ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

Rewriting History: The Rehabilitation of Fascist Ideology and Romanian Inteligentsia

Open Panel

Abstract

A recent Romanian National Television talk show featured an unabashed apologist for the leader of Romania''s fascist movement, The Iron Guard. The show triggered a protest by over 100 personalities, and resulted in the sanctioning of the show''s producer. In a reaction 10 significant cultural figures signed a counter-protest letter, accusing the National TV authority of political correctness and double standard. The ensuing controversy laid bare some significant political fault lines. The paper analyzes these reactions from the point of view of the psychology of transition from a closed to an open society. The present day effects of the coping strategies of those who lived in a totalitarian state, where self deception and the silencing of the self were adaptive mechanisms, are seen as counterproductive and the source of moral conflict. Many leading intellectuals were either collaborators of the totalitarian regime, passive supporters, or at best passive opponents. Their newly acquired identity, that of “the new Romanian Right,” maintained by deception validated by the consensus of their peers and self deception, is threatened by this controversy. The theoretical framework for the discussion is based on the works of Erikson,Lifton and Milgram. Comparisons are made with the coping strategies used in extreme situations and their social effects.