Tomá Garrigue Masaryk, the Czech philosopher, sociologist and politician (1850-1937), is one of the central figures in the general cultural history of modern Czechoslovakia. He played an active and important role in the decisive historical periods of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the First World War, and the early years of the Czechoslovak Republic. Indirectly, through his lasting intellectual legacy, his influence extended through the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia (1939-1945) and the post-War era, to the Prague Spring of 1968 and the November Revolution of 1989.


The four stages in which Masaryk reemerged in the Czech national consciousness (1918, 1945, 1968, 1989) can be used to illustrate his history and its interpretations, as well as the development of Czech political and cultural history since the end of the nineteenth century. A consideration of these four returns necessarily poses the question of the modernity of Masaryk's philosophy (was he not a thinker of the nineteenth century whom the conflicts of the twentieth century rendered ineffective?), and the problem of his contribution to the formation of values which laid the basis for the ideas of Czech national identity and statehood.

Masaryk's long life, which until old age was highly productive in both politics and literature, was intertwined with Czech national and world history. This personal history, the different periods of his active involvement in public life at home and abroad, and his four reemergences in the Czech national consciousness can serve to illustrate the many initiatives and detours of Czech political and cultural history from the last third of the twentieth century, as well as the key turning points of European and world history.

The first return of Masaryk was, in fact, the culmination of his efforts to emancipate the Czech nation within the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. After decades of struggle to develop both national life within the monarchy as a professor of the Czech at Charles University in Prague and a member of Austro-Hungarian Parliament, Masaryk decided to leave the country in order to fight against the monarchy at the very beginning of World War I in 1914. Through intensive efforts in cooperation with other collaborators (above all with Eduard Bene and Milan R. tefánik, the exiled legions and the home resistance movement) he attained his goal after complicated negotiations in Russia, France and, especially, in the United States in 1918. The war was over, Masaryk returned to an independent, democratic Czechoslovak Republic. This was "Masaryk's triumph".(7) He became the first president of the Czechoslovak Republic--President Liberator--and in the following years would be re-elected president three times. He was the leading intellectual authority of the interwar Czechoslovak Republic; under his leadership it was a member of the European and world democratic community in which there was place "neither for fascism nor for communism". The Munich Treaty in 1938 and the Nazi occupation in 1939 resulted in the fall of this republic. In the public's opinion, the fall was as if prefigured by Masaryk's death in September, 1937.

During the occupation and World War II, Masaryk became a symbol of the lost democratic statehood. This integrated all the different members of the anti-Nazi resistance movement, including the communists, in a manner similar to the allies who were united by common interests.

With the liberation in 1945, Masaryk reappeared in the consciousness of the nation, including the communists, for a second time. Now he was the representative of the values which the new republic wanted to begin anew, though it was generally felt that a simple return to the pre-war society was impossible.

Memories of the Great Depression of the 1930s and of the failure of western democratic powers in Munich joined with the general leftist, radical movement occurring in the whole of Europe. This constituted conditions favorable first for the propagation of socialist ideas and then for a gradual Stalinization of Czechoslovakia as a country in East Europe and the "Soviet sphere". There followed the emergence of a divided world and the onset of the Cold War. A robust campaign against Masaryk was a part of the process of Stalinization in Czechoslovakia. At that time, he was portrayed as a representative of an "anti-national and anti-popular" policy. His "western" democratic orientation and his humanism were not compatible with Stalinism.

Several waves of destalinization, strengthening gradually under the pressure of the cruel experience of the trials of the 1950s, the analyses presented at the twentieth Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, and the experience of Yugoslavia, East Germany, Hungary and Poland, evoked attempts to democratize and humanize the social system. This pointed once again to the significance and value of Masaryk's heritage. These attempts culminated in the effort to create "socialism with a human face" and to break through the rigid neo-Stalinist system in 1968. This was the third of Masaryk's returns, once more too short to penetrate to sufficient depth the national social consciousness.

After the Soviet military intervention in August, 1968, and the restoration of the totalitarian regime, Masaryk once again became persona non grata for official ideology. The research on Masaryk shifted mainly into the exile and samizdat literature. The ideological rulers did not bother to dispute: the official attitude was set against Masaryk. The more he was disowned, the greater was the discussion about him among the opposition, members of the Charter 77, the illegal Masaryk Society and exiled intellectuals. In the second half of the 1980s, his name appeared more and more frequently in demonstrations organized on the occasion of Masaryk's anniversaries: the establishment of independent Czechoslovakia (October 28), intervention (August 21) and the death of Jan Palach (January 19). The process culminated on November 17, 1989, when Masaryk returned for the fourth time into the wide national consciousness; this time, however, as a part of a resolute movement to establish not a reform socialism, but a thorough political and economic democracy liquidating completely the totalitarian society.

