Church and State in Poland

Poland has one of the stricter laws on abortion in Europe. Abortion is illegal except if the life of the mother is at risk, the fetus has a major defect, or the pregnancy is the result of a confirmed rape. Poland, Ireland, and Malta are the only countries in Europe that do not allow abortion on request. All three countries are also predominantly Catholic (95 percent for Malta, 91 percent for Poland, 84 percent for Ireland).

The Catholic Church is an important and powerful institution in Poland, and the abortion law is just one of the areas of social policy where it exerts influence. As a Catholic intellectual, Michal Luczewski is happy that the Church has this influence. “Poland is the only case where we overturned a very liberal abortion law that made abortion legal for everyone who used it,” he told me in an interview in Warsaw in August 2013. “We were able to overturn it and now it really works. We did research last year. More young people favor the ‘restrictive’ law — for me it’s not restrictive — than oppose it. The Church worked top down in passing the law, but in the long run it worked well with the masses.”

Luczewski is a sociologist who teaches at the University of Warsaw and also serves as the deputy director of a think tank near the university called the Center for the Thought of John Paul II. He has thought a great deal about the relationship of the Church and Polish society. He points out that in some cases the Church is quite conservative, for instance on social issues like abortion or homosexuality, but in other situations it has been quite radical.

“To my mind, Christianity – Catholicism — is very closely linked to socialism,” Luczewski said. “This is a more British view. We had neo-conservativism here in Poland. I also participated in the Third Millennium summer schools with Michael Nowak, John Richard Neuhaus, George Weigel. They tried to combine religion with modernity, with capitalism even. They read John Paul II this way. This is something that I acknowledge, and I owe some debt to that kind of thinking. But I see Catholicism and religion linked not to capitalism but to solidarity, especially to the Solidarity movement in Poland. Seen from outside, it was clear that Solidarity was a leftist, socialist movement.”

The Church, Luczewski continued, also thrived in opposition. “If you take what happened here in the 1970s and 1980s, the Polish Church was persecuted all the time. But the Church was very innovative in terms of social mobilization. It really mobilized the masses against the Communist regime. There was even one case in which they built a church in one day. There was extreme innovation and vibrancy. The Catholic Church became a point of focus and reference for everyone. It was also very important for the Left, for Adam Michnik and Jacek Kuroń who worked closer and closer with the Catholic Church. They became more Christian at the same time, Christian without God. That’s why I’m saying Christianity is very close to socialism in Poland, much closer to socialism than conservatism.”

Today, the Church is in the ascendant, closely linked to the state, which enables it to have greater impact on public policy. But that influence comes at a price. “I see a lack of activity and innovation in the institutional Church in Poland,” Luczewski argued. “It’s not that the Church is closely linked to the rightist party, Law and Justice. It’s that the Church is close to the state, linked to the state, dependent on state money. It can’t be as courageous or as radical as before. Instead of relying on the masses — in the sociological meaning of the word – the Church relies on institutions.”

Still, Luczewski is delighted by the vibrancy of intellectual debate in Poland today. “I studied in New York at Columbia University,” he recalled. “What struck me was the political correctness at that university. I knew all the Catholics there. It was as if they were hidden. In Poland, when I came back here, I thought, ‘This is finally a free country. I can speak my mind freely. I am against abortion, against gay rights, and I can say these things to my friends on the Left.’ This was a very freeing experience. We invite people from Kultura Liberalna, from all those milieus you mentioned, to our center, and we have conversations with them. It’s really great when you can quarrel in a decent way. That’s what I miss in the United States, where the liberal, politically correct way of thinking dominated. There was no place for debate. In Poland there’s a place for debate with everybody, still.”

We talked about his initial anti-clericalism, the diversity of conservative thought in Poland today, and why he appreciates the freedom to travel around Europe but doesn’t appreciate how the European Union has deprived Poland of its agency.

 

The Interview

 

Can you describe the work you do?

 

First, I’m a lecturer in sociology at the University of Warsaw. The department is the best one in Poland — Zygmunt Bauman, for instance, was a member of our department. I lecture there on methodology — interviews, focus groups — and also on the relationship between social sciences and theology, as well as the politics of history in Poland, Germany, and Russia. This is my big project with partners from Germany and Russia. I do many more things in this capacity, but this is one profile, being a sociologist.

