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In Poland , housing problems were caused by slow rates of construction, poor home quality which was even more pronounced in villages and a large black market. East German housing suffered from a lack of quality and a lack of skilled labor, with a shortage of materials, plot and permits. Three months after the death of Joseph Stalin , a dramatic increase of emigration Republikflucht , brain drain occurred from East Germany in the first half-year of Large numbers of East Germans traveled west through the only "loophole" left in the Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions , the Berlin sector border.

A major emergency was declared and the Soviet Red Army stormed some important buildings. Bloodshed could not be entirely avoided, with the official death toll standing at 21, while the actual casualty toll may have been much higher. The revolution began after students of the Technical University compiled a list of Demands of Hungarian Revolutionaries of and conducted protests in support of the demands on 22 October.

The Soviet Politburo thereafter moved to crush the revolution. On 4 November, a large Soviet force invaded Budapest and other regions of the country. Over 2, Hungarians and Soviet troops were killed and thousands more were wounded. Thousands of Hungarians were arrested, imprisoned and deported to the Soviet Union, many without evidence. Their bodies were placed in unmarked graves in the Municipal Cemetery outside Budapest. A period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia called the Prague Spring took place in The event was spurred by several events, including economic reforms that addressed an early s economic downturn.

During the late s, the weakened Soviet Union gradually stopped interfering in the internal affairs of Eastern Bloc nations and numerous independence movements took place. Following the Brezhnev stagnation , the reform-minded Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in signaled the trend towards greater liberalization. Gorbachev rejected the Brezhnev Doctrine , which held that Moscow would intervene if socialism were threatened in any state. Gorbachev initiated a policy of glasnost openness in the Soviet Union, and emphasized the need for perestroika economic restructuring.

Orbán, the Opposition, and the Academy

The Soviet Union was struggling economically after the long war in Afghanistan and did not have the resources to control Central and Eastern Europe. In , a wave of revolutions , sometimes called the "Autumn of Nations", [] swept across the Eastern Bloc. On 9 November , following mass protests in East Germany and the relaxing of border restrictions in Czechoslovakia, tens of thousands of Eastern Berliners flooded checkpoints along the Berlin Wall and crossed into West Berlin. In Bulgaria , the day after the mass crossings through the Berlin Wall, the leader Todor Zhivkov was ousted by his Politburo and replaced with Petar Mladenov.

In Czechoslovakia , following protests of an estimated half-million Czechs and Slovaks demanding freedoms and a general strike , the authorities, which had allowed travel to the West, abolished provisions guaranteeing the ruling Communist Party its leading role. Since , Romania had reversed the program of de-Stalinization. They executed him after a brief trial three days later. Even before the Eastern Bloc's last years, all of the countries in the Warsaw Pact did not always act as a unified bloc.

For instance, the invasion of Czechoslovakia was condemned by Romania , which refused to take part in it.

The Open Economy and its Enemies: Public Attitudes in East Asia and Eastern Europe

Albania withdrew from the Pact, and the Eastern Bloc altogether, in response to the invasion. Writing in , German historian Philipp Ther asserted that neoliberal policies of liberalization, deregulation, and privatization "had catastrophic effects on former Soviet Bloc countries", and that the imposition of Washington Consensus -inspired " shock therapy " had little to do with future economic growth.

Ghodsee and Scott Sehon assert that "subsequent polls and qualitative research across Russia and eastern Europe confirm the persistence of these sentiments as popular discontent with the failed promises of free-market prosperity has grown, especially among older people". The following countries are one-party states in which the institutions of the ruling communist party and the state have become intertwined.

They are generally adherents of Marxism—Leninism and its derivations. They are listed here together with the year of their founding and their respective ruling parties. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the group of socialist states during the Cold War.