This extremely brief survey of Masaryk's four returns is presented not only to remind the non-Czech reader of some generally known historical facts concerning this country in the heart of Europe, but also as an introduction to the questions to be discussed in this study: Is it not possible that these historical paradoxes result in an unnatural situation in which Masaryk's work, so often prohibited and refused, never had time to be peacefully and organically absorbed and critically appreciated by younger generations? Could they have become even an artificially re-actualized myth, symbolized and glorified in this way, which obscures modern problems and acts retrogressively? Or are its real and permanent values now emerging from the spasms of historical time; if so, then what are these values? Being completely aware of both continuity and discontinuity, we shall try to answer these questions or, at least, to present possible answers.


In his cultural orientation T.G. Masaryk naturally followed the Central European traditions of thought in Germany and Austria (Kant, Herder, Brentano, philosophy and theology in Leipzig). At the same time, however, he contributed to a shift of the Czech cultural orientation from a one-sided dependence on German philosophy to a French-English orientation (Hume, Pascal, Comte, Mill) and inspired an interest in a critical appreciation of spiritual values of Russian culture (Dostoevski, Tolstoy) and of the "phenomenon of Russia" in general in relation to Europe.

This pluralistic cultural orientation had been present among the principles of Czech culture long before Masaryk. It reflected the Czech position in Europe and the specific historic destiny of a nation developing on the western border of the Slavs and on the boundary between western and eastern Christianity. It reflected also the conflict between Germanism and Slavism and between the Czech Reformation and the (German) Counter-Reformation. It was at the crossroad of cultural styles, and as epochs changed the country was either in the center of European states (Greater Moravia, the reign of Charles IV or George of Podbrady) or, on the contrary, only a subordinated part of the Habsburg Empire.

Masaryk did not create this plurality, but he did generate new impulses and initiate shifts in the cultural orientation. Until his arrival in Prague (1882) as a professor of a newly established Czech university, he had grown up in a milieu of central European, German-Austrian intellectual culture. He had studied at a German high school in Brno, and thereafter at universities in Vienna and Leipzig. Above all, Herder's philosophy reinforced his Czech (and Slavonian) feelings and provided a formulation of humanist ideals. A predecessor in this matter was the radical democratic Hegelian, Augustin Smetana.

Another important personality was Masaryk's teacher of many years, Franz Brentano, in Vienna, who supported his critical approach to the Catholic religion and served as an example of an ethical person. He stimulated interest on the part of Masaryk in psychology "on an empirical base" and in the philosophy of August Comte and his predecessor, David Hume (on whom he would later write: Poet pravdpodobnosti a Humova skepse (Calculus of Probabilities and Hume's Skepticism). In this paradoxical way Masaryk was stimulated from within "Austrian" philosophy to a growing interest in French and English thought.

Other elements emerged during his stay in Leipzig (1876-1877): contacts with the scientists at Leipzig University, studies of Protestant theology and, last but not least, his study of suicide, conceived to a great extent in the Comtean spirit. In Leipzig, Masaryk became friends with Edmund Husserl whom he interested in Brentano's philosophy. Husserl in turn initiated Masaryk into the mysteries of mathematics which he used later in his work about Hume's skepticism. His rejection of German philosophy focused above all upon classical German philosophy; nevertheless, later Masaryk came to a positive evaluation of Kant's philosophy, especially of his noetic criticism.

Masaryk's relationship to North America was an additional new element reinforcing his "western" cultural orientation. The major impulse here followed from his marriage to American Charlotte Garrigue (expressed externally also by the adoption of her family name Garrigue). She was a Unitarian in religion, which had a strong ethic but a looser relationship to dogma and to church organization. This stimulated his sympathy for a personal, non-church orientation of a more Protestant type. Masaryk's relation to American culture was exemplified by his American lectures about Russia and the Slavonian problem, presented under the Carnegie Foundation at the beginning of this century. His intensive diplomatic activities during World War I were supported by American compatriots and political circles. This culminated in his almost symbolic journey from Russia (shaken by the October Revolution of 1917), via Vladivostok, to Washington to negotiate with President Wilson in 1918. One may also recall his factual and comprehensive information about the situation in Russia and, naturally, his negotiation about the post-war arrangement of Europe which culminated in the declaration of Czechoslovak independence in Washington.(8)

These outward political and diplomatic relations to the U.S.A. had a deeper philosophic background. The United States represented for him one of the important components of world democracy, a pillar of his philosophical democracy (philosophy of history) and in many regards an example of political order for the new republic. Beyond this were his sympathies for American factuality, pragmatism, industry, activism and individualism.

