and their use of terms like “reds” and “communists” in the context of privatization and the transformation of power relations on the shop floor. Similar to other formerly socialist countries, the process of privatizing state enterprises revealed a wide
Anticommunism, crisis, and the transformation of labor in Bulgaria
Renaat Demoen’s Au pays de la grande angoisse (1950–1951)
very well known in the French market. To return to the subject that concerns us, some Flemish comics were also strongly anti-Communist. An obvious example is a Johnny and Annie adventure drawn by Renaat Demoen called Au pays de la grande angoisse [In
Ideals, Dreams, and Nightmares
Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild
of repression of real or imagined opposition to communism in the 1937 Soviet purges, 1940s Lithuania, and 1950s Czechoslovakia and Romania. Lisa Kirschenbaum seeks, by “focusing on the everyday lives of international communists,” to provide “a
Reflections of a
Marilyn J. Boxer
Today, to a historian of the relationship of European socialism to feminism, Mihaela Miroiu’s assertion that, despite the existence of ‘islands of feminism’ in communist regimes, there was no ‘communist feminism’ comes as no surprise. But in the heyday of the 1970s women’s liberation movement, very many feminists would have argued otherwise! Although the term ‘communist feminism’ itself was (and is) rarely heard, ‘socialist feminism’ exercised a powerful, formative influence in ‘the West’, as evidenced by the widespread admiration of testimony drawn from Mao’s China, Castro’s Cuba, and the USSR of Lenin and his successors.
The ironies of the parliamentary Left in West Bengal
Projit Bihari Mukharji
The reflections in this article were instigated by the repeated and brutal clashes since 2007 between peasants and the state government’s militias—both official and unofficial—over the issue of industrialization. A communist government engaging peasants violently in order to acquire and transfer their lands to big business houses to set up capitalist enterprises seemed dramatically ironic. De- spite the presence of many immediate causes for the conflict, subtle long-term change to the nature of communist politics in the state was also responsible for the present situation. This article identifies two trends that, though significant, are by themselves not enough to explain what is happening in West Bengal today. First, the growth of a culture of governance where the Communist Party actively seeks to manage rather than politicize social conflicts; second, the recasting of radical political subjectivity as a matter of identity rather than an instigation for critical self-reflection and self-transformation.
A Case Study on Romania's Ways of Remembering its Pronatalist Past
Taking the memory of pronatalism in contemporary Romania as a case study, this article is an attempt to view the national politics of memory of contemporary Europe with regard to its communist past from an anthropological perspective. From 1966 to 1989, the communist regime imposed extreme policies of controlled demography in Romania, as it was imputed, for 'the good of the socialist nation'. Profamily measures were developed in parallel to the banning of abortion on request and the making of contraception almost inaccessible. The social remembering of such a difficult past is still a taboo in contemporary Romanian society. This general lack of public remembering, which is still playing a role in the current situation of Romania's reproductive health, is influenced by the interrelations between the different forms of pronatalist memory. The analysis is based on oral history fieldwork conducted between 2003 and 2008, and is theoretically informed by the interdisciplinary field of Memory Studies.
This contribution analyses the results of international sociological surveys that collected data in Slovakia, namely three waves of the European Values Study (EVS 1991, 1999, 2008) and two waves of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP 1999 and ISSP 2006-2008). Focusing on the survey data the essay elucidates the concrete process of religious dynamics in post-communist Slovakia. Attention is paid to the so-called 'core of believers' as the main representative of 'traditional' religiosity, using this unique opportunity to explore the dynamics of this group within the last two decades. The author concludes that even if institutional religiosity is still far more dominant in the Slovak religious scene, the prevailing form of religiosity is of a post-traditional character.
This article analyzes textbooks and curricula for primary schools in Poland published between 1944 and 1989 to show how the communist regime attempted to influence Polish history education via political change and educational reform. The article focuses on five aspects of this influence: Marxist methodology of history, portrayals of political parties, promotion of a “scientific“ worldview, justification of new boundaries and alliances of the People's Poland, and a new pantheon of national heroes. In conclusion, the article investigates the effectiveness of history education in shaping Polish collective memory under the communist regime.
In recent decades historians have done a lot to reveal the social and political diversity of the people who participated in the French Resistance. But little has been said about non-white resisters who were among the 200,000 men and women from the colonies living in the French metropole during the Occupation. This article shows that many of them were entangled in the Resistance as early as the summer of 1940 and that they became involved in the most political and violent forms of defiance. Resistance, however, was not a “natural” decision for many of the colonial workers or prisoners, whose daily struggles could bring them into tension with the Free French as well as Vichy. So, if this study aims to rectify misconceptions of the Resistance as an entirely Eurocentric affair, it also probes the complicated relationship between colonial subjects and the metropole during the war.
Popular public opinion concerning the Jewish community of Latvia is that it is an 'exemplary and well-organised community', which experienced a great revival and has functioned efficiently since Perestroika and particularly since the fall of the USSR. Nevertheless, this assertion can be countered by multiple phenomena, such as the dramatic decrease of the number of Latvian Jewish community members, the abrupt increase of inter-marriages, and the clear transformation of references to self-identification of Latvian Jewry. This article seeks to shed light on different spheres of the Jewish life in post-communist Latvia, in order to analyse the impact of the demise of the Soviet system on the Jewish community in this area.