Volume 20, 1995
Thinking the Post-Socialism
From Socialist Community to Pluralistic Society
The author discusses some aspects of the problem how to transform the former socialist into democratic states. In the first part he argues that the ‘socialist societies’ were not societies in the modern sense but organized in the way of traditional community without (civil) society---with the absolute domination of politics over all spheres of societal activities, in which the only permitted (Communist) Party, mostly reduced to the power of the secretary general, used to decide over almost everything. The psychic functional basis of socialism was happy consciousness and collective narcissism. In the second part the author warns that the realization of the “European way of Iife,” as a basic program of changes in Europe in 1989, was misunderstood because it was conceived as a fixed content and not as a procedure of attaining agreement. In the third part he concludes that nationalism and fervent religiosity, which predominate in several ex-socialist countries, are main obstacles of the transformation of the former socialism because of their exclusion of the different. This tends to continue the societyless community, filled with again absolutized (national or religious) contents, namely with new forms of collective narcissism.