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The Spirit of Europe Blows Where It Will

    2024-04-06
    Time to read: 15 min
    Introduction


    For over 50 years, since mid-1970s, the spirit of neoliberalism hovered over Europe.[1] Its essence was fittingly summed up by Margaret Thatcher, who observed that she knows no such thing as a society but only knows individuals. The current turn towards community and identity, evident in movements which have not yet developed their equivalents in the Polish language, such as gender, woke, cancel culture, Metoo, and Black live matters, raise concern and a sense of threat, even in circles critical towards neoliberal individualism. Arguments have been raised, especially in conservative circles, that current cultural phenomena are a testament to the decadence of the European spirit, a departure from the traditions and norms of Christian culture that nourish it, which must lead to destruction. The question therefore arises as to how far the above fears are justified. Are the new phenomena invigorating thinking patterns typical of the European spirit, from which, as in the past, a nuanced view of contemporary socio-political phenomena will dialectically emerge. They would then be a manifestation of the inextinguishable vitality of European thought responding creatively to contemporary challenges and the different sensibilities of new generations. Or else, as the critics warn, this is another stage of departure from the inherited values and norms which, anchored in Christianity, provided the foundation for European thought and spirit. 

    This essay offers no clear-cut answer to the above questions. On the contrary, by analysing the ambivalence of trends within neoliberal ideas, identity, or environmental movements, it shows the openness of these processes, which prevents them from being classified as contrary to traditional Christian values. It is on the activism of the players that the ultimate character of the current spirit of the time depends. 

    The double face of neoliberalism

    The growing popularity of neoliberal ideas, harking back to the 1970s,[2] was due to the crisis of the welfare state in Western Europe and the US and the debt crisis in so-called emerging markets. In the then context, liberal proposals focusing on reducing the realm of public responsibility through privatisation and individualisation of costs and risks related to unemployment, health, retirement age, and education were the only remedy for the growing indebtedness of the public sphere and declining economic growth. Reducing public spending to balance the budget became the universal prescription recommended all over the world by all international aid institutions (World Bank, IMF as well as EU or US government aid programmes). The ideological background was the demand to increase individual freedom, matched by a corresponding increase in individual responsibility. Adequate incentives were to contribute to greater individual activity, which in turn would have a liberating effect on society‖s productive forces and result in growing economic dynamism. In the light of the argumentation of Hayek, regarded at the time as one of the foremost theorists of the liberal turn, it was the frailty and fallibility of human knowledge that justified the need to coordinate individual activities through market mechanisms. The dispersion of competing decision-making centres was expected to reduce the risk of misallocation of resources and produce better results than top-down planned activities.[3] 

    The political and economic revolution in Eastern Europe, which rejected the top-down planning system of real socialism, strengthened the impact of the neoliberal argument. The collapse of this system after 1989 was widely viewed as proof of the superiority of an order based on individual, spontaneous and bottom-up action as opposed to central planning and deliberate industrial policy of the state. Following J. Stiglitz, we can say that the collapse of the Eastern Bloc is an example of the victory of a system based on decisions made by millions of uninformed and under-educated entrepreneurs over a model run by professionals who see the bigger picture and have access to big data.[4] 

    In the transforming Eastern Europe, neoliberal ideas became unrivalled in the 1990s in economic, cultural, and social terms. This meant undermining the necessity and abandonment of all policy and action at the social level. Characteristic of the thinking patterns of the time was the maxim adopted by the Minister of Industry in Poland's first post-transformation government in 1989, Dr. Tadeusz Syryjczyk, who claimed that ‘the best economic policy is no policy at all.’[5] The radicalism of the reforms introduced against community institutions and the public sphere and the simultaneous treatment of neoliberal assumptions as having no alternative, aroused widespread bewilderment among foreign observers. 

