Jan Józef Lipski – ‘Socialism can’t be separated from democracy’ (10/215)

Jan Józef Lipski – ‘Socialism can’t be separated from democracy’ (10/215)


At the same time, certain changes began to take place among the youth which only became apparent after the period of unification
of these youth organisations and the formation of ZMP. But this was before the unification of the parties,
before the unification of the PPS and PPR. There was a growing number of
people who suddenly saw the light and started saying that this was an historical necessity, the only progressive direction and things like that. It was very surprising that people were able to pass so thoughtlessly over the things that
were visibly happening all around. Ideological attitudes were being formed but in a
way that was disassociated from real life. I never understood this nor was able to understand it. I was myself torn apart because as I’ve already said, my convictions were those of a socialist, but those of the PPS of course, rather than what passes
for socialism today which is something completely different. However, I didn’t feel the need or the desire
to associate myself with the Polish Socialist Party because month by month, my conviction was waning that this party would play an independent role and that
it would be itself, would be the Polish Socialist Party. Literally, month by month I could feel that this was unlikely, due to which I placed much of my hope in PSL. This was how it happened, although
the PSL also disappointed me a few times because of various tactical ambiguities and twists and turns that the PSL was also going through. Of all the youth organisations that existed at the
university, I kept my distance from ZWM. There weren’t that many members of ZWM at the
university in any case, and nothing really attracted me to them. I also kept my distance from folk organisations,
from ‘Wici’ and groups like that. Because – I felt a certain liking for them Nevertheless, thanks to relations with friends my age, several of whom were active members
of independent socialist youth unions, and also through attending meetings and
occasionally participating in debates, I drew closer to the Union of Independent Socialist Youth. However, when my friends suggested I join it, I refused, thus expressing my belief that they would soon be functioning independently of the communist
movement, and I didn’t like that idea. But I kept hoping that maybe things would work out differently, and so every time there was news that Hochfeld had said something and that Cyrankiewicz had
opposed it, my hopes were raised. If, however, Bańczyk was speaking about this,
he was telling us in the name of the PSL what was happening to the activists
of the former Peasant’s Battalions, what the security services were doing in the villages
because he, Bańczyk, was saying all of this publicly and some of it was getting through, and we could
even find part of what he was saying in the PSL press. I was able to accept this much more
than the things that the PPS press was printing because there was more truth in it
and so I found it more to my taste. Yet all of these things taken together meant that I couldn’t see myself as part of this political scene. Finally, the youth organisations all joined up together. What could one lone person do in his
talks with friends from ZNMS or TUR, telling them to resist unification as that will
be the end of the great tradition, the truly socialist orientation towards independence. By truly socialist I was referring to what I always knew to be
the case that socialism can’t be separated from democracy. That’s simply impossible and it gives rise to something which isn’t socialism. So once unification occurred, these processes unfortunately accelerated very quickly among the youth, and so it became harder for me to find
anyone with whom I shared a common outlook. This went on for quite a few years,
it was only beginning in ’48 growing a lot stronger in ’49,
and it went on for a very long time.

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