Cover Osteuropa 5/2019

In Osteuropa 5/2019

Cynicism in place of postmodernism
The story of a (calculated) misunderstanding

Mark Lipovetsky

Deutsche Fassung


In Russia, the word “postmodern” has become an ideological battle cry. Opponents of the regime use it to describe the amoral policies of the Kremlin. The apologists of the Kremlin strongly criticise a “postmodern dictatorship” of the West, against which Russia must defend its national or imperial “values”. Both interpretations are misunderstandings. What the critics of the Kremlin mean is cynicism. What the apologists of the Kremlin do is cynical. They remove the essence of postmodern thinking that is critical of ideology and use the remaining husk of the term to describe an alleged process of self-destruction in the West and to legitimise their own reactionary project that is presented as being “modern”.

(Osteuropa 5/2019, pp. 91–106)