Chapter 7


From ‘Socialist’ to Postmodern Pluralism in Poland


All forms of political pluralism, whatever their specific character, pose the problem of combining diversity with unity. Pluralists by definition, cannot accept a wholly monistic understanding of statehood or nationhood.

-- Frederick M. Barnard, Pluralism, Socialism and

Political Legitimacy, (Cambridge, 1991), 3.

Over half a century ago communist or socialist Poland had a totalitarian regime that eliminated all forms of political opposition and tried to impose a totalist ideology by monocentric but hardly monolithic power. Pursuing control of society by means of terror and a fully developed secret police, it was obsessed by the superior idea of unity. It should be noted that the key concept of the communist ideology in Poland in the years prior to 1980 was "the moral-political unity of the nation." It is also important, however, to see that the regime began to loosen its strictly totalitarian traits relatively early, soon after 1955, and gradually evolved towards an authoritarian rule marked by limited, lame or "socialist" pluralism.

Classifying Polish socialism under the rubric of authoritarian regimes has a great number of opponents mainly among the radical and stubbornly anti-communist right in Poland, who argue that the regime in spite of its evolution was totalitarian to the very end.


The most interesting description of Polish socialism under Gierek and especially under Jaruzelski as a form of an authoritarian regime was presented by Andrzej Walicki. He noted that Jaruzelski’s regime loosened ideological and economic controls, abandoned the political mobilization of the masses, silently rejected communist ideology, justified pragmatism, "socialist" constitutionalism and pluralism, and granted relative freedom in cultural and academic life.1

In the 1970s, the Polish political system evolved from a totalitarian or semi-totalitarian regime to the bureaucratic-authoritarian regime of Edward Gierek and his team. At that time the process of detotalization from above was intensified; the state authorities tried to build a structure characterized by "lame", irresponsible pluralism that simulated various points of view, correcting thus numerous irrationalities of the decision-making process. 2

At that time new elements not encountered in other socialist countries appeared in Poland: the development of a repressive toleration in which the informal political opposition had a peculiar, a-legal status, but lacked institutional channels of expression. Characteristic of the decade was also the process of further de-ideologization of state activities. The communist utopian ideology was ritualized and eroded with little impact on the authorities and society, "becoming instead a mere verbal façade."3 According to Jadwiga Staniszkis: "In the cultural sphere, this period was marked by stronger and even more frequent references to such traditional values as the nation and family; a departure from the concept of a separate, socialist culture; and the growing role of elements of mass culture and a pattern of consumption following the more developed Western countries."4

Following Juan Linz’s early hints that Poland seemed more authoritarian than totalitarian, Jadwiga Staniszkis described the Polish political system of the late 1970s as a typical authoritarian-bureaucratic regime that "contained limited, not responsible political pluralism, without an elaborated and guiding ideology but with distinctive mentalities."5

Poland, as is well known, was a specific case in communist Europe. Some elements of political pluralism were present in the Polish socialist system as far back as 1956 and the 1960s, namely, a hegemonic party system, the pluralist structure of the Front for National Unity, active presence of "pressure groups" and Catholic organisations acting as competitive or oppositional ideological forces.6 In 1965, at a closed seminar in Warsaw Krzysztof Pomian, a famous Polish dissident philosopher, delivered a paper on political pluralism in a socialist society. Probably the first Polish scholarly article on social pluralism was also published that same year. Its author, a Catholic priest, Władysław Piwowarski, acknowledged -- on the basis of Thomist social philosophy -- that all human societies and communities were variegated quantitatively and qualitatatively and were entitled to live and develop independently, although in social order and unity of hierarchical structures.7

Yet, it must be stressed that in Poland in the 1960s and 1970s, it was impossible openly to discuss the problems of political pluralism, except for abstract considerations on polycentric and monocentric social systems, and for cultural pluralism.8

However, in 1980, a moment before the birth of Solidarity in Poland, a fundamental scholarly monograph on pluralism appeared, written by Stanisław Ehrlich, a world authority in this area.9 Strangely, his book at first aroused little interest within of the highly pluralistic Polish society of that time.

Ehrlich claims there is no necessary bond between philosophical (ontological) pluralism and the social or political pluralism. He assumes that there can be many pluralisms in society at any given time, each graded on a continuum between extreme totalitarianism and anarchism. For Ehrlich, every movement or trend opposing bureaucratic centralism and uniformity of public life, which can appear in any social and economic system, is pluralistic. He defends the thesis that a pluralistic development of socialist societies is necessary and enumerates important elements of pluralism in Marxism. In his opinion, pluralism is a necessary but not sufficient condition for democracy. He concludes: "Finally, pluralism means also a way of thinking (E. Dupréel’s l’esprit pluraliste) inspired by tolerance without which there is no social progress, public opinion, humanism, development or intellectual creativity."10

The beginning of the 1980s saw the emergence of numerous declarations appraising the value of pluralism. The program of Solidarity, the independent trade union, approved in its first nationwide Congress, accepted broad pluralism as the basis of democracy in the future independent Republic of Poland.

At the same time, many philosophers and sociologists began to speak more and more critically against the one-sided preference of totalitarian unity. Andrzej Nowicki referred to Giordano Bruno’s cultural pluralism and to the alleged esteem gained by pluralism in Karl Marx’s eyes. He suggested initiating broad interdisciplinary studies on pluralism as a means of preserving and deepening the diversity that in turn favors the development of culture.11 Andrzej Tyszka discussed the polycentric and pluralistic character of contemporary Polish culture. Its polycentric character was determined by the freedom of initiative and the wide choice of ideas, styles and taste. Tyszka concluded, "Polycentrism is the opposition to monocentrism and totalitarianism, as they are characterized by a restrictive and intervening style of cultural dominance."12 In his book written in 1982 - 1984, Winicjusz Narojek saw citizens’ self-governing organizations as a means to free society of state control even within the framework of socialism by opening certain development alternatives.13


In the years 1982 - 1985, a vivid discussion on pluralism was held in Nowe Drogi, Tu i Teraz, and other Polish journals. In 1982, Jan Wawrzyniak introduced the term "socialist pluralism"14 into the official political language of the late semi-communist dictatorship, which at first provoked numerous reservations from the more orthodox positions. Wawrzyniak was attacked for allegedly suggesting the introduction of free interplay of political forces. Wawrzyniak answered that socialist pluralism as he understood it would enable different social groups to formulate their interests clearly.15

Terms such as "organised pluralism" and "alliance pluralism" also appeared then.16 Naive supporters of even a limited, socialist pluralism were defeated by open enemies of any pluralism, who willingly repeated the Soviet ideological arguments. In his speeches Wojciech Jaruzelski criticised political pluralism, for example, "We are undoubtedly taking into consideration the existing differences in the approach towards many issues of our country. However, this does not and cannot have anything in common with the so-called political pluralism, the term which has recently become fashionable. The term provokes close association with bourgeois democracy and the capitalist system. In our conditions, pluralism understood in such a way would mean opening the way for forces opposing the socialist system and pushing our country back to the out-of-date forms and disputes which were concluded long ago."17

Two authors who were especially active in fighting the pluralist ideology on the grounds that "pluralism in Poland has not finished its career yet" summed up the first part of the official debate on pluralism: "In principle, the concept of socialist pluralism as introduced by Jan Wawrzyniak in the article published in Nowe Drogi was rejected during the discussions. The author gave up the most controversial elements of his concept and participated in the criticism of the conception, according to which pluralistic ideas can be transferred to the socialist political system."18

