ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Letter from PragueSubscribe to Letter from Prague

Coming Out of the Fog

Coming Out of the Fog John Ashdown CZECHOSLOVAKIA today is still the most effervescent country of Eastern Europe, with its future form most unclear. Currently, experiment and novelty seem to dominate its intellectuals. Indeed, it is possible to visit its major institutions of learning without meeting anyone who calls himself a 'Marxist-Leninist', or anyone who does more than give a wry smile when they hear the term. Existentialism is academically respectable in philosophy, sociology is just beginning to develop, political scientists discuss the merits of a two-party system, surrealism dominates painting, and musique concrete is the rage. All this is only very misleadingly described as 'revisionism', a term spanning quite contradictory tendencies from Bernstein to Lukacs. Consistent with these diverse experiments but not with modern revisionism, radical economists seem to speak solely of how to create in Czechoslovakia something they call a 'market economy', how to raise incentives, how to increase income inequality, and ridicule the theoretical imperatives of the old Soviet-style 'command economy'.
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