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Paper Prof. Espada - Marine BINET

Paper Prof. Espada - Marine BINET

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Paper on Europe in the 20th Century: From division to reunification Prof. Joao C.

Espada - 2011-2012

Marine BINET

The Cold War (Chapter IV) Tony Judt asserts that: “with an alacrity that would perplex future generations, the struggle in Europe between Fascism and Democracy was hardly over before it was displaced by a new breach: that separating Communists from anti-Communists” (Tony Judt, Postwar : A History of Europe Since 1945, Penguin Press, New York, 2005, p. 197.) Essay Question: What, in your opinion, were the main conflicting views at stake between the Soviet system and European democracies during the Cold War? Word count (including footnotes): 2493

Introduction “One must choose between URSS and the Anglo-Saxon bloc”1 (J.-P. Sartre) Analysing the influence of ideas during the Cold War has some implication for the field of history: How can intellectual views become the basis for radical societal change in the Western and the Eastern blocs, and influence the relations between them? The period of the Cold War which lasts from the end of the World War II (1947) to the collapse of the Soviet Union (1991) is not a homogeneous one. Yet it is featured by the constant state of political and military tension between two poles. As the World War II was barely ended, the “Yalta order” (1945) was created on the ashes of Nazism by the allied United States and URSS. This nevertheless anon led to the partition of the world in two “spheres of influence”, opposing European democracies under the leadership of the USA and sovietised Eastern regimes. Yet according to Hobsbawm, there was no real ideological crusade embarked upon from the outset of the Cold War until the 1970s.2

Jean-Paul Sartre quoted in: Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945, New York: Penguin Press, 2006, p. 214. 2 Eric Hobsbawm, the Age of Extreme: The Short Twentieth Century 1914-1991, Abacus, New Edition, 12 oct. 1995, p. 317.
Marine Binet - Europe in the 20th Century - Prof. Joao C. Espada - Collège d’Europe, Natolin, 2011-2012



Winter 2011. 233. with a similar ideological cracking in the Eastern bloc (3. Journal of Cold War Studies. Natolin. characterized by apocalyptic discourses on the imminence of a Third World War.). Rethinking the role of ideology in International Politics during the Cold War. indeed. American post-revisionist historians consider that the causes of the Cold War are much more rooted in a profound misunderstanding of each others motives. Volume 3. but also the acceptance of a balance of power. The Realist theory of international relations discounts the role of ideas in historical process.).5 On the opposite side of the analysis.4 Considering the forces set and actor’s nuclear deterrence strategies. Number 1. No.1. op. However the deconstruction of ideologies that might have influenced the sequence of events. one may suppose like Hobsbawm that “confrontation would probably have developed without ideology”. a clash of ideological preferences for ordering politics and society (1. 2011-2012 3 2 . and assumes that the Cold War was a − mathematical − security dilemma. Therefore. Joao C. Nigel Gould-Davies. Espada . p. pp. Winter 1999. cit. This essay attempts to offer some insight into the main views at stake between the Soviet Union and European democracies during this period. 1.. the Cold War is often oversimplified down to a Manichean ideological bipolarization. 36-60. Some scholars even proclaimed “the end of ideology” within the Western bloc . proves that the ideas’ constellation didn’t fit the conventional battle lines drawn by the Iron Curtain (2. is Sartre right in depicting the intellectual choice as an ultimatum without any other alternative? The Cold War was. Vol.Collège d’Europe. 90. 4 Robert Jevis.The role of ideas has usually been neglected in the study of the Cold War. p.).3 It is often merely portrayed as a peculiar conflict. Marine Binet . Nevertheless even when ideas are taken into account.Prof. 5 Hobsbawm. Was the Cold War a Security Dilemma? Journal of the Cold War Studies.Europe in the 20th Century .

