World of Ideas and Politics

Volume 4

World of Ideas and Politics
Volume 4/2004

Table of contents:
Studies and analysis:

  • Janusz Golinowski: In the media daguerreotype of democracy
  • Katarzyna Polus-Rogalska: The citizen of the electronic nation
  • Joanna Taczkowska-Olszewska: Standard regulation of the access to information in the state law order versus exercise of the right to information by journalists
  • Maria Szatlach: The role of the Marshall Plan in the process of institutionalization of the European integration in years 1948-1952
  • Michał Kosman: The united Germany in the building of the European "area of freedom, safety and justice" in the European Union
  • Agata Mączko: A European society - does it exist?
  • Adam Hołub: The German extreme Right in the face of the political system of the German Federal Republic - a case of the German National Democratic Party
  • Danuta Karnowska: The Democratic Union and the Freedom Union: Christian liberalism-communitari sin and neo-liberalism
  • Jarosław Nocoń: Elitism and elitisismn. The problem of classification of the political elite theory
  • Sławomir Sadowski: Military potential - a conception and methods of evaluation
  • Maciej Królak: The thousandth anniversary versus the Millenium. The thousandth anniversary celebrations of the Polish State in Bydgoszcz and Bydgoszcz Province in 1966
  • Joanna Olejniczak: Aspirations of students of universities in Rydgoszcz in aspect of Poland.s accession to the European Union

Book reviews:

  • Tadeusz Godlewski: Krystyna Trembicka: The Round Table in Poland. A study on political agreement
  • Artur Laska: Jean Marie Guéhenno: The future of freedom
  • Grzegorz Kaczmarek: Earl Babble: Social studies in practice

Janusz Golinowski:

In the media daguerreotype of democracy
In the post modernist world dominated by the modern electronic media, language loses its ability to reproduce and establish ideas in a given place and to organize symbols in coherent systems of ideas about a place, time and a subject. The social reality is more often identified with the world of symbols, in which the media, and particularly television, are becoming a powerful transmitter of these symbols penetrating and filling the sphere of politics.
The postmodern social space makes a base to create a new generation of people regarding themselves as creative consumers - performers moving within different scenarios, playing in different performances and creating a vision of the common market of culture and consumption, which is submitted to the arranged influence of the .democracy of mood.. We tend to be identified with icons and idols - the products of the culture, sold as goods. However, the torn apart social bonds and the lack of being anchored in a stable community change our lives in an everlasting pursuit of approval. Such .magnets. prone to draw the attention of us - Proteuses by exceeding the limits between the publicly important matters and those being petty but exciting and, at the same time, reaching into the privacy encouraging to psychological exhibition.
We are both independent receivers and passive consumers. No particular attitude is dominant today, but there exists void, which may be filled with any feature a demand is for. The media come to our help. Being a commodity to purchase and deriving pleasure from that, they create the sense of human existence, and as a tool of this kind of consumption they also define a receiver.s identity. As it is meant by the author, the reality differs significantly from traditional ideas on the market system and inclusive democracy. The inclusive democracy means a mechanism of active attraction of the society to social institutions by protecting cultural diversity supporting participation and social control, as well as by the reduction of inequality and social barriers.

Katarzyna Polus-Rogalska:

The citizen of the electronic nation
It is difficult to foresee whether the Internet will become a germ of a new, information society. Nor can you define how it will function. Howcver, a kind of global cornputer network is supposed to accompany us in the future, and this seems to be highly probable. The global communication network united with an enormous archive of human knowledge will undoubtedly become a natural background of man.s life. Although in the future it will probably be indispensable, it does not seem to substitute the radio, television, press, libraries, but it will find another new niche in which everyone will be able to function. The process will he accompanied by larger spread of computers. One may think that in the tiiture the Internet will become still less perceptible but more omnipresent.
One more change is alleged to take place. Our life will not concentrate around objects, but it is information that will become the most important matter. We shall communicate with people through the network system. But will it make us and our lives less real? It will decidedly not. We shall surely become different. Perhaps we shall keep things which now seem to us of great importance at a distance. Or maybe we shall carry the web individualities also about the real world.
Undoubtedly, we will still be people who feel, desire, choose, rule, but perhaps we shall call these activities in a different way. Our environment provides us with ideas and metaphors, and that of the citizen of the future will be created by the Net.

