After the Fall: The Pursuit of Democracy in Central Europe

By Jeffrey C. Goldfarb | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 17
The Institutionalization of Cultural Imagination

I believe it is a mistake to write off hope for a democratic alternative to totalitarianism of the left and the right. Antitotalitarianism has been a long-time component of cultural life in East-Central Europe, clearly in Poland and Hungary, but also elsewhere in the region. And such activity has been produced and reproduced within the very structures it opposed. In film, music, theater and literature, in the social sciences and the humanities, in the universities and in unofficial seminars, alternative understandings of art and science, politics and religion, society and history and their relationships, were formulated and made public. While a totalitarian culture organized public life, an antitotalitarian culture emerged and developed against totalitarian domination. Embedded within existing totalitarian arrangements were the cultural seeds of their own destruction.

The central point is this: While much of the pre-Sovietized political culture in East Europe, and all of the totalitarian culture, may have

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After the Fall: The Pursuit of Democracy in Central Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • INTRODUCTION Then and Now 1
  • I POLITICS 11
  • Chapter 1 Civil Society "As If" 13
  • Chapter 2 Post-Totalitarian Politics 28
  • Chapter 3 Ideology Ends Again 37
  • Chapter 4 What's Left? What's Right? 52
  • II LEADERSHIP 63
  • Chapter 5 Havel to the Castle 65
  • Chapter 6 Democratic Dialogue 74
  • Chapter 7 Wałęsa: Washington or Piłsudski? 86
  • III NATION 97
  • Chapter 8 the Problem of Nationalism: on the Road to Harmony with the Minister of the Interior 99
  • Chapter 9 the Dialectics of False Solutions 110
  • Chapter 10 Europe 119
  • IV RELIGION 139
  • Chapter 11 the Church Against the State 141
  • Chapter 12 the Jewish Question 155
  • V THE ECONOMY 167
  • Chapter 13 Anti-Economic Practices 169
  • Chapter 14 on the Road to Capitalism? 185
  • Chapter 15 History and Class Consciousness 196
  • VI CULTURE 213
  • Chapter 16 Against Despair 215
  • Chapter 17 the Institutionalization of Cultural Imagination 227
  • EPILOGUE Toward a New Civilized Social Order 238
  • Bibliographic Note 253
  • Index 257
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