Effects of Communism Analysis

September 1, 2007 by  
Filed under Research

By Kathryn Donev, M.S.

The collapse of Bulgaria’s previous social order, communism, left the country with a moral and ideological void that was quickly filled with crime and corruption. A culture originally shaped by communism currently is influenced by capitalism and democracy. Postcommunist mentality with definite Balkan characteristics rules the country as a whole. This mentality holds captive nearly every progressive thought and idea. In the Postcommunist context, the atheistic mind is a given and even when an individual experiences a genuine need for spirituality, in most cases he or she has no religious root to which to return other than Orthodoxy. This lack of alternative or spiritual choice produces a pessimistic morale.

The domination of the Ottoman Empire, and 45 years of being under communist rule appears to have instilled within Bulgaria’s national identity not only this pessimistic morale but also a deeply rooted sense of mistrust and low self-esteem. It was reported in a 2004 Bulgarian-Finnish study that Bulgarians are overwhelmed by skepticism and have low national self-esteem. This mentality results in a lack of success on the part of the country as a whole. Low self-esteem typically gives rise to what is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy. The lack of self-esteem leads to low efficacy levels coupled with negative thinking that reinforces feelings of ineffectiveness, which influences the entire country. The result is a sense of learned helplessness where one is not successful. This mentality in addition to feelings of low self-esteem and mistrust or insecurity creates an atmosphere of mediocrity devoid of motivation.