Teichgräber, Stephan-Immanuel

How Kosík´s Thinking Changed the Meaning of 1989?

e-mail: stephan-immanuel.teichgraeber@univie.ac.at

1989 is typically celebrated as a victory over Communism. Exactly whose victory this was is, however, less clear: democracy, market economics, capitalism, or neoliberalism? It was therefore somewhat strange when, for anniversary celebrations in 2009, both Thatcher and Gorbachev were invited to Prague. In my brief presentation I would like to show that perestroika could have represented a development of the thought of Karel Kosík and, more generally, of the philosophy of praxis, yet this possibility did not come to pass. Perestroika was thus the preparation for a truly substantial revolution, which came to an end in Tiananmen Square and with the fall of the Berlin Wall. In one sense it was Communism that emerged victorious, which is only now becoming clear, after the financial crisis and the crisis of Western political systems, over twenty years after the initial events. In another sense the initiated revolution was above all hindered by neoliberalism, which was used to quash the new democratic intentions of perestroika – one aspect of this process was the ignoring of Karel Kosík after 1989 – and thus to overlook the fact that victorious Communism in China and Vietnam will achieve dominance in global economics and politics.