Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard a lot about the huge gap between Red State and Blue State Americans, but it seems to me that the biggest differences in the Czech Republic these days aren’t between regions or even between cities, but rather between young and old people.
This story from today’s MF DNES gives an idea of how wide the differences are between Czechs. The translation, as usual, is mine.
One fifth of people miss the totalitarian regime. And if they could, they would return it back to power. Twenty percent of 507 respondents polled in exclusive research by the Median agency for MF DNES expressed nostalgia for the Communist era.
More than half of people older than 60 believe that the Czech Republic has gone down the wrong path since 1989 by choosing democracy. The same opinion was expressed by one-third of those in their fifties, and one-quarter of those in their forties.
“They’ve already forgotten about the empty stores. What they remember, though, is that everything was nearly free and that everybody had a job,” commented Jan Hadrava of Median.
Longings for the conquests of socialism were also expressed by residents of the former East Germany. Every tenth person there would turn back time. “It surprises me that so many people miss pre-November relations everywhere. So far I’ve found that people only wanted the social security to return,” said Jan Herzmann of the Factum Invenio agency.
The previous regime’s zero unemployment, according to the poll, is valued more than the current freedom of speech or ability to do business.
47-year-old Irena PodlahovÃ¡ of ČeskÃ© Budějovice sometimes looks back on the old days with good memories. “Like how families with children aren’t doing well,” she points out.
Sociologist Jan Hartl of the STEM agency believes nostalgia is a cover for incompetence. “These are mostly frustrated people who aren’t doing well,” he opined.