    However, it should be stressed that individualism and a focus on market mechanisms were not the only face of neoliberalism. Particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, a kind of sublimation of this line of thinking took place. Its manifestation was the emergence of a unique triad of cooperation and understanding between the pro-market US President Ronald Reagan, the Polish trade union Solidarność and Pope John Paul II. The cooperation between such seemingly disparate stakeholders was contingent on a common vision of the rights and dignity of the human person. It is worth recalling that at that time John Paul II was perceived as an ally and advocate of liberal ideas due to his strong emphasis on human rights, including the rights of working people, and on the dignity of the human person.[6] Furthermore, the pope himself repeatedly stressed the close connection between Christianity and liberal ideals.[7] He wrote in Ecclesia in Europa: ‘To give new impetus to its own history, Europe must ― recognize and reclaim with creative fidelity those fundamental values, acquired through a decisive contribution of Christianity.’ Contemporary Europe, too, which offered the world the ideal of democracy and human rights, draws its values from the Christian heritage.

    In political practice, however, the ideas of neoliberalism were applied in their extremely limited, economic version. Viewing the social sphere only through the lens of the utility of the individual was the root cause of the crises and the departure from neoliberal assumptions following the financial crisis in 2008. This process unfolded in three stages. It began in Central and Eastern Europe, where neoliberal ideas were implemented top-down as part of the economic transformation and EU accession processes. They were a pre-condition for accession to the European Union, which the majority of the population supported, at the same time accepting reforms in their most radical neoliberal form. Growing areas of poverty, social disintegration and labour migration exacerbating the demographic crisis contributed to the political contestation of neoliberal assumptions first in Hungary, with the victory of the Fidesz party in 2010, and then in Poland, after the victory of the Law and Justice party in 2015. The groups that came to power advocated a prosocial adjustment of the existing social policy and an active industrial policy of the state. The 500+ programme introduced in Poland, ensuring a basic income for every child through budget transfers, became a symbolic departure from the dogmas of neoliberalism, which questioned the viability of any social policy. 

    The second watershed moment was the response to the 2008 monetary crisis and the 2010 currency crisis in the eurozone. The measures taken at that time contradicted liberal prescriptions and the belief in the coordinating power of market mechanisms. They boiled down to a communalisation of the costs arising from the risks taken by the banking and financial sector, which entailed an increase in budget debt and a widening of areas of community responsibility. The search for solutions did not rely on the inventiveness of individuals, their mobility or capacity to adapt. On the contrary, steps were taken top-down at the level of nation states to protect individuals from the consequences of crises arising from their actions. States engaged en masse not only in bailouts but also in top-down regulation of the financial and banking system, which, despite being at odds with the neoliberal ideology so close to the financial community, was widely accepted. The third breakthrough was the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020. With widespread approval, governments took over responsibility for the operation of the labour market and the security of vulnerable groups by deliberately increasing budget transfers. So-called idle time pay as well as the widespread interference of the Member States in the functioning of the market became the EU standard. 

    Radicalism in departing from neoliberal assumptions is particularly evident in the fiscal sphere. Fiscal debt reduction has been an objective for the last 50 years. It was assumed that this translated into a reduction of the tax burden, which in turn increased individual freedom and had a favourable impact on the dynamics of the economy and thus increased budget revenues. Reducing social spending was presented as an instrument for stimulating individual entrepreneurship. In the face of the challenges of the crisis in the first two decades of the 21st century, this perception has changed dramatically. We now deal with a veritable promotion of the ‘virtue of incurring public debt’ to ensure the well-being of society[8]. This happens even though public debt rose to the whopping 226 trillion dollars, unprecedented after the Second World War, and the average indebtedness of states was as high as 99% of GDP in 2021, well above the 90% threshold defined as critical under neoliberalism. Changes in awareness translate directly into new regulations, as exemplified by decisions within the European Union. Even during the eurozone crisis in 2010, an instrument to assist member states was introduced through the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) fund, which was conditional on the acceptance of reforms in a neoliberal spirit. Twelve years later, when Greece, forced to accept these conditions, celebrated the end of the programme in September 2022, EU policymakers were unequivocally critical of forced budget cuts.[8] Mario Draghi, who as President of the European Central Bank (EBC) contributed to the creation of this instrument, as the Prime Minister of the Italian government flatly rejected its use during the pandemic. Despite the relaxation of the ESM conditions for granting support, no Member State chose to tap this source. Instead, the EU Recovery Fund was created, while the ECB initiated in June 2022 an alternative financing option for budgetary expenditure in the form of the Transmission Protection Instrument (TPI).[9] The neoliberal ideal of fiscal cohesion has given way to the idea that governments need to act on climate protection, social cohesion and energy security. 

