Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Where had Marxism gone? Gauging the impact of alternative ideas in transition Bulgaria

Ganev, Georgy (2004): Where had Marxism gone? Gauging the impact of alternative ideas in transition Bulgaria. Published in: Ease European Politics and Societies , Vol. 19, No. 3 (2005): pp. 443-462.

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Abstract

Marxism dominated in Bulgaria for more than forty years until 1989, and then completely vanished from the public discourse within several years. Where has it gone? The present paper addresses this question by noting that even if they are out of the public discourse, remnants of the previously dominant set of ideas should still be found in people’s thinking. It illustrates this general argument by outlining how the survival into postcommunism of a pillar of Marxist economic theory – the labor theory of value – can explain several significant discrepancies between facts and perceptions, called “experience gap”, shown to exist in Bulgaria at the beginning of the 21st century. On the other side, the presence of experience gap in Bulgaria is a factor influencing the availability and the choice of policy options. Thus the Marxist labor theory of value continues to live in people’s minds and still shapes today’s Bulgarian reality.

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