In the mid-980s, pluralistic slogans could only appear in the Catholic press, although the tradition of Polish Catholic thought did not generally favor pluralism.19 However, the situation soon evolved to favor a pluralism colored by socialist phraseology. For antipluralists, the atmosphere was deteriorating due to the introduction of advanced political reforms in Poland and in the Soviet Union under Gorbachev’s perestroika. A leftist defender of pluralism wrote, "Attacks against pluralism became less profitable, especially for those who were hoping for a careful and not disinterested guidance on where the wind was blowing."20 The official ideology began changing at that time. At the end of 1986, Jaruzelski spoke favorably of a "socialist pluralism" and the following year, in Moscow, in favour of a "socialist personalism." 21 Later on, the term "socialist pluralism" appeared in the documents of the 6th Plenary Assembly of the Central Committee of the communist Polish United Workers’ Party (PUWP) in 1987. In the Soviet Union, positive opinions on socialist pluralism could already be found in 1987, first in the Moskovskiie Novosti newspaper. In his speech delivered on February 18, 1988 Gorbachev said, "This is for the first time within decades that a socialist pluralism of ideas is a real presence."22 In this situation, some Soviet and Polish antipluralists quickly began to modify their views. Many discussions and press articles praising socialist pluralism followed. However, not everybody accepted the term. The views that were published in the official mass-media led to two principal stands: one of them accepted the irrevocable necessity of political pluralism within the framework of socialism, and the other (represented by Jarosław Ładosz, Włodzimierz Lebiedziński and others) treated pluralism as opposed to Lenin’s concept of socialism.23

The stand taken by Włodzimierz Lebiedziński characterized a few communist hard-liners of the period who used to complain that the relatively pluralist economic base (the presence of private property in the economy) generates pluralist political opinions. "We are now in a transitional period from capitalism to socialism in Poland."24 He stated that pluralism in Poland was a fact and its form had the character of transitional pluralism -- not a socialist pluralism, as the socialist contents were not dominant. According to Lebiedziński, socialist pluralism would be possible and justified only in a mature socialist society, "different in form, but homogenous components would then form the socialist society."25 Note that Lebiedziński never posed the more important question of whether it was possible for transitional socialism to exist on the peripheries of the world system. When the utopian dreams of a reformed socialism collapsed, the transition from the socialist fiction, and also from socialist pluralism, to defective capitalism and pluralism proved inevitable.

However, Poland of the late 1980s witnessed a "happy creativity" of naive followers of socialist pluralism and of equally naive critics of the idea. The former, looking for a magic means to save their privileged positions, managed to defeat the latter. A brochure issued in October 1988 by the Department of Ideology of the Central Committee of the Communist party stated that political pluralism was an element of an all-human political culture and that "People’s Poland" has never been a state of rigid homogenous ideas and political institutions. The party document promoted a further deepening of limited pluralism.26 During his dramatic struggle to maintain the disintegrating socialism one of the ideologists of the times declared that "ideological and theoretical stiffness of most Marxists vis-à-vis political pluralism was one of the barriers to achieving a quality enrichment of socialist political structures."27 However, Andrzej Barcikowski rejected the concept of pluralism with no additional adjectives as excessively one-sided. He added: "Pluralism is not a purely autonomous or independent value in civil axiology. It has a deeper and a more general sense only as a premise for unity in diversity, for a minimum integration, and then for loyal co-operation of different forces in achieving the supreme social goals."28

In 1988, the Communist party’s journal Nowe Drogi organized a discussion on socialist pluralism. It also published, in three subsequent issues, proceedings from a special conference on socialist pluralism. Some illusions of those who not long before trusted the saving power of socialist pluralism are worth quoting. Wiesław Klimczak said that the conditions were sufficiently mature for pluralism not to sound synonymous with antisocialism. Thus the eclectic ideologist of the disintegrating party apparatus had already accepted, just in case, pluralism, socialism, the leading role of the Polish United Workers’ party’s, "strategic goals of Marxism-Leninism", pragmatism, positivism, tolerance and compromise at the same time.29 Mariusz Gulczyński, a more learned participant in the discussion also stated that "if we take on pluralism and precisely socialist pluralism, this gives us certain hopes for benefits of two kinds. Firstly, it takes into consideration the reality of our society just the way it is. Secondly, it is a more elastic way of organizing social life -- reorganizing our social life."30 Elsewhere, Gulczyński talked about pluralism in socialism,31 i.e., about a slightly broader form of a narrowly understood socialist pluralism. Nevertheless, he insisted on shaping a pro-socialist character of pluralism through limiting the "aggressive antisocialist attitude." Other participants in the discussion (e.g, Karol B. Janowski) connected their unclear hopes for pluralism with a new "articulation and negotiation model."32 of organizing and managing power. It was to substitute for the previous "mobilization and transmission model."

Generally speaking, political pluralism was already accepted in the Polish ruling spheres in 1988, although two years before, in 1986, it had been said that pluralism could not go hand in hand with socialism. Soon afterwards, in 1987, the general postulate of pluralism, but still not political pluralism, was accepted. Later it too was accepted, but without the "free interplay of political forces."

It is interesting to consider here the reactions of authoritarian regimes confronted with extensive social and political pluralization of society. Thanks to the previous de-ideologization and acceptance of political clubs and associations,33 "liberalising authoritarianism gave way to a negotiated movement toward post-communist pluralism" in Poland.34

One should bear in mind that full pluralism and free interplay of forces were opposed to for quite a long time - not only among communist authorities, who finally went bankrupt, ceding political power to Solidarity in 1989, but also among some representatives of the postsocialist establishment, for whom the drive towards a new monopoly was not unfamiliar (some political leaders of Solidarity initially dreamt of democracy based only on civic committees without political parties). In the new political situation after the Round Table had resulted in an acceptance of trade union pluralism and soon the creation of a Solidarity government, some organisations tried to continue the struggle for the deepening of pluralism.

In Poland in the late 1980s, general problems of pluralism were also addressed, in spite of the strictly political context of discussion on the most necessary system changes. The proceedings of a conference on pluralism in the Polish cultural tradition organized at Jagiellonian University in 1986 are most interesting in this respect. The openness of Polish culture which had its roots in the sacrum, but also in the profanum, was underlined in the papers.35 It was shown that pluralism, tolerance, intellectual curiosity, and a desire for diversity were synonyms of freedom in the Polish tradition.

Poland’s place between the East and the West and the problems with cultural identity favored, it was argued, seeing Polish neighbors and the whole world in the perspective of civilizational pluralism. In Poland, the perception of civilisation differences was consistently described not in the categories of inspiring and exotic, but as a fundamental difference in existential, political and spiritual forms of organizing human cooperation.36


Within the new framework of thought, Janusz Kuczyński tried to prove pluralism necessary in order to ensure the authenticity of a new universalism.37 According to Kuczyński, as pluralism without universalism leads to eclecticism, and "universalism is an indispensable framework and the horizon of pluralism."38

At the beginning of the 1990s, after the downfall of communism, any broader discussion on the needs of pluralism in postcommunist Poland disappeared.39 Some authors thought that it was due to the fact that real pluralism in social, political and economic life had begun. In fact, new important symptoms of pluralization in postcommunist Poland did arise: the establishment of new parties, societies, corporations, initiatives and organizations no longer subject to any state control.40 An incipient spirit of multiculturalism also contributed to the rediscovery of pluralism.41 New, less serious life styles and ways of behaviour appeared. The present state of pluralism, however, seems far from perfect. Andrzej Walicki has defined Poland as a country of selective tolerance, not yet of pluralism.42 Many authors have stressed that pluralist structures in politics and economics are slow in forming and weak.43 It has often been said that a pluralistic social order cannot be taken for granted44 and that our democratic institutions are fragile.

