Communism, the Future and the Historiography of Contemporary History

Komunismus, budoucnost a historiografie soudobých dějin

The article discusses the relationship between historiography of the contemporary history and the research into the phenomenon iof future in the era of state socialism. The author first briefly introduces the issue of "exploring the Future" and the "politics of the future", pointing to two possible concepts - the future as utopia or a horizon of expectations, and the future as a subject of expertise and governance. These two perspectives are then put into the context of the theory and practice of state-socialist administration of the state and society. The future appears in the text especially as the subject of social science research and related expert activities. The historiographical research into the future is not exhausted by describing "images of the future", but it also aims to perform an analysis of expert and political techniques that were intended for the implementation of the proposed development strategies. The aim of the text is to draw attention to the conceptualization of future in the socialist dictatorship as an important topic deserving the attention of the Czech and Slovak historiography of contemporary history. At the same time, the article is an introduction to the topic, which has been a neglected subject of research so far. The author believes that research in the area of the "politics of the future" has got a significant potential to expand the knowledge in the history of social sciences and the history of state-socialist government. Simultaneously, the knowledge on how state socialism handled the factor of the future can serve as the basis for the development of more detailed characteristics of the socialist dictatorship as such.