Joanna Taczkowska-Olszewska:

Standard regulation of the access to information in the state law order versus exercise of the right to information by journalists
The article undertakes the analysis of legal norms regulating access to intormation in the state law order. A particularly careful study was focused on the status of journalists performers of the subject law to gain and spread information. According to article 1 of the press law, the press realizes the right of citizens to reliable information, the openness of public life as well as to social criticism and control. This regulation secures a particul position of the press in the field of information. According to a legislator, the press is a performer of the right to information on behalf of, being authorized by, or substituting for citizens. Thus the press is specially competent to exercise the right to information, which results from the fact of representing of citizens. It is obvious that a journalist realizing a right to information represents (should represent) not a particular interest but all the citizens. one, tending to give them reliable information. So, it seems to be essential, in which circumstances access to information is defined as strict and to what degree provisions of law take into consideration a privileged position of journalists. It is also important what events being regulated by legal norms qualify to gain information and how the qualification may be realized. The article attempts to find answers to the above questions.

Maria Szatlach:

The role of the Marshall Plan in the process of institutionalization of the European integration in years 1948 - 1952
Economic aid of the USA for Europe in the form of the Marshal Plan highly contributed to the consolidation of Western Europe.s States within the confines of developing integration institutions. The economic integration supported by the USA was caused by many various factors: economic, military, political, ideological, and also by the problem of solving the German issue. The Marshall Plan was the most important element of the U.S. policy in the late l940s. The idea of assistance was of purely American origin. However, the American politicians openly spoke about taking the initiative by Europe, and about an agreement among Western European States on the basic problems concerning this support. The essence of the American arrangement consisted in the proposal of taking advantage of financial resources goods and industrial appliances coming from the United States, and then in establishing close economic co-operation among the Nations of the Continent. At the conference in Paris in July, 1947, sixteen countries of Western Europe established the Committee for the European Common Market which later was transformed into the Organization for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC). And thus, a completely new form of international co-operation appeared in Western Europe. Sixteen sovereign States declared a wish to solve problems in common as an integrated group.
In various fields of public relations, institutionalism occurs when a group of nations accepts mutual interactions valid so far and agrees to reuse them, placing them within the confines of forms and organizations securing their control for themselves. The organization becomes an instrument of collective legitimism for their common interests. The OEEC was such an organization, becoming transformed from the experimental political conference into a formalized and bureaucratic institution having constitutional entitlements to call regular meetings at the minister level.

Michal Kosman:

United Germany in the building of the European "area of freedom, safety and justice" in the European Union
The paper presents the participation of the united Germany in the process of building the inner society of the European Union, included into the third pillar after the Treaty of Maastricht. The first part presents the achievements of the Community, and the other . the Union. The paper concentrates mainly on initiatives and activities of Germany who strongly promotes this kind of co-operation. To the most important belonged: projects on establishing Europol and Eurojust, the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the EU, and other initiatives concerning common policy of visa, asylum and immigration. The Treaty of Maastricht, the Treaty of Amsterdam and two German presidencies in the nineties are assumed by the author as points of reference in the characteristic of the German Federal Republic.s involvement into the spheres of the Union co-operation.

Agata Mączko:

A European society - does it exist?
Europe is a continent of many nations, cultures and traditions with rich, glorious, and at the same time tragic history. For centuries Europe has been building its autonomy despite being full of diversity. The European Union created on this groundwork is not uniform at all. In 2004, the EU was enlarged by 10 nations, which may loosen its bonds to some extent. However, the fact seems to stimulate to further co-operation, continuous improvement and searching for compromises, as well as to the development of dialogue forms within the Union and with the world.
Since the decision to create a multi-cultural organization was taken over 50 years ago, the idea should be supported (not only in the field of economy), confronting the obstacles that may appear at every step. For a long time it has been observed that Europeans are very much alike despite coming from different countries. Although the states from the .Iron Curtain. have to go through a long way of political system transformation, they follow western patterns. The Europeans are guided by similar principles, their model of family and political systems evolve alike, and perhaps they perceive their future in a similar way.
Europe is built by people and for people. At first the economic aim was the main impulse to set up the European Union. Due to economic growth, a lot of people could he secured better existence. Today it occurs that material prosperity is not the only important matter in life. The Europeans are becoming more and more alike. The process continues very slowly and takes place mainly on economic ground aiming at creating a common, safe and pluralistic society.

Adam Hołub:

The German extreme Right in the face of the political system of the German Federal Republic - case of the German National Democratic Party
At the end of the 20th century in Europe, rightist extreme parties started to go through their renaissance. Among western democracies, the existence of such parties became a real problem as in some countries they were of relevant character (Austria, Italy). In other countries the parties became political actors who, considering their mattering electorate, could not be isolated only (France, Denmark). The extreme rightist parties in Germany include: the Republican Party (Die Republikaner . REP), the German People.s Union (Deutsche Volksunion . DVU), and the German National Democratic Party (Nationaldemokratische Partei . NPD). The first two ones (REP and DVU) belong the extreme rightist parties of new type, whereas the NPD . to the parties of old type. The main ideological elements of the NPD.s appeal are: radical nationalism combined with elements of racism, treating a State as a political organization of national community and not a society, a very strong position of the executive postulating introducing presidentialism, the preference of direct democracy, antiglobalism (threatening both culture and a national community), national property of land and main branches of economy, anti-Americanism together with anti-Semitism, the declared dislike of foreigners, and finally nostalgia for the political regime of the Nazi Third Reich.
The negation of .liberal-capitalistic. system and the postulate of creating a system basing on the idea of German socialism saying about .national, political forms of law and order. are typical of the NPD, which induces to think over an anti-system character of this party.

Danuta Kamowska:

The Democratic Union and the Freedom Union: Christian liberalism - communitarism and neo-liberalism
The late eighties and early nineties, despite other transformations, engendered an interest in liberal ideas as far as their intellectual and practical aspects were concerned, which was affected by both subjective and objective conditions. One should emphasize that the renaissance of liberalism was perceived in the latter part of the 20th century. After a long period of crisis, its ideas and their application became of great interest with politicians as well as political philosophers and the ideologists. At the same time, liberalism, in its classic interpretation, has never been a trend strongly existing in the consciousness of the Polish society. It was mainly a historical background that decided about such an opinion: a weak development of capitalism, political culture of the fight for the nation.s independence, and Poland.s dramatic history in the 20th century. The interest in liberalism also found its reflection in programs of political parties set up after 1989, and particulary those of oppositional genesis. The leading parties were: the Union for Real Politics and the Liberal Democratic Congress. It ought to be emphasized that liberal ideas were also reflected in program proposals of those political parties who identified themselves with such political ideas, e.g. the Social Democracy for the Republic of Poland and the Democratic Left Alliance. One should also pay attention to the fact that liberal ideas are differently interpreted, which may reflect global discussion on liberalism. On one hand, there could be noticed some tendencies to follow its neo-liberal character (e.g. the programs of the Liberal Democratic Congress), and on the other, one may perceive a tendency towards applying liberalism to the Polish conditions and social expectations. The evolution of the idea in the programs of the
Democratic Union may illustrate this fact, which has been presented in this paper.

Jaroslaw Nocoń:

Elitism and elitisism. The problem of classification of the political elite theory
The attempt to characterize elitism and elitisism (exclusivity) as two different standpoints seems to be up to date and legitimate for at least two reasons. A peculiar renaissance of expressing an interest in the elite problem is followed by an increase in publications, in which differences between elitism and elitisism are underestimated, often undistinguished or even meant as identical. On the other hand, a negative opinion of political actors spread in social reception not approving of the activities of elites is conducive to pejorative connotations associated with elitisism. The premises oblige to a broad discussion devoted to differentiation of the standpoints and encourage to make an attempt at systematizing the existing conceptions of elites basing on the marked off criteria.
Describing the ideas of the theory creators and the explorers of elites, one can distinguish at least three essential grounds, the range of which presents differing standpoints of elitisism and elitism supporters .The opinions concern such aspects of elites. functioning as: the scope of power concentration, the extent of elites. elitisism and axiological context given to the notion of elite. Although the criteria can be graded, various standpoints in these spheres mark differences beween the opinions of those who represent elitisism on one hand and the followers of elitism on the other.

