Neoliberalism in Central Europe: Is It Magic, Religion or Science?

Main Article Content

Michał Buchowski

Abstract

Expansion of capitalism to former communist countries was presented, especially by many intellectuals,  as  a  scientific endeavor  based  on  rational  choice  theory,  management  techniques and precisely measured market forces. For many practitioners of ‘transformation’ the neo-liberal project became also similar to proselytizing religion that has to be spread among infidels, i.e. communism-ridden populations. In the process of applying supposedly scientific principles for missionary purposes, many mechanisms identified by anthropologists as magic were  used.  The same  modes  of  thinking  apply  to  the  explanations  of  reform  failures.  In magical  thinking symbols  are  treated  as  signs;  in  a supposedly  cause-and-effect  chain  of events  a  symbolic element  is  instantiated  and  the  status  of  this  symbol  is  perceived  as equivalent to the empirical constituents. Symbolic factors, distinguished as such in an analytical process, have the same power of affecting reality as the physically perceptible factors. Communism was often blamed for using magical tricks, particularly in the domain of magical  power  of  words.  Words,  through  their symbolic  power,  were  supposed  to  excuse  for failures in practical domains. In the notions describing advantages and shortcomings of the neoliberal  system  such  unspecified  elements  can also be  identified.  In  conclusion  one  can say that  neo-liberalism is a science, but only for its believers who in their reasoning apply magical modes of thinking. 

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Buchowski, M. (2013). Neoliberalism in Central Europe: Is It Magic, Religion or Science?. Poznańskie Studia Slawistyczne, (4), 29–41. https://doi.org/10.14746/pss.2013.4.2
Section
Magiczna moc słów w językach, literaturach oraz kulturach słowiańskich

References

  1. Bauman Z., Intimations of postmodernity, London 1992.
  2. Bierdiajew M., Źródła i sens komunizmu rosyjskiego, przeł. H. Paprocki, Kęty 2005.
  3. Buchowski M., Communism and Religion: A War of two Worldview Systems, w: The Academic Study of Religion During the Cold War, red. I. Doležalová, L.H. Martin, D. Papoušek, New York 2001.
  4. Buchowski M., Komunizm a magia i religia: podobieństwo formy czy jedność reguł interpretacji kulturowej?, w: Obrazy PRL-u, red. K. Brzechczyn, Poznań 2008.
  5. Buchowski M., Magia. Jej funkcje i struktura, Poznań 1986.
  6. Buchowski M., Noeliberalism in Central Europe: Magic, Religion or Science?, w: MESS and RAMSESS. Mediterranean Summer School, vol. 7, red. J. Repič, A. Bartulović, K. Sajovec Alstuhl, Ljubljana 2008.
  7. Buchowski M., The Magic of the Kings-Priests of Communism, „East European Quarterly” 1991, nr 24.
  8. Buchowski M., The Specter of Orientalism In Europe. From Exotic Other to Stigmatized Brother, „Anthropological Quarterly” 2006, 79(3).
  9. Geertz C., Interpretacje kultur. Wybrane eseje, przeł. M.M. Piechaczek, Kraków 2005.
  10. Gellner E., Postmodernism, Reason and Religion, London 1992.
  11. Gellner E., Reason and Culture. The Historic Role of nationalism and reason, Oxford 1992.
  12. Kostera M., The Modern Crusade: The Missionaries of Management come to Eastern Europe, w: A 1a recherche des certitudes perdues... Anthropologie du travail et des affaires dans une Europe en imitation, red. B. Müller, Berlin 1996.
  13. Leach E., Kultura i komunikowanie: logika powiązań symbolicznych. Wprowadzenie do analizy strukturalnej w antropologii, przeł. M. Buchowski, Warszawa 2010.
  14. Melhuus M., Peasants, Surpluses and Appropriation: A Case Study of Tobacco Growers From Corrientes, Argentina, „Oslo Occasional Papers in Social Anthropology” 1987, nr 11.
  15. Monnerot J., Sociology of Communism, przeł. J. Degras, R. Rees, London 1953.
  16. Sztompka P., Civilizational Incompetence: The Trap of Post-Communist Societies, „Zeitschrift für Soziologie” 1993, nr 22(2).
  17. Sztompka P., Looking Back: The Year of 1989 as a Cultural and Civilizational Break, „Communist and Postcommunist Studies” 1996, nr 29(2).
  18. Sztompka P., Trauma wielkiej zmiany: Społeczne koszta transformacji, Warszawa 2000.
  19. Winiecki J., Historia polskiego marginesu, „Rzeczpospolita” 29.12.2001.
  20. Wolf E., Peasants, Eaglewood Cliffs 1966.