Identity and Freedom: Mapping Nationalism and Social by Leonidas Donskis

By Leonidas Donskis

Identity and Freedom presents a discursive map of Lithuanian liberal nationalism via targeting the paintings of 3 eminent Lithuanian émigré students - Vytautas Kavolis, Aleksandras Shtromas and Tomas Venclova. featuring those critics of society - and in addition analysing the numerous influence of such writers as George Orwell and Czeslaw Milosz on Lithuanian political and cultural dissent - the booklet elaborates their 3 versions of liberal nationalism as social feedback. Incorporating fabric which has thus far in basic terms been on hand in Lithuanian, Polish and Russian resources, this e-book could be useful for somebody drawn to valuable and East ecu politics, tradition and society.

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Extra info for Identity and Freedom: Mapping Nationalism and Social Criticism in Twentieth-Century Lithuania (Routledge Studies of Societies in Transition)

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Although Kavolis never applied for American citizenship, thus keeping his fidelity both to the idea of Lithuanian statehood and to his own cultural identity, his political and moral stance was far from plain patriotism. Kavolis’s stance can only be described in terms of critical and even severe examination of what he passionately identified himself with—Lithuanian modernity, its consciousness and culture. Kavolis always remained an American academic by his professional vocation and theoretical context, but a Lithuanian by virtue of his choice of being social and cultural critic.

Social mythology. In Socialinis teisingumas [Social Justice], Buržuazijos žlugimas [The Downfall of the Bourgeoisie], and Promet jizmo problema [The Prometheanism Problem], Maceina’s social philosophy reveals itself to be inscribed with one of the most reactionary IDENTITY AND FREEDOM 23 collections of opinions to have been expressed in either the nineteenth or twentieth centuries: (1) Hero-worship, almost equal to Thomas Carlyle’s in On Heroes, HeroWorship, and the Heroic in History, (2) The cult of the dead inherent in the blood-and-soil nationalism; (3) Prescriptive identity discourse, bordering with a kind of historicalcultural determinism, reminiscent of such conservative nationalists of the nineteenth century as Heinrich von Treitschke; (4) The Action Française movement and its sinister ideas of clerical Fascism; (5) Demonisation of and contempt for capitalism and the bourgeoisie, which Maceina apparently inherited from nineteenth-century Russian philosophy of history, Werner Sombart, Lebensphilosophie, and French social ideas—from Lamennais’s Christian socialism to twentieth-century mystical revolutionaries; and (6) Irrationalist thinking in general, resulting from a denial of empiricist approaches and of Anglo-American traditions of political philosophy.

It may well be a programme document, manifesto, encyclopaedia (as in the case of the Encyclopédie of the French Enlightenment movement), or journal (as in the case of the Aušra and Varpas nationalist movements and their journals on the eve of the emergence of modern Lithuania). For Kavolis, the Santara-Šviesa federation—that is, the cultural union of Lithuanian immigrant liberals in the United States headed by Kavolis— virtually became his intellectual/cultural movement and Seelengemeinschaft, whereas the vision of modern, liberal and West-oriented Lithuania, accompanied by the search for the new political and cultural discourse capable of contextualising and articulating Lithuanian liberalism, served as the aforementioned meta-discourse.

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