MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
The tenth year in the existence of the Civic Institute was by all means a year of considerable success. Publication of Russell Kirk´s “Conservative Mind” in Czech became with no doubt a genuine turning point, confronting the Czech readership with an entirely new world of ideas which had for several previous generations been completely inaccessible.
It was also a year in which the Civic Institute representatives presented their views a lot more frequently in the mass media, commenting on a wide range of topical issues. Such public appearances have a far-reaching impact and contribute to the establishment of the Civic Institute as a think-tank that cannot be ignored. Moreover, the Civic Institute has entered the cyberspace, providing access to considerable portion of its publications – including the complete catalog of its library – over the Internet.
By now it has become clear enough that neither the fall of totalitarism, nor the breathtaking technological developments and corresponding increase in the living standard and personal choice, as demonstrated at the close of the 20th century, can overshadow any of the classical moral issues which could not be avoided in any historical period in the past. “Who, to whom, how much, and for what?” is an equally controversial issue today as it used to be when “the cake to be divided” was a lot smaller. And virtually the same applies to another vital issue: “Who should be telling to whom what to do, and what right do they have to do so?” The victory of democracy over communism brought about relative consensus regarding at least one such “sub-issue”. On the other hand, technological developments and progressing secularization have fuelled up endless disputes concerning the essence of human existence and the sources of human dignity, opening an arena for a new clash of ideas.
What is the bottom line then? The work performed by the Civic Institute will continue to be no less required in the years to come. It is therefore to be wished that its activities had as many supporters as possible.
THE READING ROOM AND THE PUBLISHING ACTIVITIES
To those who want to explore the world of social sciences, our Reading Room has continued to provide an ever increasing number of unique books, magazines and other printed material. Since it came into being the Civic Institute has endeavored to bring together conservative-oriented literature covering the areas of politics, social ethics, economics, law, and political philosophy. Nonetheless, at a closer inspection the visitors will also come across books representing the cornerstone of another school of thought competing with conservatism in the arena of ideas: classical liberalism. The Reading Room is widely used by students majoring in social sciences at the Charles University, as well as many other visitors who may not perhaps be studying social sciences in college but want to gain a better insight into the subject. The Reading Room has also served as a source of information and data for numerous academic theses. Since 1999, the list of titles has been available over the Internet at http://sd.ruk.cuni.cz/tin-bin/oi/k6 and this year we have added a simplified version of the catalog to the Civic Institute website at www.obcinst.cz.
In addition, the Reading Room offers a whole number of magazines and other periodicals. The range of international titles includes National Review, The American Spectator, Chronicles, Crisis, First Things, Policy Review, The National Interest, The Public Interest, The American Enterprise, The Salisbury Review, Modern Age, Commentary, Foreign Affairs, The Economist, The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Kultura, The Spectator, Imprimis, NATO Review, University Bookman, Humanitas, Thesis, W drodze and others. Many Czech magazines are also available on a regular basis including Respekt, Revue Prostor, Støední Evropa, Proglas, Politologický èasopis, Distance, Mezinárodní Report and others. We wish to express our thanks primarily to many international publishers for providing us with their magazines at no cost.
The Civic Institute has continued publication of its regular monthly CI Bulletin, bringing analyses of important social trends and political events, local and international, but also informing the readers of all events relating to the activities of CI and its individual representatives. Bulletin OI is distributed free of charge to close to 600 recipients. By the end of 2000 the number of issues reached 112. The following texts were published in the twelve issues of 2000:
Richard Grenier: Communism, Fascism and Intelelctuals
Gabriel Schoenfeld: Twenty-four Lies About the Cold War
Roman Joch: Russia and Chechnya
John Henry Merryman: The French Deviation
John O. McGinnis – Michael B. Rappaport: The Case for Supermajority Rules
Francoise Thom: Shall We Fear Putin?