    The evident shift towards the community is part of what Polanyi[10] sees as a typical reaction to correct the excessive deviation of the ‘pendulum’ towards the rights of the individual. This shift was necessary and forced, also from the point of view of individual rights and interests. This is because the crises exposed the weaknesses of models and instruments based solely on individual responsibility and market mechanisms. Assumptions were revised in at least three areas. Firstly, the belief that it is enough for everyone to take care of themselves, and everyone will be secure has been proved wrong. Indeed, an order emerging from the spontaneous actions of individuals operating based on the principle of freedom to pursue their own interests does not guarantee the safeguarding of the interests of the community as a whole. Secondly, crises have changed the perception of the individual and his or her needs. Especially during the time of the pandemic, it became apparent that the model homo oeconomicus is a social being who needs public institutions, also for the pursuit of their economic interest. Thirdly, it turned out that the public sphere requires additional institutionalisation, as social collectives are not just the sum total of individual actions but are driven by their own internal logic and dynamics and have causal power. The logic and rationality of action at the individual level does not automatically translate into rationality in relation to the collective. By contrast, the rational interest of the community and the rational interest of the individual can be in conflict, as was dramatically manifested during the pandemic through protests against the restriction of civil liberties and the imposition of restrictions such as wearing face masks to protect the community. 

    Consequently, the radical individualism of neoliberalism has highlighted the crucial importance of community and the public sphere and was instrumental in their reevaluation. 


    The ambivalence of identity movements


    The turn towards communitarian solutions because of the experience of the neoliberal order, is accompanied by phenomena that raise concern and a sense of threat to traditional European values rooted in the Christian religion. A question arises as to the extent to which the phenomena contesting traditional values are symptomatic of a departure from the European normative and cultural code. To what extent is this process deterministic and to what extent does it open the door to a deeper reflection on the European tradition. The following analysis of the debate around the identity rights of the individual as well as environmental protection brings to light the multifaceted nature of these processes, which prevents a conclusive assessment at this stage. 

    ‘Classical’ liberalism assumed that progress and success were built on individual toil and effort, which justified differences in social position between individuals. Individualism, however, was legitimised and accepted as an instrument for the multiplication of the common good and the construction of a free and just society. The new movements, which emphasise the rights of the individual even more consistently, have replaced the legitimisation directed at the multiplication of the common good with arguments to combat exclusion from the public sphere based on group membership, above all based on gender, race or sexual orientation. 

    The transmission of innovative ideas takes place through culture, science and economics. In the last case, these ideas have become part of marketing strategies within the framework of new management standards referred to apocryphally as ESG (environmental, social and governance).[11] The fact that multinationals such as e.g., Coca-Cola, General Electric and Deutsche Bank treat support of sexual LGBTQ minorities as commitment to social inclusion contributes to a universal dissemination of these values and prioritises them in the societies which in this respect follow a different value hierarchy.[12][13]

    However, the main battle seems to be taking place within the scientific community. There are multiple reasons for the acute conflict. Firstly, identity movements create their boundaries and taboos, defining obligatory content or rejecting a priori certain propositions, such as those concerning differences between ethnicities. The ideals of equality act as blockages in these cases and make them impossible to verify. Secondly, the new political correctness manifests its authoritarian side especially in the university world. It is turning from a positive pressure sensitising one to the other to an arbitrary and authoritarian instrument to police the debate, which contradicts the very essence of universities, i.e., the free exchange of ideas. Not only arguments, but also people with different views or representing different theoretical approaches are eliminated from academic discourse. Examples of university boycotts widely discussed in the press represent, according to critics, only a small part of the prevailing intolerance. The continuing ideologization of science forces a kind of opportunism due to the threat of ‘public death’ and ostracism. The widespread ‘cancel culture’, in which informed discussion is replaced by moralistic discrediting of dissenting views, thus affects the very essence of science. Thirdly, standards of scholarly debate are changing. Factual argument is displaced by the questioning of the qualities of the arguer. As opponents critically point out, the fact that a white man conceived a theory, did not serve as proof of its validity or as a reason to be contradicted. Such an argument would be treated as ludicrous. Critics further note that individualism in this new form is its own negation, since only membership in a particular group confers individual rights. As a consequence, structures similar to Islamic or feudal societies emerge, in which it is not an individual's merit but group identity that determines individual rights.[14]

