Introduction: Polish Philosophical Revisionists in Marxism

Hybris. Internetowy Magazyn Filozoficzny 37:I-XV (2017)
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Who and how revised Marxism in Poland? The simple answer is that it was done by young intellectuals seeing themselves as obligated to social and political activity, eager to participate in the process of the constitution of a new postwar Communist society. Marxism was for them a philosophical world-view and a political program rising hopes for a better socio-economic reality. Revisionists were committed Communists and their attitude toward Marxism was almost religious. Marxism, Promethean and scientific at the same time, was supposed to replace religion, for which the radically secular revisionists saw no place in the new society. (See: Mikołajczyk 2013, p. 44-48) After the shock of 1956 they stuck by the slogan: ’socialism–yes, distortions–no,’ they thought that “Marxist socialism was possible without Leninist political forms, that Communism might be attacked within «the framework of Marxism»,” and they “believed for some time ... that Stalinism was curable in the sense that Communism could be restored or «democratized» without questioning its foundations” (Kolakowski 1978, p. 461). They saw themselves in an elitist way, i.e., as true and devoted Marxists fighting with dogmas, orthodoxy, myths, and unfounded faith both within Marxism-Leninism and outside it. They were willing to accept the position of sectarians, heretics, or apostates. Their political and ideological involvement forced them to attack pre-war but still active Polish philosophers of the Lvov-Warsaw School and other nonMarxist thinkers (Roman Ingarden, Władysław Tatarkiewicz, Stanisław Ossowski), who were classified as “bourgeois thinkers” unable to understand and assimilate Marxism.

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