Psychology of Law Value in Communist


Post-Communist Bulgaria

The history of communist society indisputably uncovers the fact that the creation and formation of any science and practical activity has ever been subordinated to the paradigmal adjustment of considering every science and every activity a part of “the servant’s milieu of policy”. Although various in strength and depth of penetration, the manifestation of this regularity permeated absolutely all domains of science, commencing from mathematics and physics and ending on philosophy, psychology and law.

In Bulgaria this general regularity of unconditional placing of science and practice in complete dependence with the communist power policy manifested itself at the fullest for half a century. In conformity with the totally prevailing communist ideology, looking at law as the most significant instrument for domination and administration, “service of policy” in the sphere of legal science, legal practice and the relevant border sciences and practical trends, was considered a quite natural manifestation of “the fullest scientific objectivity” and of “the highest scientific value”. Moreover, any refusal of being a servant of the above-described type and any indication of independent scientific opinion was deemed an intolerable encroachment on political power pillars and, to the effect of Lenin’s logic of ”political medicalism”, “a dangerous psychological illness of the personality”, needing to be subjected to a broad range of “therapeutical procedures” [1] .

In these occasions, the political secret services directly or indirectly got themselves involved, which irregardless of the variety of methods used applied three basic strategies: 1. “soft” breaking of the personal will by the methods of blackmail, of transformation of refusal into “consent” and of making the free personality into an instrument deprived of will in the hands of the secret services; 2. Brutal suspension from scientific work, deprivation of the scholar to find any employment position, including the lowest qualified employment for him to earn his family’s daily bread, placement of his family-members to various methods of pursuit and repression; 3. Savage violation on the scholar, on grounds of definite ideological statements, provided by law, by sending him to a hospital for metal diseases, to a labour camp for “re-education” by means of primitive and sweat physical labour or at prison’s special rigid regime. In addition, in these occasions evidence was usually absolutely unnecessary to be available, collected and objectively discussed by Court, having in mind that presentation of evidence is necessary with proper legal proceeding investstigation for the application of the relevant legal provisions and for the pronouncement of the verdict; it was in this manner that arbitrariness loomed large in its fullest and purest mode, and the explanation of the verdict with the legal provisions, pointed out, was actually deprived of grounds and contrary to law in terms of logic and law, and was practically equal to the verdict’s explanation by, say, any statement from any legal act, any statement from the Koran, from the Bible, from mythology and folklore, from Dostoevsky’s novel “Furies”, from the writings of Marx, Engels or Lenin, or merely from the telephone directory.

It was in this manner and in these general conditions in Bulgaria that only legal sciences and scientific trends, bordering on law, which the Communist power immediately needed for propaganda, demagogue and didactic purposes (i.e. for training of undergraduates and for qualification upgrading of practicing lawyers at the low administration levels), officially sprang up to exist. Moreover, their development and elaboration was predominantly assigned and admitted only to scholars, who strictly observed the requirement for Communist ideology and practice loyalty and for total denial of independent private scientific standpoint. It was in this way and in these circumstances of absolutely full dependence of the legal science and practice on the policy , as well as of the scholars on the repressive and “therapeutical” mechanisms of the Communist power, that the coming into being and shape of the Psychology of Law as an independent objective scientific trend was completely impossible.

Psychology of Law’s outright existence impossibility in Bulgaria was determined also by a multitude of Communist power specific conceptions in this facet. The most general paradigmal bent postulated that everything was after all policy and there was and could not be any sphere, independent on policy and on the specific interference of the Communist power. In the meantime some strategic scientific and practical trends were existent, to which the power paid special attention. The fact was considered a public secret among intellectuals that the legal scientific and practical field was much more strategic than the psychological scientific and practical one, but even for those, who worked in these fields (of course, in the other fields, too), it was hard to hear out and still harder to recognize the existence of special strategic elaborations, performed by the order of the secret political services for use by the supreme officers of state. Elaborations of the kind were not made in the then only existent two officially recognized legal scientific units ( the Faculty for Law at the University of Sofia and the Institute for Legal Sciences at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) and scholars were officially preoccupied with pre-term designed “classic” and “public” topics. Among them any topics were “naturally” absent which were qualified as “non-classic” or “non-public” and were of peculiar scientific interest to the supreme officers of state. And at the above described strategic preference Psychology of Law was reckoned to those scientific trends, which were considered non-subject for presentation to the “public interest” , and that was why interest to it on the part of scholars, who had delineated predilection for publicity and the relevant humaneness, was at all means tried to be eliminated.

