Liberalism

Klaus: Professor Lévy´s absurd statements

Václav Klaus says Bernard-Henri Lévy, a famous media celebrity, is a typical French philosopher. The less he is a philosopher in the pure sense of the word, that is, someone who observes human life with ease, the more he is a political activist hiding his activist self behind a noble philosophical rhetoric.

In Václav Klaus’s own words:

This commentary is not aimed to be about the evaluation of Lévy's texts and lifelong work. It should rather be about his activism, which is a one-way defense of today's so-called liberal democracy. Lévy's activism is an attack on the concept of democracy that we have long dreamed of in the Communist era, and which today's European Union, the ideology of Europeanism and political correctness have destroyed. Professor Lévy, along with other French leftist philosophers, contributes significantly to this unfortunate development.

I have to smile when I see one of the Czech leftist political commentators Martin Hekrdla´s words; he described Lévy as "a caricature of a philosopher, a talking head of mainstream television, a supporter of all real as well as just potential NATO interventions and a tireless destroyer of radical Islam”. I couldn't express it better myself.

In the second half of January, Lévy was one of the authors of a declaration of thirty “renowned” European intellectuals, who addressed their text to “the gravediggers of European thought” and warned of a “civilizational catastrophe”. The declaration was directed against so-called populists who – this is a quotation from Lévy's appearance on Czech Television´s news channel on April 25th – "do not perceive reality at all, pull out any lie and send people to run their heads against the wall to defend their own interests". Lévy was apparently hinting that Marine Le Pen is exactly like that, but these are almost crazy words. Lévy says pure lies about Le Pen: according to him, "Le Pen does not like France, she does not like Europe, and she is subordinate to Vladimir Putin". 

It is obvious that Lévy-type people are beginning to fear that the European public is awakening and that their end is coming. This means that they will have to start doing what they have stopped doing a long time ago – to use serious arguments.

However, this still is not the main reason why I am writing this protest text. Prof. Lévy said on Czech Television that "Prague used to be the beating heart of Europe, but the country took a huge step back". He added that thirty years ago, the Czechs said not only that they wanted to go to Europe but, according to Lévy, they also said they "wanted to go back home, wanted to go back to Europe because it is their home". That's an incredible lie. Nobody said that at the time. I have never heard anyone in Czechia saying that Europe was our home. That was not the message of November 1989. Back then, we only wanted to return to being a normal European country after the end of the Communist era. The statement about “Europe as home” is a statement of today's "new philosophy" in France and Western Europe; it certainly was not spoken out during our Velvet Revolution.

If Lévy says we took a step back, then I have to insist that nothing like that has happened. Unlike just theoretically criticizing totalitarianism like Lévy, we in the Czech Republic were (and we still are now) well aware that our experience of totalitarianism means a step forward. This is something the leftist philosophers like Lévy are not aware of. Therefore, they are not entitled to give us any lessons via Czech Television. 

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