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Political journalist, engineer, political writer, Catholic historiographer, regular contributor to the Jesuit Przegl¹d Powszechny, author of Œredniowiecze a teraŸniejszoœæ. Charakterystyka dwóch œwiatopogl¹dów ("Middle Ages and the Present. An Outline of Two Worldviews", 1927), Prze³om wspó³czesny jako prze³om œwiatopogl¹du ("Contemporary Tranformation as a Transformation of Outlook", 1934), and Ku czemu zmierza dzisiejszy œwiat? ("Where Is the Present World Headed?", 1935), published by the Jesuit presses. On the basis of the correspondence between Kliszewicz and the editors of Przegl¹d Powszechny it is impossible to establish the dates of his birth and death, we only know that in 1926 he lived in Sosnowiec, and between 1927 and 1932 in Tarnowskie Góry, where he taught at a mining school, closed down in 1933.

The selected fragments are from Wspó³czesny kryzys pañstwowoœci ("Contemporary Crisis of Statehood"), originally published by Przegl¹d Powszechny: Cracow 1929, pp. 117-135 and 149-153.


Socialism, starting from the premise that individual rights violated by the present world-wide economic system must be defended, consistently arrives at the negation of all rights of the individual - both reasonable and unreasonable - and at the idea of a universalism resting on the dictatorship of the international proletariat. In the ideas of the eighteenth century and of the French Revolution we find the abstract rights of man and abstract universalism taking the form of a vague brotherhood of the peoples, not based on any rational foundations. In socialism, however, we see individual rights specified - that every individual has the right to partake equally of earthly goods - and a new universalism taking a definite shape - humanity unified by force and governed by a despotic group emerging from the proletariat. The abstract unity of autonomous individuals, who in reality are connected only by economic bonds, is inexorably transformed into a forced, external unity. Humanity, as a numerical aggregate of such individuals guided only by their egoism, becomes a collectivity, swallowing the individual in the name of his purported rights, i.e. of his material interests.

Consistent socialism, that is bolshevism, pursues this goal quite openly, but initially the authors of socialism offered to the individual a phantom of a brave new life within a socialist-democratic system, founded and raised on the principles of reason alone. In its cult of reason, in its blind faith that the rational element in man is able to generate of itself new, ever more splendid forms of life, in all of this socialism is a faithful advocate and imitator of ideas from the eighteenth century. It is therefore characterized above all by a boundless and naive faith in the power of science, which eventually will allow the broad masses to take advantage of the luxuries now available only to very few. Then, also in the name of reason, the socialist doctrine liberates the human individual from all ancient constraints, supposedly forced by the old social arrangement: the bonds of religion, nationality, marriage, and family. Socialism regards emancipation from all these natural allegiances as a basic right of the individual in the socialist system.

The individual is not to be bound by anything, since reason has freed humanity from every dependence on the requirements of an illusory extrasensory world; homeland and nationality may have value and meaning only for the bourgeoisie, which owes them its comfortable life. Marriage, finally, is to serve only the satisfaction of sexual desire; so conceived, it becomes a contract with a time clause between a man and a woman, modeled on commercial contracts. All these allegiances are necessary attributes of the capitalist system, but in the collectivist system these bonds will loosen and then spontaneously vanish, and their disappearance will mean emancipation and happiness for the individual. [...]

Thus we can see that the socialist doctrine, which since the mid-nineteenth century gradually pervades the minds of so-called enlightened workers and a part of the intelligentsia. We can see that this doctrine, intent on bringing happiness to all, is gradually stripping man of all natural feelings and aims at transforming him into a creature whose life will be reduced to economic and sexual interests. Therefore, the socialist doctrine constitutes another stage of the theoretical and practical process, initiated very distinctly by the eighteenth century, of dissolving all spiritual and moral values; it constitutes a further step towards worldwide spiritual homogenization, which had already assumed a definite shape in the liberal doctrine. [...]

As we know, socialism not only waged a deadly war against the bourgeoisie, but it also adopted the theoretical position that the battle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie will continue to constitute the driving force of history, the axis around which events in the international domain will turn. Therefore, all other antagonisms, especially nationalistic ones, will have to give precedence to class antagonisms. The socialist ideology claims that the battle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat must have a revolutionary character and must result in the victory and triumph of the proletariat.