Liberty Fund. London: Routledge. New-York: verso. To do so. cit. 1998.Europe in the 20th Century . Theory of Moral Sentiments. Popper opposes the circular mind of totalitarian discourses promoting the almighty of the historical materialism’s science in enclosed Soviet societies. to the democratic disputatio in open Western societies.1. London . 9 Ibid. The Captive Mind. as opposed to the Western “critical rationalism”. it seems fitting to revisit the philosophical approaches of Popper. Oakeshott distinguishes between “politics of faith”8 and “politics of scepticism”. since it is the ideal final stage of the Marxist-Leninist historical materialism. 556 p. 7 Karl Popper. opposed to the Western individualism supported by A. 8 Michael. Prometheus Books. and of liberty. p. Two conflicting beliefs systems The clash of the Cold War between the URSS and the Western democracies was not a collision between two models. Rationalism in politics and other essays . Vintage. The Communist Manifesto: a modern edition.Prof. the “State-Party” embodies a holistic vision of society. 9. Divergent visions of Politics and Society The opposition between the Soviet system and the European one can be sketched as antagonist preferences for ordering politics and society. 12 Czeslaw Milosz. 546 p.. Joao C. 10 Adam Smith. Marine Binet . 2000.6 It was more a conflict between two beliefs systems. c1991. 1. 2011. In the Soviet system. 755 p. Oakeshott. This Manichean opposition centred upon two core ideas: the conception of politics and society. Natolin. 2011-2012 6 3 . Hayek and Oakeshott. New and expanded ed. The Open Society and its Enemies. reducing politics to problem-solving activity.. August 1990. annihilating desire and creating a spiritual vacuum fulfilled with the communist “New faith”12. Espada . foreward by Timothy Fuller.9 The Soviet Union designed a gargantuan societal construct based on a rationalist administration. In contrast. 272 p.1. 11 Oakeshott. as communism was never achieved. whereas Europe adopts the American consumerist way of life. These divergent visions of politics lead to radical differing conceptions of social ordering.Collège d’Europe. Smith’s concept of “invisible hand”.7 In a similar approach. Adopting an analogical reasoning regarding Popper’s theory. Western societies are more malleable and leave more space for self-expression. Karl Marx & Friedriech Engels.10 The Soviet System creates “felt needs”11. one can observe that the Soviet system embraces a “dogmatic rationalism”. 87 p. op.

2009.Prof. 1972.The Soviet Society is a uniform unit. p. The Road to Serfdom. 1. meaning “liberty from and liberty to”. It has thus shifted from a decentralized grown order to a centralized totalitarian organization. Paris. In the second variant individuals can be coerced by a superior authority in the name of their own sake or some higher collective goal. as Hayek calls it13. London .18 Berlin distinguishes two variants of romantic positive liberty.19 Friedrich Hayek. 235 p. Gallimard French. Available at: http://www. USA. 14 13 Marine Binet . However. Routledge. Calman-Lévy. under the Soviet Big Brother’s16 scrutiny. Aron means the utopian realization of total liberty.Collège d’Europe. a framework composed by common recognized rules. 329 p. The condition of such a dialogue is the openness to criticism emphasized by Popper. 1975.htm (consulted 16.10. who considered that total democracy should ensure total liberty from exploitation. Random House. based of the satisfaction of collective wants and instrumental management. As for the Western democracies.14 Oakeshott likewise opposes civil and enterprise association. Political Ideas in the Romantic Age: their Rise and Influence on Modern Thought. Leviathan. which discards variety or disorder. New York . defending free people against external domination. 155. in which politics is a form of dialogue. Natolin. what perfectly fits the Soviet System. Berlin credits Rousseau and Marx with this vision. The liberal negative liberty can be resumed in a simple question: “What is the area within a person […] is or should be left to do or be. without any interference of other persons?”17 The Truman doctrine epitomizes this vision. The first understands liberty as the capability to be one’s own master: the individual is submitted to his superego or a common higher entity. Espada . Essai sur les Libertés. 1965. 17 Isaiah Berlin. 2011-2012 4 . meaning a certain degree of liberty of mind. 15 Michael Oakeshott.2. Clarendon Press.11) 19 Raymond Aron. On Human Conduct.15 The Soviet political system is a sterile enterprise association. or Hobbes the “Leviathan”. Totalitarian vs. 407 p. Oxford. 2004. Oxford University Press. By “libertés réelles”. a critical thought is only possible at the fringes of the system or outside its cognitive frame. 2006. 576 p. He attributes this vision to Marx. This results from a profound East-West discrepancy about the conception of liberty. Joao C.trumanlibrary. 16 George Orwell. 1984. 256 p. they have emancipated by civil association.org/teacher/doctrine. Thomas Hobbes. Reissue edition. 18 Truman Library. liberal democracy: Two Concepts of Liberty Berlin opposes negative and positive liberty. Aron merges Berlin’s concepts of negative and positive liberty in the concept of “libertés formelles”.Europe in the 20th Century .

