As nationalist extremism gains popularity throughout East-Central Europe, can Krytyka’s message of hope in hard times steal the thunder from the right and appeal to millions of Europeans orphaned by the economic crisis?
Critics are not sure Krytyka is what everyone has been waiting for. They argue that the movement missed its opportunity to translate its visibility into real political influence. The Brave New World cafe closed in 2012—thanks to a much-lamented decision of the municipal authorities—and some of the smaller clubs around Poland have evaporated. And the young man whose name is so intertwined with the short history of Krytyka is no longer at the center of the organization’s life.
Even intellectuals skeptical of the Great Man theory of history acknowledge the outsized role played by Krytyka’s founder, Slawomir Sierakowski. In the course of a decade, Sierakowski leapfrogged to prominence as an intellectual, activist and public figure. He’s an early thirty-something, still boyish with his short blond hair and glasses: a Polish Harry Potter who uses the language of critical theory for his spells.
For more on this story, visit: Meet the Polish Activists on the Cutting Edge of a Possible Left Resurgence in Eastern Europe – FPIF.