This was the most general mechanism, the outcome of which was that none of the mentioned only two officially and publicly existent scientific units was allowed to investigate the issues, relating to Psychology of Law, by officially approved scientific scheme. The sole scientific publication in this aspect[2] was made as an out-of-the-scope-of-scheme one, to a certain extent conspiratorially (in the course of its elaboration authors had not out of intuition told anybody what they were doing) and was published with the help of two editors from the then only one academic magazine, who, as it became clear afterwards, knew in advance and quite well what the publication’s effect would be, but had their own (and of others) reasons for that effect’s bringing forth. And the effect was the placement of the two young authors in the conditions of their first clearly shaped conflict with the official administrative power and the political secret services, and one of the authors, who meanwhile had offered some more similar elaborations in other spheres, bordering on law, commenced to firmly and unflinchingly assert his right to free scientific opinion, which resulted into the wide opening for him to go through the doors, leading to all “circles of Hell”, publicly identifying itself with “the socialist paradise on the Earth”.


In a couple of years of unsuccessful efforts by the official power and the secret political police to break the will and conscience of this author, he was fired from his scientific position, was by non-official data sent into exile to the country’s outskirts for two years, totally deprived of the opportunity to deal with scientific work, then was legally banished for two years to a labour camp and finally was sentenced by political verdict, as said person had already spent in prison six (6) years at extremely rigid regime, during which time, the Amnesty International organization had recognized him as Bulgaria’s prisoner N 1. After the complete endurance of his sentenced verdict and following the political changes in East Europe in the autumn of 1989, he was amnestied by Parliament’s act, and as a separate action the Supreme Court repealed the verdict and proclaimed him innocent and sentenced innocent on complete lack of evidence, required be furnished by law. After that this person became a politician and a senator (a deputy at the so called Great National Assembly or Parliament), and further in his capacity of a scholar he produced a succession of scientific research, among which the bulky book “An Introduction to Psychology of Law”. This man, by the way, is today presenting to your attention this paper.

Of course, the lack of publicly recognized scientific publications in the area of Psychology to Law does not mean that there were no works in this area during that time. Throughout the period the supreme officers of state made use of the Psychology of Law’s issues scientific works, meant only for them and developed by special lawyer and psychologist teams, working in strictly secret scientific units, incorporated at the system of the Bulgarian KGB subsidiaries. This Psychology of Law was developed only and just as a repressive science, as a “criminal psychology” attending the need of the Communist power of total supervision upon human personality, as “psychological weapon” aiming to destroy the mental structure and stability of personality, as a scientific instrumentarium for turning free human will into a zombified political and social demeanor. Scientific developments were prevailingly furnished in single folds as “reports and analyses” on the special strategic and tactic programs for action of the most supreme officers of the Communist authority, while a small part of them found “limited publicity” in the secret service bulletins with circulation between 20 and 50 pieces.

The analysis of facts undoubtedly indicates that the Communist power has ever been bound just and only with the repressive model of Psychology of Law and has ever explicitly repudiated the humanist model of this science. Already since Stalin’s time the communist power has acquired the alphabetical history of the repressive psychology that the humanism is the natural barrier against the antihumanistic aggression of power and that terror is possible just and only in a situation of continuously growing deficit of humaneness in society. At such paradigmal bent the most logical power strategy is and can be just one - the unflinching and uncompromising destruction of the humanistic model of the Psychology of Law and of its heralds. The Communist repression history shows that this strategy was “scientifically” motivated not only as “the most logical one”, not only as “the most correct one”, but even as “the most humane one”.