Here, I will take over responsibilities as deputy director for the Center for the Thought of John Paul II. We work here with the thought of John Paul II, but we take it more broadly. We try to work in the field of faith and reason.

The third, and not as important as the other two, is the journal 40 and 4. This is a Christian, apocalyptic, messianic journal, an offshoot of Fronda. We have many Christian journals here in Poland. I’m on the board of three. And we fight with each other. But this is a very vibrant intellectual community. It’s hard to compare it with anywhere else in the world where you have intellectuals fighting for the true understanding of messianism. 40 and 4 had its roots in Fronda, which in the beginning of the 1990s was a very important Catholic journal that tried to infiltrate Polish pop culture and use pop culture as a tool for evangelization. It was a very successful journal. But as always we had to quarrel, and we decided to divide into two journals. The name 40 and 4 is important, as it refers to Polish Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz, who in one of his poems wrote about a man called 40 and 4 who would be the Polish Messiah. This is one possible understanding. The other: 40 and 4 is the year of the Warsaw Uprising (1944), when the city was destroyed. This is also an important political context for us. And there’s also Magnum 40 and 4, all that Dirty Harry stuff, so we also play with that kind of pop culture association.

 

How did you become involved in this kind of work — the pop culture side, the sociology, the religious side? Where did this all start for you?

 

My family is quite unusual, given Polish conditions. I come from a more-or-less atheistic family. Under Communism, everyone was baptized, even Communists. They wanted to play it safe, in case God exists, so they had their kids baptized. My father, however, was not baptized because my grandmother had a high-flying career with the Communist authorities, as did my grandfather. So I was brought up in a more-or-less neutral environment. I was reading anti-clerical stuff when I was a kid, like The Black History of the Church, including the sex scandals of the old Popes. The Popes are Borgias: that kind of message. I was keen on reading that. In religion class I scandalized my nun by saying that John Paul II was conservative. This was in 1993. John Paul II is a saint for all of us, and when I said that he was a conservative in primary school, it was unheard of. I was in the avant-garde of anti-clericalism in Poland.

But I was still interested in religion. I was attracted to attacking it. It was a love-hate relationship. It changed over time. I became interested in philosophy in high school. I took part in the philosophy Olympiad, in Poland and also internationally where people from all over the world compete to be the best high school philosopher in the world. I was very much interested in the philosophy of religion. But I was a nonbeliever and also anti-clerical.

In Poland, we have good wives. They turn us into good men as well. After we married, my wife and I merged our libraries. She had a lot of theology, and I had a lot of sociology. I cast scorn on her collection — how much money she had spent on something that probably didn’t exist! But then I started reading it. We exchanged books. I became more and more interested in theology, and she became more and more interested in sociology. It was a marital merger of interests.

I could read these books with a fresh eye. My friend told me that when John Paul II came to Poland for the first time in 1979, he said, “Let your spirit descend and renew the face of the earth. This earth.” Every Pole brought up in a normal context knew this. But I was like, “What the heck, this is brilliant!” It was a kind of revelation for me to read what everybody had already read. We know religion by heart. We have an intuitive knowledge of Catholicism and John Paul II, but actually we don’t know what it’s all about. So I could discover religion and theology with a fresh eye. And without the false modesty of Catholicism. They don’t want to go too much into religion and theology for fear of showing off their religion. But I could be a sociologist, a leftist one and anti-clerical, so I could treat theology seriously and without worrying about being judged as rightist, backward, or close-minded.

So, I was interested in sociology. That was my real vocation. I spent many years on my book on the sociology of nation, which was published last year and received prizes in the humanities and sociology. It’s the history of Poland seen from one village: how Polish-speaking peasants became Catholics.

 

Like Eugen Weber’s book Peasants into Frenchmen.

 

Exactly. But without Weber’s modernist glasses. I show that the world is very dynamic, that you cannot put reality into only one theological or sociological framework. There’s chaos, and you have to come to terms with that chaos. I try to show that we are Polish Catholics by accident. I try to give justice to accident not to general laws of history. I see sociology as a science that explains and describes reality in full. Having this background as an empirical sociologist, I also discovered theology as a very important part of reality that is sometimes neglected by sociologists. Philosophy too is neglected, especially by American sociologists. I like to ask big questions: what is modernity? And I try to combine it with a religious background.

