9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS03 East and West in Europe

2009-09-05 13:30:00 2009-09-05 15:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 13:30 - 15:00 Democracy and Social Structure Building I, 1E4

Troubles with transformation of Polish political and cultural space. Antiliberalism in contemporary Poland.

In the works devoted to political life in the countries of former soviet bloc we may often find the thesis about the liberal shock, which passed these countries in the 90´s. But the authors often do not perceive that this explosion of liberalism that took place on two different levels, what makes the perception of this phenomenon difficult. The first level is formed by language and praxis of political life, the second is the theoretical or politically-philosophical debate. In the first case we have a problem of openness of society and politicians to liberal values and ideas and of degree of support for building liberal state institutions. The second case concerns the participation in the intellectual discourse of liberalism. The second level is in the fundamental way determined by the fact that the big political doctrines of the last two centuries arised in the West, and not in the Eastern Europe. Theoretical debate on liberalism, which we have to deal with is therefore derivative to the western one. The matter is different in the political life culture. The notion of liberalism itself is applied arbitrary in the language of politics, very often as an epithet to discredit the politicians as well policies. At the same time no serious politicians, or parties question the fact that the precondition for including Poland in the circle of developed and stable democracies is to devolop and defend the free market, to guarantee respect for human rights, and therefore creation of stable institutions of liberal state. The problems with liberalism in Poland are very well ilustrated by the dilemmas, which conservative critique is facing. If the conservative critique on the level of philosophical discourse means unquestionably continuation of the same reflection on society, culture and politics, which oppose to the melioristic conceptions of liberals, then troubling is the question how to be a conservative politician in the country for which the only one way of escaping from catastrophic consequences of radical melioristic communist doctrin is moderate meliorism of liberals.