From Oszkár Jászi (15 February 1944)

From Karl Polanyi
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Oscar Jászi
P. T. F{e}nn
John D. Lewis
Carrell K. Shaw[1]

Dear Karli,

Many thanks for your letter of December 23rd[2] which I received rather belatedly. I was glad to learn that you feel happy in England and find her atmosphere congenial. I was also very pleased about what you wrote on the courage and vitality of our friends. Whether their outlook in politics is really so identical with mine as you believe, seems to me rather doubtful. I see a fundamental difference between their attitude and mine. They are thoroughly opportunistic in their foreign policy whereas I, from the point of view of our democratic value face the future without a great optimism, even with a great anxiety.

I doubt also whether you are justified in regarding our friend as belonging to the Social Revolutionary type. Those men were before all animated by the Western ideal of individual freedom whereas our friend is too much captivated by the Marxian formulae, and considerations of power politics. His idea to make our orientation closely connected with that of the Czechs is surely a correct one, but in the equilibrium of the future will depend on the moral resistance of the leaders against Asiatic totalitarianism. […]

Concerning my suggested trip to England, I did not hear of any new developments. You discard somewhat too easily the financial difficulties of this plan, whereas I think that without an adequate material foundation my work would be handicapped at every turn.

Editor's Note

  1. All this is crossed out.
  2. Maybe Jászi made an error, confounding 13 and 23… -- Santiago Pinault

Letter Informations

KPA: 47/14, 10