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June 16, 2021
Book Reviews Recommended

The world is dancing at the edge of a precipice

Prof. Roszkowski

Self-censorship? Softening the message? Dodging? None of these things!

In his latest book, “The Rebellion of the Barbarians,” Prof. Wojciech Roszkowski answers clearly and specifically to the questions concerning worldview changes in the world.

“The Rebellion of the Barbarians.105 questions about the future of our civilization,” published by Biały Kruk, is, as the author himself emphasizes, a continuation of his last year’s monograph ” A shattered mirror. The Fall of Western Civilization.” The book presents the stages of dismantling and deconstructing European civilization; the book, let us remind, was awarded the Mackiewicz Book Award and the special award by the Literary Magazine “Books” for the best publication of the decade in the field of humanities.

On May 3rd, it is worth recalling, the professor received the Republic of Poland’s highest state award from President Andrzej Duda – the Order of the White Eagle – on the day of Poland’s National Constitution Day.

According to the author, “The Rebellion of the Barbarians” was intended by the author to convey a more specific, structured message, based on questions and answers. The direct form, accessible language, is the way to reach a larger group of readers, especially those who want to find out how it is possible the changes in worldviews are taking place so quickly and whether this trend can be stopped.

How is it possible that until recently something that was considered nonsensical, a marginal behavior, or was stigmatized as iconoclastic, unethical, or merely abominable today is becoming the norm, a model imposed by the most outstanding authorities, and included in school or even preschool curricula?

Prof. Roszkowski points out that the acceleration of the extreme left-wing projects has been taking place, among others, thanks to popular culture and the mass media, popularizing the attitudes of the participants of the significant 1968 protests, which have become a model for both sides of the ongoing cultural war: the liberal-left-wing and the conservatives.

Vulgar slogans, instead of a substantive discussion 

Meanwhile, for Prof. Wojciech Roszkowski, the passing year has been a period of great appreciation for his scholarly achievements, his sharp pen, expressing his views directly, swimming boldly against the tide, not succumbing to fads, compromises, or pressures to soften the message and not be too extreme but rather to stand somewhere in the middle in a dispute, or to distribute equal punches to both sides.

It is enough to take a cursory glance at the topics that the professor tackles to see that these are the issues that cause the most significant controversy on the side that rejects the discussion, the substantive exchange of arguments, and whose guiding principle is their favorite slogan – “f.. off.”

When Women’s Protests are organized on the streets of Polish cities, full of vulgar slogans, inciting hatred, when feminist groups demand the liberalization of the abortion law, they want to overthrow the democratically elected government. What is especially painful is that they often entice young girls. This shows the absurdity and the hypocrisy of the feminists.

“The confusion within contemporary feminism circles is also evident in the homage paid by many feminists to various false prophets. Advocates of women’s sexual liberation very often pushed feminists into subjugation to the unfulfilled urges of lustful males. It is also puzzling why many feminists love the gurus from the East so much,” he notes. 

Gender ideology deforms gender consciousness

Is it necessary to point out what model of a woman is promoted by the mainstream media and pop culture daily and that it has nothing to do with the Church’s teaching? Is it necessary to emphasize the status of a woman in Islam? The same Islam is conquering our continent with Allah followers’ successive waves reaching our shores to liberal-leftist groups’ delight.

Prof. Roszkowski also strikes at another taboo, the gender ideology, by writing that “never in history have young people been taught that all family models, including a homosexual model, are equal.

Never in history has the family been the subject of such a perfidious attack by gender revolutionaries. Reaching schools, gender ideology deforms the emerging gender formation of children,” emphasizes the author.

What is the young generation in the West like?

“Today’s young people in the West more and more often grow up in broken or unstable families, in which there is no love or commitment to the indissolubility of marriage, where they are forced to accept two parents of the same sex, and urged by schools and the media to practice free love. Is it any wonder that young people escape into extreme individualism and virtual unreality, that they lose the ability to have normal relationships with their peers?”  rhetorically asks the author.

Moreover, at this point, it is worth asking if the author of “Rebellion of the barbarians” can, with his message, reach people dazed by radical leftist ideas? Will they want to get acquainted with the opposing side’s arguments, with their way of thinking? Doubtful.

