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From Class to Nation: Left, Right, and the Ideological and Institutional Roots of Post-Communist “National Socialism”

Written by Veljko Vujacæicv, this article apperead on the third issue of Vol. 17 of East European Politics & Societies in August 2003. 
 
This article explores the ideological and institutional causes of the emergence of political coalitions between orthodox communists and extreme nationalists in the late communist and post-communist periods. The causes of the emergence of new forms of national socialist ideologies, parties, movements, and regimes are sought in the historically rooted ideological affinities between socialist and nationalist ideologies and the perceived necessity for communist cadres of defining a substitute “combat task,” co-opting the nationalist intelligentsia, and attracting desperately needed popular support. Such attempts at “national-socialist” mobilization in the late communist and post-communist context face serious social-structural, institutional, and ideological constraints. Consequently, it is inappropriate to subsume these parties, movements, and regimes under familiar concepts such as fascism, totalitarianism, integral nationalism, populism, or sultanism. Instead, they should be seen as distinct subspecies of late communist and post-communist authoritarianism.

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