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2021 | 65 | 5 | 502-516

Article title

Ozvěny totality a sytémy hodnot



Title variants

Echoes of the totalitarianism and the systems of values

Languages of publication



a2_Nežádoucím výsledkem normalizace je oslabení "zcela základní dovednosti intelektuálů, a to schopnosti formulovat obecnější stanoviska, která by mohla působit jako protipól přirozeně technokratického diskurzu větší části politických elit... Normalizace tak skutečně uspěla v jednom ze svých hlavních cílů, totiž nejen diskreditovat, ale zároveň zevnitř poddolovat stav kritického veřejného intelektuála. Politická proměna, kterou přinesl rok 1989, na tomto úspěchu normalizace nic nezměnila. I díky tomu vykazují dominantní myšlenkové vzorce v české společnosti dvacet let po sametové revoluci tak významnou kontinuitu s obdobím, které jí před-cházelo." (s. 375-376)
b1_Totalitarianism and its philosophical, sociological and psychological aspects are a subject matter of a substantial first part of the article. The second part of the article is more specific, as it demonstrates the goals and the course of the so-called "normalization" on the example of the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University, Prague. A great deal of attention is devoted to the phenomenon of fear, which is a fundamental prerequisite of totalitarian systems. Further, it is pointed out that even democratic regimes possess some totalitarian elements, which has been pointed out already by Alexis de Tocqueville, the French historian who personally studied the nascent democratic regime in the 19th century United States. Among de Tocqueville’s merits are the first attempts to define the nature of democratic despotism. Democratic despotism is defined in terms of destruction of the human psyche, resignation to the exercise of one’s free will and such additional character traits, as the tendency to quietism (calm acceptance of things as they come). The following, relatively extensive part, is devoted to values. The explanation of values is based primarily on a publication by the Brno lawyer Vladimír Čermák. Logically, the values of freedom, equality, and justice receive the main attention. The philosophical perspective of the article is represented by views of the philosopher Ladislav Tondl. The first part of the article is concluded by an overview of methods which psychologists and sociologists use to empirically assess value orientations. The second part of the article deals with a thorough socio-cultural analysis of the so-called "normalization" period (1969-1989). Its analy-sis has been recently carried out by young historians of the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University and it resulted in a book listed in the References.
b2_In this Summary, the author considers it important to share the main message resulting from the analysis: Normalization resulted in the debilitation of "the fundamental ability of the intellectuals, i.e., of the ability to form generalized views, which could act as a counterpoint to the naturally (technocratic) discourse of the majority of political elites." Thus, normalization succeeded in one of its main goals, i.e., not only to discredit, but also to undermine the public intellectuals. The political change, brought about by the revolutionary year of 1989, did not take away fromnormalization accomplishment. That is one of the reasons why even two decades after the democratic Velvet Revolution, the dominant thought patterns in the Czech society still manifest a significant continuity with the preceding totalitarian period.”








Physical description

Document type



  • Československá psychologie, redakce, Psychologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i., Politických vězňů 7, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic


Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

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