xenophobe etc.

Well, I must say that Klaus' observation – that Haas was a complete exception among the Czech emigrants who restored their ties to the homeland – is something that I perceive totally independently and strongly. I know dozens of such emigrants, many of them like to talk about political issues, and with the exception of Haas, I think that to one extent or another, every single one of them has turned into the champion of the political correctness and the contemporary mainstream, basically neo-Marxist, ideological principles.

Sadly, the Czech emigrants aren't the only group that was fudged up in this way.

The Czechoslovak dissidents basically started to behave in the same way. I think that the late Václav Benda – a prominent dissident and, rarely enough, a Christian – was analogous to Haas as an exception among the dissidents. While other dissidents immediately switched to be a "permanent opposition", i.e. folks who suddenly became keen on criticizing capitalism and stuff like that, Benda supported the badly needed positive reforms that led us towards capitalism and the parliamentary democracy without socialist and other left-wing experiments and flavors. His son Marek Benda – a guy who lived as a kid in a badly treated dissident family – became a life-long politician, he's good at all the procedures and relevant laws in the Parliament (although lacking charisma), and the opponents of the parliamentary democracy love to pick Marek Benda as the guy whom they hate because he represents the archetype of a parliamentarian who is so unpopular among the typical "politics criticizing" Czechs.

RIP, Mr Tomáš Haas.

No comments:

Post a Comment