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Palikot’s orientation

Published on February 28, 2012 by: in: Politics

The funny thing is that whoever I talk to about politics, I am faced with the question “Is Palikot establishing a liberal party or a left-wing one?”. As a rule, these questions are rhetorical:  the Liberals add „what about Ikonowicz?”, the leftists – „what about all these tiny and teeny bloodsuckers?”

The answer in accordance with political science should go as follows: Palikot’s Movement is a regular party and hence it cannot be ideologically “pure”. Just like PO (Civic Platform) is not ideologically pure (liberal ethos, conservative worldview, populist slogans and state management actions), SLD (Democratic Left Alliance) (calling for secularism of the state and a ride in a popemobile, flirting with trade unions and the flat tax) and also PiS (Law and Justice) was not ideologically pure when it was a living party with neoliberal Gilowska, social Cymański and the entire spectrum of nationalists.

But if we agree with political science, we will not be politically prudent – instead of proving that Movement is just like all the other parties, it ought to be presented why it is better.

photo: DrabikPany

photo: DrabikPany

The political response is the following: Movement’s policies correspond to the real problems, which do not, in the main, amount to the alternative between liberalism and socialism. Improving the efficiency of the public administration has always been a slogan eagerly used by the Liberals, yet it is still not anti-leftist. Promotion of gender equality (which means e.g. building nurseries and kindergartens) is associated with the leftism, but it is also part of modern liberalism, where not only courts, road and railways come to be a public infrastructure facilitating private activity.

Development of housing to let – it is another left-wing truism only for those who stick to the stereotypes. Why renting apartments would be less beneficial for the market than buying them? Besides, the more opportunities to rent, the greater mobility of workers…

Finally – renewable (and, for technological reasons, scattered) energy as an alternative to a nuclear power plant. The Leftists and the Liberals are of one mind here. The Leftists are not fond of big corporations that build large power plants, and the Liberals agree that a network of small private power plants is getting closer to the state of perfect competition.

There will definitely be more examples of a creative – thus unorthodox – combination of liberal methods with left-wing  objectives or translation of left-wing slogans into liberal solutions. This is what the group of experts from Palikot’s Movement, which I am forming,  will  work on – it is generally my response to all these tricky questions about the “orientation”.

Translation: Adam Intrys

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About Krzysztof Iszkowski

Sociologist of politics. Graduate of the University of Warsaw (sociology) and Warsaw School of Economics (international relations), PhD (2008) in the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Science. A member of the Research Center on Democracy, author of Liberte!.

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