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Stephen Holmes on Policy of Central Europe - Dictionary of Arguments

Krastev I 72
Policy of Central Europe/Krastev/Holmes: If we accept the testimony of the movement’s leaders, therefore, the rise of Central European illiberalism was due in good measure to pent-up rancour engendered by the centrality of mimesis in the reform processes launched in the East after 1989. When the Cold War division between communists and democrats was replaced by the post-1989 division between imitators and imitated, a moral hierarchy was established that would prove profoundly destabilizing. >Imitation/Krastev.
Commenting on the Western media’s coverage of Orbán’s Hungary, Maria Schmidt remarked that they ‘talk down from above to those below like it used to be with colonies’.(1)
Krastev: It would be wrong to equate the history of colonial domination and exploitation in the non-Western world with Central Europe’s originally voluntary decision to accept the burdens of harmonization into a post-national EU.
To upend the hierarchy implicit in the relationship of imitators to the imitated, Central European leaders now say that the main difference between East and West has once again changed. It is neither the communists versus the democrats nor imitators versus the imitated. It has become, instead, the difference between
Krastev I 73
ethnically homogeneous and ethnically pluralistic societies, between countries where traditional majorities rule and countries where a ‘mishmash’ of minorities thwart majority will. This imagined contrast between the pure and the mongrel is obviously meant to turn the tables and establish Central Europe as the true Europe fighting a last-ditch battle to preserve a struggling white Christian identity. >Identity Politics.


1. Maria Schmidt, cited in Oltermann, ‘Can Europe’s New Xenophobes Reshape the Continent?’. Guardian (3 February 2018).


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

LawHolm I
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
The Common Law Mineola, NY 1991

Krastev I
Ivan Krastev
Stephen Holmes
The Light that Failed: A Reckoning London 2019


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-06-15
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