“The radical left in the postcommunist epoch”

Joanne Richardson

This is the first of a three-part series of essays: (1) the radical left in the postcommunist epoch; (2) the neoliberal & the neofascist right in Romania; (3) protest movements, social forums and the myth of civil society. It argues that the radical left begins from an affirmation of the real democratization of the economy, politics and culture, which means rejecting both postcommunism and communism. This democratization is based on a unity of principles, not on sharing identical visions, practices or goals.

They say we had a revolution in Romania. Ceausescu was executed. And with his death, a society of bureaucratic privilege and control over the economy, politics, culture and most details of daily life began to wither away. According to the cliché that now passes for a self-evident truth, the left = communism = totalitarianism = antidemocratic. After 1989, public opinion was unified in praising the new “right” wing government that came to power in the wake of Ceausescu’s regime because whatever was not communist had to be on the side of freedom and democracy. (more…)