Poland after 1989 and Canada after the “Trudeau Revolution”: Comparing the Emergence of “National Democracy” and Late-Modern “Liberal Democracy”

The following paper was presented at the conference “After the End of Revolution: Constitutional Order amid the Crisis of Democracy,” co-organized by the Telos-Paul Piccone Institute and the National Research University Higher School of Economics, September 1–2, 2017, Moscow. For additional details about the conference as well as other upcoming events, please visit the Telos-Paul Piccone Institute website.

This presentation compares two societies, which, although both claim to be “Western” as well as vibrant liberal democracies, are in many aspects quite different. Those societies have been shaped by their history and political culture to evolve in quite different directions. Nevertheless, they can both be seen as “post-revolutionary” societies.

Poland has had a very checkered history, from being a Great Power, to disappearing from the map of Europe, which has contributed to a strongly “erotic” sense of belonging among the Poles. Poland after 1989—the so-called Third Republic—has been in the difficult process of attempting a restoration of a more traditional Polish society, whose organic evolution and development had been so cruelly interrupted since 1939.

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Carl Schmitt in the Twenty-First Century

Like Spinoza, many liberal thinkers have defined the liberty they promote in terms of the necessity of submitting to the law that guarantees it. This is a unique kind of rule of law, a rule of the “‘politically correct,’ universalist, managerial-liberal” (9) law of contemporary liberals. Both internationally and domestically, this law requires the muscular imposition of questionable political, moral, and economic principles, by means of an insidious and often nauseating bureaucratic, technocratic, mediacratic apparatus, onto largely unwilling publics. Crucially, the freedom championed by such liberals and allegedly secured by their law does not include the freedom to refuse their domination root and branch.

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Immigration and the Therapeutic Managerial Government

Nicholas W. Drummond’s “Immigration and the Therapeutic Managerial Government” appears in Telos 166 (Spring 2014). Read the full version online at the Telos Online website, or purchase a print copy of the issue in our store.

Multiculturalism as state policy in the Western World has functioned without serious complications because an unequivocal division existed between the oppressive culture group and the culture groups requiring protection. Recent evidence suggests this distinction may be fading and the consequences are likely to be significant. Managerial governments traditionally accommodating towards diverse cultures are beginning to critically evaluate immigrant communities feared to be afflicted with objectionable pathologies like the tendency of some Islamic groups to promote gender inequality, homophobia, and Sharia law.

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