2015 | 33 | 51-76
Article title

Norwid jako strateg w kontekście rozważań o walce i wojnie

Title variants
Norwid as a strategist in the context of deliberations about struggle and war
Languages of publication
Norwid’s deliberations about strategy were not a very well known but important and inventive current in his thought and literary work. In his concise essay La philosophie de la guerre, in the rhapsody Fulminant and in numerous poems, poetical digressions, remarks, notes and memorials the writer defined strategy as a domain of knowledge, a kind of art and a practical skill, necessary to reach long-range historical aims, and especially – in the particular situation of the partitions of Poland and in the face of the lost uprisings – to conduct an efficient struggle for independence, ending in a success. Opposing the long-term planning and strategic actions to a war, a battle, a skirmish and short-term plots – or in one word: to “bloody episodes, “convulsive straining”, futile martyrdom and fatalities, Norwid advocated a peaceful struggle carried on incessantly and consistently, a struggle that aimed at realizing positive human values, and not selfish goals. He thought that this kind of “struggle is a normal task of Humanity” and a universal law of history; whereas bloody war – is a license and an exception, acceptable only in the situation of a “just war”, in defense of universal values that were vio¬lated. According to this conception the writer contrasted the “soldier’s” attitude capable of he-roism first of all in everyday life and everyday work, with the “marauding soldier’s” one, taking one’s anger out on other people in aggression, violence; one greedy for blood and revenge. Hence in Norwid’s understanding it was the ability to predict and forestall events and to take precautionary measures in time that was the essence of strategy. He also connected successful strategy with working out and keeping to “a perfectly well conceived plan” that, owing to earlier preparations, concentrating the means in the right place and time, as well as to well thought out maneuvers, eliminated or reduced to a necessary minimum the use of physical force and violence towards the opponent. The basis of strategy was then formed by a long-range intellectual conception, and also by the ability to carry on struggle with various means, including also struggle “on the field of the idea” and “on the field of the word”.
Physical description
  • Uniwersytet Warszawski, profesor emerytowany
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Document Type
Publication order reference
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