For the art centre, see Eastern Bloc art centre. Soviet Socialist Republics. Allied states. Related organizations. Dissent and opposition. Cold War events. See also: Formation of the Eastern Bloc. Further information: Marshall Plan. Main article: Berlin Blockade. Further information: Tito—Stalin split. Main article: Eastern Bloc politics. Main article: Eastern Bloc media and propaganda. Main article: Treatment of Christians in Communist Bloc countries. Main articles: Cominform , Comecon , and Warsaw Pact. Main article: Eastern Bloc emigration and defection. Further information: Eastern Bloc emigration and defection , Eastern Bloc information dissemination , and Eastern Bloc politics.

Main articles: Comecon and History of the Comecon. See also: Second economy of the Soviet Union. A Trabant Limousine left , manufactured between and ; and a Wartburg right , manufactured between and ; they were made in East Germany and exported throughout the Eastern Bloc.


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A Polish made Polski Fiat p , manufactured between and left and a FSO Polonez , manufactured between and right. Main article: Uprising of in East Germany. Main article: Hungarian Revolution of See also: People's Republic. Europe portal Socialism portal Soviet Union portal International relations portal.

In , the Constitution of North Korea was quietly amended so that it dropped all reference to "Communism". Cities of Pilgrimage. Archived from the original on 5 September Retrieved 21 December Until , despite being a formally independent state, Mongolia had de facto been an integral part of the Soviet-dominated Eastern Bloc. In works examining the Western bloc countries' relations with the East- ern bloc, Yugoslavia was not considered part of the Eastern bloc. This strategy was a significant factor in achieving a higher standard of living and a lower level of under-urbanization compared to other members of the Eastern Bloc.

Political Power in the U. Press, Wlodzimierz Bonusiak, et al. Encyklopedia PWN in Polish. Archived from the original on 24 March Retrieved 6 April Sanford , Google Books, p. The Story of Latvia. Latvian National Foundation. Feldbrugge, Ferdinand et al. Retrieved 27 August Archived from the original on 14 January Retrieved 1 February Skliansky , President of the Revolutionary War Soviet: "We are surrounded by the greens we pack it to them , we will move only about 10—20 versty and we will choke by hand the bourgeoisie , the clergy and the landowners.

There will be an award of , rubles for each one hanged. Archived from the original on 2 April Retrieved 19 November Moscow, Nauka, Archived from the original on 29 January Retrieved 23 March Archived from the original on 23 September Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell. Shiryayev, A. CMEA and European economic cooperation. Novosti Press Agency Pub. House, Retrieved 12 December Archived from the original on 20 October Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Progress Publishers.

Novosti Press Agency Publishing House, Archived from the original on 23 May Archived from the original on 25 July Archived from the original on 8 September The Truth About Chernobyl. First American edition published by Basic Books in The Legacy of Chernobyl. Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Archived from the original on 30 June Output, Labor, and Labor Productivity, —".

Archived from the original on 17 May Retrieved 4 August Growth Rate of GDP and its breakdown". April Archived PDF from the original on 8 September Retrieved 2 September Retrieved 22 October A Meetings and demonstrations , para 54 p. Archived PDF from the original on 20 March Retrieved 9 March C The First Shots , para 55 p. C The First Shots , para 56 p. C The First Shots , paragraphs 56—57 p.

C, para 58 p. F, para 65 p. F Political Developments II. Nagy clarifies his position , paragraphs 67—70 p. Archived from the original on 17 November Retrieved E Logistical deployment of new Soviet troops , para p. Holodkov to Interior Minister N. Dudorov 15 November " PDF. International Oral History Conference. Archived from the original on 7 June Retrieved 10 October Retrieved 13 October Photius Coutsoukis.

Archived from the original on 16 January Retrieved 20 January Archived from the original on 17 August Retrieved 7 March The Prague Spring ' The Prague Spring Foundation. Archived from the original on 17 January Retrieved 23 January Archived from the original on 11 January Retrieved 19 January Archived from the original on 28 September The term is a play on a more widely used term for revolutions, the Spring of Nations. Europe since A History.

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Princeton University Press. Retrieved 13 March Archived from the original on 19 May Retrieved 14 May Archived from the original on 20 May Archived from the original on 25 September Retrieved 26 September Leonid Petrov's Korea Vision. Archived from the original on 21 April This audio file was created from a revision of the article " Eastern Bloc " dated , and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. Audio help. More spoken articles. Eastern Bloc. Soviet Union Communism.

