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The Skin of the SystemOn Germany's Socialist Modernity$
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Benjamin Robinson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804762472

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804762472.001.0001

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Camps, Laws, and Plans: The Socialist Camp

Camps, Laws, and Plans: The Socialist Camp

(p.146) Chapter Six Camps, Laws, and Plans: The Socialist Camp
The Skin of the System
Stanford University Press

In the highly wrought context of postwar Europe, Georg Lukács, who had earlier rejected any form of “yielding to fate” (Schicksalsergebenheit), declared a great “turn of fate” (Schicksalswende) and said: “Every German stands—utterly dramatically—at the intersection of most fateful decisions.” In the following four decades of East Germany, Lukács's Schicksalswende proved to be less a decisive turn away from the Third Reich's notorious univers concentrationnaire than a twist of fate concentrating fascism, liberalism, and socialism into a sustained experiment in rearticulating the political differentiations that emerged after the war. This chapter describes three institutional realms of camps, laws, and plans and how they correspond to three competing world orders in modernity: fascism, liberalism, and socialism. All three realms mark historical stations in Franz Fühmann's biography and conceptual stations in socialist transformation.

Keywords:   Georg Lukács, East Germany, modernity, fascism, liberalism, socialism, camps, laws, plans, Franz Fühmann

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