Reinventing Politics: Eastern Europe from Stalin to Havel

Reinventing Politics: Eastern Europe from Stalin to Havel

Vladimir Tismaneanu

Language: English

Pages: 300

ISBN: 0029326052

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Gives an account of East European politics from the time of Soviet domination to the 1989-90 revolutions, and considers the effect of tyranny on East European culture and politics, the chances for successful and harmonious development in the region, and its relationship with the rest of Europe.

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the Slovakian Public Against Violence in Bratislava. A prominent role in the formation of the Civic Forum was played not only be such celebrated leaders of Charter 77 as Vaclav Havel and Jiri Dienstbier but also by intellectuals belonging to the official culture. In its programmatic document issued on November 26, the Civic Forum called for the reconstruction of the Czechoslovak political and economic system, a separation of powers, the development of a market economy free of bureaucratic

or otherwise heard of, the public began to doubt their very existence. For many in Romania, it seemed that the hard-core communist nucleus of the NSF had deliberately exaggerated the “terrorist” threat in order to contain the anticommunist revolution from below. In a sense, the good news of the tyrant’s death was clouded by the circumstances surrounding it. Instead of a pure revolutionary tyrannicide, the people of Romania were witness to what appears to have been a case of pseudojudicial murder,

procedural culture, had to be built upon a still fragile foundation haunted by the demons of the past. As Karl Marx wrote in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte: “The traditions of all the dead generations weigh like a nightmare on the brain of the living.”6 Because the past had been suspended for decades, it was now coming back with all the complexes and neuroses that had created the drama of East European history for centuries before the advent of communism. Although the dominant

their own faction called the Citizens’ Movement—Democratic Action (Polish Acronym: ROAD).31 In their first statements, the ROAD activists accused the Center Alliance of using revolutionary methods and suggested that the slogan “acceleration” favored by Walesa and his supporters could destabilize the country and antagonize the West. Walesa was often depicted as an irrational demagogue, a populist adventurer with no sense of political compromise. ROAD chose the self-effacing Tadeusz Mazowiecki as

manipulate is called the public control of power, and the arbitrary abuse of power is called its development; the expansion of imperial influence is presented as support for the oppressed; the lack of free expression becomes the highest form of freedom; farcical elections become the highest form of democracy; banning independent thought becomes the most scientific world view; military occupation becomes fraternal assistance. Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify

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