>Too civil a liberalism – Pithart on Čapek and Peroutka.

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I also read an interesting essay-ette by Petr Pithart on the interwar liberalism of Čapek and Peroutka. This argues, Pithart, was very much at odds with Masaryk’s view of politics as rooted in morality and his religious-based view of Czech history, despite these writers close alignment with Prague Castle. Their, error, Pithart claims was to see the (growth of) liberalism as ‘self-evident’ in a society, where it lacked cultural and social roots and where – given the unstable geo-political climate and the rise of totalitarian ideologies of the time – these would never be put down. They promoted an intellectual politics of ‘patient and prudent cultivation [of liberalism] in a country where history cuts a deep furrow’ (282)

M. Znoj, J. Havránek and M. Sekera (eds.), Český liberalismus: texty a osobnosti Prague: Torst, 1995, pp. 279-82.

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