Socialism conceives individual rights in a purely materialist way, principally as the right to an equal share of the use of earthly goods, and then as the right to the unrestricted satisfaction of natural appetites. However, there remains the sphere of those individual rights that were proposed by the democratic doctrine independently of the idea of class struggle. They are political rights, meant to eliminate in principle the element of oppression and coercion from the life of the state. At the moment socialism regards these rights as compatible with its program, but it adapts them to the idea of class struggle along the lines of the following ideology: the bourgeois state is based on coercion, it is essentially identical with the apparatus of coercion, placed in the hands of the bourgeoisie and the royal power allied with it. Therefore, all possible means must be used to wrest power from these hands. Given the imbalance of power, for the time being the way forward towards this goal must be through democratic parliamentarism, and therefore socialism writes on its banners the cause of parliamentary government based on the principle of equal and universal franchise. This is how socialism usually conceives individual rights. As for the idea of socialist universalism, it rests on the conception of a worldwide solidarity of the proletariat, as a class, which is everywhere struggling for its own emancipation. As we can therefore see and as we have already noted, socialist universalism does not have any positive and constructive features, only negative and destructive ones. While bourgeois universalism is founded mostly on the common economic interests of humankind as a whole, socialist universalism invokes only the interests of the lowest, most disadvantaged social class, whose victory is purported to bring about a triumph of universalism, general happiness, paradise on earth.

But this lowest social class, i.e. the proletariat, which is incidentally no different in this respect from any other class, does not represent a social group endowed with any distinct, well-defined spiritual characteristics, with any distinct values, but is a random grouping of people held together by common material interests. Particular subsections of this group are bound together by such things as ethnicity, religion, language, and tradition, as was recently shown during the world war. Therefore if the leaders of the proletariat create a universalistic ideology based on class, one should perceive this ideology as a conscious or subconscious attempt at loosening and undoing all social bonds by means of a delusory universalism. For the idea of the emancipation of the proletariat, as a volatile, nondescript entity, cannot be the principal goal for socialist leaders. It cannot constitute the foundation for a real universalism, such as was once offered by the idea of the Roman State; this idea can only become a perfect weapon for destroying the present forms of society and state. [...]

Abstract individual rights, championed by the eighteenth century and the French Revolution, which later became the foundation of modern democracies, but ultimately led only to plutocracy, these rights no longer exist for bolshevism. This is due above all to bolshevism's struggle against capitalism, now based on the democratic system, and secondly to the fact that bolshevism is now unambiguously and forcefully asserting an evolutionary-materialist outlook. This outlook argues that the human individual does not in fact possess any independent and separate being, that it is only a short-lived wave on the ocean of the universe, destined to fade without a trace. It logically follows that such an ephemeral creature cannot possess any authentic rights, and it must become a slave of humankind, which, as a collective entity, does seem to be endowed with immortal being, at least until the ultimate destruction of the globe. [...]

If bolshevism puts the cause of individual rights on its banners, it is only to lure supporters to its fold; but once the existing social system is brought down, bolshevism rejects all individual rights as cumbersome rubbish, and the individual is placed in the chains of total bondage. This is what happened in Russia, and this is what must come about wherever bolshevism prevails. For this system puts a definite end to the fiction of individual rights which are not founded upon the Christian vision of the world and are therefore not conditioned by the presence of a corresponding ethics and of obligations tied to rights. Instead, bolshevism aims at transforming the loose heap of sand formed by contemporary societies - based neither on God's law, nor on established coercion and constraint - into a heap firmly kept under the heel of the new rulers, emerging from the communist party. Bolshevism makes an ultimate break with all the eighteenth century abstractions. In contrast to them, aims at basing life on practical foundations, on the general leveling of individuals and on unsanctioned coercion; it aims at arranging social life on foundations corresponding to the dissolution of spiritual and moral values in the contemporary world.

Although bolshevism, following eighteenth-century precepts, does hold up universalist causes, and although it is an international movement par excellence, these causes have nothing to do with the abstract cause of the brotherhood of nations preached by the eighteenth century. Bolshevism usually champions the struggle of the oppressed Eastern peoples against Western oppressors, allegedly in the name of the right of self-determination of the Asian nations. Yet these causes are as false as the cause of individual rights, and serve only to unleash racial strife, meant to precipitate the process of decomposition of the degenerate contemporary European societies. This process is to be followed by the triumph of a universalism based on a mechanical unification of humanity under the rule of the tyrannical power that emerged from the Comintern.

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