Accepted paper:

Remembering socialism and "post-socializing" the West

Author:

Tomislav Pletenac (Faculty of Philosophy)

Paper short abstract:

Paper opens a question of Western change in the course of the rupture of the old East/West order, in which it became the postsocialist First that will understand its novelty later - through the falsity of its own position.

Paper long abstract:

The concept of transition through which societies that came into existence after the fall of the Berlin wall were attempted to be categorized, is not entirely new. It has been established as an additional product of "planetary consciousness" (Louise Pratt) and described in terms of the registry that Bhabha calls "almost-but-not-quite". Following Bhabha's arguments, transition remains the permanent condition of the colonial subject which has to represent a justification for its very existence. In case of postsocialism it firmly tries to deduct the core of the socialist, transforming it into a potentially threatening slippage. In these circumstances liminal anthropology (better known as ethnology) is doubly inscribed into the discourse of postsocialist anthropology: as a lagging discourse of cultural analytics, but also as a possible source of empirical material on socialism. By this ethnology also acquires the identical threatening quality - in Žižek's terminology, it becomes a symptom. Changing the analytical situation, the symptom gains new meaning. Everything becomes a possible socialist residue that legitimizes the new symbolic order, but also gives a new meaning to the object (socialism). In this gap it is difficult to decide whether the nativity of the socialist subject clad in ethnological discourse with a burden of postcolonial formation remains the symptom or the active substance of the new symbolic order's redefinition. Didn't the West inevitably change in the course of the rupture of the old East/West order, becoming the postsocialist First that will understand its novelty later - through the falsity of its own position?

panel IW03
Liminal Europe