Annexed as, or into, SSRs. Emigration and defection list of defectors Sovietization of the Baltic states Information dissemination Politics Economies Telephone tapping. Leaders of the ruling Communist parties of the Eastern Bloc. Enver Hoxha Ramiz Alia. Josip Broz Tito —, rotating leadership. Secret police agencies in the Eastern Bloc. Directorate of State Security Sigurimi. Committee for State Security DS. State Security StB. Ministry for State Security Stasi. Department of State Security Securitate. Cold War. Arms race Nuclear arms race Space Race.

Category Commons Timeline List of conflicts. Joseph Stalin. National media in the former Eastern Bloc. Eastern Bloc economies. Ruling communist parties of the Eastern Bloc. People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. Party of Labour of Albania. People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola. People's Revolutionary Party of Benin. Bulgarian Communist Party. Communist Party of Kampuchea. Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party. Communist Party of China. Congolese Party of Labour.

Between censorship and commercialization. Structural changes in the public sphere in Eastern Europe

Communist Party of Cuba. Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. Socialist Unity Party of Germany. New Jewel Movement. Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party. Workers' Party of Korea. Lao People's Revolutionary Party. Polish United Workers' Party. Romanian Communist Party. Yemeni Socialist Party. Communist Party of Vietnam. League of Communists of Yugoslavia. Marxist—Leninist state Aggravation of class struggle under socialism Anti-imperialism Anti-revisionism Command economy Collectivization Commanding heights of the economy Cult of personality Democratic centralism Dialectical logic Dialectical materialism Foco Labour aristocracy Marxist—Leninist atheism National liberation One-party state Partiinost' People's democracy Popular front Proletarian internationalism Self-criticism Social fascism Socialist patriotism Soviet Yugoslav Socialist state Theory of the productive forces Third Period Vanguardism.

By and Those who saw in the Soviet media policy nothing more than a typical communist diversionary tactic. Daniloff, ; Liminski, or interpreted this policy merely as a brilliant public relations strategy on the part of Gorbachev Naylor, in fact proved to be 'cold-war-mongers'. In their own eyes, the mass media in western democracies constitute the so- called fourth estate. By means of the media, a plurality of opinion is articulated publicly, and this in turn acts as a democratic corrective to the formulation of political demands and objectives being carried on in parliament, government and the economy.

But because such ideals have long since degenerated into political soap-box oratory, critical scientific research can neither theoretically nor empirically ignore what Jurgen Habermas wrote about the term 'public sphere" in According to his analysis at that time, the public sphere in capitalist society has long since become an instrument of power in the hands of political interest groups which have no democratic legitimacy.

However, Habermas's political analysis of the public sphere ought perhaps to be expanded to include a decisive economic element which the Canadian economist Dallas Smythe defined theoretically in , taking up and elaborating on the staple theory" of his compatriot Harold Innis : If in the process of the realization of profit, advertising - communicated through the mass media - was regarded for a long time as an important but secondary support which could thus be offered as a kind of 'free lunch' by the editors responsible for. It is the editorial contents of television programme and the press which have become the 'free lunch' inside totally commercialized media structures.

The main concern now is to buy over specific groups of recipients for the editorial 'free lunch' of advertising. It is not the programmes' and newspapers' contents which are required to have 'a little' consideration for their advertising surroundings, but vice versa: advertising now impresses its mark on the editorial surroundings. These somewhat complicated-sounding theoretical considerations have long since become Internalized by every media manager in the capitalist west, who of necessity is business-minded.

Newspaper owners have known for some time now that in their overall calculations income from advertising has greatly outstripped that from subscriptions or news-stand sales. Television managers are more than familiar with the growing economic relevance of advertising income in the face of sharply rising production costs. Advertising lies at the very heart of capitalism and is in fact contrary to what the term 'public relations' would seem to suggest, namely, the concept of a public sphere.