However, what has changes in Bulgaria in 1989 brought to Law and Psychology of Law? Have they modified the repressive paradigmal bent in science and political and legal practice ?

During the past eight years the decaying totalitarian society in Bulgaria took his way not to a civil but to a criminal society, the so called “tender revolution” indisputably reveled the image of the “great criminal revolution”, organized by the Bulgarian subdivisions of the Red Army, KGB and the Red Mafia as a subsequent re-allotment of the available and prospective (received by foreign loans) national wealth among the new (criminal and Mafia) elite, nomineed by the ex (socialist) elite. In the course of these eight years every government came to power by means of the said elite’s mechanisms, publicly announced its firm will towards “the political and economic system’s adaptation to European and World standards”, and in the mean time it firmly and unyieldingly conducted a strategy of accelerated robbery, impoverishment[3] and criminalization of the entire community.

From the standpoint of the repressive model of the Psychology of Law, in these eight years the strategy of both unhidden and hidden power the population’s fear of the totalitarian state and of the economic catastrophe gradually to be transformed to an inadequate political, economic and legal behavior, a mass folly, pretending to be political and economic freedom and pluralism and hiding the real political and economic interests and aims of the Red Mafia, and then said fear to grow into a fear of democracy. As a transformation structure of the Communist power today’s Red Mafia quite well knows that the natural pillars of the personality are completely lost in the conditions of a country and community destroyed, thus regularly falling an easy prey and an active accomplice to its antihumanistic aggression; moreover that it, the Red Mafia, has turned the whole country and community into its structural units and has planted the spirit of mercilessness to all as an pattern of human dignity, even a pattern of humaneness.

Consequently, after the coming of changes in Bulgaria since 1989, the tragic dependence of the science and the policy scholar has not only been abolished, but its existence has been impregnated with far greater grounds. The paradigmal repressive bent of the Psychology of Law was left absolutely intact in its profound nature, although it has been modified in many facets (which, by the way, are just flexible improvements). Meanwhile, the humanistic paradigmal bent has become a synonym to “sloppy feebleness”, “sentimental inadequacy”, not worthy for people who wish he/she and his/her children to survive. And the only proposed way of survival in these circumstances in Bulgaria today is to join the multitude of most varied political, economic and force Red Mafia’s structural formations, which once and forever eliminates all and any possibilities for the repressive predisposition and the repressive model of power and society to be driven aside, as well as for the humanistic predisposition and the humanistic model to be given the possibility to come into being and strive.

Is and could, however, this essentially deep criminal and antihumanist society, euphemistically qualified as “post-totalitarian” and “post-communist”, be examined as a “patient”, subject to political, juridical and psychological “therapy”, and is there at all any “effective therapy” which can be applied to it ?

The answer to this question certainly comes far beyond the topical area of the Psychology of Law, exceeds the possibilities to be stated in a modest paper like this one, but it is essentially offered in the experience of “post-hitlerist” Germany and “post-military” Japan. As for the therapy what is necessary is not only the “patient’s readiness”, but the humanistic predisposition of the “therapist".

[1] Experience in this aspect is known to have been offset in 1922, when Lenin ordered Molotov “immediately” to send Tchitcherin to a “medical treatment at a sanatorium” for reasons that he proposed introduction in the Constitution of amendments, affording political parties other than the Communist one to take part in administration.

[2] See: Philosophical and Methodological Issues of Psychology of Law, Pravna Missal (Legal Thought) , Sofia, 1975, No. 5, pp. 56-62.

[A scientific report, furnished for participation at the First International Conference on Therapeutical Jurisprudence to be held between July 8 and July 11, 1998 in Winchester, United Kingdom of Great Britain; also published on pp.331-338 oe the book of prof. Ianko Iankov DOCUMENT FOR IDENTITY (Political Documentary). Vol. 3. Bulgarian State Abdicates in Favour of the Red Mafia. - Sofia, "Ianus", 2003. -576 pp.].

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