    Advocates of the new tendencies, with a sense of mission to awaken public sensitivity to existing structural racism and sexism, reject accusations of restriction of scientific freedom, seeing in them only an inability to accept dissent and different interpretations and a defence of traditional positions by those who dominated scientific debates and were impervious to communities which were earlier excluded. Characteristic of the debate is the reaction to the emergence of the Journal of Controversial Ideas as an alternative for ideas that are currently removed from scholarly agendas. Considering the dangers for scientific dissidents, the editors allow publication under a pseudonym. The journal has nevertheless already been labelled a ‘forum for racists, sexists and authoritarians of every ilk.’[15] 

    Even being highly critical of the radicalism of identity movements, which consider it as their mission to challenge the dominance of the existing canon of ideas as selective and one-sided, it is difficult to flatly dismiss arguments about racist elements in European normative ideas. After all, the production of knowledge took place in particular historical and cultural conditions, which had their impact on scholars. A critical analysis of texts by Kant, Voltaire, Hume, Hegel, and Weber convincingly demonstrates that European knowledge is partly built on values that mask a sense of ethnic and cultural superiority portrayed as rationality or neutrality. 

    It is therefore by no means surprising that a reinterpretation of European ideas is postulated not only by circles referring to identity categories, but also by scholars from nations excluded from the process of knowledge generation due to the lack of a political form of their national community. A particularly notable example is the critical analysis of liberalism by the Indian-born R. Mukherjee in his book Twilight Falls on Liberalism.[16] Mukherjee draws attention to a cultural racism of the fathers of liberalism, who made the proposed rights of equality and freedom conditional on the acceptance of a specific cultural code. The practice of a select and enlightened group organising life for millions of people consciously deprived of political agency was, according to the author, not a later perversion of ideals, but an inherent feature of the concept of liberalism. A quote from John Stuart Mill's classical liberalist text ‘About Freedom’ (1859) is a fitting illustration of the sense of mission of the followers of liberalism: 

    Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians, provided the end be their improvement, and the means justified by actually effecting that end. Liberty, as a principle, has no application to any state of things anterior to the time when mankind have become capable of being improved by free and equal discussion.[17] 

    A similar experience is described by Z. Krasnodębski in Demokracja peryferii [Democracy of the periphery][18] with respect to the nations of Eastern Europe during the transformation period. Both authors, referring to dissimilar historical experience and socio-cultural contexts, stress the tendency of liberalism to deprive local communities of the right of political choice and to reduce the political being of such communities to the fostering of local folklore. Considering liberalism in the 19th century and neo-liberalism of the late 20th century, it was only re-education in the liberal spirit that gave the chance for ‘barbarians’ to become political subjects. In Eastern Europe, the process of reeducation was very intense after 1989. As a result of the acute social, political and economic crisis, there was a radical, voluntary devaluation of local elites and local experience and knowledge in the region. Once more subjected to radical change, these societies were particularly open and susceptible to influences, recommendations, pressures and ideas coming from Western elites, who did not see this as an opportunity to create partnerships, but as another occasion to implement their normative recommendations; even those they would not fully accept at home. A sense of mission and local assent reinforced the radicalism of their practices. Accession to the EU, which was to a significant extent an adjustment process in terms of rules and regulations, was seen not only as an unquestionable progress in civilisational, but also in moral terms. The fact that civilisational progress was equated with moral progress made the tendency to ‘publicly kill’ opponents more pronounced in the region, as it was reinforced by the conviction of moral superiority. The narrative offered by ‘Brussels’ was accepted without reservations or no attempts were made to consider the specificity or sensitivity of particular countries in the region, especially that any dissent was treated as symbolic of backwardness. The illiberal revolution in Hungary was a manifestation of a rebellion against this type of thinking. The victory of the Law and Justice party in the 2015 elections in Poland is also part of a process of opposition to topdown neoliberal and neutrally expert policies imposed by EU institutions in favour of subjectivity and political decision-making at the local level. 

