Post Communist Nationalism in Eastern Europe - Spotlight on Romania
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In the aftermath of the collapse of communism, the future of Eastern Europe is uncertain. After suffering for decades under totalitarian regimes, the people of the region are struggling to rediscover their cultural past and to establish political arrangements that will enable them to achieve peace and prosperity. The resurgence of nationalism accompanying these developments is powerful evidence of the need to reestablish a strong sense of identity but is also potentially the greatest obstacle to peace in the region. The Bloody Flag is a timely study of nationalism's dual nature. Focusing on Romania, Pilon analyzes the unifying and destructive capacities of nationalist passions in a period of historical transition.Designed to appeal to a wide audience, The Bloody Flag combines inquiry into the nature of nationalism with historical illustrations of its influence. The Romanian context is exemplary of many newly liberated nations facing the possibility of ethnic violence and antidemocratic resurgence. As Pilon points out, numerous representatives of the old order remain entrenched in power and there is real danger that the defeated elites will attempt to harness nationalist energies for their own ends. If they succeed, the world may witness the rise of new authoritarian regimes to replace the old communist ones.Pilon argues that the best hope for Romanians, and for all the peoples of Eastern Europe, is to embrace the positive aspects of nationalism while rejecting the negative. The political system that can allow them to do this is the classical-liberal model defended by such figures as Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek - a model that makes possible the peaceful coexistence of different nationalities by protecting the rights of individuals and leaving them free to pursue their own interests. Graced with a foreword by the eminent historian Robert Conquest, The Bloody Flag is an important contribution to the understanding of current and future events in Europe.