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2007 | 10 | 37-51

Article title

UNUSUAL TIMELINESS OF EDWARD ABRAMOWSKI'S THOUGHT (Niezwykla aktualnosc mysli Edwarda Abramowskiego)

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Edward Abramowski (1868-1918) was a Polish socialist thinker whose ideas became timely again after the welfare state crisis in the West and the collapse of communism in the East Europe. His political theory was based on strong assumption that socialism is an economic and moral ideal which can be achieved only without the state interference. The latter as territorially organized legal coercion contradicts individual freedom, innovation, solidarity and social development. An expression of that perspective was a strategy of restraining state and bureaucracy by politics and by development of consumer cooperative movement. All spontaneous social activity was admired by Abramowski, but he emphasized economic potential of cooperatives which can lead to all-embracing anticapitalist social organization. He pointed out weaknesses of social democracy and communism especially their excessive faith in state organized economy and society which leads in practice to despotism and not to human emancipation. Abramowski's antistatism, his support for mobilization of civil society in economic activity and emphasis on ethical dimension of social change are responsible for the timeliness of his thought in contemporary discussions about social employment, social economy, social responsibility of business and cooperative movement's perspectives in Poland.


  • Ryszard Szarfenberg, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Instytut Polityki Spolecznej, ul. Nowy Swiat 67, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland


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