Essentially, governance is about governing mechanisms which are not prescribed and implemented from a single direction only. Postsocialism (or postcommunism) is about distinct patterns of social, economic or political life in former socialist countries. I agree with the first term, I don’t agree with the second. In the following I will briefly coin my understanding of postsocialism and point to some questions that arise with the use of this term. Tales about socialist inheritance and governance is meant to be an unstructured discussion about the clash between the two realities, developed into several series, and opened to free debate.
The problem with postsocialism/postcommunism is that is hard to say when it started and when this “post-“ will end; is it a transition period? But transition towards what? Capitalism? What kind of capitalism? It is hard to provide a clear answer to these questions. For example postsocialism arguably began in the Czech Republic with the revolution of the Spring of 1968, or even in Octobre 1956 in Hungary and since then, civic activism grew constantly against Kádár up to the peak of 1989. But did why these revolutions ocurre so soon?
I see postsocialism as a process started on the very ‘same day’ that socialism was installed, as a permanent fear/step back from what it might happen, an organic reluctance towards the radical change that socialism might bring. Two more things to be clarified here – of course in all social strata were enthusiasts about the new regime, and to see why they were enthusiastic, is another discussion. Second, the resistance I am speaking about was hardly a rational/conscious act, the very prosaic example (prosaic nowadays) of listening to Radio Free Europe in big secret, might be seen as an unconscious way of everyday form of resistance. But, nevertheless, ‘that’ socialism made its way to people’s minds and affected their way of behavior, different from one social stratum to another, even from one individual to another. The postsocialism I am referring to is about this inheritance, developed smoothly day by day, from the very moment of coming into power of the socialist political regime. Thus, postsocialism should be named, from my point of view, the inheritance of socialism.