 

This is an interesting part of town, intellectually speaking. Res Publica Nowa is nearby representing liberals, and Krytyka Polityczna is across the street representing the Left. But what does it mean to be a conservative intellectual in Poland today? Many of the intellectuals that I meet are very clear that they are liberal and secular.

 

I don’t feel really conservative. I feel Catholic. And to my mind, Christianity – Catholicism — is very closely linked to socialism. This is a more British view. We had neo-conservativism here in Poland. I also participated in the Third Millennium summer schools with Michael Nowak, John Richard Neuhaus, George Weigel. They tried to combine religion with modernity, with capitalism even. They read John Paul II this way. This is something that I acknowledge, and I owe some debt to that kind of thinking. But I see Catholicism and religion linked not to capitalism but to solidarity, especially to the Solidarity movement in Poland. Seen from outside, it was clear that Solidarity was a leftist, socialist movement.

For me, socialism is the movement that tries to move individual conversion onto the plane of society. Socialism is a religion that goes to the masses and tries to mobilize them in a moral way. It’s a moral revolution. I’m close to this. I’m not conservative in the American meaning. And I’m not conservative in the sense that I want to conserve reality. I would say, in contrast, that my liberal friends here are actually conservative. Gazeta Wyborcza, for example, is the most conservative journal in Poland because they try to conserve what happened in Poland 23 years ago. They say: we brought you through the democratic breakthrough, and you now have the free market and democracy, so just shut up and listen to us. This is a conservative type of thinking. They are trying to pacify the masses. They are afraid of any kind of populism. I imagine myself more of a leftist of an old type. In terms of the intellectual history of Poland, we actually changed our places, with leftists imagining that they are leftists but really being conservatives.

The people who say they are secularists and against religion do not belong to a Polish-type of socialism. This is a kind of import from Berkeley or Paris 1968. That type of sexual revolution was not important for Polish socialists. Quite the contrary: they would be horrified by claims that abortion is a woman’s right. That was something abhorrent for Polish socialist intellectuals. They would say that abortion is middle-class stuff. A working class mother would never kill her baby. I’m much closer to that kind of thinking.

Also the sexual revolution — it isn’t anything new here. The sexual revolution is as old as the human species. I did my research on that Polish village: the number of children born out of extramarital relationships was huge, particularly when the tavern was open and everyone was drinking alcohol. Polish decadents 100 years ago hailed the sexual revolution. When people today preach sexual revolution and write about abortion but also homosexual rights and euthanasia — I don’t know what generation of rights it is, perhaps the fourth or fifth generation — they come back to decadent ideas. But the decadents just did it. They didn’t see what they did as a political right. Now decadence has become political. I’m against that type of politicized decadence.

You ask me how does it feel to be a conservative intellectual? It’s fun! It’s an adventure to have so many Catholic journals — and as I said, I’m on the board of three of them. It’s great to be a part of the 2,000-year adventure of Christianity and the 1,000-year adventure of Christianity in Poland. It’s still an adventure. We care a lot about Messianism, about the kingdom of God on earth.

I studied in New York at Columbia University. What struck me was the political correctness at that university. I knew all the Catholics there. It was as if they were hidden. In Poland, when I came back here, I thought, “This is finally a free country. I can speak my mind freely. I am against abortion, against gay rights, and I can say these things to my friends on the Left.” This was a very freeing experience. We invite people from Kultura Liberalna, from all those milieus you mentioned, to our center, and we have conversations with them. It’s really great when you can quarrel in a decent way. That’s what I miss in the United States, where the liberal, politically correct way of thinking dominated. There was no place for debate. In Poland there’s a place for debate with everybody, still. We are also invited to contribute to journals that are not necessarily conservative. There’s a free market of ideas. The competition of ideas is what I like very much about Poland.

 

What about Church and state relations? Are you happy about the current relationship between church and state? If not, how would you change it?

 

This is a very hard question. The best for Church is persecution. If you take what happened here in the 1970s and 1980s, the Polish Church was persecuted all the time. But the Church was very innovative in terms of social mobilization. It really mobilized the masses against the Communist regime. There was even one case in which they built a church in one day. There was extreme innovation and vibrancy. The Catholic Church became a point of focus and reference for everyone. It was also very important for the Left, for Adam Michnik and Jacek Kuroń who worked closer and closer with the Catholic Church. They became more Christian at the same time, Christian without God. That’s why I’m saying Christianity is very close to socialism in Poland, much closer to socialism than conservatism.

