Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz—the holder of IWP’s Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies—has just returned from a 42-day European lecture circuit. During his summer trip, he spoke in three countries: Poland, the Czech Republic, and the UK. The journey consisted of over 60 lectures, meetings, and interviews.
Dr. Chodakiewicz was promoting his latest book, O prawicy i lewicy [On the Right and the Left] (Gdańsk: Patria Media, 2013), an updated version of his classic Ciemnogród [Hicksville] (Warsaw: Ronin, 1996). On the Right and the Left is a history of political ideologies which clears up many common misconceptions about political labels—such as socialism, fascism, Nazism, communism, liberalism, conservatism, and nationalism—which many readily utilize but few really understand.
In his book and promotional presentations, Dr. Chodakiewicz emphasized that, contrary to common knowledge, the dichotomy between the “right” and the “left” can be traced much farther than the revolution in France at the end of the 18th century. Its origins may be detected already in the period of early Christianity (the 3rd century AD) when the Manichean sect posited the evil of matter. Taken to its logical conclusion, this gnostic ideology condemned even human procreation. The leadership of the sect was, however, not only freed from the unnatural restraints imposed upon the “profane masses,” but was entitled to the finest perks life offers. After all, the leaders possessed the “key to history.” Dr. Chodakiewicz points out that this approach—so inconsistent with the orthodox Christian tenets that matter was neutral and knowledge theoretically accessible to all through reason—drove the Medieval heresies and modernist revolutionary ideologies, including Communism and Nazism.
Dr. Chodakiewicz signed books at the Warsaw Book Fair, and spoke at numerous venues, including the prestigious Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. He also crisscrossed Poland, lecturing in both the major cities—such as Warsaw, Gdańsk, and Wrocław—and smaller ones, such as Koszalin, Kołobrzeg, Pszczyna, Stargard Szczeciński, and Wejcherowo. Last but not least, Dr. Chodakiewicz delivered a presentation at the Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in Prague on the imposition of communism on Central and Eastern Europe by the Soviets and their indigenous puppets after the Second World War.
Some of Dr. Chodakiewicz’s lectures (in Polish) may be viewed below: