Rositsa Lyubenova
I would like to give a different and, I think, important point of view to the socialist society and the socialist man, marked with specific traumatism (unresolved to date). I mean a socioanalytical perspective on reality, which has become a contradictory, difficult-to-understand past. The questions I would like to raise concern the ways in which the different images that inhabit the socialist society are built and operated with, how these images created and validate social differences, how individuals are socially excluded and artificially declassed. In the same context, I will be interested in the issues of impossibility for successful self-inheritance and social suffering.
I would like to consider the impossibility of implementing one’s own life project by outlining two ways for the functioning of the socialist man’s vulnerability on whom the measures that affirm the socialist power are applied: both internally and externally produced forms of vulnerability. Socialist reality is characterized by a particular ease with regards to the attribution of identities. And this is certainly one of the factors contributing to the social suffering we experience both in the retrospective discourse and in the testimonies created in the very period. This non-permanence of the social position leads to the impossibility of “persisting in Being” (following Bourdieu) on the one hand, and on the other, to an externally conditioned and forcible disruption of the natural process of overcoming and denying the Father.
In the case study that I will propose “I have no one to turn to” is an effect of expulsion and withdrawal practices, of the legally and ideologically justified deprivation of the possibility for shared social experience. This reality forces one to redefine their own “presence” in the world and to build a new everyday life – processes that determine the suppression of suffering but not its extinction.
The failures of part of the socialist citizens are found in their biography itself, they are indelible and are not subject to corrections. They are the successes, with a changed sign, successes that do not bear the positives that were expected and sought by the participants who invested in them. The impossibility of continuing its own biographical trajectory in a different way than the ideologically justified one creates a favorable environment for the social suffering in various variations. Suffering, based on accomplished goals and dreams, accomplishments, work and effort – one, I would say, non-classical suffering. Since suffering is born by undermining the foundations of identity, and identity is not an individual construct, it is directly dependent on the environment and the family of the individual, we could think of this suffering as a group suffering, family suffering or even a collective suffering. Being given an identity from the socialist power, the person is always burdened with a group or family identity, and this burden has a two-way functionality.