Reinventing Politics: Eastern Europe from Stalin to Havel
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.
its commitment to the idea of developing grassroots structures, FIDESZ made a clear point of its rejection of any form of violence or Jacobin dictatorial methods of coercion: We have reached the point where we must organize our defense quickly and without delay against policies of the authorities that are hostile to society. We profess that the most effective tools against the mistaken and self-interested policies of the authorities are a democratic way of thinking and organization. In our work
leadership. He challenged the Soviet interpretation of socialist internationalism and refused to walk in Moscow’s footsteps during the 1967 Middle East crisis—Romania was the only Warsaw Pact country to maintain diplomatic relations with the State of Israel. In 1967 and 1968 Ceausescu publicly criticized the abuses of the Securitate (the secret police) during the Stalinist years and pledged that such atrocities would never be repeated. In April 1968 a plenum of the Romanian Central Committee
the margin of permissiveness or, rather, the limits of the Kremlin’s tolerance of experimention with reform had dramatically changed. What had been absolute heresy under Brezhnev was enshrined as the new party line under Gorbachev. For instance, the slogan of socialism with a human face was embraced by the Soviet General Secretary and designated as one of the main goals of perestroika. But among us there were also some skeptics. I remember that the well-known Soviet dissident writer and logician
sacrosanct. The Yugoslav model of “self-management” was imposed from above, and the spontaneous initiatives of the masses, ceaselessly invoked in the official propaganda, were kept under strict party control. In Yugoslavia domesticism was supposed to result not in the destruction of the communist system but only in its reformation along lines different from those pursued in the Soviet Union under Stalin. The origins of domesticism lay in a conflict between two competing communist centers rather
grassroots initiatives. The degree of development of these actions of activists for social change was directly proportional to the erosion of the ruling apparatus and, as a corollary, the permissiveness of the existing regimes in their dealings with the opposition. All five countries witnessed attempts to smash the social change initiatives, but they led to different results. In Poland, all the efforts of the Gierek regime to disband the civic initiatives were met by an increasingly radicalized