In Search of Democracy in Socialism: History and Party Consciousness

In Search of Democracy in Socialism: History and Party Consciousness

In Search of Democracy in Socialism: History and Party Consciousness

In Search of Democracy in Socialism: History and Party Consciousness

Excerpt

As the author notes, this book was written in Yugoslavia, with the intention that it be published in Yugoslavia and read by a Yugoslav audience. This is not to say, however, that the book concerns are limited to the Yugoslav context, for in a general way they speak to one of the most profound problems of contemporary society: the role of the individual in the modern political organization. The enormous literature on this subject testifies to its great complexity, since it includes virtually every aspect of human existence: ethical, philosophical, economic, social, ideological, psychological, and what we commonly refer to, in its narrow sense as "political." In this work these concerns are focused onto one historical experience, that of the communist party organization of the Stalinist era.

No doubt there will be many who will object to any suggestion that Stalin's Communist Party-or more generally, in the author's usage, the "Stalinized communist party," a term that extents to those communist political organizations of other countries that adopted the Stalinist model -- should be viewed as the exemplary political organization of the twentieth century, much less the Great Terror of the Soviet 1930s as the paragon of political conduct. Nor is this the author's purpose, stated or implied. Yet in a sense what is depicted here can be read as the most extreme historical development of a notion deriving from Marx's early writings, "political alienation," the rule of man's political institutions over men and women as a disembodied, hostile, and alien . . .

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