Brian C. Anderson: Capitalism and the Suicide of Culture
Robert A. Sirico: Toward a Free and Virtuous Society
L. Jacobo Rodríguez: In Praise and Criticism of Mexico´s Pension Reform
Jean Bethke Elshtain: Secularism: State-Imposed
Russell Kirk: The Meaning of “Justice”
Peter J. Ferrara: Making the Most of the Surplus
Another series of publications known as CI Studies has been dedicated to more extensive and in-depth analyses, such as No. 13 released last year on the subject of American Foreign Policy and the U. S. Role in the World by Roman Joch of the Civic Institute.
Back in 1997, the Civic Institute co-organized the international World Congress of Families after which it launched gradual publication of individual papers presented at this forum. The third issue published in 2000 contained the following papers:
Jaroslav Šturma: Revival of Family as Source of Human Care
Kevin and Margaret Andrews: Rebuilding of Culture of Marriage
María Isabel Sáenz H.: Formed and Informed Youth
Anyone who is interested in fundamental principles of conservative thinking must have welcomed the Czech edition of Russell Kirk´s comprehensive book The Conservative Mind published by the Civic Institute in 2000, in an outstanding translation by Jiøí Pilucha and Jaroslav Rek, under editorial guidance of Jaromír Žegklitz.
The next book published by the Civic Institute in 2000 is the volume of papers delivered at the international conference NATO and Central European Security in the 21st Century organized by the National Security Assessments Program of the Civic Institute in 1999. The volume published in English includes contributions from Petr Vanèura, R. James Woolsey, Josef Zieleniec, Richard V. Allen, Roger W. Robinson, Pavel Bratinka, Christopher Donnelly, Ambassador Hagen Graf Lambsdorff, František Šebej, Oldøich Èerný, Guillaume Parmentier, William F. Martin, Ambassador John Shattuck, Antoni Kaminski, Henry Plater-Zyberk and Jaromír Žegklitz.
Like the catalog of the Civic Institute Library, most of CI publications are now digitally available on the web. Except for extensive monographies, the Civic Institute website (www.obcinst.cz) can be accessed for all monthly Bulletins (starting from No. 4), all issues of CI Studies as well as all separate papers published so far from the World Congress of Families.
Furthermore, not only does the Civic Institute´s publishing activities give voice to ideas and opinions of others. CI staff members themselves actively participate in public political debates by voicing their opinions in Czech newspapers and magazines, as well as TV and radio programs. Throughout the year, their texts appeared in nation-wide daily newspapers (Lidové noviny, Mladá fronta Dnes) and in a whole number of other periodicals such as Respekt, Nedìlní noviny, Distance, Perspektivy, Domino-fórum, Zoon politikon and Revue Prostor. They took part in discussions and interviews in various programs on both channels of Czech Television, TV Prima, Czech Radio (ÈRo 1, Radio Free Europe), Radio Proglas and BBC.
CONFERENCES, SEMINARS, LECTURES
In March, the Civic Institute hosted an event in which professor Steven Long of St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota, presented his paper St. Thomas Aquinas and the Death Penalty in the Contemporary World on the premises of the CI Reading Room, after which he delivered the same paper at the Catholic Theological College in the Prague district of Dejvice.
In April, former Editor-in-Chief of National Review and member of the Civic Institute Board of Advisors John O´Sullivan addressed the subject of European Defense and Security Policy: An American Perspective.
Also in spring, the Civic Institute invited former Soviet dissident and well known social commentator Vladimir Bukovsky. In cooperation with the Department of Political Science of Charles University the CI organized an event in which Mr. Bukovsky delivered his paper entitled A Perspective of Russia-West Relations.
A series of seminars organized by the Civic Institute started off in January by Risks of Referendum in the Czech Senate. The seminar was addressed by Roman Joch, Senator Daniel Kroupa (ODA party), Member of the Chamber of Deputies Marek Benda (ODS party), and David Rožánek – advisor to the Member of the Chamber of Deputies Vlasta Parkanová (KDU-ÈSL party). Subsequent discussion with Czech senators revealed that the constitutional bill on referendum, as passed by the Chamber of Deputies, would not obtain support in the Senate – an outcome which the seminar had been aimed at.
