Our guest was professor Aleksander Smolar who gave a lecture on ‘The Beginning of the Century. Crises and Looking for New Ideas’ The meeting initiated a series of meetings entitled ‘Ideas of the 21st Century’ which focuses on how we can describe and understand what is happening around us. Do we really want to understand that? As Bogdan Białek said about the idea of the new series of meetings ’we all suffer from the lack of ideas and syntheses’.
The president of Stefan Batory Foundation spoke about what, in his opinion, is a sign of changes which distinguish present times from the previous epoch, namely problems with democracy and its crisis. He defined it as a dispute of non-democratic liberalism with illiberal democracy. The dispute disrupted the optimistic view that the world associated with the end of the cold war, the symbol of which was ‘The End of History and the Last Man’ by Francis Fukuyama.