- 1 Western Civilization and the European Phenomenon
- 1.1 History of Technology – Basic Reading list (in Polish)
- 1.2 Western Civilization and Time. Summary of the Book (in Polish)
- 1.3 Christianity and Church in the Europeization of Europe (in Polish)
- 1.4 The Birth of Modern Science: the External Determinants and the Role of Church (in Polish)
- 1.5 How to Study Religious Determinants of Western Civilization (in Polish)
- 1.6 The Paradox of the West by Douglass C. North (English original) Polish translation
- 1.7 Douglass North’s Vision of Historical Development of the West (in Polish)
- 1.8 Historiography of Science and Religion (in Polish)
- 1.9 Death Taboo: Why It Has Appeared, Why Vanish (in Polish)
- 1.10 Russia – Liability of the World (in Polish)
- 1.11 The European Phenomenon: How Europe Surpassed Asia (in Polish)
- 1.12 European Phenomenon. Literature in the Internet English
- 1.13 On Jean Delumeau’s book “Sin and Fear” (in Polish only)
- 1.14 Myth of the Modern West Concerning Our Desire to Live-Much-Longer (in Polish)
- 1.15 Can Theory of Civilization Be a Science? (in Polish)
- 1.16 Islam and Russia: Lost Civilizations? (in Polish)
- 1.17 Christianity and the Modernization of the West (in Polish)
- 2 Philosophy and Theology
- 2.1 Life After Death
- 2.2 What Is Postmodernism author: Elisabeth Anderson, translation: Jacek Kwaśniewski
- 2.3 Why I Like to Attend to Mass for Preschoolers (in Polish)
- 2.4 Necessity of Evil. The Indirect Proof (in Polish)
- 2.5 God’s Love. Information for atheists, agnostics and lukewarm believers (in Polish)
- 2.6 Theology of Divine Providence (in Polish) NEW
- 2.7 Scale of the Universe: Psychologically Understandable, and Its Consequences (in Polish) NEW
- 2.8 Meaning of Life: Balance Between Values Or the Goal of Existence? (in Polish)
- 3 Others
- 3.1 Harmonious Society Versus Conflict-Ridden Society: Marxism and Liberalism English
- 3.2 How to Build Successful Capitalism in Third World Countries English
- 3.3 “No-Choice Elections” English
- 3.4 The Early Days of Polish Privatization 1989 – 1991: Professionals Vs Politicians
- 3.5 The essence of the poetry
- 3.6 Poglady No.18 (in Polish)
- 3.7 Solidarity and the Communist Party. Dynamics of Polish Political Conflict 1980 – 1981 (in Polish)
Western Civilization and the European Phenomenon
History of Technology – Basic Reading list (in Polish)
2014, file size 126 KB, lenght of text – 6 pages
Before discussing the issue of technological change one should know at least the basic factual material. I recount twelve books which are worth reading. All can be found in syllabuses of university courses on history of technology. The authors’ names include Frances and Joseph Gies, James MacLachan, Ian McNeil, Lewis Mumford, Bryan Bunch and Alexander Hellemans, Daniel Headrick, James McClellan and Harold Dorn. Nearly of these can be found in EuroPhen Library.
2007, file size 250 KB, lenght of text – 6 pages
See English abstract The book discusses the history and the present of Western civilization as the great process of converting time into value. The look at our history through such a filter gives a broad panorama of interconnected phenomana covering numerous facts, problems and processes.
2010, 2013, file size 320 KB, lenght of text – 20 pages
Working paper (fragment of my new book) dealing with the medieval europeization of Europe. Talking about the role of Christianity and Church in the rise of Europe to world dominance must be preceded by pondering on how Europe as the separate and integrated civilizational unit came into being. And what role the Church played in that process. The paper discusses the phases of European medieval integration and the influence of Gregorian Revolution (XI – XII centuries).
2010, 2013, file size 420 KB, lenght of text – 37 pages
Working paper (fragment of my new book) dealing with the medieval roots of modern science. Text consists of three parts: concise description of theoretical model explaining how external and internal determinants interacted in the Middle Ages to form the springboard to modernity, some determinants are discussed in more detail as well as the role of Church in their working.