Sławomir Sadowski:

Military potential - a conception and methods of evaluation
A military factor is an important instrument in public relations. Considering the power of a State, a military potential is usually assumed as one of its elements. It is power that often determines a course of events among subjects on the arena of international politics. It refers both to world powers, which usually tend to present or use force, and to relationships among small and middle countries. Knowledge on material bases of a conflict, including the possibility of using forces, is a significant factor when making a political decision. Realizing the value of the military potential of the parties in conflict, one may analyze the rationality of the activity they undertake.
The article has attempted to answer the question what is meant by .military potential. or if it can be evaluated. Various descriptions of military potential are mentioned here forming a basis to accept own definition of the conception. The conclusion suggests that the military potential should be calculable in respect of quantity and quality. Apart from the ones, there are also found uncountable factors which concern the spheres of psychological, moral and the like activities exerting a strong influence on human behavior shown in extreme situations. The study has analyzed main quantitative and quality factors conditioning the military potential as well as formulas being a base for their calculation .The author focused on the three most significant ones. The first formula estimates military potential being the resultant of the State.s power and determinants of quantitative and quality potentials of an opponent. The other formulas, actually submitted to the first one, tend to calculate the value of a nation force ratio as well as quantitative and quality military potentials.

Maciej Królak:

The thousandth anniversary versus the Millennium. The thousandth anniversary celebrations of the Polish State in Bydgoszcz and Bydgoszsz Province in 1966
In 1966, the main ceremony of the thousandth anniversary of the Polish State took place nationwide, which was to be a competition for the church Millennium. This study shows a course of the Millennium celebrations with a special consideration of the local events in Bydgoszsz and Bydgoszcz Province.
In the first period of the celebrations (1960.1965), a number of mass actions of social and political character were carried out (e.g. the 550th anniversary of the battle of Grunwald, the 20th anniversary of the Polish Peoples. Republic, the 630th anniversary of the battle of Plowce, 20th anniversary of the Polish Workers. Party). The tension in relations between the State and the Church was piled up in the last year of the Millennium celebrations to which the local authorities of the Bydgoszcz Province were preparing extremely meticulously. The celebrations included meetings with soldiers and civil citizens, talks with the Parish clergy (the .Rector. action) and the Millennium relays being secular pilgrimages which, as a matter of fact, were to be a replica of the church ones. The latter used to be limited by the authorities just by reducing the number of trains going to the places of religious worship, for instance, to Częstochowa.
Another initiative to reinforce a propaganda effect of the Party on the society and, at the same time to weaken the prestige of the Episcopate, was to organize jubilees and anniversaries of various types. As early as 24th March, 1966, a document of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers. Party outlined that the main ceremonies would take place on the Labour Day, i.e. the 1st of May, and on the day of Poland.s Rebirth on the 22nd of July, 1966. Undoubtedly, it aimed to neutralize the main church celebrations scheduled for the beginning of May in Częstochowa. Both the description on preparing the working class holiday- the 1st of May and other accompanying events make a basic content of the present study.

Joanna Olejniczak:

The aspirations of the Polish university students in the aspect of Poland's accession to the European Union
The anxiety for cultural, social and economic development of our country, as well as Increasing requirements of the social and economic life made the problem of the youth.s ambitions important. The aspirations concerning their future are extremely significant when young people plan their lives. Devoid of clear ideas for the nearest and further future, the youth is unable to define and all the more to realize its own life, education and occupational ambitions. Therefore aspirations play an essential role justifying and having a decisive effect on young people.s life plans and the ways of their realization.
The present study attempts to diagnose the level of aspirations of the Bydgoszcz students in the aspect of Poland.s accession to the European Union. The research on the students. aspirations is of particular meaning as they are the part of the society that will form its elites soon.