So Václav Havel, president of the Czech Republic since 1989 (with a little interruption around 1993 when the Czechoslovakia split up) is generally seen as some sort of ‘Euro-Gandhi’. A romantic playwright (who wanted Frank Zappa as the minister for cultural affairs) and long-time dissident, he is well-known for his attempts to ‘live in the truth’ as he calls it.
In the Czech Republic, however, there’s a great distrust of and contempt for party-politics and this includes Havel. Historian John Keane wrote a major book on him, calling his carreer a ‘Political Tragedy in six acts’, the last of which acts he dubs ‘decline’.
How can we assess Havel’s attempts to live in the truth over the last twelve years. Did he live up to expectations or not, and if not, was he submerged in the whirlpool of administrating post-communist Czech Republic/Czechoslovakia or did he not even try to live in the truth and did he dive straight into unscrupulous party-politics?