AdamKadmon 2 | 508 11 Mar 2011 #31Almost twenty years ago in the BBC there was a Poland radio programme entitled: What legacy has communism left?When I was a small boy in the primary school, there was in circulation a trick question: Which weighs more a pound of gold or a pound of feathers? I think this the question has something to do with the views exchanged in the last 20 years in countless TV and radio stations: these views and thoughts are so light that they are like the feathers, but unlike the feathers in the trick question, they will vanish into thin air and nothing will remain, nothing will come of them. On the contrary, each and every sentence of the discussion below is important due to its connections with past experience, the experience not only of the two participants, but of many, many people who lived under communism.The views below can be best confronted with our own ones. To agree with everything that was said would be a failure, because every teacher would rather expect his/her students use their own mind rather than rely on their teachers' thoughts, that's why I have added some comments.Here goes the transcript of the discussion. The parts in bold are most interesting for me:Translation: The third promise of communism: The acknowledgment the iron law of historical necessity, i.e. that history goes on in a definite direction, one needs only to understand that necessity and in this way one can become a free man - in other words, one experiences freedom by submitting oneself to the necessity.Comment: For me it is too abstract. But if I understand it well, the promise eliminates anxiety, because people know the future. But if so, then since the time of Khrushchev the only beacon light for communism was capitalist America:youtube.com/watch?v=RCZks2F3Gf4Before Khrushchev, Soviet communism evolved from Lenin (in the first word war a German agent) whose only hope was to bring communism back to Europe because this was the only place in which, according to theory, it could take roots, then there was Stalin, who reinstated kind of red tsarism. Now the promise is still the same: If we try hard, then some day we may approach America's level of development. So I do not see any iron law of historical necessity here, and I do not see any promise, maybe there is one, but only in philosophical sense.Translation: One human need is the need of security, the other is the need of freedom, both are naturally at odds with each other. This conflict is insurmountable and not only restricted to communism. Therefore one cannot preclude other kinds of despotic rule when the trade off between individual freedom against security is strongly tilted to the last one.Comment: Noam Chomsky sees this communist-like tilt for the sake of safety in the control exercised by big corporations and in the government surveillance after 9/11 terrorist attacks.Translation: There is a danger that like in the case of fascism in the former DDR, when the neo-Nazi tendencies came back, the same may happen in the case of communism - the children or grandchildren of nowadays anti-communists may some day become communists. Therefore we should avoid de-communization on the surface only. In today's criticism of communism dominates the utilitarian criticism kind of communism introduced poverty... and today's poor will answer - no, democracy introduced poverty. The main problem of communism lies deeper - the only alternative for communism is Christianity proposing freedom and other concept of history - not as a fatalistic necessity but also other proposition for experiencing of property - where private ownership is not at odds with communal one... but current polishChristianity is astoundingly rather continuation of some communist stereotypes, come over to Christianity, i.e. both in the lust for power and in accepting the notion of history as fate. And one thing that astounding me more and more is that some Catholics are more afraid of freedom than they used to afraid of communism. After communism one should be wiser not more stupid.Comment: Catholic priest and professor did not mention those Catholics he had in mind. Catholics of Radio Maryja?Translation: I have a view of history that has one good point it consists of one sentence and states: people will always have a good reason to kill themselves. I do not believe that there is or there will be the final solution to all human problems or that we will be living in a society without conflicts and struggles - such is the human condition that this will never happen, or if you like, we are programmed in such a way that this will never happen.Comment: If one thinks that people were killing, are killing and will be killing themselves, than I do not see any reason why he should condemn atrocities of communism or any other political system because of its humanity or inhumanity; does this have something to do with the scale of atrocities? - he did not say anything about it. Maybe one should understand Kołakowski's words as the consolation of pessimism, i.e. expect the worst and you won't be disappointed.