When Czechoslovak dissidents produced samizdat literature in the late communist period they did so in large part thanks to the material and financial support of The Charter 77 Foundation. It was run by František Janouch, a Czech émigré who is still mainly based in Sweden. In the second half of a two-part interview with the nuclear scientist, we discussed his relationship with Václav Havel, the Velvet Revolution and the work of the Charter 77 Foundation today. But first I asked Mr. Janouch, now 85, how the organisation had managed to get printers and other technical equipment into communist Czechoslovakia
Thanks to the CIA, the Cold War's so-called “free market of ideas” was hardly free. Butweaponizing ideas is a tricky business
Lasch’s The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy, first published in 1994 shortly after his death, is a forgotten classic. Lasch was well ahead of his time in foreseeing how the rise of technocratic, transnational elites would dissolve the social contract that in the postwar era had kept the interests of haves and have nots at least loosely aligned and lubricated a considerable degree of wealth transfer from the former to the latter, which in turn would lead to socio-economic polarization.
Lasch called for a politics based on “the nurture of the soil against the exploitation of resources, the family against the factory, the romantic vision of the individual against the technological vision, [and] localism over democratic centralism.” Nearly a half-century later, as a place to begin, his prescription remains apt.