    This brief outline shows that the mere fact of questioning dominant European ideas and authorities and initiating debates around problems outside the existing framework does not have to be solely a threat. In a way, the experiences of our region are part of the emancipatory actions advocated by identity movements. Challenging the status quo is their essence and can also be a gateway and an opportunity, especially for regions such as Central and Eastern Europe, whose legacy of thought has been and continues to be excluded from mainstream academic debate, not least because of the hierarchisation of cultures and nations inherent in European concepts then emerging mainly in countries with a colonial past. Taking advantage of the dynamics of emancipation movements in Western European countries, which are also a consequence of a colonial past that has not been fully reckoned with, provides a unique opportunity for a qualitative change in relations in Europe, where the scientific, cultural and civilisational achievements of Central and Eastern Europe are virtually absent from mainstream political and academic debates. The disastrous consequences of this exclusion of the Central and Eastern European experience is shown by the Union's misguided and short-sighted policy towards Russia.


    The ambivalence of the green transition


    Threats and opportunities also exist in the climate protection and carbon reduction movement spearheaded mainly in Western Europe and sceptically pursued mainly in Central and Eastern Europe. At EU level, the ideas of ‘greening the continent’ have been recognised as a programme and are being imposed top-down on the Member States through the introduction of carbon pricing or the definition of higher environmental standards for production and services. Countries in Central and Eastern Europe are particularly critical of these issues. Their concerns are echoed by countries in the so-called Global South. Their main argument is the negative impact of the green transition on the process of catching up with the level of socio-economic development in the West. The need to change to a more energyefficient economic model delays this process, entails additional social costs, and polarises society due to job losses. Additionally, it reinforces technological dependence on the West, which is the main engine of energy-efficient technologies. Climate sensitivity is often seen as an exaggerated problem of wealthy societies, especially of their younger generations, ignorant of the problem of economic deprivation. As for the youth protests within the Fridays for Future movement, they are accused of opportunism and abstract sensitivity towards the environment, with no readiness to bear the costs combined with indifference to the social consequences. 

    At the same time, it is difficult to deny that the green transition represents a move away from patterns of consumption and production geared solely towards individual and immediate profit. It propounds a lifestyle that respects the ecological order, considers the interests of nations threatened by climate change and underlines responsibility and solidarity with future generations. This fits in with both conservative circles' critique of the ‘despotic anthropocentrism’ of neoliberal ideas and the Christian tradition of responsibility for creation. Pope Francis is a great advocate of the new climate policy and the associated youth movement. Referring to the Day of Orthodox Prayer, established on 1 September 1989, since 2015 the pope has designated the period between 1 September and 4 October as a ‘Season for Creation,’ a time to pray for the protection of the world and ecological conversion. In the relevant statements and in the encyclicals Fratelli Tutti and Laudatio Si, he stresses that the dangers inherent in environmental degradation justify as much attention as other global challenges, such as serious health crises and armed conflict. He moreover highlights ecological sensitivity, deeply rooted in Christian theology. The necessity of ecological conversion was likewise indicated by John Paul II, who indicated that Paul VI had warned of imminent ‘ecological disaster’ as early as 1970.[19]

    In the pope's interpretation, richer nations actually bear a greater responsibility for the degradation of nature. These nations have incurred an ‘ecological debt’[20] towards the more vulnerable nations and should pay it off by supporting rising economies in the transformation process. Still, also the less affluent countries are called to ‘diverse’ responsibility for the natural legacy and wealth they have received. ‘The procrastination of others can never justify one's own inaction’[21], observes the pope. 

