chapter  11
36 Pages

Intellectuals and Domination in Post-Communist Societies

WithGeorge Konrad, Ivan Szelenyi

The intellectuals play the most fundamental role in the transformation of state socialist societies. The foundations of bureaucratic domination were eroded, and, with the decline of the old elite, the only viable candidates for membership in the new elites are intellectuals. The power of intellectuals may only be a transitory phenomenon—like their predecessors during the French Revolution, they may only lay the foundations of a new type of domination for a class other than their own. The chapter offers a general diagnosis of the social and economic changes and a sketch of the anatomy of post-Communist society. It explores the position of intellectuals in such a post-Communist society. In February 1989, even the Communist party had to accept the principle of a multiparty parliamentary democracy. Both the Communist party and the government made a concerted effort to recruit the best young university graduates to the party apparatus and to government positions.