Anticommunist Solidarity did pave the way for Polish democracy, but it did little to achieve a genuine tolerant pluralism, since it expressed more often traditionalist, organic and collectivist values than liberal and individualist ones. "Influenced, then, by Polish national and Catholic religious traditions, and by the logic of mobilization against an enemy, the morality of Solidarność emphasized unity, loyalty, and solidarity of vast scope."45 It did not know how to handle the troublesome problem of living with differences.

Pluralism and the celebration of differences are, however, the hallmarks of a liberal postmodernism, at present in vogue almost everywhere.46 Its Polish disseminators underline that the category of pluralism is of utmost importance for the postmodern turn. The new quality of that pluralism with its new ways of thinking and new styles of life implies loosing the ideal of an integral whole and unity. The new pluralism "has blown up all unities", expressing "joy and optimism."47 For its followers, the victory of postmodernism means that the loss of unity does not sadden and need not be negative. This new philosophy demonstrates that all unity, exclusion, Rightness, Truth and Justice led to totalitarianism. Postmodernism is possible and fulfilled only when the obsessive longing for unity is replaced by the relish for plurality of truths and languages, by the "joy of pluralism."48

The reception of postmodernism in Poland was rather late and met with serious obstacles coming not from communist or postcommunist forces, but from Solidarity and Roman Catholic fundamentalism. Postmodernism spread throughout Poland and Eastern Europe in the 1990s.49 Some elements of this philosophical attitude and literary sensibility had been present, in fact, in the region long before the demise of Marxism and communism. The work of some Polish emigré thinkers like Witold Gombrowicz and Zygmunt Bauman, may be considered forerunners or near classics of postmodernism. Polish and Central European writers had contributed something to postmodernism avant la lettre. Postmodern anti-foundationalism, opposed to all political and religious dogmatism, was widely present in the emigré and underground literatures of Central Europe in the 1980s. This literature played a considerable role in the deconstruction and final destruction of the totalitarian ideology of communism and of some other totalising or authoritarian discourses.

It happened, however, that the official reception of postmodernism coincided with the sudden collapse of real and "utopian" socialism. In Eastern Europe the phenomenon of postmodernism is, therefore, closely connected with the postcommunist consciousness of crisis, liberation, exhaustion, void,50 and with unsuccessful modernization.51 It became evident that the post-totalitarian chaos somehow corresponded with fashionable Western ideas. Characteristic for both postmodernism and postcommunism was a loosening of official political structures.52 In Poland a socialist or postsocialist version of postmodernism (soc-postmodernizm), with its extreme relativism and bitter irony widespread especially among "fallen Marxists", was singled out.53 Such postmodernism combines allegedly destructive elements of western culture with moral and cognitive remnants of the "real socialism": cynicism, lack of responsibility, and questioning of truths and other values.54 Postmodernism is also connected with the consciousness of shock after the downfall of communism, strongly felt especially in Russia and the Balkan countries.

In Central and Eastern Europe postmodernism means the victory of "weak thought" which is conscious of its limitations and the victory of pluralism over foundationalism; it expresses new feelings of relativism, demystification, endism, chaos, nihilism, decadence, and a loss of values.55 An appropriate theoretical ground for this kind of philosophy in Central Europe was not prepared and its future is not secure.56

In Poland postmodernism met with distrust and opposition coming from the conservative circles of the Roman Catholic Church and from those representing the tradition of Lvov-Warsaw School of logical philosophy (Jerzy Pelc, Andrzej Grzegorczyk, Jan Woleński), which never displayed much tolerance.57 Also some literary critics try to demostrate an incompatibility of western postmodernism - in which nothing matters, anything goes - with the deeply rooted Polish tradition of meaningful and genuinely engaged literature that prefers reconstruction to deconstruction.58 Postmodernism is being criticized for its real or alleged propensity towards hedonism, extreme permissiveness, cult of superficiality, and moral and political nihilism. It is being criticized for its speedy farewell to metaphysics with its expression of the "unbearable heaviness of being" and for accepting instead the "unbearable lighteness of being".59

It was noticed that in the Polish Catholic and conservative press the label "postmodernism" had lost its neutral and descriptive character and turned into an invective directed against liberals, atheists, adherents of abortion, etc.60 Postmodernism was also held responsible for abandoning the truth and the authorities, for favoring religious sectarianism,61 spreading narcotics and underming the mental health of the nation.62 Postmodernism, allegedly unaccepted by Polish elites, flirts with mass culture and produces a chaotic, "useless void", a "cultural pulp - of liberty, pluralism, and tolerance in caricature."63

It is now said that genuine postmodernism is possible only in countries abounding in consumer goods. This type of civilization does not yet exist either in Poland or anywhere else in Eastern Europe. So the countries of this region should not accept uncritically the ideas of modernity, modernization, and postmodernism coming from the advanced West.

The Polish critique of postmodernism is more often associated with the critique of tolerance, liberalism and, democracy -- especially liberal democracy -- than with outright rejection of pluralism. Polish conservative Catholics are longing for traditionalist or fundamentalist unity, prefer to concentrate their attacks on liberalism than on pluralism and human rights which, though efficient tools in the recent struggle against communism, but have never been conceived as autonomous goals. Almost all observers of social reality acknowledge that pluralism is a reality that cannot be ignored, since Polish citizens form a plural society, but only postmodern liberals openly accept it as a model for peaceful coexistence. For example Andrzej Szahaj, a Polish critic of fundamentalism, considers liberal democracy the best means of coping with social, cultural and religious diversities. He underlines that liberalism requires moderation or even a certain restraint in public life,64 whereas many Catholics strongly oppose separating private from public convictions. For them, in a community where the Catholic Church is clearly a dominant religion and moral force, political and non-political spheres of human life are one.65 Pluralism is thus viewed as an open expression of imperfection, incomprehension and even vice or sin. The State should therefore exact fundamental truth and unity. Pluralism for Polish fundamentalists means giving consent to spreading evil and is seen as a sign of a creeping cultural conquest of Poland by the West, the "liberal totalitarianism." Polish fundamentalists wish to restrict individual liberties, to impose one religion on all members of society, and to achieve a nationalist unity based upon Catholic principles. They equate pluralism with an extreme relativism, with tolerance of evil and ignorance. It is interesting to see that even for some Polish liberals (conservative liberals), it is difficult psychologically to accept a situation in which their own strongly held opinions may not arouse any vivid interest or may be met with widespread indifference.66

Some independent Polish critics of postmodernism with its impossible "radical pluralism"say that postmodern philosophy underestimates the need to "anchor man in history." According to Tadeusz Szkołut, postmodern thought should, instead of deepening axiological confusion, search for models of pluralist order that do not exclude some fundamental values. A more efficient defence of pluralism requires finding in the tradition of European culture (the Enlightenment included) those rational currents that would be helpful today in shaping positive tolerance.67

