Social Self-Government Is a Dream I Haven’t Given Up On
Interview with Petr Uhl, by Petr Kužel (Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences)
Kontradikce. Časopis pro kritické myšlení I, č. 2 (2017): 169–184
Keywords: Petr Uhl, left dissent, Charter 77, self-governing socialism
Petr Uhl (born Oct. 8 1941), Czech journalist, longtime prisoner of conscience and former member of the 4th International. Since the 1960s he has been one of the foremost representatives of the radical left in Czechoslovakia. One of the central ideas promoted in his writing is the principle of social self-governmentas an alternative to parliamentary government. He formulated his ideas most extensively in his book Socialism Imprisoned: A Socialist Alternative to Normalisation (Le socialisme emprisonné: une alternative socialiste à la normalisation [Paris: Stock, 1980]). The book was published in Czech two years later by the exile publisher Index. His 1969 article “Czechoslovakia and Socialism” was also included in this volume. He further elaborated his political views in two later books, Justice and Injustice as Seen by Petr Uhl (Právo a nespravedlnost očima Petra Uhla [Prague: C. H. Beck, 1998]) and his recently published memoirs I Did What I Thought was Right (Dělal jsem, co jsem považoval za správné [Prague, Torst 2014]). In this interview with Petr Kužel, Uhl discusses his history of activism and his visions for the future, which he maintains despite the unfavorable conditions of the present.
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