The first Masaryk Days
Together with the Rector of Masaryk University we cordially invite you to the first Masaryk Days – a new cycle of lectures to hold debates on current social topics regularly. The cycle will include topical lectures and debates among renowned experts both from Czech and foreign academic environment and the programme will also feature interesting cultural and social events.
The theme of the first year of the Masaryk Days in 2020 is Talks about Democracy. The programme includes a prominent American historian, Prof. Andrew J. O’Shaughnessy, an interesting debate featuring notable personalities of the Czech academic, social and cultural scene. The programme is accompanied by the Concert for T. G. Masaryk and a film projection in the University cinema Scala.
On this ocassion, Masaryk University Press will present publications dealing with related topics, above all the Czech edition of the famous political essay by Stein Ringen, professor of the Oxford University Nation of Devils. Democratic Leadership and the Problem of Obedience. The author offers a thought-provoking meditation on the art of democratic rule: how does a government persuade the people to accept its authority? Every government must make unpopular demands of its citizens, from levying taxes to enforcing laws and monitoring compliance to regulations. The challenge, Ringen argues, is that power is not enough; the populace must also be willing to be led. Ringen addresses this political conundrum unabashedly, using the United States and Britain as his prime examples, providing sharp opinions and cogent analyses on how the culture of national obedience is created and nurtured. He explores the paths leaders must choose if they wish to govern by authority rather than power, or, as the philosopher Immanuel Kant put it, to “maintain order in a nation of devils.”