Aron sharply criticizes French left thinkers like Sartre and Merleau-Ponty. chap. Natolin. The Opium of the Intellectuals. by the post-World War II anti-fascism and anti-americanism rhetorics.1. Bronislaw Geremek. New York: Penguin Press. Pearson Education. N. 89.Europe in the 20th Century .Collège d’Europe. Joao C. fulfilled the spiritual vacuum left by the Holocaust. which excused in their eyes the worst Stalin’s cruelties following the maxim “the end justifies the means”. the intellectuals’ “Kulturkampf” was sharp during the Cold War. Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945. 1997. p. 1955. as Professor Geremek stated. The democratic invention. Histoire du XXe siècle.: Transaction. 2. Ideological cracking As Judt argues: “[…] the Cold War fault-line fell not so much between East and West. Though.J. These domestic crossed-divisions anon led to ideological cracking in the two blocs. Espada (Eds). this section describes the ideological divides within the two blocs. Agendas and Public Policies. 70. The European cultural divides The divisions of the Parisian intellectual community for or against Communism epitomized the moral rift of a whole continent.” in: Marc F. While European intellectuals debated in the public sphere. 8. Plattner and Joao C. the European dream has nourished the hopes of Eastern intellectuals20. Baltimore and London.Prof. The French left intellectual russophilia can be explained by three main factors. Vie et Mort du Bloc soviétique. 2006. coll. 2nd edition. taking advantage of “windows of opportunity”22 after Stalin’s death in 1953. New Brunswick. This new “opium of the intellectuals”23 as Aron calls it.As we saw it in the first part. proving the plasticity of each ideology.”21 Relying on Judt’s interpretation. 202. Espada . 23 Raymond Aron. 358 p. 22 John Kingdon. p. by the fascination exercised by the Soviet Union. Paris-Florence: Casterman-Guinti. Marine Binet . champions of neutralism or supporters of the Soviet doctrine. The John Hopkins University Press. who became staunch defenders of a desovietization24 process. Secondly. But more important. He condemns their thirst for teleological absoluteness and their Manichean dogmatism. 2011-2012 20 5 . Eastern actors were compelled to act at the margin of the system. Firstly by the familiarization of the French revolutionary intellectual tradition with the Communist rhetoric of violence. 2000. 2. “The Transformation of Central Europe. 21 Tony Judt. p. while some Western scholars answered the Moscow calling. 1997. 24 Georges Mink. as within Eastern and Western Europe alike. 2001. This ignorance of Western intellectuals about the Eastern reality coupled with the Western indifference provoked bafflement among Eastern intellectuals.

op. As Professor Geremek stated: “Central European societies paid the price of their struggle for freedom on the streets of Budapest in 1956. 27 Raymond Bondon.Collège d’Europe. 202. the Soviet system soon evacuated these irrational elements. 1970 and in 1981”. 25 26 Judt. PUF. p. on the other hand a Communists’ relegitimation strategy trough relaxing policy in order to secure their power. cit. variety and disordered were reintroduced in the rationalized Soviet structure.25 Nevertheless. Natolin... 2011-2012 6 . This process corresponds to an adaptation of the System to national realities and also to the spontaneous adjustment at the margin of Eastern European countries to its dysfunctions. Marine Binet . The desovietization was the result of two concomitant mechanisms: on the one hand. Thus a fault-line appeared between privileged communists and those who suffered disillusion and repression. 70. p. As Judt so accurately describes it: “The division within Communist states was no longer between Communists and its opponents.Prof. and in Poland in 1956. an elite movement of Party members and of revisionist intellectuals echoing the disenchantment with Communist Faith. the desovietization processes produces unexpected and “perverse effects”27 as Bondon calls it. Espada . 296 p. namely the collapse of the URSS and the renewing of communist elite in the political apparatus. Therefore.2. cit.26 Finally.Europe in the 20th Century . op. The desovietization process From 1953 the democratic claims of the Eastern populations appealed by Western values were soon to be heard. Civil society started to organize against the holistic State.2. Effets pervers et Ordre social. 2009. The important distinction was once again between those in authority […] and everyone else”. 3rd edition. Joao C. 1968. in Czechoslovakia in 1968. Geremek.

Faced up with an ideological deadlock. there is rough consensus among intellectuals on political issues: The acceptance of Welfare State. by the end of the Cold War. p. 2011-2012 28 7 . he also stresses the fact that news postmaterial issues have emerged in post-industrialized Society. Free Press. 1960. Europe. some European intellectuals felt uncomfortable with the alignment with America or the Soviet Union. Glencoe. p. OR : Frank Cass. In the early 1960s Bell provocatively declared: “In Western World.30 As consequence of the erosion of class cleavage and traditional ideological divisions in Western societies. Thus. 3. a system of mix economy and of political pluralism. Natolin. IL. or if it merely represents a shift of the ideological struggle. Postmaterialism Inglehart’s postmaterial hypothesis challenges Bell’s theory. 218. 2004.1. 30 Daniel Bell. However. European democracies had no choice but to find their own path between the two giants. European intellectuals were not just followers of one or the other bloc. The European Third Way As the European neutralist position of some intellectuals argued. Joao C. The End of Ideology Horrified by the Stalinist crimes and disgusted by the Uncle Sam’s propaganda. Cold War and Coexistence. therefore.Prof. the ideological age has ended”. 3. While Inglehart supports Bell’s argument on the ideological decline in European and American democracies. 1953-1965. Actually. like their comrades in the East. the black/white dichotomy might have transformed into shades of grey simultaneously with the growing differentiation of (post-)industrialised societies. p.Collège d’Europe. cit.28 They exercised sometimes a decisive influence in the shaping of the conflict by taking a “European Third Way”. op.2. 373. Espada .3. 1. controversies over lifestyle. Portland. one wonders if this phenomenon marks the real end of an ideology.Europe in the 20th Century . environmental issues and self-expression have appeared Wilfried Loth.29 European intellectuals often pursued a “less of two evil” strategy. Marine Binet . London. Europe should broaden the realms of possibility by overpassing the communists / anticommunists enmity. who found themselves in a schizophrenic situation. 29 Judt. The End of Ideology: On the Exhaustion of Political Ideas in the Fifties. In that sense. the desirability of decentralized power.