Historically, advertising emerged In the nineteenth century the American advertising agency J. Thompson was founded in when it had became necessary for the very first time to industrialize consumer needs in the face of over-production and market saturation.

As a producer of ideology, advertising provides the essential cheap substitutes for the political loyalty of large sections of the population whose trust in traditional institutions church, political party, parliament has long since been. In the end, the pseudo-rationality and the mendacity of the advertising sector become paradigms of the fragile and uneven progress of western capitalism. What political science politely calls 'corporatism' is defined much more vividly in the vernacular by terms such as 'graft', 'cronies' or 'clique system', all of which point to the symbiotically close network of relationships between party representatives and representatives of business associations.

It is this very corporatism between political parties and the economy which has robbed the State of its democratic innocence in dealing with the public sphere. One point to be considered here is that the State has always been, and still is, the largest producer of stocks of information and knowledge schools, universities, research and development, patents and norms, statistics. In Germany, experts estimate that, financially speaking, State-funded publishing activities are as significant as those of the whole private book trade.

Under Thatcherism in England, the advertising budget of State institutions and so-called charities, of all things, exceeded that of private business and industry. In Germany in , the advertising budget of the Deutsche Bundespost amounted to million marks, thus Deutsche Bundespost ranked fifth on the list of the advertising industry's largest clients - after the huge washing powder and cleaning agent manufacturers. In Germany too, the public broadcasting media's independence of the State, an independence which is guaranteed in the constitution, has become a mere fiction.

In the form of the so-called balance of opinions, the aspiration of public broadcasting to be a forum for debate in the public sphere has given way to a kind of lowest common denominator dictated jointly by the Christian and Social Democratic parties. Where an overall public sphere is no longer able to function in a society as a. Where the technical restriction of frequencies and channels no longer plays much of a role, the growth in the number and type of electronic media buying up their specific recipient group in a fragmented society proceeds in leaps and bounds.

Currently, the relationship between the mass media and social reality is suffering a radical break. So complete is that break that new kinds of illustrated magazines, such as Weekly World News USA , The Plain Truth Australia or Die Neue Spezial Netherlands, Germany , are deliberately doing without true stories and instead printing everything their readers send them in the form of articles and photographs.

In these magazines Elvis Presley is still alive, J. Kennedy is being glimpsed in the White House, and the Loch Ness monster is likely to crop up in a front-page photograph. Tired of the fictional crime of television, the relationship between the mass media and social reality in the USA is also experiencing changes, in that American television stations are opting more and more to show, for example, real criminal pursuits.

Live video-camera shots from police helicopters are indeed more exciting than fictional police chases. Where mass media and political parties are merely advertising themselves - in constant pursuit of the illusion that the real world is identical with their world of goods - then the Increase in death motifs in American advertising campaigns may not be all that wide of the mark. Neither are the Benetton advertisements by the photographer Oli- viero.

Irreality cannot communicate itself to the public any more via the mass media then it will do so via Benetton advertising, be that in the image of a man dying of AIDS in the arms of his father or a poster showing a priest and a nun kissing Arthur, ; Becker. In an article entitled 'J'accuse', which appeared in , the sensitive and thoroughly conservative German aesthete Thomas Mann gave vent to his fury about the communist hunts in the USA and Germany, appalled as he was by the double morality and the mendacity of the press at the time.

Mann commented on the economic reconstruction in Germany as follows:'[It has] come out This is called the "renewed flowering of the creative personality in the economy"; it is called "private initiative"; and under these headings a barbaric clique of speculators, immune to the needs of the people, has turned the.

There could be no better description of the economic structures in Eastern Europe in the wake of the dramatic changes since On the one hand, there are the short-term cash strategists who originate in the Mafia and penetrate via the black market right into the realm of government.

On the other, there are the pure market economists who are conspicuous at international conferences by their naivety. In this economic chaos, a large portion of the population is heading rapidly down the slippery slope to material destitution. Thus two thirds of the citizens in the CIS countries have to spend more than half of their income on food.

