On Sartre in Poland in 1948 - 1969
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Sartre was an immensely popular intellectual figure in Poland for over two decades. He had shown much interest in social experiments that were conducted in the communist countries at that time but, perhaps wisely, he never made clear what he thought of them. His interest was appreciated and welcome. His seminal pamphlet 'L'existentialism est un humanism' made a great impact on some of the Marxist in Poland who began to suspect that communism may tend to suppress individuality, responsibility and a sense pride in strong individuals. As a champion of personal liberty Sartre was an ally to liberally oriented communists, and a foe to dogmatic party bosses. Sartre approved of social changes and strong party rule in economic and political fields. But he also valued personal independence and freedom. For this reason he was a menace to those Marxists who thought he would demolish the system of strict authoritarian rule. The article presents several opinions on Sartre that exemplify these conflicting attitudes.
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