Class, Nation and Degenerate Race According to the Czech Socialists (1890–1914) Cover Image
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Třída, národ a degenerovaná rasa podle českých socialistů (1890–1914)
Class, Nation and Degenerate Race According to the Czech Socialists (1890–1914)

Author(s): Vít Strobach
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Česká společnost pro politické vědy
Keywords: Czech socialist movement; race; nation; class; political identity

Summary/Abstract: On the basis of an analysis of the socialist discourse and terms “class”, “nation” and “race” I have tried to show the change in the political identity of Czech Socialists in the period around the beginning of the 20th century. The process of integration of Social Democrats into the political system of the Austro-Hungarian Empire saw the strengthening of the contact with nationalistic parties’ policies and of the Socialists’ emphasis on particular rights of the nation. “A Socialist Nation” was a result of this process in the form of a discursive strategy that contained some typical nationalistic elements including that of looking for the enemy of the nation. The policy of the national identity enabled the Czech Socialist movement to get into some non-working-class social strata but it, at the same time, limited the universalistic outreach of the Socialist project. At the same time a broader use of motifs of degeneration and biological metaphors occurred. Adoption of such motifs signalized the inability to adequately discern discourses of exclusion. In my research paper I have qualified the above mentioned change as a symptom of a conservative turn thank to which the class struggle manifested itself as a racism of its kind, free of ethnic elements, directed to the physical health of the proletariat, excluding bourgeoisie as a degenerate/deviant class/race.

  • Issue Year: 18/2012
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 99-119
  • Page Count: 21
  • Language: Czech