They have no savings and live from hand to mouth. More than three quarters of all CIS citizens have to share a flat Narsikulow, Hotfoot on material Impoverishment follows spiritual impoverishment: sixty per cent of the population agreed with the statement that the prevailing attitude is one of 'Every man for himself. Science in the former USSR is being invaded by superstition, obscurantism and spiritism, penetrating even as far as the once renowned magazine Social Sciences and the Modern Era, published by the former Soviet Academy of Sciences Kapitza, Corresponding to these phenomena, there is a great increase in the number of programmes on Soviet television about faith-healers and people with so-called supernatural powers Vartanov, Not least, this profound spiritual crisis into which most of the people in Eastern Europe were catapulted is also recognisable in the most intimate sector of human communications, namely, in the realm of sexual relations.

What is blossoming there is not some kind of life-asserting, joyful, open and pleasurable sexuality but exploitative prostitution; telephone sex services and pornography are widespread, especially. With dramatically declining industrial production, falls in turnover in the retail sector, rising prices for consumer goods and shrinking real income among the majority of the population, with growing unemployment, an almost total decline in internal trade in the former CMEA countries, high rates of Inflation and large debts to western countries, with underdeveloped infrastructures in the communications, transport and bank sectors, and finally, with an almost total absence of legal systems, it is no exaggeration to claim that in view of these structural features, the Eastern European countries find themselves in the deepest economic and political depression since the s.

It is thus a complete mystery that it should be possible to argue, as Dimitry Chere- shkin and Mikhail Tsalenko have done , that a strategy aimed at the total informatization of society could cancel out the effects of economic and social chaos in the former USSR. At most, this argument might possibly make sense against the background of the naive confidence in technology which has always been a feature of the Soviet Union, for it was always the latest technology which was to lead the country out of its backwardness: in the s such hopes were placed in the programme of electrification, in the s it was the then propagated 'great revolution of nature', which was followed by research in space travel and nuclear energy, and finally by the re-routing of the Siberian rivers, to which great hopes were attached.

In the face of this enormous crisis in Eastern Europe the two parameters which have become decisive in the assessment of future developments are: Privatization, and Opening up to the world market It is precisely these two parameters which are in the process of bringing about fundamental changes in the sectors of culture, the mass media and.

Changing Social Structures. In the former CMEA countries cultural policy was always an asset which was constantly flaunted. If one disregards certain ideological functions which this cultural policy also fulfilled, then in many areas the cultural sphere in the former CMEA countries had in fact advantages over Western European countries. Thus, for example, a statistical comparison of the distribution of cinema seats per 1 , inhabitants showed the following: Bulgaria had 79 seats, Hungary In the meantime, this highly subsidized state cultural policy in the former CMEA countries has totally collapsed, throwing thousands and thousands of unemployed, broken and bitter writers, journalists, directors, sculptors, musicians, actors, dancers, and museum and library employees onto the scrapheap of history.

A make-up artist at the Moscow film studio MOSFILM commented with resignation on her present situation: 'In former times we had cosmetics, better wages, and a better working discipline, and above all, we had the motivation to work. Today everything seems hopeless.


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  • Now we know that we are a developing country. All that is left is shame, suffering, and heads to roll' Lemper, The publishing sector in the former USSR is facing total collapse. The database sector in Poland. And Barrandov, the state film studio in the Czech Republic, has had to let go 2, employees. At the same time as the employment market for artists, intellectuals and scientists in Eastern Europe collapses, there is an ever-increasing growing brain- drain from east to west.

    Despite the difficulties in labour markets in Western Europe, to many people in Eastern Europe the West still seems to represent the only possibility of survival. This brain- drain is taking place more among scientists and engineers than among artists, especially as the latter group is more dependent for its professional advancement on being rooted in its own language group than for example engineers or scientists Wright. In the meantime, 15 per cent of all Hungarian scientists approximately 4, people , are working abroad; 39 per cent of all migrants from the former USSR to Israel in were academics, and of these, 64 per cent were engineers and architects.