Even though the author writes clearly, does not offend anyone, does not condemn anyone, the fact that he dares to formulate specific thoughts causes accusations of “fascism,” “homophobia,” “misogyny,” and a thousand more transgressions.

So, who is this book for? In my opinion, it is, first of all, for those who, shocked by what is happening in the Western world, keep wondering how it is possible that we have reached such times and where all this is heading.

The author’s questions and answers are not a kind of cheat sheet showing how to “think” on a given topic, but instead, it is an encouragement to explore the topic more thoroughly, not to be deceived in discussions or by the media.

The professor warns that eristic methods have often turned out to be very useful in the history of significant intellectual and social movements.

“It is easy for people not familiar with eristic techniques to be fed any nonsense. The nonsense dispensers unscrupulously take advantage of their targets’ credulity. Their insolence is usually very useful. Adding an emotion that induces nervousness hinders reflection and extinguishes doubts aids effectiveness. Applying demagoguery can reduce the adversary’s counter-arguments to ill will, lack of knowledge, and even service to evil,” he explains.

Therefore, after reading “The Rebellion of the Barbarians” and the previous book by Prof. Roszkowski, I conclude that these books are a symbol of opposition to the all-encompassing barbarization of science, the encroachment into the world of various dangerous “isms,” which, as Richard M. Weaver wrote, “have consequences.”

They influence the law, education, entertainment, science, our way of thinking, life, its meaning, and the goals we set for ourselves.

Therefore, the author asks an important question – who is a contemporary intellectual?

“More of a celebrity, similar to pop culture celebrities? Is it not salt that has become weathered? Furthermore, what to replace it with? ”

Moreover, here, the author goes back to the words that Saint John Paul II spoke out in 1997 to the men and women of science and culture gathered in the Church of St. Anna: “the modern man needs you.” 

The critical conscience of an intellectual

The Pope argued that every intellectual, regardless of his or her beliefs, is called upon to “(…) fulfill the functions of a critical conscience towards everything that threatens or degrades humanity.”

Prof. Roszkowski points out that nowadays, in that function, many intellectuals pose just such a threat.

“An intellectual authority can only be someone who efficiently uses his/her intellect, not eristics or pretentiousness to appear to be someone of authority,” he emphasizes.

However, what if the intelligentsia do not want to serve the truth? What if they ask this significant question: what is the truth and conclude that truth does not exist?

Prof. Roszkowski also asks this question. Although he cites the arguments of a great thinker like St. Thomas or Aristotle, in the end, he claims, we come to the peculiar statement that what we most need is common sense.

“To claim that there is no truth or that it is unknowable or attainable translates to the belief that any opinion can be substantiated. For example, there is no way to know why someone should live and someone else should not. As in the case of Pilate, the ultimate price for doubts about the truth may be death,” concludes the author.

Finally, although “Rebellion of the barbarians” is pessimistic in its meaning because it concerns the ongoing dramatic demise of our times, it also leaves us with hope for reflection, for coming to our senses and turning back from the wrong path.

We are not determined to destroy Western civilization, reject its achievements, depart from Christianity and the system of values based on it, the cultural code, traditions, and social relations.

A determinant of modernity, Marxism?

The progressives proclaim that there is no turning back from progress or what they believe it to be. Just as recently, they proclaimed that the determinant of modernity is Marxism, that there is no turning back from it, and everything that stands in opposition to it must end up in the trash heap of history.

It is not so, said prof. Roszkowski. He emphasizes in the “The Rebellion of the Barbarians” that there are specific people, environments, ideas that influence changes, that they do not happen by themselves, which means that we still have a choice, that it is up to us how the present and the future will look.

The original version in Polish can be read here:

https://www.tvp.info/51078518/wybitny-historyk-prof-roszkowski-kontynuuje-pojedynek-z-lewicowymi-ideologiami?fbclid=IwAR1IgEeDTxVFtiyx2qVVS75m2NnM8WIjbdu89A14ig4QKMCfFCMEtenWwKo

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