An interview with Jozef Banáš conducted by the Slovak writer, journalist and former Czechoslovak politician Gabriela Rothmayerová published in the newspaper Petržalské noviny.
Read the interview in full length.
Everyone knows Jozef Banáš, of course, he is the father of Adela. But who is he really? The boldest descriptions of this man are anonymous, mostly not citeable.
Nevertheless, in his latest book Dementi, a collection of essays, Jozef Banáš does quote one written by JaroXYZ:
“...I have noticed his name already in connection with the appeal to stop the war agitation... His opinions clearly show the following: idealism, superficiality, lack of knowledge of historic, economic, military, social facts and correlations, the inability to see things in a global context. It is hard to believe that a man with such deficiencies in analytical and spiritual abilities was once allowed to hold a relatively high-ranking post in the NATO. Today (again without the understanding of the broader context), he expresses himself against NATO, while egoistically trying to save only himself, his family, his home country from the approaching total war...”
Is this true? Do you really want to save only yourself, your family and your country?
I have no ambition to save anyone, which is impossible anyway, as one can save only him or herself alone. And I mean it from the spiritual as well as material point of view. If people let themselves manipulate by those in power, that´s their problem. I express my opinion on issues, because I want to keep my dignity and integrity. I am creating my own Bhutan – a country of happiness, and if from time to time something gets out, it´s everyone´s choice how he or she handles it. And if somebody criticizes me – well, I am not that important as not to let anyone think of me what he or she wants.
What happened to you and to the world, that from someone holding the highest-ranking NATO post ever held by any Slovak man you have become NATO´s critic?
It was the highest-ranking electoral post in an international organization. It did not happen to me, but to NATO. I realised that the former president Václav Havel, whose bust had been revealed in the US Congress, was perfectly right; after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact he said that NATO should dissolve as well. The Americans should visit his bust more often and think about these words. In my opinion, the only optimal possibility how to secure peace is to create military forces under the UN. But this is a utopian idea, because that way the enemy would actually disappear and for some power circles the enemy presents the essence of their existence.
And is a total war really drawing nearer?
I deal with spiritual matters a lot, which is a paradox in this material Christian-communist-capitalistic world, or in other words in our Western civilization. In history, many grand empires ceased to exist – Persians, Romans, Moguls, those ruled by Alexander or Napoleon, to mention just a few. The developments we see in today´s world depict the end of Anglo-Saxon empire, which started with the British control of the world´s oceans and continued by the Americans. The Anglo-Saxon power is declining mainly due to the rise of Russia, China and India, but also due to its own internal corrosive processes. That is nothing unnatural in history. No empire based on military power has ever survived. Only the kingdoms of spirit have lasted.
What are we supposed to do in order to protect not only ourselves, our families and our country?
The only way how to make the world a better place, is to become better ourselves. We have to stop pointing our fingers at the speck in our brothers´ eye and honestly start taking out the beams in our own eyes. The problem is that when a wise man points his finger to the stars, people see only the finger.
And would not it be actually enough to do something, if necessary, in order to save at least that?
The core dogma of the Christian, i.e. our civilization is salvation. We were taught to simply sit and wait for someone to deliver us. We forgot how to take the responsibility for our lives in our own hands. So let´s sit and wait, but we shouldn´t be surprised then if someday a new redeemer comes along and takes control of us.
You signed the international appeal for the rescue of peace, in Germany distinguished intellectuals have signed it; the number of signatures reached more than 30,000; in Slovakia, as if people have not noticed it...
The German appeal “War in Europe again? Not in our name!” which was signed by many famous German personalities including politicians (naturally, after their political carrier) has passed unnoticed not solely in Slovakia but in Germany as well. Why? People are waiting for a redeemer, for someone to do the work for them.
Slovak media has paid attention to this appeal only marginally (similarly as to our appeal named “United for peace” which was signed by three former Slovak presidents and which you signed as well). Why?
Yes, that is correct, the German and Slovak media have mentioned the appeal only marginally, because it says, that there cannot be any peace in Europe without Russia, that it would be foolish to exclude or even sanction Russia. Today we can see this clearly. If there is a force which can and even wants to save European values, then it is Russia. Logically, the mainstream media must not write about this.
Shortly before the WW I newspapers were publishing articles glorifying the war. In our today´s interview the word war has penetrated as well, quite smoothly. Is it intention? Ignorance? Lack of experience?
War is a terrible word and people prefer closing their eyes when confronted with evil. It shocks me to see the so called useful idiots who are everywhere in the European and thus also the Slovak political and media world and who almost call for action against Russia on European soil. That would not bring destruction to Russia but to Europe. However, the attitude of most European leaders regarding the refugees proves that they are too far away from both entities – from Europe as well as from leadership qualities.
I regard your latest book Dementi (Disclaimer) as one of the best satire-humour literary works about us, about our history and our Slovak mentality. You encourage us to laugh, and still many of the chapters make the reader shudder...
Thank you for your positive feedback; it´s been one month since its publication and the third impression is being printed right now. People ask me why I have given it such a pejorative title. Please note, that the book cannot be about stupid persons, because the word dement is not an expression of the literary Slovak language. Thus it is clear, that the book is not about stupid people! I repeat once again, it is not! Well, and as for the crying over some facts? Laughter despite tears is a rather helpful therapy.
You publish interesting and provocative articles in newspapers and magazines which do not belong to the mainstream. Why? Aren´t we living in a free society in which anyone can write whatever he or she wants?
I am a well-behaved man and if a communication medium asks me to give an interview or to write a comment, I do. Unfortunately those media do not belong to the mainstream.
Can you recommend our readers how to keep a happy life in a happy country? How to recognize the wolves in sheep´s clothing?
In 1990, the former German chancellor Willy Brandt told me: The only meaning of life is to be better than yesterday. Our lives are ruled by the law of equilibrium, the law of cause and effect; in the East they call it karma. Jesus Christ defined it this way: You receive what you give, you reap what you sow. Those who sow evil cannot expect to reap good. And those in power will comfort themselves in vain that nobody sees their bad deeds. Everything bad you do will catch up with you someday. That is the law. And I do not mean a law passed in the parliament. The Bible is rather clear about this: You will not get out until you have paid the last penny. Whoever has eyes to see let them see, whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.
Thank you and let´s laugh as long as it is not too late.
Published in Petržalské noviny 21/2015
Photo: Archive of J.B.
 The Slovak word dement is also used as a derogatory expression for an idiot or a stupid person.