    The consequences for the Eastern European countries of this brain- drain are disastrous. The very people who are emigrating are the ones whose energy, activity and expertise are so urgently required in order to transform and renew those societies. When Eastern European scientists and politicians speak about models for the social organization of the mass media today, privatization makes Its appearance like a deus ex machina. The public broadcasting system as it exists in the Federal Republic of Germany, on the other hand, is unknown to them.

    There is also no desire on their part even to perceive that the French news agency AFP, for example, is State-run, nor do they show the least Interest in the fact that there is a growing number of small so-called Independent broadcasters in the USA. The adjective 'public' is all too quickly, rashly and crudely equated with Stalinist, State, col-. In the light of this prejudice, forms of privatization are developing in their mass media brutality and invasive- ness which it would be hard to equal in any Western European country. A few examples: For some time the logo of the Italian firm Olivetti appeared on State television in the former USSR every evening on the clock which is to be seen shortly before the beginning of the main news programme.

    In an exclusive contract, a French advertising agency took over the whole design of advertising on the two state television networks in former Czechoslovakia, producing the advertising spots and assuming responsibility for negotiations both with the consumer goods industry and with other advertising. Table 2. In Hungary there are still incomplete plans to rent out television frequencies to foreign groups, an organization model which has not been seriously debated in any other country in the world to date. In telephone communications from western to eastern Germany private satellite consortia can also use satellites for the transmission of speech although, in the new Postal Structure Act of , even this sector of speech transmission was reserved for the state telecommunications monopoly and not earmarked for privatization, the argument being that of the social responsibility of the state.

    And finally, in the former USSR there are official discussions in progress on the privatization of the so- called space segment of satellite communications carrier rockets, launching systems etc. The privatization of formerly public communications has especially harsh consequences for the lower social strata of the population and people in rural areas.

    For example, in the former USSR there was a cable radio set with one or two radio channels installed as a fixture in practically every flat This radio service used to be free of charge, but of late a fee has had to be paid for it. The same applies to local telephone calls. These used to be free of charge but are now being charged for or soon will be. Such charges mainly affect those people who can live only from hand to mouth. Without their radio and telephone, thousands of pensioners living alone and below subsistence level are now cut off from public communications.

    Media communications in villages and small towns in Eastern Europe have also changed radically since Until then there was a publicly-subsidized so-called house of culture in almost every community, available for dances, plays and. In smaller villages there was even a cinema. Today many of these installations have been discontinued, and privately-managed pubs and discos simply cannot survive in villages as the purchasing power of the local population is not strong enough to support them Reich, Not only do the extent and form of privatization in the field of the mass media in Eastern Europe go far beyond what has been practised to date in western capitalism, there is also every reason to suspect that for western media capital Eastern Europe has become an experimental laboratory forprivatization strategies which are still being hampered in the West by State social obligations which it might be possible to eliminate via the lever of Eastern Europe.

    Foreign Influence. Before broadcasting in western and eastern Germany was restructured, voices in warning were raised in western Germany calling for the avoidance of a 'media colonization' of eastern Germany. Eight months later Kurt Biedenkopf, a CDU politician from the state of North-Rhine- Westphalia and at the time candidate for the post of prime minister of the new federal state of Saxony, made a similar statement [Welt am Sonntag newspaper, In the meantime, such sentiments can no longer be heard from official quarters, and the very people who had once warned against media colonization were actively involved In taking care of their own interests in the former GDR More shamelessly than ever before in the history of the old western Germany, the broadcasting structures which existed in the former GDR were sacrificed to the interests of the two large West German political parties.

    Table 3. Frenkel, ; Frenkel, ; Frank, While it is still an open question at the moment as to how exactly foreign western Influence will manifest itself in radio and in particular television broadcasting in the individual Eastern European countries, the press in many of those countries is already securely in the hands ofwestern media capital.

    This applies especially to Poland and Hungary, but also, and despite various specific features, to the former GDR. In the case of the new federal German states, an analysis of press concentration there Schneider, a; Schneider b was able to show that this concentration is higher at the moment than in the days of the former GDR, and that the former SED newspapers which still dominate the market in the.

