On variations of soviet-type modernity: Why poland did not have its own ITR progressives

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Mark Lipovetsky's article confirms Jan Kubik's long-held assumption that we still do not think enough about the many differences between various types of state socialism. Each country had differently arranged social fields (products of their separate histories), in which various "classes" vied for power and influence in quite country-specific ways. Kubik suggests that the ITRs as a group should acquire a more distinct sociological "face," and proceeds with a comparison of the roles of intellectuals in Polish and Soviet socialist modernities. To the question: Were the technical intelligentsia - the key challenger to the communist power in Lipovetsky's story - as important in Poland as in the Soviet Union? - he responds with an unconditional "no." Although Kubik identifies individual phenomena similar to what Lipovetsky's describes as elements of the ITR culture, in the Polish context they did not produce a specific discursive community and a special brand of progressive ideology. The enormous unifying power of a common cultural resource of the nation (Catholicism in a country that is almost religiously homogeneous), the unexpected burst of charisma (John Paul II), the reluctance of the Polish state to use technical intelligentsia as a major carrier of its national or imperial project, and the preservation of some freedom of creativity prevented this development. Kubik concludes his essay with a defense of the Enlightenment paradigm, criticism of which, in his view, should be carefully calibrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalAb Imperio
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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