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  • Titill er á ensku The discourse of anti-Communism and its influence on the history of Communism in Iceland during the interwar period
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    The mainstream writing of the history of Communism today emulates the discourse of anti-Communism in the past. How we perceive Communism is to a large extent predetermined by the forces that fought against it. Communism is embodied as the Soviet Union, as the atrocities of Joseph Stalin and as the repressiveness of the state. But this does not constitute the lived experiences of many involved in the popular struggle of the working class elsewhere, people who either identified with Communism or who got persecuted as Communists. The traditional history of Communism does not make this distinction and sees different movements as extensions of Soviet foreign policy. A Cold War logic is applied to a century of Communism, to where even experiences of the interwar years are set in this context. Communist movements are seen as subordinate to the will of the Soviet Union, sleeping fifth columns waiting to disturb the peace.
    This essay sets out to explore this problematic nature of the history of Communism and its consequences both internationally and in Iceland. In the first chapter the origins of anti-Communism, the discourse it created and its influence on history writing is analysed. The second chapter explores Icelandic historiography of Communism and especially analyses the style and narrative of two major books about the Communist movement in Iceland, these are Sovét-Ísland, óskalandið by historian Þór Whitehead and the other is Íslenskir kommúnistar by political scientist Hannes Hólmsteinn Gissurarson.
    One of my findings is that the triumphalism of the traditional historical narrative of Communism leads to an extremely polarised understanding of history. It leads to a denial of a more nuanced and inclusive understanding of the history of Communism. The open-ended process of producing and reproducing history is thereby closed off. We are to be content with the version of the victors, because might makes right.

  • 27.11.2014

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The discourse of anti-Communism and its influence on the history of Communism in Iceland during the interwar period.pdf897.78 kBOpinnHeildartextiPDFSkoða/Opna