Ryszard Legutko, a Cracow professor of philosophy, has become a main representative of Polish conservatism, relatively enlightened and independent of the Catholic hierarchy. Under late communism he advocated liberal ideas, but after its downfall he became a severe critic of "homo liberalis", as well as of the modern and postmodern tolerance principle and liberal pluralism. He defined his mission as a struggle against the "culture of relativism and nihilism", against various deviations, including the "false concept of tolerance" that transcends the realm of religion. According to Legutko, contemporary tolerance undermines the moral cohesion of democracy and civil society, as it requires simultaneous attitudes of disapproval and respect. He declared himself against the autonomy of the individual and against the pluralism of incommensurable values.68

Another professor, Marian Grabowski, a fervently Catholic Physicist declared himself against tolerance and homosexuality: "Tolerance which constitutes a necessary condition for plural societies not only advocates the coexistence of differences and openness to others, but also excessively handicaps fundamental human behaviours and choices. The religious fervor, a passionate service to values, a compulsion to preach faith -- all these are derided and caricatured. Emotional iciness, intellectual distance, indifferent forbearance to everything are praised as virtues. That is when the axiological and religious ´cooling` of society takes place. Tolerance comes not only from a fascination with another human being, from opening to him, but also from fear. Faith which wants to transform reality, truth which declares its unquestionable veracity are eliminated, since they endanger the pluralist order by opposed choices, that is by conflict."69

Similar views are presented by Zdzisław Krasnodębski, who feels no anxiety about the persistent lack of tolerance and respect for diversity, but worries about an allegedly excessive pluralism in Poland.70 With a certain reserve he accepts the rules of procedural democracy for Poland, but at the same time he undermines them on behalf of a superior morality. Criticizing those views, Andrzej Walicki argues that political liberalism respects moral values and even the pursuit of moral perfection. That, however, does not give anybody a licence to impose "comprehensive" moral systems or to negate freedom of conscience. In his rational opinion "the Polish collectivist right sees in liberalism a disastrous relativisation of morality, thus paving the way for totalitarianism; liberals, on the other hand, see the sources of totalitarianism in the tendencies to support various policies with the authority of absolute values’ and absolute truth."71

More extreme representatives of the conservative right openly criticize liberal democracy and pluralism, saying that the "objective interests" of the nation are more important than the interests of a social, "mathematical" or "fortuitous" majority. Cezary Michalski, for example, opposes "harmful" pluralism in the realm of culture and advocates a State of one Truth.72 He reduces democracy to "soulless" procedures, to moral relativism and the "rule of falsehood and sin". For Jarosław Zadencki it is "democratic fanaticism, the fanaticism of freedom" and the "despotism of freedom"73 that is most harmful. He does not perceive any fundamental difference between democracy and dictatorship and proposes limiting citizens` rights within a constitutional dictatorship.74 His limited perception blinds him to serious pluralism under liberal democracies: "The only pluralism that the present-day man knows from experience is a dualism of a universal producer and a universal consumer. The rest is an unwanted, dangerous, and perplexing prejudice."75 For Wojciech Chudy, it is pluralism of good and evil that is unwanted: "Pluralism is a cultural fact, but not an aim of culture. The aim for culture is unity based upon the value of truth."76

Declarations fully accepting the value of pluralism and tolerance came both from the representatives of classical liberalism and present-day postmodernism. Leszek Kołakowski, a grand master for Polish liberal intellectuals, said once that tolerance and pluralist order do not mean moral neutrality or indifference to values, since they are deeply rooted in open social philosophy.77 And Janusz Lewandowski, one of the leaders of the first liberal party after communism, Congress Liberalno-Demokratyczny (KLD), stated much later that it is essential for Poland to create institutional and material guarantees of pluralism, tolerance, and freedom of conscience. Liberalism, as he put it, is "a sober art of organizing freedom and improving it ever since the times of Locke and Montesquieu. Liberalism is not a program which embraces 24 hours of human life. On the contrary, the point is to guarantee everybody possible, the broadest scope of privacy and free choice, including religious choice."78 According to Lewandowski, liberalism in postcommunist Poland means laying the foundations for a plural and open society.

Another representative of the same party distinguishes three liberalisms: economic, political and cultural. Economic and political liberalism can easily be reconciled with the social doctine of the Catholic Church. Problems arise with cultural liberalism which stresses the absolute liberty of the individual, an alien ideology to the Church.79

Adam Michnik’s essays provide the most convincing defense of the value of liberal democracy for Poland and for Central Europe. Michnik was among the enthusiasts for Central Europe’s aspirations for liberty and diversity, opposed to Soviet bloc unity. In his opinion, absolute moral values directed against communism proved effective in the victorious struggle, but a search for a similar moral absolutism under democratic rule is futile. Democracy is not infallible, it is not a remedy for all human sins - only for dictatorships. "Democracy is neither black nor white, or red. Democracy is grey; it arises with difficulties, it is a continuous articulation of particular interests and a search for moral compromises between them; it is a market place of passions and emotions, of envy and hope, it is an eternal imperfection, a confusion of sin with virtue, of sanctity with sordidness,"80 and, Michnik concluded, it is therefore stigmatized by all kinds of fundamentalists. In another essay, he wonders why the Catholic Church is in trouble with Polish democracy and vice versa, why nowadays democracy is being criticized more sharply than the communist dictatorship ever was, and why even tolerance has been branded as an empty and suspicious word.81

Adding his voice, Professor Świeżawski, a senior Polish Catholic philosopher, has defended the value of pluralism and tolerance. Resorting to the historic examples of mediaeval conciliatory spirit of Spanish Toledo and Polish Cracow and to the modern spirit of Vaticanum II, he has expressed his conviction in a tolerant and pluralist vocation of Christianity that tells us to be full of sympathy, kindness and love for everybody. According to Świeżawski, a "genuine tolerance follows from a deep conviction that the whole of reality is characterized by an astounding variety, and the human world is characterized by various categories of otherness. Every human being should not only perceive it, but also is morally obliged practically to accept the rights vested in others."82



The first effort to reconcile liberalism and Catholicism and to create a Christian version of liberalism in present-day Poland was made by Cracow professor of philosophy Mirosław Dzielski (1941-1989). Combining liberal principles with the values of Christian ethics, Dzielski maintained that liberalism is a profoundly religious doctrine. His purpose was to overcome the initial hostility between the two visions of the world, to reconcile liberal free market with moral rules, pluralist ideals of open society with the monist, religious conception of truth and good. In articles frequently published in the Polish Catholic press, Dzielski wanted to make Catholicism more similar to Protestantism with its capitalist ethos, religious pluralism and approval of independent human search for God. Christians do not value pluralism itself, but should accept it as a result of a divine will manifested in the imperfect earthly life. Dzielski wanted to integrate liberal and religious visions of life into one ethico-institutional system. Both visions should complement and control each other in one organic whole.83 Not only is pluralism not an end in itself, but also freedom should serve the realization of higher values of good, truth and beauty. Dzielski’s eclectic efforts were not fully successful, since the differences between Catholics and Liberals in Poland are still profound in such matters as the scope of human liberty, the shape of political and economic society, the social and religious (supranatural) meaning of truth.

A more recent effort to reconcile Christianity with liberalism was undertaken by the Reverend Józef Tischner (1931-2000), a leading Polish Catholic philosopher. He announced the emergence of a new version of liberalism -- a Christian version, connected with the renaissance of the idea of freedom in Christianity. Liberalism has not been held in good repute among theologians and vice versa, he added.84 Professor Tischner noticed that some Poles had fallen victim to a new, hitherto unknown fear, the fear of freedom. They still do not understand the meaning and value of Christian liberalism, seeing it as an enlightened cult of absolute freedom. The new situation of broad civil liberties, presented as a hell even worse than communism, is accused of being guilty of abortion, pornography, and the rejection of moral duties, law and religion.

