Idea narodu w świetle aksjologii Henryka Elzenberga

The Idea of Nation in the Light of Axiology of Henryk Elzenberg

The aim of the article is to offer an exposition and interpretation of the concept of the idea of nation and the phenomenon of war in the system of substantive axiology of Henryk Elzenberg. In particular two main theses of that conception are discussed, namely: (a) that the division of mankind into nations is something good and something to be sustained in spite of the armed clashes that it inevitably leads to, (b) that nationalism has two opposite aspects: a negative one – which lends support to negative values; and a positive one – as a medium which generates culture. Nationalism is not only the hotbed of war but also the crucible of culture. The author concludes that Elzenberg’s conception of nation and war has theoretical value as a counterpoise to currently widespread and facile conceptions of pacifism and cosmopolitism.