    The same applies to the Hungarian telecommunications industry. Only a few years ago studies by the World Bank found that this industry was ready for the global market. Of a total of four Hungarian companies involved in the telecommunications industry, two are facing bankruptcy while the other two have become mere extension work-benches of the Siemens and Ericsson companies. For many economists in Eastern Europe, privatization and openness to the global market are the two most important elements in any successful attempt to modernize and catch up with the west. Availing themselves of various statistics, they point out that the situation in their countries is similar to that in Western Europe x years ago and that they will have attained a western European standard x years from now.

    Yet the various forms of brain-drain, of privatization and of foreign influence prevailing there speak against such analogies and prognoses. This phenomenon can be well-illustrated with reference to Russia's foreign trade structure. Before the socialist revolution, Russia's industrial production had experienced enormous growth, yet the extraction of Russian oil was entirely in foreign hands, mining 90 per cent, the chemical industry 50 per cent, and the textile industry 30 per cent. In this context it is significant that the structure of foreign trade between Tsarist Russia, and the later Soviet Union, and the West has scarcely changed.

    This means that even during the reign of communism, the former USSR and some of the other eastern European countries as well could be understood essentially as being peripherally capitalist and not just as a qualitatively different political and economic system. Since the opposition between the systems disappeared in 1 , what has remained is just the periphery, comparable to Latin America. In fond memory of its former power and glory, therefore, and without shying away from racist comparisons, some former USSR generals, forced into early retirement, recently compared Rus-.

    In recent history, and measured according to growth in industrial production and active participation in global trade but not growth in social justice , only the 'four small tigers' of South East Asia - Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea - have been successful in modernizing and catching up economically, also from the starting point of peripheral capitalism. The declining importance of raw materials worldwide is one of several reasons why the former USSR will not succeed in its attempt to catch up on capitalism.

    The European Energy Charter signed on 17 December is bound to be an Important contribution towards further entrenching Russia's traditional role as a dependent energy supplier. The on-going hunt for the natural resources of Siberia by foreign investors is comparable in its early-capitalist manifestations with the gold-rush in the USA in the nineteenth century. A second reason why the strategy of catching up with capitalism is doomed to fail has to do with Eastern Europe's enormous foreign debt, which between and increased by 25 per cent.

    Before , Russia actually had a very positive balance of trade due to its immense grain exports, but in the debt owed by the former USSR to the West was approximately forty billion US dollars, that of Hungary was almost twenty billion, and that of Poland approximately forty billion. There is a great deal which would indicate that, like the developing countries, Eastern Europe will be unable to free itself from the mechanisms of the debt-trap.

    To conclude summarily that censorship of the media, of information and of the. Yet in a theoretical treatment of the issue of what might constitute the public sphere in Eastern Europe after , such a conclusion could be still more apt and more in keeping with a tradition of critical thought than all the abstract talk about media freedom. Elizabeth Fox, a North American specialist on mass communications in Latin America, gives a catchy definition of media imperialism: 'Media imperialism has taken hold when an advertisement is shown on television for Colgate toothpaste and the viewer does not even have the money to buy a toothbrush.

    In order to be able to adequately determine what communication in the public sphere could be in Eastern Europe after , not only must the capitalization of the mass media be taken into account, but also the question of what kind of social structures give this capitalist public sphere its specific form. In doing this, the following points deserve particular attention:.

    In contrast to this, in the metropolises and some few high-tech islands tax-free zones, teleporr- ts there will at the same time be the most modem of links to western information technology. In view of our. With the exception of the former GDR, of which economic and political elite has been almost completely replaced by West German managers, in most of the Eastern European countries the old nomenclature will more or less remain. For the mass media this means a novel and strange mix of private sector economy and its constraints on the one hand, and on the other, a work force which is accustomed to acting within bureaucratic, authoritarian structures.