Professor Tischner proved to be one of the most prestigious critics of the new fundamentalism in Poland, a fundamentalism understood as a denial of pluralism. According to this very enlightened Catholic priest, pluralism means multiplicity in unity and unity in diversity. And unity can also be achieved by acknowledging the existence of necessary differences. Pluralism consists in mutual recognition of differences between human individuals, while fundamentalism means unity achieved by erasing manifest differences. Fundamentalism understood as a negation of pluralism is strictly connected with the will to exercise power and to implement force in order to promote one’s own reasoning and experience of truth.85

Another open-minded Catholic priest noted an irony in the fact that when the detested communism was politically overcome in Poland in 1989, fundamentalists of the communist era (i. e., those who wished to impose one dogmatic ideology and an official monopoly of "right" opinions) found intellectual acceptance among a significant number of anti-communists -- those who were profoundly religious.86 A postmodern liberal Andrzej Szahaj has detected among Polish conservatives who usually long for commonly accepted opinions, another yearning for "a moral-political unity of the nation" characteristic of the early communist epoch.87

Somewhat more ambiguous, situated between Catholic fundamentalism and the clear liberalism of the Reverend Józef Tischner, is the attitude towards pluralism presented by the Archbishop Józef Życiński, who strongly critiqued Polish post-modernists and post-socialist liberals. Opposed to many traditional Catholics, who long for a simply ordered vision of the world, he does not treat pluralism and diversity of social opinions as redundant or as a necessary evil, but as a consciousness of diverse ways leading to one truth that comprises absolute and relative aspects. Pluralism is not, therefore, a renunciation of absolute truth, but a deep consciousness of its complexity and of the difficulty of every inquiry. Cautiously following the liberal German theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, professor Życiński maintains that a pluralism that is clearly limited, not though by force, may be understood as a symphony of values, and that the universal Christian teachings cannot be fully expressed in only one system of thought. Contrary to widespread Catholic opinion, this semi-liberal official representative of Polish Catholicism has proclaimed that pluralism does not necessarily lead to moral relativism.88

Stanisław Kowalczyk, another eminent Catholic philosopher, following the ambiguous - as we shall see - pronouncements of John Paul II, appreciates a friendly dialogue between Christianity and liberal thought, but does not neglect their axiological differences: the dominance of individual freedom in liberal doctrines, their naturalist interpretation of religion, ethical relativism, distorted, grotesque, and even "farcical" understanding of pluralism and tolerance.89 Fortunately, at least the word pluralism (like democracy) is not being rejected by Professor Kowalczyk and the majority of Polish Catholics.

The idea of pluralism and postmodernism also appears in the widespread Polish discourse on Europe and on the need to integrate with it, especially with the economic structures of the European Union. Generally speaking, liberals exhibit euro-optimistic views, whereas conservatives are more cautious and even skeptical in their European discourse, resorting rather to the concept of a Europe embracing separate fatherlands than to a united Europe of regions. Some innovative authors show, however, that the process of European integration requires new theoretical tools that cannot be reduced to a simple principle. Stanisław Konopacki, for example, draws attention to the transition from one-dimentional concepts of integration to multidimentional projects of radical pluralism and diversification in postmodern time.90 The process of European integration should, therefore, be exposed step by step to the discourse of postmodernism. This transition to multidimentional models of integration implies a deconstruction of the hitherto fundamental categories of central management, national economy, and national state, national and European identity -- all so important to the Polish tradition. The process requires more pluralism, more of a dialogue with diversity and differences, a dialogue inspired by postmodern thought rather than in the Polish (religious) Solidarity tradition.

All Polish Catholic intellectuals -- liberal and conservative -- refer with profound reverence to the ambiguous social thought formulated by Pope John Paul II. He was very critical of all existing political systems, since they do not ensure a possibility of integral development of man and larger communities. At the same time, he strongly stated that his teaching is not a third option, somewhere between liberal capitalism and Marxist collectivism. It is not a new ideology, but a moral and theological reflection about human existence in society.

The relatively recent stage of the discussion on the poor condition and quality of liberal democracy in postcommunist Poland was initiated at the beginning of 2000 by professor Zdzisław Krasnodębski.91 In his lengthy essay published in Znak, an increasingly conservative Cracow monthly, Krasnodębski analyzes various models of western democratic philosophy, criticizes "Polish liberals", and proposes to strengthen democracy by resorting to numerous elements of "the Polish tradition." The Polish philosopher and sociologist from the University of Bremen in Germany is greatly annoyed at the strong appeal of the ideas of pluralism and religious neutrality of the state to Polish liberals, who -- in his opinion -- adhere to American political correctness rather than to European patterns of thought.92 Krasnodębski deems that democracy in Poland would be more consolidated, if it emphasized Polish religious, national and ethical traditions. The conservative-minded Krasnodębski is convinced that a chaotic acceptance by the state of "many truths" does a moral and cognitive wrong to its citizens.

In his discussion with Krasnodębski, Jerzy Szacki, a leading Polish historian of ideas, differs, doubting whether politics can realize absolute truths.93 More arguments in favor of the public sphere’s independence from politics and for pluralism are raised by Wiktor Osiatyński, who defends the idea of tolerance, often ridiculed by the Polish adherents of a religious state and by Catholic conservatives.94 According to Osiatyński, the tolerance of minorities is a foundation of any pluralist society. In such a society, the state does not impose on its citizens any outlooks or values, but rather presents them in a public debate in which moral, not administrative authorities usually participate. Wiktor Osiatyński along with Karol Modzelewski postulates that the state not grants special privileges to adherents of any one system of values.

Father Maciej Zięba, a more enlightened representative of the church, formally accepts the postulate, but emphasizes that the state does not exist in a historical and axiological void, that it needs an ethos, and that some values stemming from the tradition of the Solidarity movement should be introduced into its constitution. He also warned against the danger of relativism for Poland and the present-day world. Acknowledging the existence of a religious fundamentalism, he draws attention to a liberal version of fundamentalism, aggressive and intolerant toward religion, idealizing democratic liberties.95

Roman Graczyk, a representative of the consistently liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza, notices, in his review of Znaks special issue, Democracy after Communism, that the Cracow Znak group shifts from Christian liberalism to Christian conservatism.96 The monthly’s authors regard democracy as not axiologically self-sufficient, because it lacks immutable and binding absolute moral values. Without "strong" moral fundamentals -- they believe -- every political system is doomed to decadence and disintegration. In their opinion, as liberal democracy is not underpinned by any broader philosophical or religious vision of the world, only by electoral procedures and the pluralism of ideas, its structure is fragile and hollow, and must be reconstructed and incorporated into democratic institutions. They maintain that the Catholic Church in Poland, not universal human rights and liberties, is a keystone of democracy, a natural reservoir of lasting political values that should be present in the law, public life, and mass media (e.g. the notorious regulation commanding public television’s respect for Christian values).

