Jacek Kuroń – The idealised world of communism (29/150)

From the very moment you join, when you choose this way and become a member, an activist, the mechanism is set in motion, and you begin to see more and more things are not as they ought to be. Again, the reality of this movement conflicts with values in the same way that earlier I could see that the world was in conflict with values. Acceptance is only possible on the basis of ‘yes, but’. However, anything a thinking person accepts ought always to be on the basis of ‘yes, but’, and then everything would be alright. The only question is how much of that is ‘yes’ and how much is ‘but’? I could describe my communism as this kind of process in which the ‘but’ kept on growing, mainly because of my father’s influence since I was having endless arguments with him, endless arguments. The truth was that I was rejecting his arguments, and I imagined that I was putting forward arguments that were just as good or were even better than his, but something always remained. I was surveying the world through my father’s eyes up to a point, and because of this, I could see certain things very clearly. What were these things, apart from the cult of an individual which now doesn’t seem all that important? You have to realise that in the early days, when I first became a communist, I, along with everyone around me, was very opposed. It might not seem like it, but it did help because that is how this mechanism works. I know a lot of people who solve the various problems they have with different people – and everyone has problems with the people around them – by making the group they relate to abstract. This is incredibly common among artists who can’t stand other artists but who love mankind. Except that they never come into contact with mankind on a daily basis. Instead, they meet other artists on a daily basis, and say the worst possible things about one another. This, of course, is not limited only to artists. All the problems we have with other people, all of our problems and all the evil in the world can be seen in our surroundings and that’s how we assign them, that’s how I ascribed them to the reactionaries; my reference point was the idealised world of the communists. However, I started to take an active part in this idealised world of the communists of whom there was a growing number around me. All of them were suffering from the same or even worse complaints. And that is how this process works.

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