The seminar for students majoring in social sciences, traditionally organized in spring each year under the same title Christian Perspective and Free Society, was held in May. As before, papers were presented to about twenty participants by Michaela Freiová, Jiøí Fuchs, Roman Joch and Michal Semín – all of them staff-members or associates of the Civic Institute.
Also in May, the Civic Institute organized a seminar for teachers of social sciences and relating subjects (those who had already participated in the Civic Institute´s seminar “Political Philosophy for Civic Society and Free Republic”) entitled Supranational Institutions and the World Order, with papers delivered by Roman Joch and Michal Semín, covering current processes of political and economic integration.
The same papers by Roman Joch and Michal Semín were presented at another seminar, held under the same title a month later for high-school students.
In June, the Civic Institute and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung co-organized a discourse on the issues of Perspective of Developments of European Defense and Security Policy and Transatlantic Relations, attended by over fifty participants and held again on the premises of the Czech Senate. Papers were presented by Karl-Heinz Kamp (Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung), Senator Michael Žantovský (ODA party), member of the Chamber of Deputies Vilém Holáò (KDU-ÈSL party), Roman Joch, and Radek Khol (Institute of International Relations).
Before the summer holidays, so as to ease out a bit from the series of momentous issues dealt with at its seminars, the Civic Institute invited a group of American World War II veterans – participants in the air raid of Prague in February 1945. A number of buildings suffered extensive damage in the raid, including the Emaus monastery (the home of the Civic Institute since 1993). The debate, also attended by the prior of the monastery, helped to clarify numerous speculations surrounding these events up until today.
Those who had completed earlier runs of the above mentioned seminar “Christian Perspective and Free Society” met at a regular reunion in September to attend a four-day seminar entitled New World Order. Although most participants expressed critical views of the vision of global unification, there was still room enough for differences of opinion despite fundamental agreement on essential principles. The merits of supranational arrangement of Europe were discussed by foreign policy advisor to the ODS party Petr Plecitý and representative of the Institute of International Relations Petr Drulák. Roman Joch then delivered a critical speech targeting the United Nations. In his subsequent paper Roman Joch introduced foreign policy doctrines of the right and the left. Radomír Malý of the Catholic Faculty of South Bohemia University spoke of “World Domination as an Error and a Threat”. Two papers were delivered by the vicepresident of Lipový Køíž association Petr Bahník: one addressing the Christian universalism, the other on the subject of Nation. Jiøí Fuchs dealt with the vision of “global ethos” of the German theologian Hans Kung. In a closing speech Josef Šogr reviewed the subject of the seminar and the assumptions thereof. Michaela Freiová spoke of her experience from the session of United Nations preparatory commission on women issues (“Radical Feminism as an Establishment within UN”) and social commentator Jan Horník presented his philosophical criticism of the evolution theory on the basis of similarities between Darwin, Lenin, Hitler, Gore and Havel.
In October, the Civic Institute organized a conference under the title Czech Conservatism: Past and Present, which was opened by a member of Czech Television international desk Jan Fingerland, followed by Roman Joch´s keynote speech “What is Conservatism”. Stanislav Sousedík of the Faculty of Arts of Charles University dealt with the Czech conservatism before the advent of modernism. The next day, historian Robert Sak of the South Bohemia University spoke of the 19th century Czech conservatism, followed up by a co-paper on Czech Aristocracy and Conservatism by his colleague Zdenìk Bezecný. After lunchbreak, Jaroslava Janáèková (Faculty of Arts of Charles University) covered the subject of rural idyllism in Czech literature. Conservatism before the World War II was dealt with by Editor-in-Chief of Socilogický èasopis Miloš Havelka (concentrating on conservative intellectuals) and historian Antonín Klimek (focusing on political personalities and parties). The next morning was devoted to Catholic Movement, Conservatism and Second Republic, covered by Adéla Gjurièová, Radomír Malý (Catholic Theological Faculty of South Bohemia University) and student Stanislav Vejvar. The afternoon block opened with a paper by the head of Political Science Department at the Faculty of Social Science of Charles University Rudolf Kuèera on conservatism in the period of Communism, which was read in the author´s absence, after which publisher Alexander Tomský spoke about conservatism in the Czech exile community. In closing of the conference Senator Daniel Kroupa addressed the issue of revitalization of Czech conservatism after November 1989.