2014, file size 130 KB, lenght of text – 4 pages
Information on my new book under the working title „The European Phenomenon and Christianity″
The main theses of my book I’ve been working on for few years. Because the on-line version of the text enjoys some popularity (1100 downloads in 2013-2014), I’ve decided to put it also here.
The Paradox of the West by Douglass C. North (English original)
2013 (Polish translation)
A central thesis of this chapter is that economic growth and the development of freedom are complementary processes of societal development. Economic growth provides the resources to support more complex societies; and it is unlikely to persist in the long run without the development of political and civil liberties. A world of specialization and division of labor–the roots of economic growth–is going to nurture democratic and individual freedoms.
2013, file size 240 KB, lenght of text – 12 pages
The article shows some of the fundamentals of New Institutional Economics and how they can be applied to the analysis of the economic history cases. In a sense the article complements North’s “Paradox of the West” as it reveals theoretical assumptions of North’s approach.
Historiography of Science and Religion (in Polish)
2010, file size 390 KB, lenght of text – 24 pages
The article shows the evolution of historians’ and sociologists’ views in 1874-2010 period how the historical relations between science and religion should be presented. The key theories have been discussed which are the milestones in this evolution: from nineteenth century Draper’s and White’s works which formed the so called conflict thesis to the present complexity thesis, which recognizes the religion as significant co-originator of modern science.
Death Taboo: Why It Has Appeared, Why Vanish (in Polish)
Article based on the lecture given on the conference “Philosophy and Death” (Theology Dpt. Of Silesian University, Poland), March 2007. Abridged version published in: “Philosophy and Death”, Katowice 2007
2006, file size 720 KB, length of text – 24 pages
Development, culmination and gradual decline of the death taboo are linked to the unique demographic situation of the West in XX century and its psychological effects. In the first half of the century death of young generation has been nearly eradicated but the fast increasing rest of the population learned that its life expectancy was close to the limit imposed by the biology. The reaction to this highly frustrating message was the suppression/denial of the entire problem of death and dying from the collective consciousness. Simultaneously the massive investments in health care sector started. The postponed effects of these expenditures brought such gains in the elderly life expectancy that death taboo as a defending measure against frustration started to die down. See English abstract at the end of article.
Russia – Liability of the World (in Polish)
2014, file size 1,4 MB, lenght of the text – 16 pages, and 24 pages of statistics, maps, etc
Russia is mighty and puny. Military sector is strong but stands on sickly economic legs. The economy is natural resources monoculture. Political culture as if moved from the Middle Ages. Leaders like the band of psychopatic robbers. Having nuclear button. They invade the neighbouring country enjoying enthusiastic support of their serfs-citizens and even political opposition. Such a country („mafia-run gas station masquerading as a country” in McCain’s words) is the liability of the world. But we must cope with it somehow. At the same time it must not be thought it is the normal country. Russian leaders harbour the whole society’s resentment and the sense of inferiority toward the West. That results in envy, hostility, agression and the lust for reprisal.
Draft in progress
Quantitative Approach, Problems Discussed, Controversies, and Literature
Article based on the lecture given on the conference “Language and Technology” (Philosophy Dpt. University of Lodz, Poland) in 2008
2009, file size 530 KB, lenght of text – 27 pages
The article includes the presentation of the historical growth and population data to show the scale of the phenomenon. Next some major areas of theoretical discussion are presented. Any such selection is subjective but looking at the modern West we must agree that the great impact on its birth had the modern science, technology and capitalist economic system. The fourth element, the Christianity, was the all-embracing cultural environment in which the previously mentioned processes took place. And these four elements are presented at greater length. See English abstract at the end of article.
update – June 2013
Selection of more than 2700 texts. The authors: Joseph Needham, Rodney Stark, Immanuel Wallerstein, Jan de Vries, Andre G. Frank, Eric Jones, Angus Maddison and many others. To facilitate searching, you have the on-line catalogue
On Jean Delumeau’s book “Sin and Fear” (in Polish only)
2008, file size 130 KB, lenght of text – 7 pages
Christianity of XIII – XVIII centuries were intensely instilling the sense of endless guilt and sin in their believers. But was it effective? Did it manage to frighten all or only the elites? The classic of Jean Delumeau is a part of a wider discussion on the roots of our civilization and has been hotly debating since its publication. I present here a kind of sum up of that debate and some of my own reflections.