Roman Graczyk, unlike Jarosław Gowin, does not believe in what Gowin calls a "natural alliance" of democracy with religion. He is, however, convinced that a reconciliation between the two forces is possible. Unable to accept relativism, the church should accept pluralism, concludes Graczyk in his recently published collection of essays.97

Summing up the discussion provoked by his article, Krasnodębski asked once again the fundamental question, "what is the place for truth, good, and justice in democracy, or in other words, what is really meant by pluralism of views in democracy."98 He upheld his criticism of ‘Polish liberals", who in his opinion care little for common principles. "Anxious about pluralism, terrified at the vision of a religious state and of nationalists lurking at the corner, Polish liberals do not ask what is integrating, what would unite a radically plural society. Preaching the neutrality of the state, concentrating on cultural and religious diversification, they overlook the questions of unity and the question of principles joining all members of society."99

Poland is still at the beginning of a long road leading to democratic consolidation and a relative secularization of society, whereas more advanced countries of liberal capitalism in Europe have reached its end.100 The recent debate, discussions between the above mentioned authors show that present-day Poland has serious problems in considering the relations between religion and democracy in postmodern plural societies, in showing how to make pluralism integral to cultural and political life.


1 Andrzej Walicki, Zniewolony umysł po latach (Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1993), 352-353.

2 Jadwiga Staniszkis, Poland’s Self-Limiting Revolution (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1984), 165.

3 Ibid., 168.

4 Ibid., 169.

5 Ibid., 206.

6 Jerzy Wiatr, "Elements of the Pluralism in the Polish Political System", Polish Sociological Bulletin 1 (1966): 19-26.

7 Władysław Piwowarski, "Filozoficzne aspekty pluralizmu społecznego", Roczniki Filozoficzne KUL 13:2 (1965): 83-97. Soon after the first innovative article on pluralism was published - abroad - by Stanisław Ehrlich, "Il problema del pluralismo", Storia e Politica 3 (Luglio-Settembre, 1969).

8 See Stanisław Ossowski, "O osobliwościach nauk społecznych", in his Dzieła, vol. IV (Warszawa: PWN, 1967), 175-178; Zygmunt Komorowski, "Pluralizm - wielokulturowość – diaspora", Kultura i Społeczeństwo 1-2 (1975): 259-263.

9 Stanisław Ehrlich, Pluralism on and off Course (Oxford - New York: Pergamon Press, 1982); Stanisław Ehrlich and Graham Wootton, eds., Three Faces of Pluralism: Political, Ethnic, and Religious (Farnborough, UK.: Gower, 1980); Stanisław Ehrlich, "The Many Shapes of Pluralism and Uniformism, and their Limits", Revue Internationale de Sociologie 1 (1988): 71-88. See also the special issue of International Political Science Review (3, July 1996), "Traditions in Pluralist Thought", edited by Luigi Graziano and dedicated to Stanisław Ehrlich.

10 Stanisław Ehrlich, Oblicza pluralizmów (2nd enlarged ed., Warszawa: PWN, 1985), 404; see also id., "Pluralizm - paradygmatem nauk społecznych?", Studia Socjologiczne 4 (1988): 11-25; see also an interview with Ehrlich in Zbysław Rykowski, Wiesław Władyka, eds., Sposób myślenia (Warszawa: MAW, 1985). It should be added that before Ehrlich’s book, Stanisław Ossowski and other Polish sociologists wrote a little on the subject of pluralism and interest groups, but vigilant censorship did not allow much to be written on the subject matter.

11 Andrzej Nowicki., "Aksjologiczne aspekty pluralizmu", in , Józef Lipiec, ed., Człowiek i świat wartości (Kraków: KAW, 1982), 505-517; see also id., "Pluralizm światopoglądowy w kulturze socjalistycznej", Euhemer 2 (1981): 117-130; and id., "Perspektywy rozwoju pluralizmu w obrębie polskiej katolickiej filozofii kultury", Studia Religioznawcze 21 (1987): 151-166.

12 Andrzej Tyszka, "Policentryzm i pluralizm kultury", Kultura i Społeczeństwo 1 (1983): 49-60.

13 Winicjusz Narojek, Perspektywy pluralizmu w upaństwowionym społeczeństwie (London: Aneks, 1986).

14 Jan Wawrzyniak, "W sprawie pluralizmu", Tu i Teraz 14 (1982): 3-4; also in a modified form in Nowe Drogi 9 (1982): 116-132.

15 Jan Wawrzyniak, "Odpowiedź nie tylko na list do redaktora naczelnego", Nowe Drogi 4 (1983): 147-151.

16 An orthodox neo-Stalinist criticism of the early forms of pluralistic thinking was presented by Tadeusz Wrębiak, "Socjalizm a pluralizm", Nowe Drogi 8 (1983): 115-123; and by Henryk Chołaj, "Pluralizm w koncepcjach antymarksistowskiej opozycji intelektualnej", Myśl Marksistowska 5 (1985): 135-146.

17 Wojciech Jaruzelski, Przemówienia (Warszawa: Książka i Wiedza, 1983), 124.

18 Mirosław Karwat, Włodzimierz Milanowski, Pluralizm: mity a rzeczywistość (Warszawa: Wyd. MON, 1985), 60; see also a series of essays criticizing pluralism, published in 1987 in the weekly Sprawy i Ludzie. Leszek Grzybowski, "Kontrowersje wokół pluralizmu" in Milczenie ideologów ( arszawa: Książka i Wiedza, 1985), 32-67 recommended to avoid using the concept of political pluralism in relation to socialism.

19 Cf. Piotr Szydłowski, Katolicka filozofia kultury w Polsce 1918-1935 (Warszawa: PWN, 1981); Andrzej Nowicki, "Perspektywy rozwoju pluralizmu", 151; Przemysław Fenrych, "Pluralizm - zagrożenie czy szansa", W Drodze 6 (1989): 79-84.

20 Ludwik Hass, "Pluralizm jako zjawisko polityczno-społeczne i problem ruchu zawodowego", Kwartalnik Historii Ruchu Zawodowego 2 (1988), 7.

21 See Wiesław Górnicki, Teraz już można (Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Dolnośląskie, 1994), 349-351; Edward M. Swiderski, "From Social Subject to the Person. The Belated Transformation in Latter-Day Soviet Philosophy," Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 2 (1993): 199-227; Tadeusz Płużański, "U źródeł wartości ludzkich (Wprowadzenie do marksistowskiego personalizmu)", Studia Filozoficzne 5 (1987): 3-15.

22 Mikhail Gorbachev, "Rewolucyjna przebudowa i ideologia odnowy", Trybuna Ludu, 19th February, 1988.

23 See more on the subject in Jerzy Jaskiernia, "Spór o istotę polskiego pluralizmu socjalistycznego", Ideologia i Polityka 2 (1988): 64-77; Leszek Grzybowski, "Pluralizm polityczny w socjalizmie", Ideologia i Polityka 12 (1988): 37-52; Władysław Jaworski, Andrzej Lech, Pluralizm polityczny (Łódź: Uniwersytet Łódzki, 1991).

24 Włodzimierz Lebiedziński, "Czy możliwy jest socjalistyczny pluralizm", Myśl Marksistowska 5 (1987), 72.

25 Ibid, 74.

26 Andrzej Barcikowski, ed., Pluralizm i porozumienie narodowe (Warszawa: Książka i Wiedza, 1988); see also Marian Stępień, "Pluralism", Polish Perspectives 3 (1988): 5-8; and for a distinction between democratic and non-democratic pluralism, see introduced by Jerzy Gaul, "Pluralizm - zasada czy fasada", Przegląd Powszechny 3 (1987): 425-430.

