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Lecture 12

lecture 12


Department
History
Course Code
HISB93H3
Professor
Yates
Lecture
12

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L12 - Challenges of Nationalism and Nationalities in Contemporary Europe
1989: the Final Act of the 1917 Revolution
- loss of legitimacy - the Soviet system as "panorama"
- end of the Soviet Empire
1991-1992: Nationalism overcome, Nationalism triumphant [stimultaneous breakdown of
USSR]
- end of the USSR
- Treaty of the Maastricht
- bloodshed in Yugoslavia
An European Identity - what for?
- immigrants and national identity in contemporary Europe
- crisis of identity - rise of multiculturalism on the European continent
- Eastern Europe full of satellite states
- two perspectives: fundamentally what occurred from 1989 to 1991 (fundamental loss of
legitimacy) and the rise of nationalism (ethnonationalism movements, particularly in USSR)
- competing perspectives whether nationalism would be important in the formation of
Europe
- ethno-federal structure of USSR formed a cracked up system (like a chocolate bar)
- flaring of ethnic tension and signing of documents overcoming tensions within an
European framework
- laicite = extreme dedication in separation for church and state (but not secularism and is
not religious) - kept at home
Æ discriminatory of religious beliefs (not allowed to wear crosses/Star of David)
- persistent fear from beginning to end of the fear of communism [fascism seen to be a
preferable alternative]
- immense power and prestige of Soviet power
- a system doomed to fail, failed, and something that is inherently/pathologically unstable
and probably not worth the fuss people went through
- Prague 1916 - demand for "Socialism with a human face" - Alexander inspired by
Æ 5 Warsaw Pact countries - use of force introduced the Brezhnev (Doctrine) 1964 under
Krus____'s fall
- nonperson = expelled from history in the Soviet context
- retreat from thaw and stagnation - anti-socialist degeneration (public calls for reform)
- Soviet Union & its military have the responsibility to 'save' turmoil and correct its state
- Brezhnev Æ continued public discourse focus on the response of a communist and
improving consumer goods
- promised the 9th FYP (increase goods to population, ownership rights to household
electronics)
= growth rates fell, but more slowly compared to Western -- lagged in 1980s
- decaying household situations (shortage of housing Æ communal apartment divided by
families), environmental damage increased human health (infant mortality, life expectancy),
alcoholism (chronics at 37%)
- dilemna - economic transition was necessary but hard to do without social and economic
dislocation -- created a working class (cannot be sacrificed)
- Margaret Thatcher 1979-1990, Prime Minister of Britain - reformed the economy by
sacrificing the working class (not seen to be controversial)
- entrepreneurship made more efficient, privatized
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- Soviet Union did not enjoy flexibility - Janos Kadar, Communist leader of Hungary 1956-
1988 made reforms - goulash communism [mixed market economy]
- not economically successful 1970s = severe recession around the world
- goulash captured ideologies of the West/around the world but not successful
- attempts to reform within the system while Tito had National Communist (mixed economy
similar to Ceausescu - systemization (involved nationwide scale of urban/cultural planning,
new housings to rationalize living space but destroyed old centre)
- Eastern European states ruled by "Little Stalins" - One party states with centralized top-
down power
- fundamentally, reality remained that the East was unable to beat the WEest in quality of
daily life and party had little general purpose due to inability
Æ everything was concerned about beating the West
- pessimism on all orders but especially among the middle classes
- as Stalin was going upon his vast ideal of collectivization, there was very little knowledge
of the USSR about what was going on outside the USSR
- by 1980 - 50% of population had shortwave radios to catch up on information
- no tourism to the West but a great number from East
- growing awareness of alternate models (extreme triumph in USSR & its system of
scientific research and technical profession -- convinced people that they had the capability
just not the capacity)
- recognition of the cap was growing - foreign development
- Party itself was failing to deliver its promises
Æ trade Union from Political Movement (1980) - Solidarity [formed on Lenin _______ in
Gdansk]
- electrician by trade - not an educated middle class
- main cause of protest against government increases of food prices, which led to the
formation of solidarity Æ protests, formed under marshall law and all farmers joined and
posted underground
- 1980, 3.1 million, 1984, 2.1 million
Æ most of affected were young
- faith in socialism was broken/evaporated by the 1970s-1980s
-- shows that people took socialism very seriously, wanted to throw out for it to live up to its
promises
- materials comfort that came with capital
- did not lose faith in ideas of the party while party ceases to have core purpose
- Charter 77, signed in 1977 calling on Czech government/society to live up to its
guarantees of human rights (constitution)
- what capacity there is for resistance in the Soviet system
- what the experience of domination is, what kind of violence is
- extreme psychological violence at the core of imperialism = only language colonizers
understand
- fundamentally - despite the depth of this violence, there is a very easy road to resistance
Æ panorama, part of the façade - symbols and outward gestures are how to survive the
Soviet system
Æ resistance to the system is to live in the truth
- to refuse to affirm the government's systematic deception & moral emptiness
- eradication of meaning in the centre of the project
- Gorbachev - what the problems of Soviet Union are [eulogizing - beginning to believe on
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