The neoliberal hybrid in East-Central Europe. The ‘treason of intellectuals’ and its current re-assessment

  • 1 Political Science Department

Abstract

The Europeanised, progressive intelligentsia in East-Central Europe (ECE) made a fundamental mistake in the nineties that amounts in some ways to the ‘treason of intellectuals’ and the basic reassessment of these naïve illusions has only begun nowadays. Motivated by the radical change in the ‘miraculous year’ (1989) the progressive intellectuals uncritically accepted and supported the Europeanisation in that particular form as it entered into the chaotic days of the early nineties, since they naively thought that its negative features would automatically disappear. In good faith, they created an apology for the established neoliberal hybrid and they sincerely defended this perverse Europeanisation against the increasing attacks of the traditionalistnativist narrative. With this action they have been unwillingly drifting close to the other side by offering some ideological protection for the ‘really existing’ neoliberal hybrid instead of criticising this deviation from genuine democratisation in order to facilitate its historical correction. However, due to the emergence of the neoliberal hybrid, the ‘external’ integration by the EU has resulted in the ‘internal’ disintegration inside the ECE member states. There has been a deep polarisation in the domestic societies and after thirty years the majority of populations in the ECE countries feel like losers, and they have indeed become losers. This controversial situation needs an urgent reconsideration, which is underway both in the EU and in the ECE as a self-criticism of the progressive intelligentsia. Thus, this paper concentrates on the reconsideration of the main conceptual issues of Europeanisation and Democratisation in ECE.1

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