Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Czech ex-president vs unelected Covid brown shirts

These Corona brown shirts really seem like a fifth column serving some truly pernicious foreign players

I am increasingly worried that the gradual disappearance of freedom and democracy that we were witnessing in the recent decade or so will switch to an abrupt end and a sharp start of a new totalitarian regime. The latest correspondence between the Second President of Czechia, Prof Václav Klaus, and the current minister of health, Assoc Prof Jan Blatný, may be another good example of the clash of the two different worlds.

Klaus has complained that a ministry web has explicitly mentioned him as a source of misinformation about Covid, along with the brilliant immunologist Jiří Beran. The ministry web discusses various types of alleged misinformation about Covid; the last paragraph is dedicated to the VIPs like Klaus and Beran (but if they had more space, they would have included singers and others, too). Well, I consider a significant fraction of the statements mentioned on the page to be misinformation, too. But some are correct and... our constitution still guarantees the freedom of speech (even for those whose statements are considered wrong by me); moreover, the percentage of misinformation is much higher in the articles and statements by those who are trying to fan the hysteria about the most fashionable disease of 2020 and they are not being censored or attacked. These double standards are typical symptoms of a non-democratic political system.

Here is the full translation of the December 1st, 2020...

Letter of Václav Klaus to the minister of health Dr Jan Blatný.

Dear minister,

so far I haven't had the opportunity to meet you, and that's why I am sorry that our first interaction has to have the following form. Nevertheless, allow me to wish you success in your new job. And I wish to the citizens of the Czech Republic that your work will be beneficial for them. It is extraordinarily important right now.

However, I must fundamentally and categorically reject your bureau's official website that has included me – in the section about Misinformation on Covid – among the authors of "visible assertions and strong statements" whose alleged purpose is to support the propagation of "misinformation and conspiracy theories". I demand you explain this unacceptable proposition, order the deletion of the text from your ministry's website, and draw appropriate consequences out of this impertinence.

As a minister and a member of the government, you are a politician. And as a politician, you have the indisputable right to have political opinions and to judge other political opinions. I would never dare to question this right of yours. It is a part of politics. However, what we see here is not your judgement within polemics or a confrontation of opinions; we are talking about the information published on the official platform of a central organ of the government institutions of the Czech Republic.

It is unacceptable for the official ministry's web pages to attack, denigrate, and unjustifiably accuse not only a person who has been the Czech prime minister twice and the Czech president twice – but any other citizen. And it is totally irrelevant whether these propositions were written down and published on the ministry website by the ministry's own officials or even a hired external activist organization. [Comments on its identity will be added later.] The official pages of the Ministry of Health serve as the relevant medium to allow the communication between the ministry and the public and they are unavoidably understood as an expression of the official attitude of your office.

I understand that after a few days in your new job, you don't necessarily have a full control over everything that is happening on behalf of your office. However, after this information from me, I expect you to fix this lamentable matter and you will make sure that it can't be repeated in the future.

With cordial greetings, Václav Klaus

To: Assoc Prof Jan Blatný, MD PhD, Ministry of Health, a Prague address

LM: One problem is that Klaus – arguably the most important Czechoslovak and Czech politician after the fall of communism – was treated in this way. He was a citizen that became a clear target of a malevolent attack by a government organ and whose basic dignity and civil rights were trampled upon. Another problem may arise later and I am worried about that even more. Will the ministry remove this libelous untruth, or will it double down?

In the mid 1980s, as a schoolkid attending an elementary school, I admired many teachers of ours who were wise... and also anti-communist. That included our history teacher (and class teacher) Ms Marie Šilpochová and our teacher of Czech and literature, Ms Emílie Bezděková. We learned a lot – and also why fascism and communism were wrong etc.