After 1989, in general, I agree the relationship between Church and state is closer, but there has been a cost: less vibrancy. The Church is now cooperating more with the state and not with society. Therefore the Church is not as innovative as it was before. I do, however, agree with some of the cooperation, for instance on abortion law. Poland is the only case where we overturned a very liberal abortion law that made abortion legal for everyone who used it. We were able to overturn it and now it really works. We did research last year. More young people favor the “restrictive” law — for me it’s not restrictive — than oppose it. The Church worked top down in passing the law, but in the long run it worked well with the masses.

Perhaps a harder case is religion classes in school. I remember my classes in church. Under Communism, we couldn’t go to school for religious class. When I was a really young kid, I would go several kilometers to go to church for this class. There was a beautiful nun. And it was like a mystical experience. I wasn’t anti-clerical at that time. I wouldn’t let my kids go to church as far as I had to go. Then the religious classes were transferred to schools. So, there are some pros and cons with that move. Religion becomes part of something normal, and it’s not unusual any more. The priest was just a normal guy that we tried to scandalize, and he had a really hard time with us. We really harassed him. We didn’t go to prison. But it was really harassment. After many years, he said that he was thankful for that: to meet 28 wild guys, smartasses, who were also violent in many respects, was a lesson for him. And to meet him also – from the same perspective — was a lesson for us.

To make a long story short, I don’t have a good answer. It’s more paradoxical. I see pros and cons with the relationship between Church and state. My kingdom of God on earth is not now but rather during the Solidarity movement when the Church was persecuted. You could feel the real power of the Church then. Of course I don’t want to say that the Church now should be persecuted!

 

It’s an interesting paradox. As the Church becomes institutionalizes, it loses some of its fire.

 

Exactly.

 

And when we look at John Paul II, he was in many ways very radical.

 

Oh, yes.

 

Someone told me in an interview 23 years ago that if you want to find the most vibrant socialist message at that time, just look at John Paul II’s speeches. And the present Pope is also shaking things up on many issues.

 

Absolutely.

 

The Church in Poland is a dominant institution — it’s not the Church in Syria, for example. How do you preserve that kind of radicalism in a dominant institution?

 

This is the crucial paradox. I see a lack of activity and innovation in the institutional Church in Poland. It’s not that the Church is closely linked to the rightist party, Law and Justice. It’s that the Church is close to the state, linked to the state, dependent on state money. It can’t be as courageous or as radical as before. Instead of relying on the masses — in the sociological meaning of the word – the Church relies on institutions. It’s the same with Catholic universities. We don’t need Catholic universities. They are not Catholic any more. They got state money, opened themselves up, and took everyone in. But they don’t produce a John Paul II generation any more.

What we need to do is start with smaller circles. Our education here at our center starts with small circles, very targeted and intensive. And then we will have a vibrant, radical Catholic message, like the socialist message – but not in a stupid way that says “down with capitalism” but that sees the costs of capitalism. Money has actually become our God. What is sacred, according to Durkheim, is what unites society, and this isn’t God any more but money. You have money in your pocket, I have money in my pocket — that’s what unites our society into a single whole. Also sex. All those media, like sex, power, and money, build up our societies. But those societies are at the same time destroyed by the media that are building them. We have to be critical of the reality we see around us. We have to go beyond institutions only. We have to put fire into the institutions.

That’s what I want to do here at the Center. This is an institution too with almost 40 people working for us. But if you have an institution, then people become clerks. We must have institutions, but we also must acknowledge the costs of institutions and put fire into the institutions — just like with the Church. Instead of relying on the state, we lay Catholics have to work at a grassroots level. This is the only way to go on.

 

If people in Poland challenge this notion that money is the new God, what would that look like in terms of a new economy? How would that change the economy that Poland currently has?

 

There is a notion of John Paul II called “structures of evil.” With good intentions you can enter that structure: you can be a good man, but still you have to play the game, and the outcomes of your actions are perverted ones. The economy is something like that. The media also. You can be a good man, but once you enter the media, you have to play the game — like the TV show Newsroom. The news becomes money; everything becomes money. It’s extremely hard to imagine changing the structures of evil. You have to change the whole vision of reality. In that sense, I am very realistic. Because contemporary societies are so diversified and advanced, you can’t change the rules of the economy. I have friends who try to imagine a new economy, a Trinitarian economy, but this is a kind of utopia. It’s not to be achieved in this world. What we can do is first see this and then try to amend it. Or we can wait until it collapses. That’s why we have our apocalyptic journal. Everything collapses and we hope that God will come again.

