“Post-Liberalism”, Anti-Clericalism And Yugoslav Nationalism Slovene Progressive Political Camp in the Interwar Period and Contemporary Czech politics
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The political landscape of Slovene lands as it developed by the World War I. was distinguished by the dominant position of political Catholicism. “Progressives” as the second most important political force lagged far behind in terms of popular support and the gap between the two even broadened during interwar. Moreover, the progressive camp faced disintegration after 1918, which was also not surmounted during 1930s despite the renewed but politically conditioned unity of all the major strains of progressive politics inside one party. The core group of the progressive camp gathered around Gregor Žerjav and Albert Kramer united the most vocal advocates of Yugoslav national idea in Slovene part of Yugoslavia. The reasons ranged from practical considerations, connected to the persistent domestic struggle with the Catholic camp, to more substantial ones. These included belief in a necessity of a strong state, as well as a sincere persuasion that amalgamation into a unified Yugoslav nation represented a new, necessary and higher developmental stage for Slovenes. During the 1930s their Yugoslav nationalist radicalized further and included militant rhetoric. The two main denominators of Slovene progressives during the interwar period continued to be nationalism and anti-clericalism. The centrality of struggle against “clericalism,” marked an important difference between progressives and their counterparts in the more secularized Czech context. On the other hand the appeal to the national idea, as well as propensity toward integral nationalism distinguished both the Slovene and the Czech interwar national liberal heirs.
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