In Bohemia and Moravia, "Slavism" was traditionally a counterbalance of "Pangermanism"; sometimes it changed into a critical Russophilism which relied on a "Great Russia". Masaryk continued in the tradition of critical evaluation of tsarism, presented in papers by an outstanding Czech journalist and writer, Karel Havlíek Borovský. At the same time, however, he stimulated interest in an objective evaluation of the importance of Russian culture and Russian thought. He rightly paid increasing attention to Russia as it became an important allergic point of both European and world politics. Masaryk was prepared for this task through his long-term studies of Russia and its spiritual traditions (Kireïevsky, Dostoyevsky, Russian literary criticism, three visits to Tolstoy, contacts with Maxim Gorky, and studies of Russian religious philosophy). The results of these studies were published in his works Russia and Europe and New Europe. In his work, World Revolution, he analyzed the course and the consequences of World War I and of the Russian Revolution. In view of this Masaryk appears as one of the first pioneers of a complex and systematic research on eastern Europe and Russia (Slavonic and East European Studies, Ostforschung, Sovietology, etc.).


Masaryk participated in the establishment of a national identity unifying the philosophy of modern democracy and humanistic ideals with democratic and humanitarian traditions of home origin. This dated back as far as the Czech Reformation in the fifteenth century and to Comenius. It culminated in the establishment of an independent Czechoslovak democratic republic as a part of democratic Europe and the world democratic community as a whole.

Neither Masaryk's statement that "the Czech question is a world question", nor all his philosophy of Czech history, nor his philosophy of a "small nation" formulated in a number of books (The Czech Question [1895], Karel Havlíek [1896], Jan Hus, Our National Revival and Our Reformation [1896], Palacký's Idea of the Czech Nation [1898] and The Problem of a Small Nation [1905]) meant, as could seem at first sight, that he wanted to make the Czech nation a center of the world, to hold its problems as the central theme of world politics, or to attribute to this nation an extraordinary mission in the world. The raison d'etre of his efforts may be better characterized by his other formulations, e.g., "to formulate the idea of humanity in the Czech language", and "the Czech problem is a religious problem", etc.

These not very concrete formulations are built on several basic semantic contrasts: up-down (higher-lower), inside-outside (internal-external), small-big, we-they. Masaryk's concept of this problem may be summarized as follows: A small nation ("we") cannot, in comparison with big nations ("they"), base its existence, identity and importance on quantitative indices or the external power of economics, population, or military superiority. Its chance lies in internal value, intensity of output, everyday labor, scientific and cultural activities, moral strength and truth. A great history is not sufficient, national myths are inadmissable, as are any patrioteering, internal narrow-mindedness, trickery, martyr-complex, or waiting for external salvation by a mighty savior. The national identity cannot be built up on a superficial peculiarity or even on malice toward other nations.

The moral strength of a nation (as well as of an individual) is based on its awareness that the national feeling is subordinated to a higher, humanitarian principle which supports one's democratic world-view. The deference of one human being to another is possible only if they respect the principle of humanity which is based on the viewpoints of eternity and on equality of non-sovereign people before the sovereignty of God. Similarly, equal co-existence of nations requires a submission to higher principles. From this point of view "democracy is a way of living sub specie aeternitatis; hence, the Czech problem is a religious problem. In this matter it is possible to draw from the democratic and humanistic heritage of the Czech reformation (John Huss, Comenius) through whom our nation joined the general world trend toward democracy and humanism.

This means that for Masaryk the Czech problem is a world problem above all, in terms of breaking through the barriers of narrow-mindedness and of a closed patriotic approach. (For that reason it is not possible to agree entirely with Roman Szporluk who called Masaryk's conception "nationalism with a human face".)(9) For Masaryk, the national is always subordinated to the generally humanistic; the identity and rights of a nation are subordinated to the human and civil rights of all mankind.

