1968 – The New Borders
Keywords: counter-culture, canonical culture, cultural structure, political structure,
All areas of the world were somehow affected by the social anxiety of 1968. The changes and the events took on different forms, but there were social and political disturbances in Western and Eastern Europe, in the USA, in Japan, in China, in South-America and Africa. The author analyses the 1968 events as the emergence of a particular counter-culture which gradually became a canonical culture. 1968 marks a radical change in the structure of thought rather than in the political structures.
The Rests of Communism
Keywords: Romania, communism, anti-communism, democracy
The author analyses the possibility of rethinking communism in Romania. A major obstacle for constructing a valid image about communism, he argues, is a politically manipulated "anti-communism" which became during the last years a simple weapon in the political battles for power, far from being constructed from a truly democratic point of view.
Rebellion and Revolution: Hannah Arendt on 1968
Keywords: political theory, political commentary, Hannah Arendt, student revolts, 1968
Hannah Arendt is without doubt one of the most influential and controversial political theorists of the 20th century. Her works are regarded as masterpieces of political thought by her admirers, while others consider her oeuvre unscientific journalism. Still, Arendt is today one of the most widely discussed political theorists of the past century. The primary reason for the renewed interest in her work is the fact that besides theoretical and historical analyses Arendt also wrote as a political commentator. Nevertheless, her stance on the 1968 student movements has not been widely discussed. Some scholars argue that Arendt was not really interested in the student revolts. She indeed committed only few of her writings to the 1968 movements. But if we study these minor texts in the context of her major works, an astonishingly clear picture and stark assessment of the student movements emerge.
Aristocracy in 20th-Century Hungary
Keywords: aristocracy, public life, István Bethlen, Horthy Era, sovietization
Originally, aristocracy included persons who were entitled to bear their title of aristocracy through donation by the monarch, or through inheritance. As a result of recurrent elevations in rank, by the beginning of the 20th century a relatively high number of aristocrats had developed in Hungary, which became strongly fragmented along various social and life-style dividing lines. Due to this strong fragmentation, only aristocrats with an estate of 1,420 acres or more can be considered a separate social layer. Aristocracy played a very active role in the Hungarian public life of the first phase of the century, and can be considered to be one of the elite groups of society.
Subsequently to World War One, primarily in the revolutionary period between 1918 and 1919, aristocracy seemed to lose its social reputation and position, but this process of losing power had stopped by 1920. The consolidation policy of Prime Minister István Bethlen largely built upon the traditional elite groups of society, and with the effective aid of the government, aristocracy managed to preserve much of its social prestige and influence. However, the political changes in the 1930s again caused a certain degree of loss of positions for the magnates.
While what could be observed in the Horthy Era was the aristocracy being pushed into the background, after World War II major transformations took place. Primarily due to the land reform of 1945, and the restructuring of the political life, aristocracy could by no means considered to be an elite group. Along with the process of sovietization gaining momentum after 1947, ex-magnates were socially and politically discriminated. Their numbers were decreased by the several waves of emigration.
Theoretically the collapse of the communist regime opened up new prospects for them, although primarily it was the expatriates who could take advantage of these opportunities. Their financial situation and living conditions improved, some had remarkable social careers, but there seems to be no sign of the aristocracy reclaiming a position in the Hungarian society similar to the one it used to possess in the first half of the 20th century.