Liberalism after Communism

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Publication date: 
224 pages

Szacki defines liberalism in an Eastern European context - in terms of its historical background, the lack of a liberal tradition in the region, and its incompatibility with the Communist state.


I. Introduction
1. The discovery of liberalism in Eastern Europe 
2. The actuality of liberalism
3. Has liberalism scored a victory?
4. Response to the challenge
5. The problem of the migration of ideas
6. What is this book about?

II. Instead of a Definition of Liberalism 
1. The difficulty of defining liberalism
2. Banalized liberalism
3. Who is a liberal in Eastern Europe?
4. A temperament or a philosophy of life?
5. The language of the rights of the individual
6. The problem of economic liberalism 
7. A multitude of liberalism 

III. Historical Background
1. Eastern Europe vis-a-vis the West
2. The myth of the `golden freedom` of old Poland
3. Economic backwardness and the absence of a liberal tradition 
4. Non-economic reasons for the weakness of liberalism
5. Liberal ideas in interwar Poland
6. Communism versus liberalism 

IV. Protoliberalism: Autonomy of the Individual and Civil Society
1. Liberalism as communism a rebours
2. A question about the `liberalism` of the democratic opposition
3. `Anti-political` politics
4. Autonomy of the individual and liberalism 
5. Collective individualism 
6. The private and the public
7. Towards a civil society 
8. The problem of the theoretical tradition
9. What is civil society?
10. Civil society vis-a-vis the moral unity of citizens
11. A society without an economy 
12. Limitations of the idea of civil society
13. Is this really protoliberalism?
14. The collectivism of Solidarity
15. Conclusion

V. Economic Liberalism: `A Neglected Path of Anti-communism`
1. `Creative` versus `revolutionary` anti-communism
2. Direction of the reorientation
3. Various dimensions of the liberal reorientation
4. Capitalism in a communist state
5. How can communism be liquidated?
6. A different civil society 
7. Liberalism as a whip against the left
8. Liberalism after 1989: the prespective of the big leap
9. Capitalism as an ideological project
10. The sin of constructivism 
11. The allure of authoritarianism 
12. Pragmatism or etatism
13.The legacy of socialist etatism
14. The political crossroads of applied liberalism 
15. Conclusion

VI. Does Political Liberalism Exist in Poland?
1. How far does liberalism reach?
2. Liberalism versus Christian values
3. The situational and doctrinal context 
4. The line of division 
5. Is dialogue possible?
6. The weakness of political liberalism 

VII. Epilogue

Index of Names

"Deserves to be widely read."