Zapomenuté dvacáté století

BERLÍN – Od rozpadu Sovětského svazu uplynulo už 20 let. Pro mnoho historiků znamenala tato událost skutečný konec „krátkého dvacátého století“ – tedy století, jež započalo až v roce 1914 a charakterizovaly ho vleklé ideologické střety mezi komunismem, fašismem a liberální demokracií, z nichž nakonec zjevně vyšla jako celkový vítěz demokracie. Na cestě ke „konci dějin“ se však stalo cosi zvláštního: jako bychom se ze všech sil snažili vzít si ponaučení z nedávné minulosti, ale přitom si vůbec nebyli jistí, jaká tato ponaučení jsou.

Je zřejmé, že veškeré dějiny jsou dějinami z pohledu současníků, a pokud by si dnes zejména Evropané měli něco z dvacátého století odnést, pak je to ponaučení o síle ideologických extrémů v temných dobách – a také o prapodivné povaze evropské demokracie v podobě, v jaké byla po druhé světové válce vybudována.

V některých ohledech se dnes velké ideologické zápasy dvacátého století zdají stejně vzdálené a stejně málo významné jako středověké učené debaty. Platí to zejména pro mladší generace, ale nejen pro ně. Kdo dnes alespoň vzdáleně rozumí – natož aby se snažil porozumět – velkým politickým dramatům intelektuálů, jako byli Arthur Koestler a Victor Serge, kteří riskovali životy nejprve pro komunismus a později i proti němu?

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