To mark the Czech publication of Russell Kirk´s “The Conservative Mind”, a seminar entitled Russell Kirk and the Conservative Mind was held on the Senate premises under the auspices of Senator Daniel Kroupa, to deal with Kirk´s significance for post-war conservative movement. About 80 participants listened out to short speeches by Annette Y. Kirk – late Russell Kirk?s wife and the President of The Russell Kirk Center in Mecosta, Michigan (thanks to whose assistance the Czech publication could come into being), Karl von Habsburg – Russell Kirk´s disciple, President of Paneuropean Movement in Austria and former Member of European Parliament, and last but not least by Marco Respinti – also Russell Kirk´s disciple and Director of the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Reconstruction in Milan. The agenda was flavored by reading from Kirk´s book, rendered by famous Czech actors Radovan Lukavský and Martin Štìpánek.
Second international conference was held in April as part of the Civic Institute´s National Security Assessments Program – this time devoted to A Tenth Anniversary Assessment of Czech and Central European Freedoms. Taking place in Prague´s Troja chateau, the conference was structured into four panels. The opening speech of the U.S. Ambassador John Shattuck was followed by the first panel entitled “The Geopolitical Backdrop of the 10th Anniversary” with papers presented by former security advisor to president Ronald Reagan Richard W. Allen, analyst at the Council of Foreign Relations Charles Kupchan (U.S.), president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington D.C. Frank Gaffney, and co-chairman of the New Atlantic Initiative, former Editor-in-Chief of National Review and former aide to Margaret Thatcher John O´Sullivan. The second panel dealt with “Political, Economic, and Law-Enforcement Corruption in the Czech Republic and Central Europe”, addressed by director of the Civic Institute´s National Security Assessments Program Petr Vanèura, former employee of the Czech Ministry of Interior Jaromír Neumann, and editor of Respekt magazine and former Deputy Minister of Interior Martin Fendrych. The main speech of the day was delivered by former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Richard Perle, followed by the third panel on “Russian Influence in Central European Affairs” with papers delivered by former Soviet dissident and social commentator, currently a neurophysiologist at Cambridge University Valdimir Bukovsky, French historian Francoise Thom, and analyst of British Foreign Office and Sovietologist Henry Plater-Zyberk. The last panel was dedicated to “Central European Security Outlook for the 21st Century” with speeches by the advisor to NATO Secretary General for CEE countries Christopher Donnelly, president of RWR Inc. and former executive director of the section for international economic relations of the National Security Council under Ronald Reagan Roger W. Robinson, and Czech Ambassador to the U.S. Alexandr Vondra. The closing speech was delivered by the President of the Civic Institute Jaromír Žegklitz.
(January 1, 2000 – December 31, 2000; in Czech crowns)
|Balance as on January 1, 2000|| 338,718.92|
|Book sales|| 97,106.15|
|Conference fees|| 4,976.60|
|Interest yield|| 3,355.62|
|Lectures, seminars, conferences|| 1,652,226.57|
|Library (purchase of books)|| 69,137.93|
|Office rent|| 282,024.00|
|Services (electricity, heating,|
|water, etc.)|| 64,502.00|
|Wage cost|| 1,445,329.00|
|Phone bills|| 101,710.60|
|Consulting services|| 111,000.00|
|Bank charges|| 21,988.05|
|Operating expenses (repairs,|
|postage, travel expenses, conference|
|fees, computer services, administration|
|costs, etc.)|| 623,061.80|
|Balance as on January 1, 2001|| 1,097,432.97|
Thanks for financial support of the Civic Institute go first and foremost to the following institutions and individuals (sponsors over 5,000 Czech crowns):
Alkona Invest, a.s.
High Car Training, v.o.s.
Fund for American Studies
Martina a Jiøí Tomáškovi
Soletanche ÈR, s.r.o.
Lockheed Martin Int.
DINO & Ravensburger