The Genesis of Political Distrust Towards the “Sixty-Eighters” in Czech Politics Over the Course of 1989


This article focuses on the genesis of political distrust against the so-called sixty-eighters—former reform communists—after 1989, outlining in detail the political trajectories of the Prague Spring communist actors. These politicians—the so-called socialist opposition—represented an important part of the Czechoslovak democratic opposition in the 1970s and 1980s. Even though many of the reform communists also stood at the inception of Charter 77, non-communist dissent was politically distrustful of the socialist opposition, centred around the journal Listy. Unlike the “non-political” Charter 77, Czechoslovak socialist opposition has always advocated for a profiled political program of democratic socialism. Thus, this distrust towards the reform communists persisted after 1989. In a situation where Marxism and socialism had completely lost political power and much of society rejected the socialist left as a dangerous remnant of the communist dictatorship, the advocates of post-communist democratic socialism found themselves on the margins of political discourse.