Ideowe zmagania Stefana Kisielewskiego z polskim komunizmem


  • Miłowit Kuniński



communism (socialism), totalitarianism, liberalism, capitalism, Catholic Church, Vaticanum II


Stefan Kisielewski’s intellectual struggle with Polish communism: Stefan Kisielewski (1911-1991) a Polish novelist, composer, music critic, essayist, feature writer and a politician, was an exceptional personage in post-World War II Poland. In his features, published in Tygodnik Powszechny since 1945, in a light, ironic and allusive way to prevent censorship, he described the Polish reality that his readers were acquainted with, in a way that revealed the real causes of the phenomena he observed. The truth was simple: the communist reality was the result of politico-economic system that was imposed based on a Marxist theory of economy. Kisielewski’s criticism of communism was not just a matter of a keen observation and sensible conclusions; it was based on his studies of Marxism that he began before World War II. In turn, in Wilhelm Röpke’s Die Gesellschaftskrisis der Gegenwart (1942), he found an accurate characterisation of the socialist economy and an explanation for its non-functioning. The second important reason for his criticism of communism was Kisielewski’s Catholicism, which operated as a counter-balance to Marxism, combined with the idea of a liberal-democratic regime. In his later years, Kisielewski criticised the social teachings of the Catholic Church, and suggested a new idea that they were based on “the theology of profit” (a prefiguration of the encyclical Centesimus Annus) as an ideological justification of the attitudes necessary for the functioning of the market economy in Poland. He even suggested the implementation of a dictatorship to avoid long parliamentary democratic procedures, and in this way to establish a quick and effective market economy on the ruins of socialism.