Here I must mention that I remember comments by Bezděková about the "Second Republic", the 6-month-long period between the Munich Treaty (when Czechoslovakia was betrayed by allies and lost 1/3 of the territory to Nazi Germany) in September 1938 and the occupation of the "rest of Czechia" in March 1939. The previously cherished and successful democratic institutions – and the undisputed icons of the First Republic (1918-1938) were trampled upon, mocked, flooded in hate mail and hit pieces in the newspapers etc. Bezděková has been a member of the Čapek Brothers Association. So she was primarily angered by the attacks of the Czech "pro-fascists" against Karel Čapek, the playwright who celebrated small joyful events in the everyday life (and the author of the word "robot", well, it was really recommended by his brother Josef, a visual artist).

Karel Čapek was a particularly visible target for the pro-fascists in the Second Republic. He represented the creative freedoms and some kind of a "weakness" (including a degree of pacifism) that was the exact opposite of the virtues promoted by Nazism of the time. His lungs weren't in a good shape but he was basically forced to die – on December 25th (!), 1938 – by the haters. (Incidentally, Čapek collected a lot of "interviews with TGM", meaning the Daddy President-Founder Prof Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, so he was "very close to the [Prague] Castle" [office of the kings and presidents]. On the other hand, Masaryk was very different and much less pacifist or pro-weakness and some experts argue that Masaryk actually invisibly despised Čapek, too.)

The haters, ethically the very bottom of the Czech society, as Bezděková emphasized, were feeling extremely self-confident. They felt – and with hindsight, we may say that "they knew" – that our freedom and democracy wasn't absolute. It was challenged by the Nazi regime of the larger neighbor that was getting ready to take over the rest of our homeland, too. Our constitutional principles had a very small "remaining life expectancy". Their foes knew that Hitler would arrive to Prague, too. They knew that even the most basic constitutional principles of our republic – which were still formally in place – could have been overwritten by something else. By screaming mobs or physical violence – which would be supported by Hitler's troops if things became serious.

The present feels like the Second Republic. Comment sections of the news servers are full of the stinky anti-freedom foam of the society that happily kicks into Klaus – they feel self-confident because Coronazism (plus a few other totalitarian ideologies that are temporarily overshadowed by the viral hysteria) is about as powerful today as Nazism was in 1938-1939. Suddenly, it is no longer important for many that the citizens should enjoy the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression. Suddenly, it is no longer important for the government to respect the freedom and dignity of its citizens. Suddenly, it is OK for governments to go after the neck of citizens who haven't committed any crime. Well, these haters of freedom have hated freedom for a very long time. But they knew it was not their world so their behavior used to be tamed. Things seem to be changing and these morally low-quality human beings are on the offensive.

Klaus started this confrontation with the seemingly submissive and moderate minister – which is slightly risky because we may learn that the situation is worse than we were imagining. We may see soon – the box with Schrödinger's cat will be opened. By the way, I promised you to mention who actually wrote the web page about the "misinformation on Covid". Two collective authors are signed at the bottom of the page. "Semantic Visions" is clearly a private company producing similar propaganda that was hired by the ministry of health to compose the page (this system of ministries' outsourcing and producing a loaded content of official web pages by private companies – where the clearly intended goal is to have a "standardized politically correct propaganda" on yet another website – is terribly disturbing by itself). The second author of the page on the alleged misinformation is "The Center Against Terrorism And Hybrid Threats" which formally belongs under the Czech ministry of interior. It's been primarily active in spreading Russophobia (and the Czech counterparts of the Russia collusion conspiracy theories) and I actually think that it was created by foreign entities (in NATO or EU), not by free will of the Czech ministry and the compatriots in it.

So I believe that this page about the "misinformation on Covid" is a textbook example of our loss of sovereignty, not just our loss of freedom, democracy, and dignity of individuals. Of course, this belief of mine makes the comparison with the Second Republic even more striking. The ultimate crap of the Czech society feels emboldened because it's supported by some foreign centers of power that really, really don't like the nation states, sovereignty, democracy, and individual freedoms.

How will the minister respond? Will he uphold this official attack of the government against the selected law-abiding citizens? Is my metaphor accurate? And if it is, will Czechia be a subject of a full-blown takeover in H1 of 2021, less than six months from now? Like it was in March 1939? If that's the case, I hope to be around in 2027.

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