History Department Research Seminar: Adam Takacs; "Socialist Consciousness" The Adventures of a Key Term in the Ideological Discourses of the Kádár Regime
The notion of "socialist consciousness" (szocialista tudat) surfaced somewhat abruptly in the official ideological discourses of the Kádár regime right after 1956. Yet, it remained on stage as a key ideological term for almost 30 years. Apart from demonstrating its potential to engage various important ideological issues (socialist humanism, socialist way of life, socialist morality, etc.), the talk seeks also to elucidate some of the main reasons behind the apparent ideological attractiveness of this notion. I will devote particular attention to the post-1956 and post-1968 ideological situations as well as to the 1970-1980s when the notion of "socialist consciousness" has become the object of a systematic research campaign in the field of social and human sciences in Hungary. Against this backdrop, I will also argue that in many cases reading and decoding communist ideology can offer a genuine way to understand the motifs and constraints as well as the specificity of political decision-making proper to the state socialist systems in Eastern Europe.