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A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central EuropeVolume II: Negotiating Modernity in the 'Short Twentieth Century' and Beyond, Part I: 1918-1968$
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Balázs Trencsényi, Michal Kopeček, Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič, Maria Falina, Mónika Baár, and Maciej Janowski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737155

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198737155.001.0001

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Toward a Conservative Revolution

Toward a Conservative Revolution

(p.162) 5 Toward a Conservative Revolution
A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central Europe

Balázs Trencsényi

Michal Kopeček

Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič

Maria Falina

Mónika Baár

Maciej Janowski

Oxford University Press

The interwar radicalization of politics in East Central Europe was linked to the proliferation of a discourse of crisis. Symptoms of crisis could be localized in certain social groups, institutions, and social relations, such as the generational cleavage. Since the topos of crisis was not bound to any particular ideology, the very same discourse was used by liberal and leftist intellectuals as well. Nevertheless, the most plausible ideological framework offering a way out of the crisis seemed to be the “conservative revolution,” promising to restore the continuity of traditions that had been interrupted by the breakthrough of modernity. This led to the proliferation of “national metaphysics,” defining the specificity of the respective nation with ontological categories. Another face of this “conservative revolution” was the politicization of religion, linked to the renewed interest in myth and popular religiosity. At the same time, there was also a conservative anti-totalitarian stance and, in a few cases, a left-wing reorientation of certain religious subcultures.

Keywords:   crisis, conservative revolution, generational cleavage, national metaphysics, national characterology, politicization of religion, church

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