Adam Michnik, 2011
|Born||17 October 1946
|Occupation||Journalist, essayist, former dissident|
Poland is an ally of the United States of America. It was our duty to show that we are a reliable, loyal, and predictable ally. America needed our help, and we had to give it.
I think it's always dangerous to make political arguments in a religiously ideological way. And it's very dangerous to treat as traitors to the American nation those who think differently.
I do not accept being a prisoner of fear. Of Communism, of fascism. That, one can bear. But of one's fear. No. Never.
Every revolution, bloody or not, has two phases. The first phase is defined by the struggle for freedom, the second by the struggle for power and revenge on the votaries of the ancien regime.
Pacifism as a mass movement aims to avoid suffering; pacifists often say that no cause is worth suffering or dying for. The ethos of Solidarity is based on an opposite premise – that there are causes worth suffering and dying for.
The threat to Russia isn't liberal Europe or America. It is nonliberal Islam and nonliberal China. Russia has to change. It can't be otherwise. It will take time. You have to be patient.
The ethics of journalism are one thing. Another thing is the ethics of business.
In Czechoslovakia in 1968, communist reformers appealed to democratic ideals that were deeply rooted in the country's pre-second world war past.
If you're powerful, you are much more likely to be blind and deaf to signals from outside.
After the French Revolution, it was not the treason of the king that was in question; it was the existence of the king. You have to be very careful when you judge and execute somebody for being a symbol.
I do know that you have to choose between the logic of reconciliation and the logic of justice. Pure justice leads to new civil war. I prefer the negotiable revolution.
The main difference between the Prague Spring and the Velvet Revolution was that the former was mostly the work of Communist party members and others who wanted to bring about 'socialism with a human face.'
For those of us imprisoned in Poland, the Prague Spring was a harbinger of hope.
I consider that 9/11 was the day when war was started against my own work and against myself. Even though we are not sure of the links, Iraq was one of the countries that did not lower its flags in mourning on 9/11.
France can never accept that it is no longer a dominating power in the world of culture. This is true both of the French right and the French left. They keep thinking that Americans are primitive cowboys or farmers who do not understand anything.
Why am I such a Euro-enthusiast? Because I knew it was an anchor of democracy.
An ethical action, like an unethical action, is usually analyzed by politicians purely in pragmatic terms.
Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Arabs can be elected to the parliament in a democratic election.
The Polish freedom movement of 1968 lost its confrontation with police violence; the Prague Spring was crushed by the armies of five Warsaw Pact members. But in both countries, 1968 gave birth to a new political consciousness.
Politics is the art of achieving political goals – of achieving what is possible in a given situation – that is, in a situation that has its conditions and its limits.
I believe that a man can only be useful to his country when he can look at it clearly.