Authentic Community and Autonomous Individual: A Pre-History to 1989 Cover Image

Autentikus közösség és autonóm személyiség: 1989 egyik előtörténete
Authentic Community and Autonomous Individual: A Pre-History to 1989

Author(s): Péter Apor
Subject(s): History
Published by: AETAS Könyv- és Lapkiadó Egyesület

Summary/Abstract: The paper examines the idea of authentic community, one of the important cultural themes and social practices of the 1960s and 1970s. It argues that the use of the concept provided an important context for coming to terms with the legacy of Marxism and was also instrumental in interpreting what socialism and capitalism or the East and the West meant. The notion of authentic community was used to formulate powerful criticism of alienation and the consumer society, which connected the concerns of the socialist elite, the intellectuals, secular and religious critical thinkers and activists together. However, for revisionist Marxism, the idea of authentic communities was crucial for considering the role and responsibility of the individual and, hence, was instrumental in developing a new critical language based upon the morality of autonomous individuals. Focusing on the individual, in turn, gradually helped such intellectuals and activists to move away from Marxism and develop a political thought and practice in pragmatic terms that preferred debates about appropriate institutions instead of ideologies. In this respect, the ideas of the 1960s and 1970s still continue to shape the culture of post-socialism. On the one hand, concerns about the morals of the individual are a continuation of similar considerations from the past. On the other hand, the concept of authentic communities is still used as a powerful critique of contemporary consumer societies.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 22-39
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Hungarian