27 Andrzej Barcikowski, "Siedem dylematów pluralizmu politycznego w Polsce", Ideologia i polityka 11 (1988), 39.

28 Ibid., 42.

29 Nowe Drogi 6 (1988), 61.

30 Ibid., 92.

31 Nowe Drogi 7 (1988), 26.

32 Ibid., 42.

33 See Jan Skórzyński, Ugoda i rewolucja. Władza i opozycja 1985-1989 (Warszawa: Presspublica, 1995).

34 Andrzej Walicki, "From Stalinism to Post-Communist Pluralism: The Case of Poland", New Left Review 185 (January/February 1991), 107.

35 Introduction to Franciszek Adamski, ed., Pluralizm w kulturze polskiej (Kraków: Zeszyty Naukowe UJ, 1988), 7; more monolithic aspects of the Polish traditional culture (the canon of Catholicism and romanticism) were exhibited in Marian Kempny et al., U progu wielokulturowości. Nowe oblicza społeczeństwa polskiego (Warszawa: Oficyna Naukowa, 1997).

36 Zbigniew Pucek, Pluralizm cywilizacyjny jako perspektywa myśli socjologicznej (Kraków: WSE, 1990).

37 Janusz Kuczyński, Uniwersalizm jako metafilozofia, vol. I (Warszawa: UW, 1989), 34.

38 Janusz Kuczyński, "Pluralism and Universalist Socialism", Dialectics and Humanism. The Polish Philosophical Quarterly 1 (1989), 221.

39 The only booklet on the value of pluralism, published in Poland at the beginning of 1990s, was written by the Polish American sociologist Feliks Gross, Tolerancja i pluralizm (Warszawa: IFiS Publishers, 1992). There was also a brief, superficial discussion in the Polish press on pluralism in 1990. The emotional and chaotic discussion was in fact related to a short-term struggle for power within two factions of Solidarity (the supporters of Wałęsa and Mazowiecki), hence it did not bring serious, far-reaching results. See I. Pańków, "Debata o pluralizmie w ‘wojnie na górze’ ", in Władza i struktura społeczna, ed. A. Jasińska-Kania, K. Słomczyński (Warsaw: IFiS Publishers, 1999).

40 A detailed analysis can be found in Democracy, Civil Society and Pluralism in Comparative Perspective: Poland, Great Britain and the Netherlands, Ed. by Christopher G. A. Bryant and Edmund Mokrzycki (Warszawa: IFiS Publishers, 1995), 166-167.

41 See Joanna Kurczewska, "Odkrywanie wielokulturowości i współczesne ideologie", in Marian Kempny et al., U progu wielokulturowości, 32-50. Some argue that the velvet revolutions in Poland and Central Europe were in fact a realization of Hannh Arend’s vision of politics and of political pluralism. See W. Heller, Hannah Arendt: Zródła pluralizmu politycznego (Poznań: UAM, 2000), 160.

42 See Zdzisław Sadowski, ed., Post-totalitarian Society. The Course of Change (Warsaw: IFiS Publishers, 1993), 108-109.

43 Włodzimierz Wesołowski, "Challenges to Pluralism in Eastern Europe," Transition to Democracy: The Role of Social and Political Pluralism, a special issue of Sisyphus. Sociological Studies, ed. Władysław Adamski et al. (Warsaw: IFiS Publishers, 1991): 79-81.

44 Ibid, 7

45 Martin Krygier, "Virtuous Circles: Antipodean Reflections on Power, Institutions, and Civil Societies", East European Politics and Societies, 1(1997), 74.

46 The Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman writes about "acceptance of irredeemable plurality of the world" and about "the celebration of pluralism" in his book Modernity and Ambivalence (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1993), 97, 157.

47 Krystyna Wilkoszewska, "O pojęciu postmodernizmu uwag kilka", in Alicja Zeidler-Janiszewska, (ed.), Oblicza postmoderny (Warszawa: Instytut Kultury, 1992): 9-10.

48 Paweł Lisiecki, "Błogosławiona wielość języków", Więź 6 (1995): 44.

49 The first translations into Polish of some postmodern authors (Irrving Howe, John Barth, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Richard Rorty, Ihab Hassan and others) had appeared in the 1980s. See, for example, Zbigniew Lewicki, ed., Nowa proza amerykańska. Szkice krytyczne (Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1983); Marcin Giżycki, ed., Postmodernizm - kultura wyczerpania? (Warszawa: Akademia Ruch, 1988).

50 Those feelings were well seen in the ephemeral Polish journal Xuxem: "Is that the end then? Is it possible to find any support? Is art, philosophy, science, and, first and foremost, life not a visible proof of this? Are the dreams in 20th century doomed to failure?!! What else can inspire hope...? Maybe a denial of dreams about redemption means a passage to 21 century; the age of life careless about illusion which could conceal the taste of the present ? The age of life dispassionate in its rootlessness, life passed by without regret and pain of existence...?" Jacek Alexander Sikora, "Perception Pre-Feeling of Oversublimation of the European Culture. Assemblage of Fragments", Xuxem 2 (Spring 1992), 16.

51 See Zdzisław Krasnodębski, "Waiting for Supermarkets or: the Downfall of Communism Seen in Postmodern Perspective", The Polish Sociological Bulletin 4 (1991): 281-287; Aldona Jawłowska, Marian Kempny, eds., Cultural Dilemmas of Post-Communist Societies (Warsaw: IFiS Publishers, 1994).

52 Paweł Konic in the discussion "Czy postmodernizm jest dobry na postkomunizm?", Dialog 11 (1991), 114.

53 The term was coined by Father Maciej Zięba in an interview, published in Słowo - Dziennik Katolicki, 29 November 1996. See also his book Demokracja i antyewangelizacja (Poznań: Wyd. "W drodze", 1997), 137-140.

54 See "Postmodernizm w Kusiętach Dużych", Tygodnik Powszechny, 20 April 1997; Ryszard Legutko, "Postmodernizm", Życie, 1-2 March, 1997; Jarosław Gowin, "Kościół przyszłości", Życie, 22-23 March, 1997. The Polish quarterly FA-Art has presented a milder, anti-nihilistic version of a "postmodernism with human face"

55 Halina Janaszek-Ivaničkova, "Paradoksalny żywot postmodernizmu w krajach słowiańskich Europy Środkowej i Wschodniej", in Postmodernizm w literaturze i kulturze krajów Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej , 79; id., Od modernizmu do postmodernizmu do postmodernizmu (Katowice: Wyd. UŚ, 1996); E.G. Trubina, "Posttotalitarna kultura: vsie dozvoleno ili ničego nie garantirovano?", Voprosy Filosofii 3 (1993): 23-27.

56 Marek Kwiek, "Polski postmodernizm?", Kultura współczesna, 3-4 (1996), 10.

57 For a severe critique of the Polish opponents of postmodernism, see Marek Wilczyński, "Antypostmodernizm polski", Czas kultury 5-6 (1994): 4-7; Marek Wiczyński, "Egzorcyści i demaskatorzy. Neokonserwatyści wobec kultury ponowoczesnej", Czas kultury 1 (1996): 4-9; Cezary Wodziński, "W trybach zmory. O polskich krytykach postmodernizmu uwag kilka", Odra, 10 (1997): 55-63.

58 See Włodzimierz Bolecki, "Polowanie na postmodernistów w Polsce", Teksty Drugie 1 (1993): 7-24; id., "Postmodernizowanie modernizmu", Teksty Drugie 1-2 (1997): 31-45; Grzegorz Wołowiec, "Recepcja postmodernizmu w polskiej krytyce i publicystyce literackiej", Kultura Współczesna 3-4 (1996): 11-42; Agnieszka Izdebska, Danuta Szajnert, eds., Postmodernizm po polsku? (Łódź: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, 1988).

