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2010 | 9 | 3(28) | 467-485

Article title

ANDRZEJ WALICKI'S CONCEPTION OF SELF-DISINTEGRATING TOTALITARIANISM (Andrzeja Walickiego koncepcja 'samo-dezintegrujacego sie' totalitaryzmu)


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Various research interests of Andrzej Walicki include the problem of the concept and practice of totalitarianism, as well as of the conceptualization of the process of detotalitarianization. The author devoted a lot of space to these problems in his fundamental work 'Marxism and the Leap to the Kingdom of Freedom. The Rise and Fall of the Communist Utopia'. Following the steps of Hannah Arendt, George Orwell, and Czeslaw Milosz, Walicki underlines the force of communist ideology 'from within' as a specific 'secularized, immanentized version of millenarist terror of the collective salvation on Earth'. Totalitarianism, understood as the combination of terror with the ideocratic coercion leading to the internalization of the 'New Faith' culminated in Poland in 1954. The developments caused by 'Polish October 1956' liberalized the system, by constraining the scope of the state's power and increasing the range of negative freedom available for Poles. The subsequent de-ideologization of the system not only did increase the autonomy of Poles in their private life, but also opened new spheres of freedom in intellectual life and culture. In the economic sphere, the detotalitarianisation of the system was supported by pathological phenomena, i.e., corruption, 'clientelism', dirty business 'connections' that effectively disintegrated the mechanisms of state central planning and control


  • Ryszard Sitek, Akademia Pomorska w Slupsku, Katedra Filozofii, ul. Arciszewskiego 22a, 76-200 Slupsk, Poland


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