Soviet period and its mission of constructing Communism as a future for the whole of humanity. It is a nostalgia for a grandiose, messianic project. It is a longing for the past that manifestly cannot be repeated; the idea of attempting to reinstall such
Experiencing a Multiplicity of Nostalgias
The Specter of Communism
Among all the new phenomena in recent times, none have appeared as radical and comprehensively subversive as socialism and communism. In France, the center and starting-point of all political movement, socialism and communism has proven to be the
The Violence of the Political and the Politics of Violence: Dirty Hands Reconsidered
This article considers Sartre's perspective on political violence with reference to his 1948 play Dirty Hands. Focusing on the concrete political questions that confronted Sartre in his context, it traces the development and result of conversations with Merleau-Ponty, Camus and the Marxist tradition that shaped his thinking on this subject. At the end of this dialectical process, Sartre arrived at a position that refused both bourgeois humanism, with its disavowal of political violence, and what is here termed Official Communism – the prevailing Manichean politics of his day and the institutionalized repression that went along with it. In other words, he affirmed the violence of the political without by that token affirming the politics of violence. It is argued here that these conversations and this conclusion are dramatically illustrated in Dirty Hands.
Chinese Communism and Chinese Feminism
From many perspectives, the Chinese Communist Party’s approach to gender equality and feminism offers a shining example of communism’s ideological limitations, and its historical failure to serve women’s interests. From its earliest days, Chinese communism upheld a platform of ‘sexual equality’ (nannü pingdeng), and implemented numerous policies to protect women’s equal rights. Yet its attacks on the epistemological foundations of Western feminism and its denunciation of the latter as little more than ‘bourgeois individualism’ give clear evidence of Miheala Miroiu’s ‘contradictio in terminis’.
Feminism and Communism
Notes on the Greek Case
If we want to situate the Greek case in a wider discussion as to whether the notion of a ‘Communist Feminism’ constitutes a contradiction in terms, it would be productive, in my view, to shift the question to focus on those aspects which might help us clarify the features specific to Greek history. As is widely known, communism in Greece has not been part of the political establishment and has been subject to harsh and systematic persecutions throughout the twentieth century. Consequently, the question is whether we can characterise the Greek version of communist theory and praxis, as it was expressed by the main source of communist ideas in Greece, the Greek Communist Party (KKE), as ‘feminist’ in any way. To answer this question, however, we should first define exactly what we mean by the term feminist, or whether feminism also includes a communist constituent.
Who Is a Victim of Communism?
Gender and Public Memory in the Sighet Museum, Romania
The Memorial Museum of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance is the main museum of communism in Romania. This article a ends to this museum's politics of representing gender and argues that its exhibits reify resistance to and victimization by the communist regime as masculine. The museum marginalizes women, in general, and renders unmemorable women's lives under Nicolae Ceauşescu's pronatalist regime, in particular. The absence is significant because Romania is the only country in the former communist bloc where women experienced unique forms of systematic political victimization under Ceauşescu's nationalist-socialist politics of forced birth. This article illustrates how the museum's investment in an anti-communist discourse creates a gendered representation of political action under the communist regime.
Living and Surviving Communism in Albania
Krasodomska-Jones and Antonia Lloyd-Jones, London: MacLehose Press, 2021, 320 pp, £18.99 (hardback), ISBN 978-1529411461 Thirty-one years after its fall, the history of communism still presents itself as one of the most polarizing and controversial themes in
Putting Humpty-Dumpty Back Together Again: Communism’s Collapse and the Reconstruction of the East German Ex-Communist Party
Daniel F. Ziblatt
The collapse of communism did not follow any single path in east
central Europe. In Hungary and Poland, the transition was marked
by early negotiations between opposition elites and the ruling Communist
party. In East Germany and Czechoslovakia, the regimes fell
victim to a sudden and quick implosion. In Romania and Bulgaria,
internal coups replaced the ruling communist elite with other members
of the nomenklatura. The transitions away from communist rule
diverged from each other in timing, manner, and degree.
Forgotten pasts and fearful futures in Czechs' remembrances of communism
Twenty years after the end of communist rule in Czechoslovakia, numerous public and private acts of remembrance both hail the end of state socialism and rally Czech society to be on guard against its possible return. This article compares three sets of remembrances-official commemorations sponsored by the state and/or private corporations, activists' alternative memory acts, and personal accounts of Czech citizens-to reveal how each of these give voice to fears and anxieties over the possibilities of “forgetting“ communism. Promoting a vision of the nation as united in ensuring that the future remains “communist-free“, widespread concerns over social amnesia and civic apathy become, I argue, a means of bonding citizens together and to the state. What, however, exactly characterizes a “noncommunist“ society is left necessarily ambiguous.
A Malady of the Left and an Ethics of Communism
Badiouian Diagnosis, Lacanian Cure, Sartrean Responsibility
exigency of an ethics of communism ineluctably reemerges in Badiou's mature work as a consequence of two propositions. First, there is no ethics in general, but only ethics of distinct truth-procedures that include politics as well as science, art, and love