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The Good Dissident Švejk

Originally published in the Kosmas journal.
Copyright © 2009 by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences.
Used by permission from the author and the publisher.

The Good Dissident Svejk: An exploration of Czech morality and cultural survival

By Heidi Bludau


The ideal Czech dissident is not Havel or Palach or even Hus but Svejk, the fat, beer-loving, bumbling, self-proclaimed, certified idiot of a soldier.  When Czechs resist a political power, Švejk comes back to life.  As the anti-hero of the beloved and famed novel by Jaroslav Hasek,[i]  Švejk represents the Czech spirit of resistance.  Or does he?  Does Švejk truly represent this notion of resistance or does he simple play the role because he slips into it as a celebrity of sorts?  I argue in this paper that Švejk is indeed the archetype Czech dissident because the mode of resistance that he employs is the kind of action (or inaction) that Czechs as a nation and as individuals have successfully utilized for decades in order to survive as a people.  Hasek’s brilliance in capturing the Czech culture’s survival techniques is one reason that his work has endured for almost a century and remains relevant even in today’s political climate.

            As a small nation of around ten million people, the Czechs have been able to persist in the face of political oppression as a unique identity through engaging in a type of passivity or passive resistance.  In the first section of this paper, I will outline the concept of the persistent identity system[ii] and how Czechs fit into this model.  This analysis will provide the framework for understanding why Švejk is representative of Czech identity perseverance.  Coupled with Spicer’s theory, in section two, I will explore Ladislav Holy’s concept of Czech morality in the dichotomy of democracy versus hypocrisy.[iii]   Although typically understood as a negative concept, ‘hypocrisy’ under this rubric has been a salient tool for Czechs in vulnerable geopolitical positions.  Finally, I will discuss F.G. Bailey’s description of “svejkism” in the workplace as a form of resistance.[iv]  Through a survey of Czech resistance in the 20th century, I will demonstrate that Czech methods of passive resistance have been successful in their goal. By means of these three theories, I will unpack the assumption that Czech resistance and Švejk are counterparts in order to prove the foundation on which the “Good Dissident Svejk” stands. 

            I propose this odd thesis – to prove a given – because the way in which many writers, including journalists and scholars, reference Švejk when writing about Czech resistance appears to be one of two things.  It is either an off-handed reference, at times even haphazard, that appears to flaunt a rudimentary knowledge of Czech culture or it is representative of an insider’s knowledge and deep understanding of Czech identity and culture that perfectly references the character.  As a non-Czech and anthropologist, I seek to determine which use of Švejk is more accurate; I advocate for the latter.  Before the analysis, however, I must introduce Svejk.


“What is a Svejk?”

            Josef Švejk is a patriot to the Austro-Hungarian Empire – at first glance.  He has already served time as a soldier when we meet him on the eve of World War I.  Living in a room in Prague, Švejk supports himself by “dealing in dogs.”[v]  He has been declared an idiot by doctors and proudly admits this certification.  When he is called to war, Svejk, although in bed with rheumatism, reports to duty with zeal.  Best known for his “noncooperative cooperation,”[vi] Švejk reveals through his wartime antics “the odiousness, the stupidity and coarseness of the military machine.”[vii]  He appears to be dim-witted, accident-prone and even stupid to his superior officers.  However, at times, Švejk takes control of the situation as a way of serving, and therefore preserving, himself.  Two examples exemplify this character.  When serving as the batman for Chaplain Katz, Švejk manages to successfully retain his cushy position through keeping Katz in good standing.  Švejk pawns the furniture for cash, puts Katz to bed when drunk, and negotiates priestly rituals by providing the pomp associated with such. 

