Politics in Color and Concrete: Socialist Materialities and by Krisztina Fehérváry

By Krisztina Fehérváry

Material tradition in japanese Europe lower than nation socialism is remembered as uniformly grey, shabby, and monotonous―the worst of postwar modernist structure and layout. Politics in colour and urban revisits this historical past through exploring household area in Hungary from the Nineteen Fifties in the course of the Nineteen Nineties and reconstructs the multi-textured and politicized aesthetics of way of life during the items, areas, and colours that made up this lived setting. Krisztina Féherváry exhibits that modern criteria of dwelling and ideas approximately normalcy have roots in overdue socialist purchaser tradition and aren't simply items of postsocialist transitions or neoliberalism. This attractive examine decenters traditional views on customer capitalism, domestic possession, and citizenship within the new Europe.

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The expanding media of the 1990s, now uncensored but pressured by market forces, published extensive statistical measures of the economy and social life. 30 With inflation, purchasing power dropped by 22 percent (the diffe ence made up for by depleting savings), and per capita consumption was down to 1978 levels by 1996. By the end of 1997, 22 | Politics in Color and Concrete the state-owned sector had shrunk from more than 75 to 21 percent. These shifts made things like telephones far more widely available but contributed to the astronomical increase in prices for utilities once owned and subsidized by the state.

It] was also a form of knowledge and a cognitive organization of the world” (Verdery 1996:4). The 14 | Politics in Color and Concrete broader repercussions of the Cold War magnifi d and reinforced the opposition between communism and capitalism (or “democracy” as it was more often called in the West) and aligned it with other oppositions that continue to shape our political discourse as much as they do politics in the region: the private versus the public, the market versus the state, the individual versus the collective.

Manual labor in particular had the ability to transform the material world, and in the process produce people as human beings. Labor as a productive, social activity had the capacity to transform consciousness, and so would forge workers into socialist citizens. Indeed, labor was the activity that constituted one as a full member of society, as part of a nation of “working people” (dolgozó nép) (Stewart 1993:192). This Communist doctrine, while theoretically elaborated in Marx’s writings, also echoed the work ethic of central European agricultural classes, except that it was now directed toward producing the prosperity of the collective rather than selfsu9 cient autonomy.

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