chapter  1
“Ideocracy”: A sketch of the history of a concept
ByUWE BACKES
Pages 27

In 1945, German Communism had a difficult start for several reasons. Communists were already marginalized in the Weimar Republic and they held a low social status. They were able to win respect from the military triumphs of the Soviet Union. At the same time, this implied an alienation from their compatriots because Communists were perceived as the "little brothers" of Moscow. The strategies used by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany to gain legitimacy aimed at establishing dictatorship and integrating non-Communists. These strategies were based on mechanisms like discharging the guilty consciences of former National Socialists on condition of their commitment to the anti-Fascist German Democratic Republic. At this time, the strategies of legitimating were part of the asymmetric and entangled history of both German states. All measures like anti-Fascism, pseudo-pluralism, economic reforms, welfare policy, and the beginnings of administrative jurisdiction were also targeted at the Federal Republic. The terms legitimacy and co-optation describes the actions of the ruling party.