However, it is true that Masaryk shows certain charismatic personal traits and that his philosophy of Czech history was a programmatic conception subordinated to political objectives. This induced numerous controversies among historians and philosophers due to its excessive selectivity, e.g., his one-sided emphasis regarding the Reformation on only one part, namely, the Czech Bretheren, to the detriment of Hussite radicalism; his rejection of the period of the "counter-reformation" as an epoch of "The Dark Ages" due to his stylization of the National Revival, etc.

Many arguments, both in the 1930s and at present were induced by his idea of Czechoslovakism. In the interwar period this was an official conception according to which the Slovak nation should be only one branch of a single Czechoslovak nation. This conception had a pragmatic political meaning, viz., to create a majority Czechoslovak nation in the new republic (with respect to the strong minorities of Germans and Hungarians). This idea, however, contained a latent danger of future nationalistic conflicts which did indeed break out later and contributed to the disintegration of the Czechoslovak republic in 1938 and again in 1992. This idea also lurks in Masaryk's philosophic and legal background, i.e., in his conception that statehood should be built upon the principle of nationalities (which could not be realized under our conditions) and that nations as de facto great individuals can obtain democratic civil rights in this way.

At present, some authors cast doubt on the "break-up" of the Austro-Hungarian empire, but the establishment of an independent Czechoslovak Republic was a positive historic deed. In spite of the unresolved internal conflicts of the interwar republic, Masaryk's philosophy of Czech history contributed to the establishment of Czechoslovak democratic statehood, and the republic was one of the most democratic states of Central and Eastern Europe. In the interwar period, it created a respectable economy, created great cultural values and tried to "formulate the idea of humanity in Czech".


Masaryk's central problem was the crisis of modern man. He looked for its profound causes (disintegration of traditional values and of a comprehensive Weltanschauung, "superficial man"), diagnosed its symptoms (suicides, cultural snobbery, non-religiosity, social conflicts, revolutions), and tried to constitute such values as could overcome the crises ("inward man", a harmonic Weltanschauung, every day work, ethical and lived religion, education, a scientific and philosophical understanding of man, and a transcendent religious horizon).

In the 1880s the conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism seemed to be the most important for Masaryk on the world scale. "Catholicism" represented for him a unifying, theological Weltanschauung based on a myth supporting an authoritative state. Its expression was a monopolistic position for the Church as an institutionalized, political religion. It was seen to inhibit the development of science and philosophy, freedom of thought, and the development of man as an autonomous personality and a free citizen. On the other hand, "Protestantism" satisfied him due to its individualism, emphasis on non-ecclesiastical religion, on autonomous morality and industry. In his opinion, Protestantism opened a space for the development of modern science and philosophy. Catholicism was aristocratic while Protestantism was democratic.

Simultaneously, Masaryk saw the historical turning point conditioned by Protestantism as a collapse of traditional social values to be associated with subjectivism, skepticism and an incomplete Weltanschauung. In this sense the crisis of Man for him was always associated with a crisis of religion: "Modern--Man--Religion--behind each of these words I see a grimace of a triplicate sphinx . . .";(10) "God or a nail, religion or nihilism--this is a blood disjunction of our time".(11)

Religion remained for him a central instrument for overcoming our crisis, a factor which harmonizes both human personality and the global relationships within the society. This mission, however, can be fulfilled only by a new, non-ecclesiastical, personal, live religion without ecclesiastical institutions and respecting the importance of modern science and philosophy. Masaryk's approach is based on trust in a personal God and in the immortality of the soul ("Don't be lazy, but don't get excited because you are eternal"). His "dogmatics" consisted in the requirement of an effective love toward one's neighbor and in the viewpoint of eternity (life sub specie aeternitatis). This implied awareness that the humanitarian principle, respect of other people and oneself, has to emanate from the knowledge that we are non-sovereign beings subordinated to the commands of a higher moral code ("a man can be human to another man only sub specie aeternitatis").

However, as the crisis of modern man is total and many-sided, a transformation of the religious vision of the world is not sufficient. It is necessary to carry out deep social, political, economic and cultural reforms. Masaryk's emphasis on reforms and non-violence is inspired not only by the ethical-religious point of view, but also by the conviction (based on historical experience) that all "external", radical revolutionary attempts result in the risk of unjustifiable victims, in the preservation of old evils or even in a restoration of old orders in a much worse form. Science, philosophy, profound education, culture, arts and every day intensive work are more effective and more positive tools.

Masaryk's method for the formation of national identity played an important role in the tradition of Czech society, although it was not always accepted by more radical political groups. It contributed to the prosperity of Czech science and culture before World War I and had a marked effect on the Czech educational system where teachers were strong and influential bearers of Masaryk's ideas for many years.

