Our Partner and Host: The Polish RationalistAuthor of this text: Kaz Dziamka
our last issue, in which I had the satisfaction to announce our partnership with
Racjonalista, the Polish Rationalist online magazine, Mariusz Agnosiewicz, its
editor in chief, and I have posted over twenty-five articles from the current
and back issues of the American Rationalist. We will continue to put them online, several per week on the average.
At present, my main goal is to offer representative articles by our senior
writers, as well as to present their biographies. Of course, some articles will
not go online, if only to encourage some of our readers to support us
financially by subscribing to the print version of AR.
Those not yet savvy in the art of web surfing should not find it
difficult to navigate the new website, which includes two major sections: Polish
and English. Although designed in the same way, they are not parallel in content.
The Polish section is now very well developed, with over 1000 articles
and commentaries. The English
section offers its own selection of articles, mainly from the American Rationalist,
but also from other sources.
Needless to say, the Polish editor and his staff, particularly computer
scientist Michał Przech, have done impressive work to launch such an
advanced website in such a short time. I would like to express my appreciation
for their competence, dedication, and hard, day-to-day toil. (Once, when I emailed Mariusz an AR
piece at 6 p.m., I found that it was posted within an hour, which means by 3 a.m.
in Poland, Central European Time. As I learned later, Mariusz was working till 4
a.m. on that day, apparently not an unusual occurrence in his work schedule.)
As we continue to develop our partnership and to extend the sphere of
influence of rationalism in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere, I intend
to publish some of the best that Polish (and European) rationalism has to offer.
Outstanding and unique among European freethinkers is Mr. Agnosiewicz, a young Polish student of law who has published over 340 articles and written
another 500 pages awaiting publication. He calls his intellectual project
„rozprawianie się z religią" (disposing of religion).
Only three years ago, Mariusz,
fired by his passion to fight superstition and irrationality in a depressingly
Catholicized Poland, started an e-magazine that has now grown to be Poland's
by far leading outlet for independent, rationalist thought and commentary. He
has accomplished this, though, at a great personal and professional sacrifice,
unrecognized and ignored by the so-called „free" and „democratic" media
and institutions in Poland. It seems that the Polish government has exchanged
abject bondage to Communism for another bondage, only slightly less abject, to
Vaticanism; to its pathetic pontiff with a fourth-century mind; and to the
Bush-led military junta in Washington, a threat to democracy not only in the
United States but in the world at large.
What will this Polish-American partnership mean to you and me in the long
run? I don't know. But I do know that although the American
Rationalist is "America's longest
continuously published rationalist journal," it has probably never had a circulation of more than six thousand. At the time I took over the editorship,
the number of subscribers reached a dangerous low of about eight hundred. But I was determined to keep AR alive, even if I had to buy a hundred subscriptions
myself — just to ensure the journal's continuity. Since then, the
circulation has climbed to about three thousand. Good .. but not good enough.
So when I got that March 4 letter from Mariusz, I soon realized the
potential of our American-Polish partnership. Perhaps it was what the Italians
call „Fortuna" — the
endless play of the unexpected and uncontrollable in human life — that
gave me an opportunity to try to bring AR to a wider audience.
so I wish our Polish partners and us well.
To be published in the
upcoming, July/August issue of the American Rationalist ©.
« Introduction (Published: 14-06-2003 Last change: 06-10-2003)
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