Download PDF by Rudolf L. Tőkés (eds.): Opposition in Eastern Europe

By Rudolf L. Tőkés (eds.)

ISBN-10: 1349044725

ISBN-13: 9781349044726

ISBN-10: 1349044741

ISBN-13: 9781349044740

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Without their searching critique of these aspects of the Novotny regime's legitimacy there could not have been a political groundswell in the winter of 1967-8. In Hungary, it had been the policy debates preceding the inauguration of the New Economic Mechanism in 1968 and the record of the first four years of that reform that prompted much of the critical philosophical and sociological writings of the Budapest School. In Poland the Gdansk strikes (precipitated by mismanagement of the national economy and ill-timed price rises of consumer goods) prompted Gomulka'sfall, and this gave rise to a new round of oppositionist activity that is still in progress seven years later.

29 Konrlid and Szel6nyi trace the evolution of the East European intellectuals from their historic eighteenth and nineteenth-century origins and submit that they, as possessors of communication, techni- Human Rights and Political Change 21 cal and cultural skills, were rapidly coopted into the traditional ruling establishment. This pattern has continued uninterrupted well into the communist period. Because of the communist regimes' unconditional commitment to modernisation, social transformation and cultural change, the intellectuals' active participation is indispensable to successful implementation of these tasks.

We are not unaware that such endeavours exist among a section of the population, particularly in reaction to the authoritarian model of socialism, to the monopoly of the Communist Party, to repression and errors in the economy. But we do not rule out this possibility simply because we are socialists. Indeed it rules itself out because of the reality which has come about in these countries since the second world war. It is true that the foundations for a socialist system were not always laid out by the will of the majority of the population but enforced at times by a minority supported from outside.

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Opposition in Eastern Europe by Rudolf L. Tőkés (eds.)


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