59 Jadwiga Mizińska, "Cóż po filozofie w czasie marnym?, Głos w dyskusji na temat filozofii postmodernistycznej", in Alicja Zeidler-Janiszewska, (ed.), Oblicza postmoderny, 30-31.

60 Lidia Burska, "Inkwizytorzy i sarmaci", Gazeta Wyborcza, 19-20 August, 2000, 19.

61 Paweł Bortkiewicz, "Mentalność sekty a ideologia postmodernistyczna", Ethos 9, 1-2 (1996), 165.

62 See Zbigniew Sareło, Postmodernizm w pigułce (Poznań: Pallotinum, 1998), 28.

63 Marzenna Guzowska, "W sztuce: nadzieja czy wyczerpanie", Więź 6 (1995):72.

64 Andrzej Szahaj, "Jednostka czy wspólnota? O sporze pomiędzy liberałami a komunitarystami w najnowszej filozofii polityki", in Liberalizm u schyłku XX wieku, ed. Justyna Miklaszewska (Kraków: Meritum, 1999), 170; see also his recent book: Jednostka czy wspólnota? Spór liberałów z komunitarianami a „sprawa polska" (Warszawa: Fundacja Aletheia, 2000).

65 See, for example, Marian Grabowski, "Trzy mowy przeciwko tolerancji", Znak 6 (1993): 37-47; Jan Maria Jackowski, Bitwa o Polskę (Warszawa: Inicjatywa Wydawnicza «ad astra», 1993).

66 Marcin Król, Liberalizm strachu czy liberalizm odwagi (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Znak, 1996), 100.

67 Tadeusz Szkołut, "Spór o sens pluralizmu w kulturze i sztuce postmodernistycznej", in Tadeusz Szkołut, ed., Aksjologiczne dylematy epoki współczesnej (Lublin: Wyd. UMCS, 1994), 117.

68 See his books: Nie lubię tolerancji (Cracow: Wydawnictwo Arka, 1993), Tolerancja. Rzecz o surowym państwie, prawie natury, miłości i sumieniu (Cracow: Wydawnictwo Znak, 1997) and numerous articles published in the Polish conservative press and in the American Critical Review. See also his recent polemic "Nadal nie lubię liberalizmu. Odpowiedź moim polemistom", Europa 38 (2005) and "Dlaczego nie lubię liberalizmu", in: Raj przywrócony (Cracow, 2005), 11-25. For a critique of his views see, among others, Roman Graczyk, "Jak filozofuje się młotem", Gazeta Wyborcza, 10 February 2000.

69 Grabowski, "Trzy mowy," 47.

70 Zdzisław Krasnodębski, "Polityka i moralność - w ogóle, u nas i gdzie indziej", Znak 7 (1997), 11.

71 Andrzej Walicki, "Moralność polityczna liberalizmu, narodowa moralistyka i idee kolektywistycznej prawicy", Znak 7 (1997). The article is included in his excellent collection of political essays: Polskie zmagania z wolnością (Kraków: Universitas, 2000), 187-204.

72 Cezary Michalski, Powrót człowieka bez właściwości (Warszawa: Biblioteka Debaty, 1997).

73 Such is the title of Zadencki’s ill-famed book: Wobec despotyzmu wolności (Kraków: Platan, 1995).

74 Jarosław Zadencki, "Oswajanie dyktatury", Nowa Res Publica 60:1(1993): 52-54.

75 Jarosław Zadencki, Lewiatan i jego wrogowie. Szkice postkonserwatywne (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Arcana, 1998), 23.

76 Wojciech Chudy, "Katolik na arenie współczesnego społeczeństwa", Arcana 3 (1997), 157.

77 Leszek Kołakowski, Czy diabeł może być zbawiony i 27 innych kazań (London: Aneks, 1984), 215-216.

78 Janusz Lewandowski, "Jaki liberalizm jest Polsce potrzebny?", in Donald Tusk, ed., Idee gdańskiego liberalizmu (Fundacja Liberałów, 1998), 137; see also Wojciech Sadurski, Moral Pluralism and Legal Neutrality (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1990).

79 Lech Mażewski, "Thatcheryzm po polsku", in Tusk, ed., Idee gdańskiego liberalizmu, 139.

80 Adam Michnik, "Szare jest piękne", Gazeta Wyborcza, 4-5 January 1997.

81 Adam Michnik, Kościół, lewica, dialog (Warszawa: Świat Książki, 1998), 313.

82 Stefan Świeżawski, "O właściwe rozumienie tolerancji", Znak 6 (1993): 5.

83 See Adam Samojłowicz, "Mirosława Dzielskiego chrześcijański liberalizm", Archiwum historii myśli politycznej VII (1998), 52.

84 Józef Tischner, Nieszczęsny dar wolności (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Znak, 1997): 10.

85 Ibid., 151.

86 Jan Kracik, "Chrześcijaństwo a pokusa fundamentalizmu", Znak 3 (1998), 19.

87 Andrzej Szahaj, Jednostka czy wspólnota? Spór liberałów z komunitarianami a "sprawa polska", 273-274.

88 Józef Życiński, Ziarno samotności (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Znak, 1997): 113-116.

89 Stanisław Kowalczyk, Liberalizm i jego filozofia (Katowice: Wydawnictwo Unia, 1995): 201, 216. See also Stanisław Olejnik, Jedność Kościoła a pluralizm życia chrześcijańskiego (Warsaw: ATK, 1982) and essays in German and in Polish: Pluralistische Gesellschaft. Herausforderung an Kirche und Theologie, ed. Stefan Knobloch, Piotr Tarlinski (Opole, 2001).

90 Stanisław Konopacki, Integracja Europy w dobie postmodernizmu (Poznań: UAM, 1998):137-138; see also "The Future of Europe: Universal Values and Postmodernism", Dialogue and Universalism 12 (2000): 71-80.

91 Zdzisław Krasnodębski, "O czym można dyskutować w demokracji?", Znak 1 (2000):10-42.

92 The imitation of American patterns of thought and behaviour in the present-day Poland is criticized also by Ryszard Legutko, Czasy wielkiej imitacji (Kraków, Wydawnictwo Arcana, 1998).

93 Jerzy Szacki, ‘Przeciw, a nawet za tezami Krasnodębskiego", Znak 1 (2000): 43-52. Szacki’s reasonable defence of political correctness was critized by Paweł Paliwoda ("Przeciw tezom Szackiego", Życie, 27 April 2000), for whom the state should not defend conflicts and controversies destibilizing social order, and should not support allegedly opressed minorities.

94 Znak 1 (2000): 74.

95 Ibid., 119-120.

96 Roman Graczyk, "Demokratyczna asceza i jej wrogowie", Gazeta Wyborcza, 12-13 February, 2000. See also the polemical voices of Jarosław Gowin, Zbigniew Stawrowski and Roman Graczyk, in Gazeta Wyborcza, 28 February, 2000.

97 Roman Graczyk, Polski Kościół, polska demokracja (Kraków: Universitas, 1999), 187.

98 Zdzisław Krasnodębski, "Czego nie chcą widzieć «polscy liberałowie»", Znak 5 (2000): 110.

99 Ibid.

100 See a commmentary by Adam Szostkiewicz, "Spór o stosunek Kościoła do wolności. Miejsce dla ołtarza", Polityka 8 (2000): 64-66.

Last Revised 13-Feb-09 05:39 PM.