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Totalitarian and Authoritarian Discourses

A Global and Timeless Phenomenon?

Lutgard Lams, Geert Crauwels and Henrieta Anisoara Serban

This volume offers a comparative analysis of the functioning of totalitarian and authoritarian discourses and their aftermath. Whereas other studies often focus on communist/post-communist examples and hence particularize totalitarian discourse, this book starts from a more encompassing theoretical perspective, transcending the limitation of totalitarian discourse to its communist constituent.
The case studies presented in this volume thus provide a more differentiated analysis of discursive strategies in totalitarian and authoritarian regimes across the globe, including the former East Germany, former Yugoslavia, Romania, Lithuania, China, North Korea, the Philippines, Burma, Cuba and Tunisia. In addition to this geographical range, these studies also undertake new research into different eras, enabling comparison between past and present discourses. The findings are presented in three interconnected sections dealing with culture and education, media and official discourse, and power structures and politics. The extended scope of the case studies reveals the universal characteristics of totalitarian/authoritarian discourses over space and time.

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Part I Creation - Identity and Memories

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Part I Creation – Identity and Memories Răzvan Victor Pantelimon Uses and Abuses of Che Guevara’s Myth in Political Cuban Discourse It is very dif ficult to speak in an objective way about one of the most fre- quently named myths of our days, Ernesto Che Guevara, because in gen- eral the audience expects you to love him or to hate him. Popular icons are by definition social constructs, which means they assimilate a range of inevitably contradictory ideas. And since Che Guevara is one of the most contested and politicized of all popular icons, he encompasses a very broad range of ideas indeed. His image, considered by many scholars to be the most reproduced and widely spread photo of all times, has acquired a surreal eternity. With his beret askew, his wispy beard, and his piercing eyes staring intently into the distant horizon, the image of Che is now omnipresent. Simultaneously, his myth is used as a powerful symbol of resistance in the developing world as banner of opposition to globalization and neoliberal policies, but also as a favoured sales vehicle among globally engaged companies. Indeed, Che Guevara is not the only famous person inhabiting popular memory, as human society has many forms of posthumous remembrance of famous people, but his legacy is dif ferent from that of most other heroes. His myth has not only been sustained by researchers and biographers, but also by a concerted campaign. Whereas the compelling events of his real life and the well-known...

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