History of Communism in Europe

Volume 2, 2011

Avatars of Intellectuals under Communism

Márta B. Erdős, Gábor Kelemen
Pages 281-308

The Finite Universe: Discursive Double Bind and Parrhesia in State Socialism

Readers are invited into a universe established by the discursive practices of “soft dictatorship” in Hungary between 1957 and 1989. The two major categories of our epistemic discourse analysis, representing the internal struggles of the intellectuals in the era, are manipulation and parrhesia. Manipulation is understood as an abuse of power; it impairs human collaboration and social development by delimiting social participation. Parrhesia is an act in which the speaker expresses his personal relationship to truth, taking the risks and responsibilities of veridiction in crisis situations.