Others like Brown argue that the Cold War was a continual dialogue between two beliefs systems. Vrin.in Marxist doctrine place. p. 32 Archie Brown. which in the end contributed to the survival of Communism. As I acknowledged in the first and second parts. 484 p. some intellectuals even claim the end of ideology in both blocs. NY: Harper Collins. New York. Conclusion As the ongoing academic debates exemplify. Marine Binet . 1990. 31 Ronald Inglehart. 124. Espada . Princeton: Princeton University Press. 720 p. one may wonder which ideologies now impel the contemporary sequence of events. To resume. the study about the ideological gap during the Cold War seems to have reached a deadlock.32 Finally. Postmaterialism assumes that ideology did not end. we cannot foresee tomorrow’s ideological clashes. while others highlight the complex cross-cutting interests’ constellation on both sides. 2011-2012 8 . More than twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Rise and Fall of Communism. Karl Popper ou le Rationalisme Critique. what the collapse of the Soviet System in 1991 later confirmed. 1998.Prof.Collège d’Europe. Natolin.31 The Marxist-Leninist class struggle theory experienced thus a deep erosion among European communists and Eastern populations. but its content transformed with modernisation process. 33 Renée Bouveresse.Europe in the 20th Century . as described in the third part. Culture Shift in Advanced Industrial Society. some analysts conclude to a simple Manichean opposition. rather than its downfall. According to Popper’s historical indeterminism33. Joao C. 2009.

Bronislaw. 256 p. 2006. 1995. The John Hopkins University Press. Raymond. Calman-Lévy. 70. USA.: Transaction. Archie. p. 36-60. GEREMEK. 9 . Michael.Europe in the 20th Century . Isaiah. 119-225. Natolin. 3rd edition. 166-217.Collège d’Europe. 1960. 2004. Michael. chap. The Opium of the Intellectuals. 2006. Winter 2011. 2000. p. Oxford. Renée. BERLIN. Chapters 8 and 9. 1997. Rethinking the role of ideology in International Politics during the Cold War. KINGDON. Friedrich. Volume 3. OAKESHOTT. The Age of Extreme: The Short Twentieth Century 1914-1991. BONDON. Oxford University Press. Princeton: Princeton University Press. The Rise and Fall of Communism. Raymond. JUDT. 1965. Rationalism in politics and other essays . JEVIS. Routledge. Espada (Eds). HOBBES. Tony. Robert.BIBLIOGRAPHY Books OAKESHOTT. Liberty Fund. 1975. PUF. Eric. 576 p. 1955. BROWN. HAYEK. Effets pervers et Ordre social. 1998. 2009. BELL. 329 p. pp. The Road to Serfdom. c1991. pp. 124. p. 90–109. 2009. New York .Prof. Daniel. Espada . The Democratic Invention. New Edition. p. Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945. Abacus. New Brunswick. No. 373.J. HOBSBAWN. Leviathan. 8. Agendas and Public Policies. 720 p. Thomas. INGLEHART. Journal of Cold War Studies. “The Transformation of Central Europe”. NY: Harper Collins. GOULD-DAVIES. Karl Popper ou le Rationalisme Critique. Clarendon Press. Winter 1999. Ronald. Marine Binet . 2001. Baltimore and London. 296 p. Random House. John. New and expanded ed. Was the Cold War a Security Dilemma? Journal of the Cold War Studies. Vrin. Plattner and Joao C. Number 1. Pearson Education. 484 p. 1990. 2011-2012 2nd Edition. pp. 2009. in: Marc F. Political Ideas in the Romantic Age: their Rise and Influence on Modern Thought. Culture Shift in Advanced Industrial Society. Nigel. 556 p. Joao C.1. New York. 235 p. IL: Free Press. ARON. 12 oct.. Glencoe. ARON. N. Vol. 1. Paris. London . Essai sur les Libertés. New York: Penguin Press. Reissue edition. On Human Conduct. Raymond. 358 p. BOUVERESSE. foreward by Timothy Fuller. The End of Ideology: On the Exhaustion of Political Ideas in the Fifties.

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