1789-1917 Return Ticket Cover Image

1789-1917, Rückfahrkarte
1789-1917 Return Ticket

Author(s): Francois Furet
Contributor(s): Holger Fliessbach (Translator)
Subject(s): Law and Transitional Justice, Post-Communist Transformation
Published by: Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen
Keywords: post-communism; French revolution; Leninist Revolution; transition;

Summary/Abstract: The revolutions of the 20th century, which were carried out or forced under the sign of Leninist principles, left nothing to be rebuilt on. The revolution of 1789, fought under the banner of human rights, had often failed to follow its own principles due to its chaotic course; but she had staked out the terrain and defined the ideas that from then on governed modern politics for everyone, including their opponents. Even the counter-revolution still drew its temporary strength from the revolution. In contrast, the historical necessity of communism at the end of the 20th century turns out to be a catastrophic illusion. Not a single Leninist idea has stood the test of time, and the massive rejection of these ideas among peoples reveals nothing other than a simple return to the principles of 1789 - a return that will be all the more unwavering when the communist revolution once went against these principles. The suppression of the free market, the end of private entrepreneurship and the dictatorship of the unity party leave only illusions and ruins, a landscape that, especially where the regime was in power for a long time like in the Soviet Union, resembles a desert. The socialist states and societies offer the unique spectacle of nations that must restore at all costs what they thought they had to do away with, since in their recent past they no longer found a single principle on which to base themselves. This also gives her current situation something almost pathetic.

  • Issue Year: 1990
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 48-62
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: German