history of Poland

  • From undivided state power to the system of deconcentrated and decentralised state power. The political transformation of Poland

    This paper is not an attempt to present the process of political changes that occurred in Poland after the end of the Second World War. Its aim is to indicate and explain the characteristics of the process of political change which after 1945 turned Poland into a totalitarian socialist state, and from 1989 led to the construction of the democratic state. The fate of Poland and other Eastern European countries was decided by the strategic interests of the great powers. The memory of the victims of war and democratic axiology gave way to the calculations and domination of force. Many nations were deprived of subjectivity and the possibility of sovereign choice in their future development. In Poland the place of the sovereign nation had been taken by a small group of politicians who became the plenipotentiaries of the Soviet leadership. The creation of the totalitarian system was an essential precondition for the implementation of the Stalinist model of society entirely dominated by the Communist Party, the state described as socialist, and its apparatus of repression. The rule over the nation, although it was called the dictatorship of the proletariat, was a dictatorship over the enslaved society. Only the gradual erosion and finally the collapse of the centre of communist world, created in this part of Europe the possibility to choose freely the model of collective life. The victory of the Polish Solidarity and the fall of Berlin Wall alike symbolize the overcoming the post-Yalta order and the return of these nations to the European, democratic idea of social order. After 1989 the political solutions in which power is protecting the needs, interests and aspirations of each individual as well as the common good, considered the summum bonnum, were chosen. This power is by its very nature decentralised.

  • Sarmatism as Europe’s founding myth

    “More and more phenomena are assuming a political dimension, and the surrounding world of politics is beginning to overwhelm us. Despite its grounding in rationality, and despite eff orts to adapt it to the changing forms of social life, it systematically yields to derealisation. The key notions in this area, such as liberty, equality, democracy, raison d’état, revolution, counter-revolution, are becoming increasingly disconnected, receive variegated explanations and interpretations in political practice, are readily subject to manipulation.” Cultural myth expresses a collective, emotionally charged belief in the veracity of a conceptual content, a memory, and simultaneously provides a model, a set of rules for social behaviour. Leszek Kołakowski draws attention to the ubiquity of mythological thinking in contemporary culture in which it addresses the universal need to fi nd meaning and continuity in the world and its values. Myth is then a particular mode of perception, cognition, and understanding of reality, part of man’s mentality, his national and cultural identity.

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Projekt i wykonanie Pollyart

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