Reinventing Central Europe and the Decline of Marxism: Czech “Orientalism” through the Lens of Intellectual History

JVF Conference Papers

In my paper I focus on the profound intellectual change that occurred during 1970s and 1980s when the belief that communism can be reformed gradually disappeared among the majority of intellectuals both in the East and in the West with the growing condemnation of Marxism as the ideology that gave birth to communist totalitarianism.

Following Tony Judt analysis I argue that the decline of Marxism as a political theory since the 1970s and the increasing attention towards Central Europe are two interrelated processes, both among Eastern and Western leftist intellectual. Once they stopped identifying themselves with Marxist political theory and gave up Marxist political language, geopolitical arrangements were likewise reconsidered.

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