Requiem For Polish Memory: Dissident Movement & True Enlightenment

This post could never do justice to how Poland’s own dissident movement was the demonstrative embodiment of a cultural singularity unknown in any other country.

Polish Exceptionalism is Solidarity! Let me explain.

Poland was never really in need of either a Protestant Reformation nor Enlightenment like the west.  Yes, I know this is difficult to prove, especially given how the trajectory of any nation is difficult to ascribe outside the difficulties that became the 20th century.  Atheist Marxism was imposed on Poland, it never really had an indigenous base among Poles.  Not intellectually, even with untold millions of unassimilated Jews unalloyed form the contortions that was nominalism; Poland possessed a unique history, a philosophical singularity.

It possessed a Catholic, universal, philosophical anthropology that became a Enlightenment!  The distinction is serious.  Gallic despotic tyranny is inseparable from the nominalist contortions of its governing philosophical class of 1789.  Ditto for Russia and its wary accepting glance of both its imported intelligentsia and Jewish population, known for both political radicalism, apathy and anarchy.

Poland never really had an indigenous movement similar to the utopian anarchy that consumed Russia in 1917.  Yes, there are similarities.  But the dissident movement that enveloped atheist Marxism during the tenure of John Paul II and Solidarity had a very deep philosophical appeal to the universality of reason, the indissolubility of personhood, the sanctity of conscience, the rule of law etc. . .

In a word:  an Enlightenment.

Don’t take my word for it:  read Leszek Kolakowski.

There are too many good Polish dissident writers to mention.  I’ll offend someone if I try to even begin to encapsulate the beauty that born itself among the hardship of Gdansk.

Leszek Kolakowski’s writings have been translated into English for the first time!  Here we can glimpse the Polish Enlightenment.

Leszek Kolakowski died in 2009.  His latest “Is God Happy?” was compiled by his daughter.  A scholar of vast learning, a gifted writer with clear expression of complex ideas.  And humility.

Where to begin. . .

Stanislaw Milosz (pronounced Mill-lotz) would be a great analogy, but the truth is far more complex that naming a single Pole whose writings attempted to encapsulate the singularity mentioned above.  With Kolakowski, one could begin with his three volume work titled “Main Currents of Marxism” (1978), he along with Solzhenitsyn described the sham philosophy that was atheist Marxism.  For both men, this harsh hoax produced nothing of value except economic devastation, cultural perversion and mass murder.

Need there be more to say?

Kolakowski divined how Communism had international appeal while Nazism floundered. He ascribed the international success of the Communist appeal to a simple philosophical passion:  the Communists fervently believed in liberation from oppression, Communism never extolled the state as a value in itself, it stressed the necessity of reinforcing the state as an indispensable ally to destroy the enemies of freedom.

Did Nancy Pelosi get that memo?

What did Solidarity know?

It knew that the massive forgery that is militant atheist Marxism cannot be completed unaided: it requires a large number of accomplices who participate in the lie.

They also knew that language itself cannot fully cover over the pseudo-reality it ascribes for realism protrudes through the lie.  Reality imposes its own conditions regardless.  The power of words over reality is limited.  This is why Catholics possess an intrinsic philosophical insight:  rejecting the perfectibility of man.

What can Kolakowski teach Pope Francis?

He can admonish and strengthen his fortitude in acknowledging that secularization allows the Church to be delivered from what the world wants it to be:  the Church under secularism, can discover, affirm and pursue its mission!

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About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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