Michal Havran

    is a writer, and founder and editor-in-chief of the Slovak online current-affairs website Jetotak.sk He lives in Bratislava. He studied Protestant theology in Strasbourg and political theology at the École pratique des hautes études in Paris. His bestselling novel Kandidát (2013, The Candidate), co-authored with Maroš Hečko, was adapted into a feature film. In 2015 he published a collection of critical essays, Besnota (Foaming at the Mouth), while his first novel, Analfabet (God is Illiterate) appeared in 2016. He fronts a weekly discussion programme, Večera s Havranom (Dinner with Havran), on state TV, and his most recent publication is a collection of essays, Obesíme ťa (2017, We’ll String You Up). “So, dear [People’s Party Our Slovakia MP] Kotleba voters, be aware that we, too, are indignant, that we, too, can see the state our country is in, and that our grandparents, who lived through the fall of the monarchy, world wars and the great crisis, were also indignant that in Slovakia it has become a tradition to be frustrated by everything. Nevertheless, we won’t give our vote to people for whom war and violence are the key values. The fact that you are as frustrated as we are doesn’t entitle you to vote for Nazis: they don’t represent an alternative to anything, we know their ideas, their behaviour, we know how they fared in the past, even though that doesn’t seem to have taught Europe a lesson. If you’re angry, we’re in it together. Do everything you can to improve our hospitals and wages, eliminate corruption, and ensure that all of us can live socially meaningful lives in a Slovakia that is friendly and successful. If you are like him, we will have to defeat you. Slovakia’s problems won’t be resolved by genocide of the Roma or by the kind of psychopathic hysteria that afflicted you during the refugee crises, or by attacking the most vulnerable. Pull yourselves together, think about the kind of country you want to live in, ask yourselves if you really long for a war, and if you do, remember that in a conflict both sides suffer losses and that you risk coming out of this particular conflict not as victors but in the ranks of those who, following in the footsteps of the wartime Nazi collaborators, will harbour another dirty secret everyone will know about. Just grow up, go to the ballot box, and stop taking offence.”
    Photo: Peter Župník / Central European Forum