I need to stop here and say I am not an expert on Prague. I have spent an aggregate almost-four months there, spread out over about five years (and including bits of four seasons). I have read some thing and listened to some other things. So you can see, my knowledge of the city is shallow. So I'm trying not to overstep the boundaries of my knowledge here.
But some things are obvious if you pay attention and don't just make assumptions.
Here's the usual thing people mention: Prague is famous for its mysterious, coimplicated, intractable bureaucracies. There's corruption on the on hand, but pn the other there's also over-earnest upstanding and unbending rules worshipping. Transparency is not a thing in many of these places. Visitors from the US in particular like to blame this on the Soviets. "It's a leftover from Communism," they say.
Well, no, unless the Soviets had time machines and dove into history before the founding of the Austrian Empire. Just read any account of Prague history and the wheels of these institutions can be seen grinding away.
Honestly, the elaborate bureaucracy is not all bad. In some eras of history it served as a buffer between the people and the despots. And, you know, the rule of law is a pretty good thing: so the rule of regulation can be good too.
Something related to the bureaucracy story is the tale of the individualistic worker who subverted socialism by screwing off whenever he could. Again, this story is older than the Soviets. It's at least as old as The Good Soldier Švejk.
Architecture is a thing that people like to blame on the Soviets. Because at one time you have the amazing baroque ornamentation, and then you have the even more amazing art nouveau ornamentation, and then the art deco/cubist buildings (cubism being in this case a home-grown, stripped-down, ultra-blocky, spare and gargantuan version of art deco), and then...the war happened, and there's a huge push for cheap housing, and the buildings are plain and unornamented and sometimes downright ugly, so it has to be the Soviets' fault, right? Oh, and the buildings that are not just giant boxes are these weird space age geometric monstrosities with inorganic cantilevers and purposeless towers and doodads on them.
Except...if that's the case, did the Soviets also build these?
You can argue about how ugly these examples are, but the point is that this is the kind of styling that erupted all over the world in the postwar era. In all cases the motivations were similar: deliver a certain quality of life to the greatest number of people as quickly and cheaply as possible, while inspiring them to spend money and build a consumer economy.
And now for a different angle. Right now, there's a lot of right wing politics going on in Prague, which should surprise nobody. But the right wing politicians use a different language to speak to their constituents than their counterparts in the US. They talk about cutting taxes, of course, and attempt to get ordinary citizens to identify with the rich and powerful so they will vote against their own interests. But the narrative they are selling is different. The election posters say things like "We won't let our parks be sold for development!" "We think you should have better roads!"--and one that will be familiar to Canadians: "We'll build ten metro stops!"
Of course this is all stupid, because (1) the ten metro stops were committed to years and years ago, and just entered the ophase of building where the results are becoming tangible; (2) the right wing candidates are proposing tax cuts that will endanger any more transportation projects: (3) the candidates will have no authority in zoning or in deciding which public assets to sell. But the point is that Prague politicians sell themselves as supporting infrastructure and services, unlike for example US politicians.
I know there was more, but I can't think of it now. I have more to say about prague and architecture, though.