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2-2018 / Studie a eseje / Ondřej Slačálek

Against Academic Prudence! With Elbows, Forehead, Kicks...

S. K. Neumann, Anarchism, and Czech Intelligentsia in Late 19th and Early 20th Century

Ondřej Slačálek

Ondřej Slačálek, Junior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science of the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University , ondrej.slacalek@ff.cuni.cz       Other contributions by the same author

The aim of this article is to reconstruct anarchist ideology in the Czech environment of 1890–1914 based on criticism of three kinds of intellectuals as presented by contemporary anarchists. In particular, the author analyses criticism of T.G. Masaryk, the Social Democrats, and F.X. Šalda. In Masaryk’s case, contemporary anarchists criticised his intellectualism and separation of reason from passions and emotions. In the case of the Social Democrats, they objected against objectivist materialism which, in their view, led to underestimation of subjectivity and the will. In Šalda’s case, criticism was directed against his aestheticist elitism and subjectivism seen as arbitrariness or wilfulness. Anarchist attitude to intellect and the role of intellectuals turns out to be based on individualism and sensualism and its main aim was to develop a specific attitude to both mass politics and elitist aesthetics.

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