Henryk Kamieński’s Question about Russia: between Philosophy of History and Social Philosophy

Krzysztof Wołodźko

The aim of this article is to present the thought of Henry Kamieński (1813–1865), the author of „Russia and Europe. Poland. The Introduction to the Research into Russia and Russians”; the work is regarded as the most important and original analysis of Russian Empire, that was written in the 19th century by a Pole. Kamieński, the philosopher, the sociologist and economist tried to inform compatriots and international opinion about the complexity of Polish-Russian relationship, described in the wide social, economic and geopolitical background. As a participant of November Uprising (1830), the theorist of democratic movement and the Siberian exile, he regarded Russian issues as important not only from Polish point of view but also the European one. He pointed to civilization threats, that could result from the lack of understanding of Empire of Tsars. Russian Empire, the state without history, institutions, law and without freedom, that indicated the course of history of Western Europe, can become the reason of the decline of civilization. What is more, the submission of West Europe to Moscow, an underestimating of its power and the lack of cultural initiative and ethic elements in international politics result in the fact that Europe continuously loses its significance with Moscow profiting from it. Therefore, if Poland does not find support in the West, it can be forced to make an alliance with Russia, thus marking the beginning of the Slavic Empire, the seed of new Europe.

Keywords: Kamienski · Russia · philosophy of history · social philosophy

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