After the Fall: The Pursuit of Democracy in Central Europe

By Jeffrey C. Goldfarb | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13
Anti-Economic Practices

Looking at the socialist economies was like seeing reflections in a carnival mirror. Although in some ways these economies resembled our own, they seemed to have been ordered by an alien sensibility. They included elements that looked something like their nonsovietized counterparts: large-scale enterprises, factories, banks, stores, and trade unions. The same sorts of people as ourselves seemed to be in them, apparently engaged in the activities to which we are accustomed. But it was not so.

As a political-economic system, socialism of the Soviet type was strong on politics and very short on economics. It was not simply that political collectivistic exhortation replaced individual economic initiative. A great deal of initiative was actually necessary for survival. Rather, to a large extent, ideological political logic replaced economics. Although grand designs were drawn and realized, industrial output was increased, and an unsurpassed military was constructed,

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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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