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.