Criticism/self-Criticism in East Germany: Contradictions between theory and practice

Article


Andrews, M. 1998. Criticism/self-Criticism in East Germany: Contradictions between theory and practice. Sociology.
AuthorsAndrews, M.
Abstract

East Germany's revolution has been portrayed in the western media as a popular uprising rejecting the old socialist order and wholeheartedly embracing Western capitalism. This article examines the politics of leaders of the East German citizens' movement who spearheaded these changes in 1989, using data collected with prominent dissidents nearly three years after the opening of the Berlin Wall. The critical intelligentsia of East Germany were unique among dissidents of the Soviet bloc countries in their continued belief in "socialism with a human face"—even after the brutal repression of the Prague Spring—juxtaposing socialism as it actually existed with socialism as they thought it could be. With the rallying cry "We Are the People," they contested the party elite's practice of socialism, as they sought to build a more democratic alternative on East German soil. This article relates the East German state's application of the Marxist-Leninist concept of contradiction and criticism/self-criticism to the country's history of critical politics and to the politics of the citizens' uprising in 1989.

KeywordsBerlin Wall; political theory; socialism
JournalSociology
ISSN0896-9205
Year1998
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/089692059802400107
http://hdl.handle.net/10552/439
Publication dates
Print1998
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Dec 2009
Additional information

Citation:
Andrews, M. (1998) ‘Criticism/self-Criticism in East Germany: Contradictions between theory and practice’ Critical Sociology 24 (1-2) 130-153.

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