    In Russia this situation means that about 92, civil servants are preoccupied with the task of privatizing state companies. This paradoxical state of affairs can either completely fail, or else lead to strange new and authoritarian forms of public spheres. In contrast to the Western European bourgeoisie, who in the course of the past two hundred years were able to fight for and gain private property and the means to protect this in their own interests - through a combination of freedom of expression and of the press - there will be no bourgeois class in the strict sense in Eastern Europe, even in the near future, in a position to build up its status on the basis of personal property.

    What is likely to emerge in these countries is a new-old type of State class whose understanding of the public sphere will necessarily be authoritarian and undemocratic. Some examples from the Russian Federation may help to illustrate this trend: At the end of there was the case in which state prosecutors from Moscow sold video-films of the interrogation protocols of the August 'putschiste'; up to this very day, high-ranking military.

    The public sphere as traditionally understood by Western democracies involves a conscious, dispassionate, and on-going debate with history. One important prerequisite for this is sufficient time. The haste with which streets and cities were re-named, or the sudden longing for the return of mon- archs living in exile, point towards a tendency to unleash history from the realm of the present. Where the difficulties of coming to terms with the recent past are concealed by taboos, what takes hold is repression, not a public sphere.

    Where past history is not accepted, then in the long term no future is possible. The transformation from bankrupt communism to peripheral capitalism in Eastern Europe is destined to proceed with brute force. Accordingly, there will be brutal forms of apparently public spheres. The sheer physical brutality of this new understanding of the public sphere becomes clear in the following example Weskott, The former GDR State-run monopolistic book distribution company had thrown away these books because they had proved unsaleable in the face of competition from the new western.

    After the public burning of books by German fascists in , this act of destruction, especially of an author like Heinrich Mann, has proved to be a more-than-embarrass- ing repetition. Many Eastern European countries and most of the states of the former Soviet Union have only a small domestic market. For capital-intensive mass media and information technologies, small national economies always lead to a neglect of so-called local content and an intensification of foreign influence on capital, technology and content. In addition, where old centralized media structures are forced to give way to decentralized structures in the process of democratization, the abruptness of the change often leads to internally splintered chaos and not decentralization.

    It is inherent in the inner logic of peripheral capitalism that this latter is not steered by the respective national capital but by foreign, multinational and metropolitan capital. These capital forces are stronger than all national capitals. Furthermore, and necessarily, in Eastern Europe they have a different interest in the media than the respective national capital might have should anything worthy of that name emerge.

    This has two consequences for Eastern Europe: economically, this process blocks the establishment of an indigenous media industry, and culturally, this process will lead to the indigenous population perceiving the public sphere as indebted to foreign capital and thus strange and threatening. Foreign influence on the media before certainly involved a quantum of political emancipation.

    After , however, that foreign influence has merely been accelerating cultural heterogeneity in the Eastern. European countries. All these processes have already been observed and thoroughly researched in the course of the so-called cultural clash between the Third World and the northern industrial countries. There are two reasons why such processes may potentially be more productive of dangerous conflict in Eastern Europe than in the countries of the Third World. One is that the privatization of the mass media in eastern Europe is more drastic in its contours than even in Latin America.

    The other is that since the advent of colonialism, that is to say, for the past five hundred years, the Third World has got to know all the various types of cultural clash. Thus the developing countries have had years to create manifest and latent forms of resistance to such outside influences, whereas the time pressure being exerted on Eastern Europe is so enormous it can scarcely be escaped.

    What is also lost is that clandestine public sphere's vision of a better life. Where private and intimate communication no longer proffers the dream of a better world however vague that dream may bej, where the once longed-for better life proves - at least in its early stages and for most people - to be worse, then what was once public in private communication quickly turns into a narrow, bourgeois conformism.

    The once lively communication becomes trivial. Table 4. Advertising plays a central role in the extremely complex process of re-structuring the public sphere. Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that Hungary and Yugoslavia, countries which for many years conducted the experiment of a socialist market economy, were already quite familiar with advertising with the same economic function that it has in western capitalism Hanson, Advertising from Western Europe reaches many Eastern European countries via commercial television stations.