            When Katz finally loses Švejk to Lt. Lukas in a game of cards, Švejk does his best to both prove his worth and incompetence at the same time.  It is a delicate balance.  Švejk practically confesses to his method when he advises a soldier accused of mutiny that the “best thing you can do now is to pretend to be an idiot.”[viii]  However, he hides this rationality and logic in long tales that are seemingly unconnected to the present situation.  Richard Katrovas[ix] describes Svejk’s strategy as “corrosive submission” or submitting to oppression merely to “vex its agents with incompetence.”  Švejk is smart enough to talk his way out of dangerous situations and never really sees any action.  He spends time in jail and finally a prisoner of war camp, albeit for his own side.  Švejk demonstrates wit and intelligence, cunning even, throughout these adventures.  He is able to get by through doing just enough, appearing to do his duty but not drawing too much attention to himself.[x]  Overall, we can read Švejk as an “artful dodger”[xi] armed with irony.  I will now discuss how these weapons of irony and cunning or “noncooperative cooperation,” and “corrosive submission” have been successful tools for Czech national identity maintenance.


Czechs’ Persistent Identity

            After centuries of foreign rule by multiple empires, the Czechs still stand as a unique culture and sovereign nation; the Czechs are a persistent people.  Edward Spicer[xii] states that there are specific conditions necessary for an identity to persevere.  However, it is not the cultural traits or characteristics that interest him but the systems that take form and meaning through historical experiences.  These persistent identity systems involve a ‘people,’ “a determinable set of human individuals who believe in a given set of identity symbols.”[xiii]   The Czechs have endured, and still are enduring, the circumstances essential to this model.

            Folk legend places the genesis of the Czech people in a mythological time when Čech, the ancestor of the Czechs, settled in the Bohemian lands.[xiv]  However, during the 19th century, in a ‘national revival’ the Czechs constructed their identity in opposition to the then-reigning Austro-Hungarian Empire.[xv]  Since then and even before to some degree, I argue, they have been maintaining a unique existence in opposition to entities that threaten their sovereignty as a people, most recently demonstrated through Euroskepticism towards the European Union (EU), most recently depicted by President Vaclav Klaus’ running commentary against the EU.  I suggest that passive resistance in the form of “noncooperative cooperation” has been a significant element to this survival.

Spicer maintains that opposition is a necessary component for persistence and that there must be conflict over incorporation and assimilation.[xvi]  Resistance in the form of rebellion is rare, but the politically weak system will enact “everyday forms of … resistance.”[xvii]  The entire identity of the group is bound up in the struggle against oppositional forces.  The bonding agent in the system is unity in face of the Other. 

There are also a number of historical events that can help us determine whether or not an identity system is persistent.  First, the group will have survived incorporation into at least two to three state organizations.  The Czechs have fallen under varying governments since the consolidation of the Habsburg’s empire, including Nazi and Soviet rule.[xviii]  At the same time, they resisted pressure in many ways to completely assimilate economically, politically or ecclesiastically.  For example, the continued notion of Czechs as a democratic people, in light of imperial and totalitarian rule, demonstrates a resistance, albeit only in mind and at times unsuccessful in practice.  The Czechs return to democracy when they get the chance (Interwar period, post-World War II, post-socialism) and therefore, I suggest, that not assimilation, but cooperation, took place during the past foreign governments.[xix]  

Resistance to incorporation and assimilation is another required element of persistent identity systems and comes in many forms. Whether it was an outward protest of communist rule such as Prague Spring events in 1968[xx] or the disinterest and Euroskepticism illustrated in current newspapers, the Czechs voice a national sentiment in opposition to foreign rule.  Czechs, however, typically employ a form of passive resistance which I will discuss in more detail below.  Additionally, the Czechs were never fully incorporated into the political systems of their “rulers”.  Czech nationalism started with a movement for autonomy within the Habsburg Empire, much like that awarded the Hungarians.[xxi]  In World War II, the Germans occupied Czechoslovakia; they did not incorporate it.[xxii]  During the Soviet era, the Czechs still maintained a certain level of autonomy, within reason, and were not colonized as an actual region of the Soviet Union.  At the same time, the Czechs have only held political power over minorities within the Czech lands or, as some might argue, other Czech peoples.[xxiii]  Therefore, in relation to foreign states, Czechs have only been on equal or subordinate terms.

