Russian propaganda overturning the historical experience of overcoming Nazism
Political and social theorist, previously based in Moscow, now nonresidential visiting fellow at GW's Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies
Now, a large corpus of texts written in the 1930s and 1940s have become accessible to us in a new light – in that critical period, social and political philosophers realized their limitations and inability to change the world according to their ideas while at the same time recognizing that they had powerful tools with which to study the causes of what had happened. In this regard, all the major authors of the period who analyzed the nature of Nazism and the causes of World War II are of great interest. Besides the now-much-talked-about works of Walter Benjamin, recall The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi, who tried to reconstruct how humanity had ended up in such a tragic place.
At the core of all the approaches to the study of Nazism lay the bitter realization that what had happened was not a deviation from the plan or a turn off the highway leading to prosperity, democracy and liberal freedoms, but rather represented a logical consequence of the development of capitalist society.
The original text in Russian was published in DOXA.