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Is Liberalism Over? Debate with the participation of prof. Wawrzyniec Konarski

Is the crisis regarding the future of liberal politics a global process? Have the expectations of the citizens of Central and Eastern European countries in the West been disappointed? These questions focused on the discussion of the participants of the panel that took place during the XXXIst Economic Forum in Karpacz, involving Prof. Wawrzyniec Konarski, PhD, the Rector of Vistula University.

The starting point for the discussion was the book ‘The Light That Went Out’, by Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes, who argue that the crisis of liberal politics is not a problem in the East, but a global process, with Hungary and Poland perceived as its avant-garde, not a bastion of backwardness.

“Liberalism is over, it has ceased to be attractive”, declared the conservatives participating in the debate, the Deputy Prime Minister, Piotr Gliński, the Minister of Education and Science, Przemysław Czarnek, and Czesław Bielecki. Prof. Wawrzyniec Konarski argued that nothing has ended. “Yes, liberalism is short of breath, but it has to change into something new, so liberalism is being pupated”, he claimed. He also pointed out that conservatism meant servility towards the partitioning powers, and did not ‘catch on’ in Poland.

Prof. Konarski emphasized during the discussion, that we have had a problem with the Polish state for 400 years, because we are a tribal society. There are many shortcomings in the functioning of the European Union, but being an independent nation-state is not a good premise for survival, he asserted. He also expressed the opinion that if the experiment to improve the functioning of the Union fails, a stark consequence would be a radical increase in populism.

The Economic Forum in Karpacz is the largest meetings platform in Central and Eastern Europe, where not only security, prospects for economic development, contemporary challenges, and overcoming crises are discussed, but also specific solutions and innovative ideas are presented.

The international dimension of the Economic Forum offers an opportunity to replace stereotypes with facts, and to shape opinions on the basis of a substantive exchange of views.

The 31st Economic Forum in Karpacz was held under the slogan: “Europe in the face of new challenges”.

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