Final Word from Thursday, July 27, 2017

Most Czech readers, but not many of our foreign ones, know the story of how a little-known economic forecaster by the name of Miloš Zeman wrote a sensational magazine article in Aug. 1989 about the impending collapse of Communism. When he appeared on state TV on Aug. 3, he was introduced as a member of the World Futures Studies Federation, and he later told its president from 1980 to 1990, Eleonora Barbieri Masini, that his correspondence with her had been his window to the West. Two of Zeman's current rivals for the presidency, Jiří Drahoš and Michal Horáček, are the subject of internet smear campaigns about their travels to the West in the mid-1980s. Horáček spent most of 1984 at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Drahoš was at the University of Hannover in 1985-86. None of the three was a Communist Party member in the 1980s, nor an StB collaborator, which makes some foreigners wonder how Iron that Curtain really was. [Czech Republic prognostics prognostication]

Glossary of difficult words

impending - about to happen;

future studies - the study of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the world views and myths that underlie them;

smear - a false accusation intended to damage someone's reputation.

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