            Spicer also lists well-defined symbols of identity that differentiate an identity system from other peoples controlling the state programs in opposition as another element of a persistent identity system.[xxiv]   These are important rallying points for the group.  Among such symbols are land and language.  While not required, land can reinforce the group’s identity, even if lost.  The Czech connection to their land is so important that it is codified in their constitution, naming citizens as those who are “loyal to all good traditions of the ancient statehood of Czech Crown's Lands.”.[xxv]  Švejk often references Czech lands through his stories of individuals in various parts of the region.  In this way, he has a symbolic connection to the entire nation, not just his home region.

            Language, as a symbol of identity, is also very powerful.  Both overt and secretive, language of a persistent identity system includes a mode of reference for both the group (self) and the opposition (other).[xxvi]  Pierre Bourdieu[xxvii] makes the argument for language’s power as a symbol of identity because it enables the speaker to name or classify an entity, thereby rendering it real.  Through use of a language, the group’s identity is both redefined and legitimized and naturalized.  This naturalization process is one way in which mental taxonomies, developed through definitions of ‘us’ and ‘them,’ become more cogent in everyday life.  For instance, although not obvious in the translated versions of Svejk, Hasek used varying dialects to differentiate the status and cultural positions of his characters which indicates the complexity of language as a marker for social position.[xxviii]  In other words, Czech language usage demonstrates and symbolizes Czech interior values and worldviews. 

In relation to identity maintenance, Czech-language literature has held an important place in legitimating the Czechs as a definable group.  At times in danger of language assimilation, the Czechs have maintained standard usage of their language.  Under the Habsburg rule, Germanization negated the scholarly use of Czech.  However, the nationalist movement of the 19th century revived Czech language nationalism.[xxix]  Milan Kundera states that “The Czech nation was born from its literature, through its literature, and the nation is thus necessarily tied to the destiny of its literature and of its culture.”[xxx]  Therefore, literature written in the Czech language about Czech culture holds a powerful place in Czech identity maintenance. 

            Heroes are yet another important identity symbol.  These are “human or legendary figures believed to have played important parts in various events.”[xxxi]  The Czechs are not short on heroes.  King and saint, Wenceslas, the pious ruler known for his literacy and justness, Jan Hus who stood up to the Catholic Church, and Tomás Masaryk, the father of Czech democracy, are all well-known in Czech lore[xxxii] and continually serve as relevant points of reference in Czech nationalism, or opposition, movements.[xxxiii]  Svejk, as a character of Czech literature, has become a folk hero, representing the Czech Everyman.[xxxiv]  His role in the Great War as a semi-autobiographical depiction of Hasek’s role has enough reality that Švejk represents Hasek as the hero.

            Another principal characteristic of persistent identity systems is that they are flexible; they are not static systems but change, maintaining a set of core values.  The Czechs have held close to their traditions of democracy, education and culture[xxxv] while incorporating and appropriating other elements from outside entities.  Meaning for a persistent identity system is not found in their shared cultural traits but in the oppositional process and the elements connected to it.  For example, during their national revival in the 1850s, the Czechs defined themselves in opposition to the Germans, the dominant force of the era.[xxxvi]  Since then, they have been able to continually draw on their geopolitical vulnerabilities during foreign rule and find a common bond.  This association allows for flexibility within the membership and change over time in unrelated aspects of the culture.  Therefore, a group can evolve and change and take on a new appearance while maintaining its identity. 

It is through the internal boundaries and moral sphere that identity is most prevalent as well as covert.  Groups maintain their boundaries and moral sphere by drawing on the symbolic nature of the group.  References to a hero or use of particular language may symbolize a particular concept to a group member that an outsider may not understand. Since the Czechs have a variety of identity symbols from which to draw, they have the capability to maintain the system.  Hence, invoking Švejk in relation to resistance serves as a means to connect the national spirit of persisting in the face of foreign political power and represents national solidarity.  The moral sphere, however, is harder to see and implies in addition to core group values, a separate set of values for insiders and outsiders in the opposition relationship.  The second economy of the Soviet era is an example of actions such as stealing from the State (the opposition) as permissible, but not stealing from another member of one’s own group.[xxxvii]   One reason that Švejk is such a likable character is that he never acted at the expense of his own people.[xxxviii]

Finally, Spicer includes the necessary component of an institutional basis of internal organization as a required element of a persistent identity system.[xxxix]  This goes hand in hand with participation in the political sphere.  The Czechs have an organized, conscious effort at maintaining the system for the group’s sake.  Although the institutional bases may be part of the private sphere, it is through concerted effort that identity system persists.  It does not do so by accident.

