2022 年 2022 巻 51 号 p. 91-112
This article considers the large-scale political movement that emerged in the Czech Republic in the second half of the 2010s from a cultural anthropological perspective. It traces part of the transition from post-socialism to post-post-socialism, considering the effects of memories and representations of the socialist period in the Czech Republic after 1989.
The political movement covered in this article is a series of demonstrations organized in the late 2010s by a political group, “Milion chvilek pro demokracii” (“A Million Moments for Democracy”), calling for the resignation of the then-prime minister, Andrej Babiš, who had been the subject of investigations by the Czech police and Office Européen de Lutte Anti-Fraude since 2015 for fraudulently receiving grants from the European Regional Development Fund. Consolidating into one political expression the multiple allegations against Babiš, in June and November 2019, Milion chvilek organized two of the largest mass demonstrations since the Velvet Revolution in 1989.
The main question raised in this article is why a new political party, lidé PRO, has failed to gain public support, despite the national momentum of the anti-prime ministerial demonstrations by Milion chvilek. Lidé PRO aimed to prevent the formation of a third Babiš government due to the October 2021 parliamentary elections by turning Milion chvilek, which has no base in party politics, into a new political party from the autumn of 2020 onward. However, this project was closed after just over 40,000 signatures were collected by the deadline of March 2021, which was less than the 50,000 signatures required to stand for election to the Chamber of Deputies.
This article attributes the failure of lidé PRO to the cognitive discrepancy between the post-socialist generation (those born before 1975) and the post-post-socialist generation (those born after 1975). The former is the generation that experienced the 1989 “revolution” after its adolescence, and it has organized its political struggles according to a complex of three dichotomies: “the East” and “the West,” “past” and “present,” and “socialism” and “capitalism.” On the other hand, the later generation has begun to organize its struggles according to the dichotomy of “liberal forces” versus “populist forces” since the second half of the 2010s. This article demonstrates that both generations worked simultaneously within the anti-prime ministerial demonstrations by Milion chvilek and finds that the cognitive discrepancy between the two generations manifested as differences in understanding party politics. It concludes that, as a result, lidé PRO failed to gain public support, and the project failed.