Ideological criticism of the ideological criticism of the normalization Cover Image

Ideologická kritika ideologické kritiky normalizace
Ideological criticism of the ideological criticism of the normalization

Author(s): Miloš Havelka
Subject(s): History, Recent History (1900 till today), Post-War period (1950 - 1989), History of Communism, Historical revisionism
Published by: AV ČR - Akademie věd České republiky - Ústav pro soudobé dějiny
Keywords: normalization in Czechoslovakia;Communism

Summary/Abstract: Kolář, Pavel and Michal Pullmann: Co byla normalizace? Studie o pozdním socialismu. Prague: Lidové noviny Publishing House and Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, 2016, 222 pp., ISBN 978-80-7422-560-4. In the reviewer’s opinion, the collection of essays is one of the most significant publications that have so far been written about the so-called Czechoslovak normalization period (1970–1989), the fact that their primary motivation was to problematize and critically thematize the bias of past and existing approaches to the period, and in fact to the whole era of Czechoslovak Communism (1948–1989) not with standing. His extensive review points at problematic aspects of the “revisionist” interpretation of the authors, and polemicizes with some of their concepts and ideas. In his opinion, the basis of their criticism is vague, partly politically motivated and leaning to the left, and he also claims that justified requirements of taking a historical view on the Czechoslovak “normalization” stop short of ananalysis of specific phenomena. He questions their schematic rejection of the concept of totalitarianism or, given the topic, the adequacy of their terms “late socialism”, “dictatorship”, or “everydayness” used as interpretation frameworks or analytical tools. He polemicizes with the authors’ interpretation of the Prague Spring in 1968 and Max Weber’s concept of power legitimacy, especially in connection with the use of violence during the “normalization”. In the end, the reviewer concludes that the authors offer a not very convincing, ideological antithesis to existing theses on the time of the Czechoslovak “normalization”, which means that we will still have to wait for a true historical synthesis

  • Issue Year: XXV/2018
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 229-243
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Czech