            In conclusion, although the Czechs are a persistent identity system, other conditions apply to the group maintenance process which are not only cumulative but take place in the history of the people as they see it.  Individually motivated, conditional to historic experiences and cumulative, persistent identity systems carry a group through change and evolution, even the modernizing action of passing time, while maintaining a core value system in which each member can share.  The historical context of Czech existence has depended on cooperation with opposition and therefore, contradicts the resistance necessary for group maintenance.  The next section will demonstrate how Czechs negotiate this moral dilemma.


The Moral Economy and Czech Hypocrisy

The duality of Czech national morality is a foundation for Czech national identity.  In his ethnography, The Little Czech and the Great Czech Nation, Ladislav Holy, describes the disparity between the two images of Czech identity:  that in which the Czech nation is the subject of history and that in which the nation is the object of history.  We can easily see how both traditions of democracy and hypocrisy have grown from the historical experiences of the nation and become core values of Czech identity.   

First let us explore the dichotomy.   The Czech nation has the image of a glorious nation that has engaged in democracy from “time immemorial.”  This is understandable because whenever the Czechs have been under home rule since their first democratic movement of the mid-19th century, they have created a democratic government.  Each time in the past (and since it is still working we cannot rule on the present) the democratic Czech, or Czechoslovak, state has been thwarted.  From Palacký, and Karel Havlícek Borovský of the mid-19th century to Masaryk in 1918, Karel Kosik in 1968 and Václav Havel in 1992, Czech intellectual leaders have focused on the spiritual and intellectual strength through which the Czech nation would contribute to humankind.  Each time the Czech nation has had an opportunity for sovereignty in the last 100 years, they have worked for a democratic path picking up where they left off the last time, even during the Soviet thaw of the 1960s.  In this manner, Czechs have been the subject of history, making it themselves.

The second image of Czech tradition is that of a small nation who “pretend[s] loyalty” as a manner of surviving under foreign rule.[xl]  The Czech nation is an object on which outside forces, namely the Habsburgs, Nazis and Soviets, have acted, taking control out of Czech hands.  In contrast to being the subject of history, the second image sees the Czech nation as a respondent to world history.  We can see now the duality of Czech tradition in the roles of subject or object of history.  Czech tradition is constantly being renegotiated and reinterpreted to fit the current stage. 


Democracy v. Hypocrisy

            Holding a place in the literal center of Europe, Czech national identity is also built on the concept of a bridge between two sides – East and West, Slav and German, communist and capitalist.[xli]  Not only geographically, but also ideologically, the Czech lands embrace a centered cultural context between the dichotomy of naturally created and humanly constructed forces.  We can see the ideal of balance, alluded to in the metaphors of bridge and center, through various contexts in relation to the extremes of that which is naturally instituted and consciously created.[xlii] 

Those elements associated with the pole of natural formation include items that are seen as primordial. Democracy and being a subject of history, as explained above, are fundamental to the Czech mindset.  The idealistic image of a “dark age” during Habsburg rule romanticizes the suffering under a foreign power drawing on primal emotion.  I also suggest that the European Union can also be considered a foreign dominating power.  Finally, when considering primordial aspects of identity, homeland is a common bond for a society, as I previously explained.

In opposition to natural elements of tradition sit those that are consciously constructed.  In contrast to democracy we find hypocrisy.  It is here that the moral dilemma plays out.  In this case, individuals see themselves as representative of the Czech nation that has through time had to overcome various obstacles to democracy and survival.  Holy states that “hypocrisy” has developed as a Czech tradition because during foreign domination collaboration with the ruling power has been the only means of survival for the Czech nation.[xliii]  Quoted by Holy, Arnost Lustig explains that Czech hypocrisy starts as far back as White Mountain (1620) when people had to start pretending loyalties “which they did not feel,” continuing through the communist era.  I feel that this term remains salient today in regard to the nation’s reaction to the European Union.  As a member of the world community and now the EU, Czechs are pretending loyalty to a self-proclaimed pluralistic society when they are really much more nationalistic.[xliv]  Hypocrisy is also, therefore, a protective device through which the Czech nation can maintain its place in the West that it so desires.  Michael Johns[xlv] points out that in small, newly emerging nations of Europe the history of domination and subordination intensifies the need to protect the major ethnic nation.  This contrasts with the need economically to join the EU.  Czech hypocrisy balances these two needs. 

