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Escape from arbitrariness : Legitimation crisis of real socialism and the imaginary of modernity

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ŚWIREK Krzysztof POSPĚCH Pavel

Rok publikování 2020
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj European Journal of Social Theory
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Fakulta sociálních studií

Citace
www https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1368431020908587
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1368431020908587
Klíčová slova Arbitrariness; market economy; modernity; post-socialism; socialism
Popis The 1989 revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe and the subsequent transitions have commonly been interpreted in political terms, as movements towards democracy, or in economic terms, as escape from the command economy towards the free market. We revisit the problem to suggest a different reading. We argue that in the legitimization crisis of real socialism, a pivotal role was played by the burden of social oversaturation and bureaucratic arbitrariness, which met its desired alternative in social imaginaries of impersonal, objective social system. For the citizens of Central and East European countries, this fantasy was matched by the promise of the free market, which was morally contrasted to the experience of daily life under late socialism. We argue that this desire to escape from arbitrariness to objectivity is a particularly strong motive in the imaginary of modernity which found one of its historical manifestations in the disappointment with real socialism.