There’s a thinker I like very much, Rene Girard, who says that now with violence everywhere, with the rule of money, we are heading toward destruction. So maybe we should just watch it, as a spectacle. But waiting until the end is not a practical resolution. In a practical way, we should practice mercy. We should help one another. This is the only way I can think of, just to help our Church, our priests, but also to help people who are in need with money that we earn in the economy by sometimes playing the game. Here’s a short definition: try not to be a bastard. When you manage your firm or your institution, or when you are in business, like my parents who are in business, it is possible not to be a bastard. But with the banking system, I don’t know if it’s still possible. Maybe it is. But we have to be realistic, see structures of evil, and try to amend them little.

There is a Jewish parable that says that the next world, the future world, the world of God won’t be much different from this world. Your camera will be a few centimeters to the right. Everything will be more or less the same. But to move everything a few inches one way or another, we need the Messiah. Everything will be more or less the same, a little bit better, but we can’t do it with our own powers. We need the Messiah. To secularize it, we need religion to make the world a little more humane.

 

You raise the question of agency. In some sense under liberalism, individuals are not true agents: they may buy things or they can vote, but they are not the real agents of change. Often in conservative ideology, people are much stronger agents. Certainly in the Church, people are often portrayed as having more agency. You also raise another paradox, which used to distinguish liberals and Marxists. Liberals say that we need to reform the system to create incremental improvement, and Marxists argue for accentuating the contradictions to bring the system closer to collapse. If you take that debate into the apocalyptic realm, we need to make things a little better, show mercy, but on the other hand some like Girard might want to see the kingdom of God sooner rather than later. So you have a tension between reform and transformation and then a question of who is the agent of that change.

 

Speaking of Marxism, liberation theology was much criticized by John Paul II. I’m not fond of that theology either because sooner or later they would hail revolution as a tool of installing the kingdom of God on earth. But if you look at the Solidarity movement, which for me was the closest we’ve gotten to the kingdom of God on earth, that was a kind of liberation theology, though an orthodox one perhaps. Solidarity wanted to change the social world, transform it without violence. That’s the crucial difference.

You brought up the question of agency. It’s one of the most important notions not only in sociology but also in the thought of John Paul II. You have the notion of subjectivity. Society should be subjective. Our friends on the Left have the concept of participation. In my terms it’s subjectivity: we should participate in the operation of our country, our communities, our churches, from the very lowest level. But it’s very hard to imagine how to have really participatory politics. You have participation during the elections, but this is also a structure of evil because media and marketing is more and more important in contemporary politics. Like with Obama, political parties manufacture participation. What we need is participating in the here and now in the local community, at higher and higher levels. I have friends who try to do it, and they borrow a lot from the Left, like participatory budgets. We have participatory budgets in Warsaw, but this is marketing hype. We don’t really participate, don’t really have any say in what’s going on. We can impact Poland by voting but not at the level of the district. The closer we are to the local level, the less attention we pay to it. We have to change this altogether, so that people can become agents at many levels.

 

That brings up the question of the European Union. Is this just another structure of evil?

 

The EU is just a field where structures of evil spread and collide! Starting with agriculture, peasants have profited from the EU, especially Polish peasants. They get a lot of funding. But on the other hand, they say, “We don’t need the funding. Let’s have a common market and let’s see who has the better food.” We have this expression in Polish: to take the money but not sign for it. The peasants are not very thankful. They take the money. But they’d rather that nobody got funding. And then we would probably be better off. They wouldn’t earn as much as the West, but it would be a free market.

Why do I start with agriculture? With the EU budget, a treaty makes a difference from a plainly economic point of view. Polish peasants have better tractors, they can develop their own firms. So, from my own point of view, EU membership is better for the Polish village. In America, you have that script: how are you? I am fine. In Poland, it’s: how are you? I’m bad. Actually I’m even worse. Polish peasants would probably underscore the negative influence of the EU, meaning that they don’t get as much money as their friends from elsewhere.