As a model for both cooperation and resistance, Švejk is therefore the embodiment of the Czech moral dilemma – resist or collude?  He says “yes” while acting “no.”[xlvi]  Through cooperating with a foreign power in a corrosive manner, Czechs have been able to maintain their tradition of democracy while surviving as a small nation with limited geo-political power in the global scene.  The next section will outline the actual style of resistance that this duality takes called “svejkism.”



            Defined as a form of disengagement[xlvii] or extreme passivity,[xlviii] “svejkism” is how resistance may unfold under conditions in which its traditional paths are blocked or marginalized.[xlix]  Bailey describes “svejkism” as an unobtrusive way that individuals, or “svejks” can protect themselves from organizational exploitation.[l]  However, Bailey is using “svejkism” in the workplace.  In my analysis, I will take a step back and apply Bailey’s framework to the totalitarian environments in which Czechs lived in the 20th century. 

            One reason in which “svejkism” worked so well for the Czechs is that it stops short of overt rebellion, employing techniques such as foot-dragging, false compliance, feigned ignorance and dissimulation; it is “covert and seditious” action not overt revolution.[li]  Bailey explains Švejk as “intent on nothing but survival…protecting his identity against organizational trespassing.” [lii]  This is an important notion to bear in mind.  In a vulnerable, subjugated position, Švejk was forced to cooperate in order to protect himself much like the Czechs were forced to cooperate with the Nazis or Soviets in order to protect themselves as both individuals and a nation.  However, the desire for democracy in the face of totalitarianism drove the Czechs to find a way to subvert their oppressors. Like Svejk, they learned to use the oppressors’ own resources to sabotage and eventually defeat it.[liii]

            Seven features define “svejkism” as a unique form of resistance[liv] and they also resonate well with Czech worldview and experiences.  First is the conflict of moralities.  The question of where duty lies is a difficult dilemma – do you put yourself or your nation first?  The movie Pupendo [lv] illustrates this predicament through the character of Mila Brecka, the school principal.  Throughout the film, Brecka struggles with protecting his position and wanting to be a dissident, going so far as to hiding a subversive message in a minor construction job.  When the message might be revealed, Brecka goes into a panic.  He knows that to be a “good Czech” he should not be cooperating with the state but he needs to take care of his family.  Brecka is also a good example of feature number two, that the conflict is not between rival obligations but between the individual and the organization.  Svejks are not deviants but individuals defending their rights against the demands of the organization.

            The third feature of “svejkism” is that the interactions between the individual and the organization are unequal with svejks in the weaker position.[lvi]  As a soldier, Švejk could not use force to protect himself against his oppressors.  Czechs under Nazi or Soviet rule were unable to use force either against the state without putting themselves at risk for accusations of treason.  Fourth, the disengagement of “svejkism” is not an open protest; it is covert.  As I have explained earlier, Svejk’s weapons were cunning and wit, irony and diversion.  Švejk survived by not drawing too much attention to himself.  Although as the lead character, he is central to the story line.  Švejk does not interact with high-level officials very often and when he does he dissimulates his true nature. [lvii]

Similarly, the fifth mark of “svejkism” is that its practitioners are not reformers with conscious political intent.  Svejks are not out to change the status quo but to preserve their own space and autonomy.[lviii]  On this point, the question of a true fit with Czechs arises.  I suggest that not all Czech resistance falls into the category of “svejkism.”  Events such as Prague Spring and Charter 77 were not disengagement or moral conflicts; they were open protest.  However, the daily actions that the majority of the Czech citizenry practiced do fall into the category of “svejkism.”  Additionally, there are actions that Švejk would be proud of that occurred during the open protests which I describe below.  I consider “svejkism” to be a low-risk form of resistance.  It is a protective activity.  For this reason, “svejkism” and Czech hypocrisy complement each other.  They are both survival tactics for unbeatable circumstances.