His contribution to the constitution of Czech sociology is a remarkable example of Masaryk's influence on Czech science, especially his works, Suicide (1881), Principles of Concrete Logic (1885) with a proposal of classification of sciences, and A Handbook of Sociology (1901). Among his followers should be mentioned, in the first place, a representative of structural functionalism, Arnot Inocenc Bláha, the main representative of the Brno School of Sociology. He began from Durkheim's concept of sociology and corrected it by using Masaryk's ethical and philosophical views. Another follower of Masaryk was Josef Král, a positivistically oriented representative of the Prague School of Sociology. Simultaneously, Masaryk contributed to the revival of discussions about the problems of religion, and paved the way for the development of the Czech "theology of crisis" (J.L. Hromádka) and the religious philosophy of Emanuel Rádl, one of Masaryk's few genuine philosophical disciples.

Masaryk's philosophy of crisis converged with many ideas of European "Lebensphilosophie": individualism, autonomy of human existence, aversion to large "speculative" systems of classical German philosophy and to the "capital letters" in general (History, State, Church, but also Man and Mankind). Some authors(12) classify him for this reason among the predecessors of existentialism in Czechoslovakia. Nevertheless, Masaryk understood the dramatic tension between man and nothingness--the alienated world--only as a symptom of crisis; his main efforts are oriented to the search for solutions. He was above all a charismatic personality, a man of order who "does not come to abolish the law but to accomplish it."(13) In a similar sense, Václav erný later compared Masaryk and alda as two "erratic blocks", two clear-cut personalities with different approaches to religion. According to erný, alda is a mystic who wants to create in harmony with the Deity, whereas Masaryk is a theologian, a man of order, who seeks above all to serve God by performing the imposed orders.

There is no doubt that Masaryk is a man of harmonization, consensus, order: "A great task of our time is to create religion and the religious organization of the society in such a way that it would comply with critical reason. To create does not mean to reconcile science and religion, but to create new religious and spiritual content for life."(14)

The emphasis put upon the words "create" and "make" indicates that there are certain "alda-like" features in Masaryk's person: he agrees with synergism, with the concept of man as a collaborator or even a "friend" of God. According to Masaryk, nothing "happens" in the history but "I have to do it, . . . I am also history."(15) Politics is also a form of creation which can be compared with poetry: "A politician must create in a way similar to a poet; as a poet, he is also . . . a seer and a creator".(16)

This internal tension in Masaryk aims toward an attempt to synthesize. This means that he tries to find the way from oneself without losing oneself, a complementarity of scientific and artistic knowledge, a lived religious relationship to man and world, a responsible rational behavior in a situation with a view behind the situation, an every day work sub specie of radical reform, an exact phantasy, a democratic way of living sub specie aeternitatis, i.e., a creation in order.

Masaryk is not only a philosopher of crisis but also a philosopher of sense. He analyses the crisis of sense and looks for the sense of crisis.


This sense situates Masaryk at his time in the conflict between democracy (anthropocracy) and theocracy. According to him, theocracy is a medieval way of ruling and thinking, a totalitarian, authoritarian state power based on a mythic (unscientific) way of thinking, a state religion (with the corresponding cast of messengers of revealed truths), and a secret diplomacy and bureaucracy. This is a society of aristocratic inactivity and of apolitical citizens who are mere objects of power and accept revealed truths. In contrast, democracy rejects a fetishization of the state; it carries out public policy, tries to persuade the citizens to participate in public decision and administration, is based on scientific and critical thinking, accepts humanitarian ideas which control and limit étatist requirements, rejects racism and nationalism, and justifies human and civil rights.

In this spirit he understands also the raison d'être of the struggle of the Czech nation and of the events of World War I (in his works Russia and Europe, New Europe and World Revolution) as a fight between democracy and theocracy; his political philosophy in the emerging Czechoslovak Republic is based on this vision of the world. The fall of Russian tsarism (the most rigid theocracy) and the victory over the Central Powers seem to support Masaryk's philosophy of history.

Masaryk's three principal theses of the philosophy of history were formulated gradually as a conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism, between reformation and revolution, between democracy and theocracy. If the relationships among Protestantism-reformism-democracy appear to be logical, the relationships among Catholicism-revolution-theocracy are less understandable. We shall try to explain Masaryk's train of thought.

