The Nationalist Perspective within Slovak Communist Intellectual Thinking (1921–1968)


This study deals with the idea of nationalism in the thinking of Slovak communist intellectuals from the early 1920s until the end of the 1960s. The variety of roles that national communism took during these decades are detailed, including an “intellectual exercise” in the 1930s, an ideological deviation in the 1950s, a program of national emancipation in 1960s and finally, the narrative of legitimizing the normalization orthodoxy after the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion into Czechoslovakia. The aim of this paper is to explore the variety of ways Slovak communist intellectuals connected the Marxist-Leninist worldview with their own nationalist discourse in different periods, describing how encountered ideological dilemmas were solved and then integrated into the program of Slovak national communism. The opening pages discuss the first generation of Slovak Marxist intellectuals in the interwar period, who defined the essential points of the Slovak national communist program. Next, following the example of historian Ľubomír Lipták, the second part documents the “intellectual de-Stalinization” of the 1960s, which included profound criticism of the Slovak position in the republic. The final piece of this study analyzes the culmination of discussions regarding Czech-Slovak relations in 1968 and 1969.