By Sorin Antohi, Vladimir Tismaneanu
The 10th anniversary of the cave in of communism in vital and jap Europe is the foundation for this article which displays upon the earlier ten years and what lies forward for the longer term. a global workforce of teachers and public intellectuals, together with former dissidents and lively politicians, interact in an trade at the antecedents, reasons, contexts, meanings and legacies of the 1989 revolutions. The members tackle a number of matters together with liberal democracy and its enemies; modernity and discontent; monetary reforms and their social influence; ethnicity; nationalism and faith; geopolitics; electoral platforms and political energy; eu integration; and the death of Yugoslavia.
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Extra resources for Between Past and Future: The Revolution of 1989 and Their Aftermath
A more conventional view of modernity neglects the forces of de struction, decay, and death. According to this view, modernity lifts the chains of inevitability that bind all premodern, traditional societies, dra matically expanding the scale and depth of human design as opposed to organic growth or evolution. The world increasingly does not impose itself on us. We make it ourselves, though we do not make it "as we please". In the institutional sphere, legislation (made law) replaces found law, and our lives are increasingly governed by formal, special-purpose organizations.
Nation-state building takes precedence over the democratic transition and the rule of law. One hypothesis concerning the lesser importance of the national question in the democratic transition in Central Europe is that it is rela tively more homogeneous than Southeastern Europe (and where it is not, as in Slovakia, is precisely where we saw the single most important fail ure of the transition in Central Europe). Poland today is a homogeneous state (compared to the prewar situation, when a third of the population was composed of minorities).
Of course, the naming itself has little importance. We must find a satisfactory framework for understand ing such events. The most revealing name will naturally emerge when we find an appropriate framework. There is now a large literature on the meaning of 1989, but I don't think an adequate framework has been found. The proposal I sketch in this chapter centers on a broadly "constitutionalist" conception of moder nity. According to this conception, the politics of modernity is deeply and permanently bipolar, a battle between creative and destructive power, between a civic politics (building, protecting, and improving complex institutional structures) and a politics of war between revolution and subversion.