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When people protested Communist regimes in Eastern Europe, the large majority of them did not ask for capitalism.

November 11, 2009

A little bit of Ostalgia  from grasswire. Though as Žižek warned, it should not be taken too seriously: “far from expressing an actual wish to return to the gray Socialist reality, it is more a form of mourning, of gently getting rid of the past.” Here is a link to the rest of his lucid NY Times editorial on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall:

Any comments?

Both photographs are (somewhat hasty) hand painted black and white prints I took in Prague back in 1996. But instead of captions, here is another bit of borrowed wisdom from Žižek’s editorial: “Capitalism has always seemed inextricably linked to democracy, and faced with the explosion of capitalism in the People’s Republic, many analysts still assume that political democracy will inevitably assert itself. But what if this strain of authoritarian capitalism proves itself to be more efficient, more profitable, than our liberal capitalism? What if democracy is no longer the necessary and natural accompaniment of economic development, but its impediment?”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2009 7:08 pm

    I really like the treatments of these shots.

    An old joke from those days (capitalist propaganda of course).

    Q: How do you double the value of a Trabant?
    A: Fill it up with fuel.

    Every time I see news footage of the people hitting the Berlin wall with sledgehammers etc, I can’t help but wonder about their health nowadays, considering that much of the wall was built with recycled asbestos mixed in with the cement.

    It would seem that everything has a hidden cost.

    • November 11, 2009 11:12 pm


      It’s good old hand colouring job, with PS-enhanced saturation. At first I tried to make the edges perfect but than the rugged look seemed to suit the motif better. Plus I think it maches the nostalgia/memory theme – i.e. adding some/obscures other details, shades and impressions.

      An yes, socialist recycling wasn’t always at its best – for a while, building bricks were made here from (radioactive) ash of thermal power plants.

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