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The "strike" of periphery: the twisted road from backwardness to political radicalism in Eastern Europe

[journal article]

Chioveanu, Mihai

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Abstract Focusing on the way Easterners, both westernizers and traditionalists perceived the West and its values, and responded to its challenges (modernization, industrial revolution, urbanization, and national-state), the present paper aims to analyze and present in general outlines, the politics and ideology of "anti-", the Eastern "negations" of the West. Aware of the fact that many of those negative responses were mere anticipative and embedded by intellectual inadequacy, I will try to approach them not as Eastern indictment and symptoms of a conservative fear of progress, typical for backward societies. By the time East European societies entered the world system, classic liberalism lost its hold on the new elites and the masses that were no longer to accept inequalities and explanations from the political top. Past frustration and tensions were retrieved and were also to feed the ideological challenges of both Marxism and Fascism. If it was for fascism to succeed that was due only to the fact that the new elites were striving for national specificity and original doctrines, and not a new international or universal model and order. Like their ancestors those "ideological mutants" appealed on one hand revolutionary means, and on the other hand looked into the past just to extract the grasp of values that was supposed to shape their utopia. Nonetheless their henchmen had to make people believe that they perform an important social function and represent the "highway from backwardness to progress".
Keywords intelligence; radicalism; Eastern Europe; value-orientation; elite; East-West relations
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 447-458
Journal Studia Politica : Romanian Political Science Review, 11 (2011) 3
ISSN 1582-4551
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works