            In order to be successful in the previous five areas, svejks must be able to detach themselves from the situation or to “think outside the box.”  They need the freedom to think in ways that the organization would not recognize as subversion.  I suggest that one reason that Švejk has been such a powerful model under communism is that he was able to slip past the radar of communist censorship.  Švejk technically resists the bourgeois Austro-Hungarian Empire and is therefore acceptable communist material.  However, with an open mind, he is actually resisting any totalitarian or authoritative structure, including the communist government. 

            Finally, in order for “svejkism” to be a viable form of resistance, the body of oppression must be intent on exploitation.  For this reason, “svejkism” is not a preferred mode of resistance in democratic societies.  However, the democracy must feature equality; once unequal interactions take place, “svejkism” has potential.  In the next section, I will briefly describe some ways in which Czechs have actually employed “svejkism” against foreign oppressors, as well as their own.


How does “svejkism” work?

            Czechs are often described as having “perfected methods of passive resistance.”[lix] During World War I, Czech regiments in the Austrian army surrendered in droves.  Hasek, who himself surrendered to the Russians, references this action when Švejk accidentally gets taken prisoner as a Russian soldier by the Hungarians.[lx]  The practice of “slowdowns” in the workplace began under German rule but was a common form of resistance under communism across the Eastern Bloc.[lxi]   Also during World War II, Czech railroads were unreliable, supplies were misrouted and train collisions were a common occurrence.[lxii]  Czech irony came to the fore when a hundred thousand Czechs in Wenceslas Square sang the Czech national anthem while giving the Nazi salute.[lxiii]  In fact, the Czech people inflicted so much minor damage that Heinrich Himmler, chief of the Gestapo, denounced the Czech people as “ten million saboteurs.”[lxiv] 

            Perhaps the most impressive form of “svejkism” undertaken by the Czech people, however, was during the Soviet invasion of 1968.[lxv]  At the end of the Prague Spring, Czech leaders were not looking for the heat of summer and a Hungarian-style of Soviet invasion so they called for the people to avoid violence.  Underground radio and newspapers asked Czech citizens to remove street signs and house numbers.  When Russians asked for directions they became frustrated with the “svejkian” answers that were cooperative but confusing and impossible to follow.  The railway workers worked their magic again and misrouted, delayed, and lost Soviet equipment.  After “normalization,” Czechs continued passive resistance by means of vandalizing Russian barracks or offices.[lxvi]  I suggest that today’s visible Euroskepticism by Václav Klaus is another form of “svejkism.”  Since Otto von Habsburg equates the EU to his ancestors’ empire,[lxvii] perhaps my proposal is not too out of line.



            Ladislav Holy stated that the “evasions of authority on the part of the anarchist Jaroslav Hasek’s Good Soldier Švejk [are] part of the shared culture of Czechs,” that “[i]t was in his blood – this lack of respect for the Emperor and for polite phrases.”[lxviii]  In this paper, I have attempted to outline the moral dilemma that Czechs have in regard to resistance.  On one hand, their nationalist mentality and drive for democracy compels them to fight against any form of tyranny, especially that from a foreign power.  However, I have also argued that under the rubric of the persistent identity system, Czechs need to resist political oppression in order to maintain their identity.  Unfortunately, when in an oppressed society, resistance is dangerous.  The Czech lands are a small area surrounded by large culture areas that have exerted their power over the Czechs in the past.  For centuries, the Czechs were under threat of being completely assimilated by means of Germanization.  Czech people learned to cooperate in a form of hypocrisy, or cooperation, in order to survive.  This passivity does not automatically engender resistance.