    In this spirit, the youth climate movement is a valuable and promising initiative. As the pope emphasises in his recent message for the ‘Season of Creation:’ ‘Feeling menaced by short-sighted and selfish actions, today‖s young people are crying out, anxiously asking us adults to do everything possible to prevent, or at least limit, the collapse of our planet's ecosystems.’[22] The pope specifically urges: ‘In the name of God, I ask the great extractive industries – mining, oil, forestry, real estate, agribusiness – to stop destroying forests, wetlands, and mountains, to stop polluting rivers and seas, to stop poisoning food and people.’[23] 

    The right to restrict the individual's freedom to multiply wealth for the well-being of future generations is gradually being reflected in concrete legal regulations. The ruling of the German Constitutional Court on 24 March 2021 is regarded as a watershed moment (Az. 1BvR 2656/18 ua),[24] in that is obligated the German authorities to take any effort necessary to reduce carbon emissions. The ratio decidendi to the ruling, which refers to the right to freedom of future generations, who must not be unduly burdened in their choice by the present generation, is considered revolutionary. It speaks of the timeless safeguarding of constitutionally guaranteed liberties and the proportional distribution of such rights between generations. The expectations of the present generation must not limit the choices of future ones.

    As in the case of rights for the LGBTQ community, the transmission of ideas is also taking place, among others, through the new business code referred to apocryphally as ESG. Religious communities in particular benefit from it. The press reports interventions by investment funds linked to the Catholic and Evangelical churches to consider climate and social welfare.[25] Maintaining environmental standards or preserving jobs is increasingly a major criterion for this type of investors. An initiative by two investment funds to demand detailed data from Amazon on the payment of taxes reverberated in the press. The proposal did not win a majority, but the very fact that there was a vote on the subject was considered a revolutionary departure from previous practice. The above examples illustrate a progressive shift in investor awareness and priorities.[26] 

    In conclusion, the green transition process is also open-ended and full of ambivalence. No doubt, the threats defined by opponents in the form of dependence on new green technologies from Western economies or social tensions due to job losses are real. However, these processes are also an opportunity, a departure from the economisation of socio-political life of the neoliberal period with its focus on the material well-being of individuals here and now. 

    Summary


    The Bible teaches us that the spirit blows where it will. History, in turn, teaches us that positive change often comes from unexpected directions. Suffice it to recall the figure of John Paul II, who not only introduced into the Church's teachings the issue of workers' rights, previously seen as alien to the Christian spirit, but was also recognised as an authority by proponents of neoliberal ideas on the rights and dignity of the individual. This experience should make us open-minded towards contemporary phenomena if they raise issues of social sensitivity, appreciation of the public sphere and responsibility for cultural and environmental heritage. This coincides with the Christian respect for the dignity of the individual and respect for his or her space of freedom of choice, which distinguishes Europe from other cultures. These questions can also be found in contemporary tendencies, which at the same time, paradoxically, question traditional European values such as family, nation, and Christian roots. The ambivalence of the current trends makes it impossible to assess them unequivocally. Which values will prevail and influence the spirit of Europe depends on the normative foundations of the actors shaping the public debate, on the commitment to shape reality in the name of responsibility for the inherited heritage of culture, tradition, and the environment.

    The European experience teaches us that anchoring ideas such as liberalism, conservatism or socialism in Christianity is the only guarantee of a sustainable social development. As European history shows, without such anchors, the positive values at the heart of liberalism, conservatism or socialism transmogrify into their own caricature, narrowing the possibilities for evolution and development. 

     

    * This article was originally published in the book entitled The Spiritual State of Europe, Ośrodek Myśli Politycznej (Centre for Political Thought), Kraków 2022.


    [1] For an analysis of the differences between classical liberalism, neoliberalism and ordoliberalism, see the articles: E. Mączyńska, P. Pysz ‘Liberalizm, neoliberalizm i ordoliberalizm’, Ekonomista 2014, No. 3, p. 221-247 and D. Plehwe, ‘Introduction’, [in:] The Road from Mont Pèlerin The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective, ed. P. Mirowski, D. Plehwe, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, London 2009, p. 1-45, [online:] <https://ub erty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/mt-pelerin.pdf>

    [2] W. Streeck, Gekaufte Zeit. Die vertagte Krise des demokratischen Kapitalismus, Frankfurter Adorno-Vorlesungen, Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin 2012, p. 12. 