2006, file size 190 KB, lenght of text – 6 pages
Very common and seemingly self-evident expectation and desire to prolong our youth and to live as long as possible are, in fact, of very recent nature. Their perception as everlasting results from our modern way to experience the time. Time has been converted into the mythical structure. Therefore, the seemingly self-evident Longer-type desires could be analysed in terms of myth and appropriate analytical tools might be applied.
Can Theory of Civilization Be a Science? (in Polish)
The Applicability of Imre Lakatos’ methodology in humanities. Lecture given to Polish Philosophical Society, Szczecin, December 2007 (modification 2010)
2007, file size 280KB, lenght of text – 10 pages
See English abstract The humanities (at least some of them) can meet the criteria of scientific knowledge, formulated by Imre Lakatos in his methodology of scientific research programmes, one of the most distinguished theories of science. The paper presents the example of such an application. The author analyzes his own book on dynamics of Western civilization from the perspective of Lakatos’ methodology revealing the hard core of his theory, protective belt of auxiliary hypotheses, negative and positive heuristics, problem shifts, etc. to prove the progressive nature of his research programme.
Islam and Russia: Lost Civilizations? (in Polish)
2006, file size 175 KB, lenght of text – 12 pages
It is not the modernization only but the unique synchronization of two historic processes: of modernization and secularization that brought about the unprecedented level of the economic, scientific and technological development of Europe since XII century. Other civilizations based on theocentric religions, Islam and Russia, also experienced both of these processes. In these cases however, the feedbacks between secularization and modernization have been proceeding very differently. The result is much lower level of modernization and the cultures which hinder to catch up with the West.
Christianity and the Modernization of the West (in Polish)
2008, file size 330 KB, length of text – 6 pages
Christianity as the modernization-oriented axiological framework which inculturation took place in Europe in the first millennium. The process which greatly contributed to the European civilization boost in the next centuries.
Philosophy and Theology
2014, file size 320 KB, length of text – 17 pages
60% to 97% of Europeans believe to be Christians. Nearly 70% believe in some form of afterlife. How can we outline the picture of Christian Holy Land where the people come after death? And to be in accord with the doctrine and with mistic and NDErs visions?
2011, file size 180 KB, lenght of text – 4 pages
Translation of the exceprts from the chapter “Feminist Postmodernism” in: Elisabeth Anderson, Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science, in: Stanford Encyclipedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-epistemology
Why I Like to Attend to Mass for Preschoolers (in Polish)
2006, file size 110 kB, length of text – 1 page
Because the preshoolers are the people interested in the world, not using any mental cliches and seriously searching for the answers. They are also the people who are not afraid to be wrong.
Necessity of Evil. The Indirect Proof (in Polish)
2009, file size 180 KB, lenght of text – 3 pages
See English abstract The Christian tradition sees the evil as the by-product of our free will. The catch is that this thesis could simply rejected as it can be argued that there is no logical contradiction in the existence of beings who would act freely but always go right. All attempts to point out the fallacy of this rejection failed. My indirect proof solves the problem. I assume that free beings can do only good. Next I show that this thesis results in contradiction. Therefore, the evil is unavoidable.
2013, pdf file size – 160KB. lenght of text – 5 pages
The article is an attempt to formulate unemotional definition of God’s love to make this notion clear to everyone, also to non-believers. The chosen approach is to define God’s love by analogy to mother’s love. The latter is defined as a list of things lost with your beloved mother’s death.
Theology of Divine Providence (in Polish) NEW
Why the Providence, Who Interferes In the World Actively and with the Love, Tolerates the Evil?
2009, file size 300 KB, lenght of text – 7 pages
See English abstract The classical version of theodicy is to vindicate the justice and holiness of God, in connection with evil. The author’s proposal is to include another element to be considered: Divine Providence. Governed by the Love, It actively interferes in the world and human affairs. But from the individual’s perspective these acts are often obviously misguided. How to reconcile justice and holiness of God, in connection not only with evil but also with these “arbitrary” God’s interventions?