As symptoms of a crisis of the old world (e.g., theocracy) and as accompanying phenomena of a still unconstituted democracy, it is possible to observe titanism, Faustism, revolt against the Supreme (during which subjectivists kill themselves and objectivists kill others), violent revolution, destructive and only superficial changes. These very changes are supported most in countries with the most rigid theocracy. They represent a violent revolt against violence, an aristocratic revolt against aristocracy; they are theocracy "inside out". (On the other hand, in Protestant, democratic countries, trends of reform socialism predominate.)

For that reason Masaryk published his critique of Marxism at the most sensitive point of its development, in the second half of the 1890s (The Social Problem, 1898). The "crisis of Marxism" was the beginning of a period of division which would be very important for the future, namely into a reformist wing (social democracy) and a revolutionary wing resulting later in the Russian Revolution of 1917 and in Stalinism. His critique was further intensified under the impact of the October Revolution of 1917 when, in his opinion, the Bolsheviks "removed the Tzar but not Tzarism".

The thesis concerning the conflict between democracy and theocracy would appear to involve disputable aspects and inaccuracies; it omits the fact of the integration of Catholicism with democracy, and the existence of monarchistic regimes in democratic societies; it cannot explain completely such new phenomena as Fascism or Stalinism, etc. In spite of this, however, Masaryk's opinion had an indisputably positive effect in strengthening the democratic traditions in Czechoslovakia. In a certain way, it anticipated the criticism of some substantial features of later Fascism and Stalinism and even other forms of totalitarianism, e.g., his critique of "technological reason", consumer society, means for the mass manipulation of people, ideas about the technical "modifiability of history", and so forth.

Masaryk's idea of "non-political policy" is based on these conceptions. It rejects not only the policy in the form of a fundamentalistic realization of mythic truths, but also the policy reduced only to a technical manipulation of people. The appeal for a "non-political policy" involves also the demand to subject even the policy to the effect of ethical norms, to create a scientific, cultural and spiritual background of policy, to concentrate our efforts on the formation of internal, spiritual values, and to select non-violent methods. It would work to create a public consensus establishing a favorable climate for political culture and civil co-existence, and for higher norms which correct narrow, selfish interests of individual "parties".

It is understandable that these principles played an important role not only in the establishment of a democratic republic between the two wars, but also in the period of opposition to Fascism and Stalinism. They had marked influence in all stages of "Masaryk's comebacks", especially during the last decades of the fight for human rights (Charta 77 and other non-formal organizations). Their echo may be found in works by Václav Havel (The Power of the Powerless) and certainly in the slogans of the November Revolution. In this spirit Paul Ricoeur presented his lecture, "Hommage a Jan Patoka", in Prague in September 1990. Ricoeur traced the evolutionary line in the history of Czech thinking from J.A. Comenius through T.G. Masaryk to Jan Patoka.

The idea of a "non-political policy" retains its relevance at present, although it can be said that the complexity of the problems in the transition to a new society (and of entry into a new world in general) poses the problem of the limits of this conception. There is a certain danger that the difference between the specific mechanisms of real politic life, the intransigent requirements of economics and the specific features of the sphere of civil society will not adequately be respected.

The versatility (or even the contradictory character) of Masaryk's influence on Czech thought in the interwar period, namely on the development of positivism, structuralism and religious philosophy, resulted in the fact that nearly every important philosopher felt the need to read Masaryk. Above all, at present, when Masaryk's works are freely available under absolutely different socio-historical, political, cultural and spiritual conditions, there is a real opportunity for new evaluations or re-evaluations of Masaryk.

It is necessary to fill the serious gaps in the historical studies of our past and, at the same time, to establish organic relationships between our philosophy, science and culture, on the one hand, and the new spiritual movements of the world, on the other. Therefore, it is not surprising that there are new views emerging especially with regard to the availability of numerous both exile and samizdat works about Masaryk. These are inspired especially by Catholic philosophy (K. Mácha, J. Nmec), contemporary Protestantism (L. Hejdánek, O.A. Funda, J. imsa), structuralism (F. Kautman, K. Chvatík), Marxism (K. Machovec, K. Kosík, R. Kalivoda), the philosophy of existentialism and phenomenology (J. Patoka, V. erný, E. Kohák), to say nothing of new analyses in the social sciences or history (J. Opat, J. Kovtun), or of the arguments of postmodernism.

In any case, our introductory reflections about Masaryk's "returns" were only of a metaphoric nature: in fact, Masaryk never left us.