A time of crisis - A crisis of (the sense of) time: the political production of time in communism and Its relevance for the postcommunist debates

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Abstract

A haunting theme in today's debates over postcommunism is the necessity of facing the past. Ironically, what those people in East Europe and Russia having to face their past lack most is precisely a proper understanding of what the past is. This is because one of the major losses they suffered under communist regimes was their proper sense of time. In my article, I analyze how in the communist context, time (and people's sense of it) was produced politically and how the communist political imaginary presupposed as one of its essential ingredients a systematic disruption of (and interference into) people's sense of time. In the final part, I briefly point to the fact that a successful confrontation with the past can start only with a recovery of these people's sense of their temporal situation in the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-290
Number of pages31
JournalEast European Politics and Societies
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2005

Keywords

  • Freezing of time
  • Permanent revolution
  • Political Messianism
  • Politics of time
  • Rewriting of the past
  • Social time
  • Time and revolution

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