From the judicial point of view, Poland has lost it own agency and independence because of laws we can’t even control. It’s bad for society that we don’t even know what kind of laws are passed and how much agency we still have. Our constitution is not actually a constitution any more. Our constitutions are written in Brussels. This type of bureaucracy is really killing the agency of Europe. Poland’s level of voting in the EU elections is one of the lowest in Europe. It’s low all over Europe, but it’s really low in Poland, like 24 percent. The EU is doing things without any real oversight.

On issues like sexual rights and abortion, I don’t like EU interference. These are rights within the realm of nation-states, but the EU tries to influence them. So, there is a steady pressure on Poland. Also there are lobby groups with their own agenda. Without real participation or democracy, you have laws and lobbies. The EU becomes not maybe authoritarian or totalitarian but Tocqueville’s mild type of totalitarian rule. The EU is not controlled. But it’s not controlled because of us. We are individualized and cannot build communities any more.

We have returned to pagan times where, unlike in Christianity, you can kill the weak, the innocent victims. Abortion is the clearest example of that. The only difference with regard to the primeval cultures is that they killed and understood that they were killing. But we don’t know what we are doing. We are modern killers. When the EU tries to remove our “restrictive” — it’s not, as I said, restrictive enough for me, since there are three conditions under which you can still kill kids — when the EU tried to push Poland in that direction, it wanted us to return to pagan times when the strong ruled over the weak. This is something abhorrent. This is what I most dislike about the EU. There is no paradox here. Here I am very clear.

But I wouldn’t see EU membership as a negative now. What I like is that the EU is a free space, and I would like it to remain so. We are organizing a summer school in Granada in Spain, one of the most beautiful places on earth, and we can just go there. Unfortunately, we can’t collect stamps in our passports any more. I traveled a lot when I was younger and I was so proud to have so many stamps.

I voted for the accession to the EU, and I would vote for it again. I would take everything they give us, but without signing!

 

During that transition period, 1989-91, was there anything feasible that could have been done to make the transition a better transition?

 

This is the question again of agency. The conservatives would say that it was the only way that it was possible. But we have freedom. We have to be clear about what’s going on. If we’re going to be bastards, we have to know that we are bastards. We should not rationalize it. We don’t have to say: we have to be bastards. Because we don’t have to be bastards.

There are at least two dimensions here, political and economic. With regard to politics, it’s crazy that you have people who were killing others in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s — even in 1989 three priests were killed by the secret service — and those people are just hanging around. I was analyzing that village in the Polish countryside. They were fighting against Communists until 1956. The last partisan was killed in 1953 by the Communists. And still those killers are hanging around. They got medals. They got high pensions. A huge injustice was done in Poland. People on the good side were not given any justice. Quite to the contrary: those people who were bastards fared much better after 1989. Communists actually exchanged political power for economic power. I don’t say, “Kill those people.” But the mainstream should say that there was injustice here in Poland and it should be repaired. They should sentence people – Jaruzelski, Kiszczak — but they don’t have to go to jail.

I did many interviews with people in the Solidarity movement who were just lost after 1989. It’s a lost generation. Even my teachers who were in the Solidarity movement couldn’t go anything else, couldn’t go abroad, were jailed. One of my teachers with whom I was cooperating, she was in jail while pregnant. They couldn’t develop their careers. The Communists, on the other hand, were opportunists. That was really an injustice in Poland. It should be named and repaired in some way.

The same applies to the economy. It was a stupid path, even from a liberal point of view. Leszek Balcerowicz’s very liberal reform hit especially Polish agriculture. But you had to do something with those people who were made redundant. Somebody should have seen that you can’t just disappear 40 percent of Polish peasants. You have to do something with them. You have to support them somehow. We had liberal reforms with a bureaucratic socialist state that makes people dependent on state money. The villages that were kolkhoz before are a social desert. It should not have happened that way. There’s no necessity in history. We are free agents, and we can choose our own way.

 

The last questions are quantitative. When you look back to 1989 and everything that has changed or not changed in Poland from then until now, how would you evaluate that on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 most dissatisfied and 10 most satisfied?

 

The thing about injustice was terrible. But we stopped killing babies. So, if pressed, I’ll say 6. It’s definitely a better country to live in, more colorful.

 

Same scale, same period of time: your own personal life?

 

10.

 

Looking into the near future, the next two or three years, how would you evaluate the prospects for Poland on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 most pessimistic and 10 most optimistic?

 

I will turn out not as apocalyptic as I should be. I would give 6. I think we will go on.

 

Warsaw, August 19, 2013

 


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