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27. LECTURE:  Monday, March 28    

Czechoslovakia tries and fails to define a version of socialism with a “human face.”  The experiments in socialist reform in both Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968) were both overturned by Soviet bloc troops.  The Czechoslovaks were different than their neighbors in that they tried to engage in reform within Marxism-Leninism.  You can watch an excellent video of the “Prague spring” here

  • The “Action Program” of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, April 10, 1968 (excerpts): HERE.  (Print version will be clearer than the screen)
  • “Two thousand words that belong to workers, farmers, officials, scientists, artists and everybody,” June 27, 1968:  HERE.  (Print version will be clearer than the screen)
  • Pravda justifies the crushing of the “Prague Spring,” August 22, 1968:  HERE

28.  LECTURE:  Wednesday, March 30 

Strategies of Stabilization.  After the crushing of the Prague Spring, the leaders of the communist regimes in the Soviet Union and East Europe were intent upon finding ways to buy off the loyalties of their populations. 

  • Kadar’s “Goulash Communism”:  HERE 
  • Announcing the new “Wartburg 1000”:  HERE
  • Building the Trabant:  HERE
  • “Wir tragen die blaue Fahne”:  HERE
  • Vaclav Havel, Open Letters.  Read the first half of the essay “Power of the Powerless.”

29.  DISCUSSION SECTION:  Friday, April 1    

Discuss the first half (sections I-XV) of ”The Power of the Powerless” in Vaclav Havel, Open Letters.    

Paragraph Assignment:   If you had lived in communist eastern Europe at the time Havel was writing, would you have acted differently than the green grocer?

30.  LECTURE: Monday, April 4 

An emerging Culture of Dissident in the Soviet Bloc.  In the context of the communist regimes’ stabilization strategies, small groups of dissident activitists and intellectuals began to test the limits of permissible behavior.  It’ is important to differentiate between what we think their grivances should have been and what they actually were.

  • “Second Wind,” in Vaclav Havel, Open Letters, pp. 3-9.
  • Plastic People of the Universe:  HERE  (From what song did Havel’s favorite band get its name?)
  • “Declaration of Charter ‘77,” January 1, 1977:  HERE
  • Previously secret:  Central Intelligence Agency, “Dissident Activity in Eastern Europe:  An Overview,” April 1, 1977:  HERE 

31.  LECTURE:  Wednesday, April 6

The End of the Cultural Revolution and Signs of a “new China.”  I will speculate on what kind of change was or was not possible in China in the 1970s.  It’s interesting to compare this period with Nikita Khrushchev’s pronouncements at the 20th Congress of the CPSU.  There are some similarities, but there are also significant differences between the two periods.

  • Deng Xiaoping, “The ‘Two-Whatever’ Policy Does Not Accord With Marxism,”  May 24, 1977 (excerpts):  HERE
  • Deng Xiaoping, “Mao Zedong thought must be correctly understood,”   Third Plenary Session of the Tenth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, July 21, 1977 (excerpt):  HERE.  (Print)

Your Second Essay Assignment is HERE
The Essay will be due on Friday, April 15

32.  DISCUSSION SECTION: Friday, April 8

Havel II, Paragraph Assignment:   We conclude our discussion of Havel’s “Power of the Powerless.”  What must happen for the green grocer to live within the truth, or even to want to live in the truth? 

33.  LECTURE:  Monday, April 11

Two Challenges to Communism in Poland.  It is impossible to understand the fall of communism in Europe after 1989 without addressing the impact of both Karol Józef Wojtyła’s ascendency to the papacy in 1978 and the formation of the independent Polish trade union movement, Solidarity (Solidarność), in 1980.  In my view, the second event would not have taken place–at least, not as early as  it did–without the first.  In the documents below, note the rapid acceleration and politicization of the themes over a mere 13 months.

  • Homily of his Holiness John Paul II, June 2, 1979, Warsaw, Poland (look for the potentially incindiary issues in this homily):    HERE
  • Two key documents from the early days of the Polish upheaval:  (1) “The 21 Demands” (August 31, 1980); and (2) the “Solidarność statute” (November 17, 1980) (English originals):  HERE
  • Program of the First Solidarność  National Congress (October 7, 1981):   HERE

The use of electronic devices of any kind, including laptops, video cameras, cell phones, and personal digital devices, is prohibited in my classroom!

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