However, as a cog in the Austro-Hungarian war machine, Hasek witnessed what chaos and damage small acts by the masses could bring about.  Perhaps without Svejk, the Czech people would have still practiced their own form of passive resistance.  However, Švejk provides the Czech people a common symbol from which to garner not only inspiration but validation for their actions.  In addition to his actual deeds, Svejk’s environments and circumstances of totalitarian absurdity were recognizable to many under communist rule.  Under the capitalist economy, “svejkism” is still a potential for action in an unbearable workplace.  As a small country in European and global politics, the Czech Republic will never be a superpower and for years to come will still have to make up for its communist past.  Employing strategies learned from Švejk can help the Czech Republic maintain a position of some independence on the international stage. 

Overall, however, I suggest that Švejk is the Czech Everyman, or woman, but not for the obvious reasons.  I base my argument on the complexities of Czech identity.  It is not just that Švejk was the nationalist hero in a famous Czech novel, that he was a mere foot soldier and therefore common.  Švejk is Every Czech because he exemplifies the core values of Czech identity – the moral dilemma of survival versus independence and personal or national sovereignty.  Oh, yes, and he loves a good pilsner.




[i] Hasek, Jaroslav, Cecil Parrott, and Josef Lada. The Good Soldier Švejk and His Fortunes in the World War, Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics. London ; New York: Penguin Books, 1974.

[ii]  Spicer, Edward H. "Persistent Cultural Systems." Science 174, no. 4011 (1971): 795-800.

[iii]  Holy, Ladislav. The Little Czech and the Great Czech Nation : National Identity and the Post-Communist Transformation of Society, Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology ; 103. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

[iv]  Bailey, F. G. The Kingdom of Individuals : An Essay on Self-Respect and Social Obligation. Ithaca London: Cornell University Press, 1993.

[v]  Hasek, Parrott, and Lada, The Good Soldier Svejk.

[vi]  Rybos, Karol F. "Good Soldier Schweik Versus the U.S.S.R." Air University Review 21, no. 4 (1970):1.

[vii]  Hostovsky, Egon. "The Czech Novel between the Two World Wars." Slavonic and East European Review 2, no. 2 (1943): 83.

[viii]  Hasek, Parrott, and Lada, The Good Soldier Svejk, 385.

[ix]  Katrovas, Richard. "I Am Learning Czech." In Southern Review, 60-71: Southern Review, 2006:67.

[x]  Fleming, Peter, and Graham Sewell. "Looking for the Good Soldier, Svejk: Alternative Modalities of Resistance in the Contemporary Workplace." Sociology 36, no. 4 (2002): 863.

[xi]  Poulain, Alexandra. "Idiotic Stories: Colin Teevan's Svejk." Contemporary Theatre Review 15, no. 4 (2005): 449.

[xii]  Spicer, "Persistent Cultural Systems."

[xiii]  Ibid., 796.

[xiv] Holy, Ladislav, The Little Czech and the Great Czech Nation.

[xv]  Ibid., 5.

[xvi]   Spicer, "Persistent Cultural Systems," 797.

[xvii]  Scott, James C. Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985:29.  Scott’s concept of ‘everyday resistance’ involves the constant struggle between the peasantry and those who seek to extract labor, food, taxes, rents, and interest from them.  It includes weapons of the relatively powerless such as small acts of sabotage, foot dragging, dissimulation, false compliance and feigned ignorance, to name a few techniques.  Additionally, resistance is not coordinated within the large group and is often seen as a form of survival and self-help rather than large-scale resistance.  However, the cumulative effect can have major impact in the relationship between the oppressed and oppressor.

[xviii] One could argue that Czechoslovakia under Soviet rule was not truly incorporated into the Soviet Union, however, they did invade to stop rebellion in 1968.

[xix] Additionally, ecclesiastically, the Czechs used religion as a political tool to resist the Habsburg rule during the 17th century.

[xx]  Holy, The Little Czech and the Great Czech Nation, 102.

[xxi]  Ibid., 38.

[xxii]  Ibid., 119.

[xxiii] Åse B. Grødeland, William L. Miller, and Tatyana Y. Koshechkina, "The Ethnic Dimension to Bureaucratic Encounters in Postcommunist Europe: Perceptions and Experience," Nations and Nationalism 6, no. 1 (2000).  There are Moravian movements that claim a distinction from Czechs, whom they see as Bohemians and therefore separate. 

