Piacular Subjectivity and Contested Narrative in the Imre Nagy Memorials

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Original Version:

Publication Year:
2005
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Repository URL:
https://digitalcommons.ric.edu/facultypublications/251; https://digitalcommons.ric.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1250&context=facultypublications
Author(s):
Benziger, Karl P.; Weiner, Richard R.
Publisher(s):
Digital Commons @ RIC
Tags:
Imre Nagy; Hungary; transition to democratic republic; european politcs; Hungarian politics; piacular subjectivity; contested narrative;; Politics; Political Science; Political Theory
conference paper description
The funeral of Imre Nagy on June 16, 1989 can be seen as a critical moment in the Hungarian transition to a democratic republic as it explicitly undermined the moral and political authority of the communist government then in power. This Nagy memorial signified a longing for a national identity tied to the spirit of republicanism that had been thwarted in 1956 and had roots going back to 1848. The unity of purpose displayed by the Hungarian people at the funeral brings to mind Emile Durkheim_s analysis of piaculum and the conscience collective. This is what the sociologist, Robert Bellah described as how a society interprets its historical experience in light of a transcendent reality. In this case study of the Nagy memorial, the republican spirit emerges as a possible transcendent social movement that fills the collective conscience.