    [3] F. A. Hayek, ‘The Use of Knowledge in Society’, [in:] The American Economic Review, Sep. 1945, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 519-530.

    [4] J. E. Stiglitz, Whither Reform? Ten Years of the Transition, Washington, D.C.: The World Bank, [online:] <https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/sites/jstiglitz/files/1999_4_Wither_Reform.pdf>

    [5] K. Nędzyński, ‘Silne państwa nie mówią o polityce przemysłowej, ale ją mają’, Obserwator Finansowy 2013, [online:] <https://www.obserwatorfinansowy.pl/bez-kategorii/rotator/sil ne-panstwa-nie-mowia-o-polityce-przemyslowej-ale-ja-maja/>

    [6] A. Küppers, “Zur Freiheit hat uns Christus befreit” (Galater 5,1) Zum Verhältnis von Katholizismus und Politischem Liberalismus, J.P. Bachem Medien, Mönchengladbach 2020, p. 5, [online:] <https:// www.gruene-reihe.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/458-K%C3% BCppers.pdf>

    [7] John Paul II, Ecclesia in Europa. Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, 28.06.2003, p. 108, [online:] <https://www.vatican.va/conte nt/john-paul-ii/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_ 20030628_ecclesia-in-europa.html>

    [8] J. Plender, ‘The virtues of public debt to protect citizens’, Financial Times, 07.02.2022, p. 9. Review of the book by Barry Eichengreen B., A. El-Ganainy, R. Esteves, K. J. Mitchener, In Defense of Public Debt, Oxford University Press 2022.

    [9] <https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/e n/statement_22_5082>

    [10]<https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/pr/date/2022/html/ ecb.pr220721~973e6e7273.en.html>

    [11] K. Polanyi, The Great Transformation. Politische und  konomische Ursprünge von Gesellschaften und Wirtschaftssystemen, Suhrkamp 1944.

    [12] <https://www.businessroundtable.org/policy-perspectiv es/corporate-governance/principles-of-corporate-governance>. The term was coined in 2012 by 123 US companies in response to the social critique of an individual profit-driven model of capitalism, which then, due to the 2008 financial crisis, generously used EU money. These companies pledged a greater commitment to the community through investments that take into account the wellbeing of the climate, society and transparency of governance.

    [13] T. Ehrmann, A. Prinz, ‘Aufgeweckte Kapitalisten’, F.A.Z., 14.04.2021, No. 4.

    [14] B. Zehnpfennig, ‘Worüber man nicht spricht’, F.A.Z., 05.05.2021.

    [15] W. Krischke, ‘Die Abgekanzelten melden sich zurück’,

    F.A.Z., 12.05.2021, No. 4. 

    [16] R. Mukherjee, Twilight Falls on Liberalism, Aleph Book Company 2018.

    [17] J. S. Mill, About Freedom, [online:] <https://www.econ lib.org/library/Mill/mlLbty.html>.

    [18] Z. Krasnodębski, Demokracja peryferii, Gdańsk 2003.

    [19] The Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ of the Holy Father Francis On Care for Our Common Home, p. 5, [online:] <https://www.vatican.va/ content/dam/francesco/pdf/encyclicals/documents/papa-france sco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si_pl.pdf>

    [20] Ibidem, p. 51.

    [21] Ibidem, p. 61.

    [22] Message of the Holy Father Francis for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation 2022, [online:] <https://press.vatican.va/con tent/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2022/07/21/220721c.html>

    [23] Ibidem.

    [24]<https://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/SharedDocs/Entscheidungen/DE/2021/03/rs20210324_1bvr265618.html>.

    [25] ‘Göttliche Schöpfung bewahren’, F.A.Z., 13.07.2022, p. 25.

    [26] H. Thomas, ‘Amazons tax tussle raises broader questions for investors’, FT, 28.04.2022, p. 17.

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