[xxiv] Spicer, "Persistent Cultural Systems," 797.

[xxv]  International Constitutional Law. "Czech Republic - Constitution."  Accessed February 6, 2009.

[xxvi]  Spicer, "Persistent Cultural Systems," 799.

[xxvii]  Bourdieu, Pierre, and John B. Thompson. Language and Symbolic Power. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003:222.

[xxviii] James, Caryn. "The Model of a Soldier (but No Model Soldier)." New York Times 154, no. 53036 (2004): E5-E5.

[xxix] Holy, The Little Czech and the Great Czech Nation, 91.

[xxx] Von Kunes, Karen. "The National Paradox: Czech Literature and the Gentle Revolution." In World Literature Today, 237: World Literature Today, 1991.

[xxxi]  Spicer, "Persistent Cultural Systems,", 798.

[xxxii]  Holy, The Little Czech and the Great Czech Nation, 34.

[xxxiii] Nationalism, as a self-determination movement, must have an opposition against which to define itself.

[xxxiv] Maddocks, Melvin. "Comedy and War." In Sewanee Review, 22-34: University of the South, 2004. Rybos, "Good Soldier Schweik Versus the U.S.S.R."

[xxxv] Holy, The Little Czech and the Great Czech Nation,114.

[xxxvi] Holy (91) states that the Czech nation as a people did not “crystallize” until the mid-1850s and the nationalism movement.  However, the movement and the folk culture claimed a history from “time immemorial”.

[xxxvii] Verdery, Katherine. What Was Socialism, and What Comes Next?, Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996:51.

[xxxviii] Bailey, The Kingdom of Individuals, 15.

[xxxix] Spicer, "Persistent Cultural Systems," 799.

[xl] Holy, The Little Czech and the Great Czech Nation, 115.

[xli] Ibid., 182.

[xlii] Ibid., 183.

[xliii] Ibid., 115.

[xliv] Khail, Fahima. "Consensus Still Far Away, One Year into the European Union." Electronic document, Accessed April 27, 2005.

[xlv] Johns, Michael. ""Do as I Say, Not as I Do": The European Union, Eastern Europe and Minority Rights." East European Politics and Societies 17, no. 4 (2003):697.

[xlvi]  Shafir, Michael. "'Svejkism' and the Czech Accession to the Eu." Accessed February 6, 2009.

[xlvii] Bailey, The Kingdom of Individuals, 8.

[xlviii]  James, "The Model of a Soldier (but No Model Soldier)."

[xlix] Fleming and Sewell. "Looking for the Good Soldier, Svejk,” 859.

[l] Bailey, The Kingdom of Individuals,8.

[li] Fleming and Sewell. "Looking for the Good Soldier, Svejk,” 859.

[lii] Bailey, The Kingdom of Individuals, 9.

[liii] Ibid.

[liv] Ibid., 10.

[lv] Hřebejk, Jan. "Pupendo." 122 min. Czech Republic: SMV Enterprises, 2003.

[lvi] Bailey, The Kingdom of Individuals,11.

[lvii] Hasek, Parrott, and Lada, The Good Soldier Svejk.

[lviii] Bailey, The Kingdom of Individuals, 11.

[lix] Malinowski, Wladyslaw R. "The Pattern of Underground Resistance." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 232, A Challenge to Peacemakers, (1944): 129.

[lx] Hasek, Parrott, and Lada, The Good Soldier Svejk.

[lxi] Malinowski, "The Pattern of Underground Resistance,” 130.  Verdery, What Was Socialism, 47.

[lxii] Malinowski, "The Pattern of Underground Resistance,” 130. Rybos, "Good Soldier Schweik Versus the U.S.S.R." 2.

[lxiii] Katrovas, "I Am Learning Czech,"65.

[lxiv] Rybos, "Good Soldier Schweik Versus the U.S.S.R.":2.

[lxv] Ibid., 4.

[lxvi] Ibid., 5.

[lxvii] Shafir, "'Svejkism' and the Czech Accession to the EU." 

[lxviii] Fardon, Richard. "Ladislav Holy. (Cover Story)." Anthropology Today 13, no. 3 (1997): 21.


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