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You're reading: William Schreiber: At Thinking Together conference, rethinking the left

“The
shameless approval, mock sympathy, or idiotic indifference with which the upper
classes of Europe have witnessed … heroic Poland being assassinated by Russia”
was proof enough for Frederic Engels, one attendee, that the ruling class of
Europe could no longer be trusted with foreign policy. “But with the working
classes it is different. They mean intervention, not non-intervention; they
mean war with Russia while Russia meddles with Poland.”

Karl Marx,
another delegate at the Paris conference, later wrote that the organizers had
adopted a motto: “A free Europe based upon a free and independent Poland,” and
displayed a banner reading: “Resistance to Russian encroachments upon Europe –
Restoration of Poland.” The Paris conference in support of Poland was,
according to Marx biographer Rolf Hosfeld, the origin of the Communist
International.

“Ukraine:
Thinking Together,” a five-day conference in Kyiv that ended on May 19, brought together celebrated
intellectuals from around the world and from across the political spectrum. It
was sponsored by the embassies of France, Germany, Poland, the United States,
the Ukrainian ministries of foreign affairs and culture – and a long list of
intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.  

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