Fecha de publicación:
Alina Mungiu-Pippidi and Sinziana-Elena Poiana

To understand the Romanian discourse on identity one needs to take a step back. As the whole Romanian culture after communism returned to the inter-war ideology and debate, any review will have to survey the twentieth century as well. Political culture was and is still conceived to a great extent as identity. American anthropologist Aaron Wildavsky (1987: 3-22) labeled Romania a "fatalistic" culture on the basis of the Romanian folk ballad, Mioritza. Mioritza is the story of a shepherd who reacts to the news that his envious fellows plan to kill him in order to steal his herd with perfect indifference, preparing for death and a cosmic wedding with the Universe. Wildavsky cross-tabulates the strength of group boundaries with the nature of prescripts binding the groups. Whether prescriptions are strong and groups are weak – so that decisions get frequently made for them by external factors – the result is what he calls a "fatalistic" political culture (Shafir, 1985: 133-134), dominated by distrust on all levels. The individual citizen sees no point in neither exercising his free will", nor trusting his fellow citizens to try engaging some collective action. The others are perceived as envious and distrustful, the self as victim. It is true that Romania belongs to the part of the world where foreign influence is the most important agent of political change. In 1940 the constitutional monarchy was reversed by domestic fascism due less to the strength of the Iron Guard than to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The pact deprived Romania of important territories, which dealt a mortal blow to the legitimacy of the monarch. The subsequent communist regime was entirely Soviet sponsored; the fall of Ceauşescu, who was betrayed by the Army and the Securitate in front of a yet manageable popular uprising in late 1989, has also been attributed to a plot led by Moscow.