2012, file size 165 KB, lenght of text – 5 pages
Size and time of the Universe – billions of years and sextillions of kilometers. To understand these numbers we need to have a scale Universe. The scale should squeeze it to the dimensions that could be understood, i.e. referred to some other things which are known, or psychologically tamed. The scale should also enable us to understand the ratio of the Universe to the Earth size as well as the ratio of the Universe timespan to the timespans of the Earth, of our species and our civilization. Such a scale model will help to understand the shock brought about by Scientific Revolution (XV-XVIII centuries) and is a real challenge to any modern Christian theology
2009, file size 370 KB, lenght of text – 9 pages
See English abstract Two different ways how we can understand the meaning of life are discussed as well as their implications and mutual interrelations. Firstly, the meaning of life is the balance between different values in our everyday life. Secondly, it is the ultimate goal of human existence. Both approaches can collide with each other as the first is morally neutral and the second is the typical norm maker.
Jacek Kwaśniewski, J. Drygalski
Chapter from the book “A Critique of Marxist and Non-Marxist Thought” , Praeger Special Studies, 1988.
file size. 2,3 MB, length of text – 23 pages
The authors’ intention was to compare both doctrines and to look at their practical embodiment as well as to reveal deep ties linking these ideas and their relevant political systems.
Paper prepared in 2003 for the Iraqi Governing Council. One of my duties in Coalition Provisional Authority
2003, file size 170 kB, length of text – 6 pages
Paper on Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto’s ideas how to animate the so called dead capital in Third World countries. The challenge of economic development is not to facilitate a redistribution of the wealth from the First World to the Third World, but finding means of integrating the wealth that already exists in the Third World into the formal legal systems and thereby into the global economy at large. This wealth is already widely spread among the population but has illegal or extralegal status what seriously limits its use and development.
“No-Choice Elections” English
Jacek Kwaśniewski, Jerzy Drygalski
The article from Studies, April 1990
file size 2,5 MB, length of text – 21 pages
The detailed analysis of the electoral system in communist Poland in 1950-1979 period. The English version of the chapter from my and Jerzy Drygalski’s book “(Un)Real Socialism”.
2014, file size 260 KB, lenght of texts – 10 pages
The creator of Polish privatization was Krzysztof Lis. He was nominated by Mr Mazowiecki (Polish first post-communist Prime Minister) as the Government’s Plenipontientiary for Privatization. His responsibility encompassed the preparation of privatization and capital market law as well as first public offerings. Lis was classical professional who from the very beginning opposed Mr Balcerowicz’s (deputy Prime Minister responsible for market re-orientation of Polish economy) pure political approach to privatization. Seemingly Lis lost this battle as Balcerowicz blocked his nomination for ministerial position. But Balcerowicz idea to make privatization very fast (through free voucher distribution) resulted in failure whereas Lis privatization methodology was applied succesfully for several years.
2010, link to monthly Tygiel Kultury (Culture Melting Pot) 1-3 / 2010
The meeting with friends writing occasionally the poems encouraged me to try the same. Slightly ironic piece has emerged…
Poglady No.18 (in Polish)
In 1980-81 (during the explosion of Solidarity movement in communist Poland) me and my friends were making the three-weekly Solidarity magazine titled Poglądy (Views). During martial law, introduced by communists to destroy Polish island of freedom, some of us were imprisoned (including me), some emigrated. After 30 years we have decided to publish another one issue of this magazine. Editorial team members were scattered around the globe since then but Internet is invaluable. Read and see how our views, previously nearly homogenous, have diverged since then.
Seminar paper for Collegium Civitas (Polish, Warsaw-based university)
2012, file size 355 kB, lenght of text – 17 pages
In the late eighties I wanted (with my friend Jerzy Drygalski) to write the book on dynamics of social and political conflict in 1980-1981 in Poland – since the big wave of strikes in July-August 1980 resulted in the agreement of communist rulers for establishing of independent trade unions under Walesa leadership to the crush of this movement in December 1981 by introducing the martial law. A lot of research work has been done. The main idea was taken from our theory of suppression of free articulation as the fundamental precondition of surviving the communist rule (abstract of the theory see here and here). Eventually the book was not completed because the communist rule collapsed and we started to be in the very middle of the storm. I began to create with some of my friends the ministry of privatization, later prepare the privatization program for Poland state owned economy and finally work in the high ministerial positions. Jurek Drygalski was appointed to liquidate RUCH – the communist party monpolistic organization over the Polish press. He was well prepared for this job as the part of our joint doctor’s thesis was devoted to the analysis of suppression of free articulation in the press in communist Poland. Thirty years later we have been asked to deliver the lecture on our unfinished book. And this is what you can read here.