A Firing Ground for Dialogue
Tensions and conflicts are inherent to culture. Antagonisms are evident on global scale, between major cultural circles as well as within particular worldview options, within smaller formations. There is a specificity too to the Polish conflict in the culture field, which plays out basically between the national-Christian party and the left. A certain paradox can be witnessed here. The mounting antagonism, which is a value, or rather an anti-value in itself, emancipates itself from the originally positive motivations of the warring sides, becoming something of an autonomous discourse of hostility.
The only true victory in such a war is to undo the destructive rules of this discourse. The way to achieving this leads through a recapitulation of the adversaries’ guiding motives and goals; the space of this meeting should be a mutual translation of categories such as inclusivity and community. Indeed, the means of conducting constructive dialogue are well available to the left-wing sensibility as well as coded in Biblical norms and Catholic social teaching. It is therefore worth considering a policy that would base the programming framework of Polish cultural institutions, cultural education, and funding distribution on ideas of a pluralistic representation of artistic attitudes and on a consistent promotion of dialogue. This would offer a chance of saving the construct of Polish culture as a certain distinct whole, threatened currently by division and blurring as a result of global processes. Opposing the soulless “divide and rule” principle seems possible by embracing standards from the times of the First Polish Republic, a multidimensional, tolerant culture of diversity organized in such a way that “sticking together” was attractive for members of the community and synergically built up the power and vitality of a shared culture. Players in our cultural field should therefore strive not so much to destroy or “turn over” their opponents as to create a balanced antagonistic model as part of which we would be able not only to passively follow the available global discourses, but have a chance to say something truly in our own voice.