Human Geography

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By Leszek Koczanowicz, Beth J. Singer

This e-book provides the paintings of Polish and American philosophers approximately Poland’s transition from Communist domination to democracy. between their themes are nationalism, liberalism, legislation and justice, educational freedom, faith, fascism, and anti-Semitism. past their insights into the continued state of affairs in Poland, those essays have broader implications, inspiring mirrored image on facing wanted social alterations.

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Extra info for Democracy and the Post-Totalitarian Experience (Value Inquiry Book, 167)

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In maintaining this these commentators are usually referring to an argument which appears impressive by virtue of the empirical evidence it relies on. They point out that political forces which built up their image on religiously backed nationalism and xenophobia were never able to gain any respectable 26 DARIUSZ ALEKSANDROWICZ support by way of democratic elections. The elections offered a negative proof of their alleged influence and popularity. According to this, the politicians in question never succeeded in establishing themselves as a decisive factor in parliament or government.

Nationalist Catholicism therefore has a strong backing in a relevant current of the national tradition. This is the same tradition from which the institutional Church in Poland emerges. It contributed decisively to the power of the Church, since from the end of the eighteenth century onward it was the most stable institution to which Polish claims for national sovereignty and the feeling of national identity could be addressed. This is why in a context of tensions with nationalist popular Catholicism the Church often reveals itself to be argumentatively weak and inconsequential.

The last example was the massive support the officials of the Church gave to the President, Lech Wałęsa, against his rival candidate in the presidential election 1995. ”13 Yet, in spite of this support the “Christian candidate” lost the election. Among other factors, it was the lesson derived from these failures that motivated the Church to abandon this type of direct political engagement. The problem refers to issues of tactics but has a more substantial dimension. I do not think it possible in a democracy to rationally combine a worka- Post-Communist Transition and Catholicism in Poland 29 ble political program with premises of a religious (confessional) character.

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