The article is devoted to the rivalry in Polish history during previous centuries between two differing styles of political thought: the independence and insurrection school of thought and the political realism school of thought which pursues politics on the basis of calculation, intellect and reason. Analysis of these phenomena is carried out on three levels which illustrate the interaction of these two types of thought and political action: (1) the historical level, from the loss of independence to the instigation of the communist system; (2) the constitutional level of the People's Republic of Poland's (PRL) period, mainly with reference to democratic opposition action; (3) the level of the transformation of the political system in 1989. During the course of the article, the author attempts to answer the following questions: Does the rivalry between the two schools of thought with regard to politics (the romantic and patriotic tradition which approves the meaning of symbolic values on the one hand and, on the other hand, the pragmatic tradition which refers to factual and rational actions) have any relevance at the beginning of the 21st century? And if so, what form does this rivalry take and how does it evolve so as to meet present day civilized requirements while remaining faithful to national tradition?
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.