By Zlatko Anguelov
Yet within the morally ambivalent global of the communism within which Anguelov grew up, every person used to be either sufferer and victimizer. Few dissented; few meant evil. extra standard have been stories of compliance, complicity, and informing on associates and friends simply as a part of getting through. no matter if discussing his schooldays, his marriages, or his occupation, Anguelov inexhorably returns to his subject of compliance. In relocating yet understated prose, he describes his personal coming to phrases with the damage performed via compliance and his sluggish shift right into a extra politically lively stance.
Through the tales of Anguelov's family and neighbors, he illustrates the categories of ethical offerings on hand to dull people. The factors for collaboration diversity from these of his grandfather, who cooperated with the govt simply because he believed fervently in communism, to these of his cousin, who cynically embraced the regime with the intention to prosper. a long time of studying to get through in this kind of approach, Anguelov tricks, can have formed opportunists who now pose as democrats and who sought in post-communist reforms no longer quite a bit political freedom as monetary prosperity.
In this penetrating and provocative account, Anguelov demanding situations effortless assumptions approximately communism, democracy, and jap Europe. His chilling insights into complicity below Bulgarian communism bring up uncomfortable questions about the ethical dimensions of “going alongside” in any system.
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Extra info for Communism and the Remorse of an Innocent Victimizer (Eastern European Studies, 16)
She never condemned her parents’ lifestyle (she was the kind of person who did not know how to criticize others), but she also never praised it as having been better and nobler than the one in which her daughter and her grandchildren were doomed to live. Or perhaps I simply loved her so much that I could not distinguish any diﬀerence in her attitudes. That is why I grew up in full harmony with the surrounding communist world, or at least without being conscious of its dark sides. Although I do not recall it happening, I am certain that even if someone had tried to alert me to the drawbacks of the society we were forced into, my grandma’s loving authority would somehow have shielded me from this person’s words.
He realized that he would not be able to use his inside knowledge in self-defense, let alone in organized opposition to the hard line. The party felt too ﬂushed with victory and the bosses too conﬁdent of their impunity. Every individual act of dissent could easily be annihilated, the actor strangled in a dark midnight hour. Justice and impartial arbitration— the ultimate environment for every liberal movement—were simply not in stock anymore. The moral dilemma of Vladigerov’s life was that he began it as a free person choosing liberal values in a democracy-oriented capitalist society, but ended it as a fool of fortune in an autocratic communist regime, which pretended to protect those very liberal values.
But besides his well-traveled manners, an experienced observer would have noticed that he was not a free man, a statute that one might expect for a person of such a high stature. Believe it or not, it was my grandfather who looked like a free man! It was sometime during the s when I ﬁrst encountered a phrase that Grandma Zlata plays chess with Granddad Georgi in their bedroom in Varna, . ) oﬀered a Western approximation of this type of freedom. At one time Le Monde published a long article on the proliﬁc secretary general of the BCP, Todor Zhivkov.
Communism and the Remorse of an Innocent Victimizer (Eastern European Studies, 16) by Zlatko Anguelov