Draft Constitution

Władysław Leopold JAWORSKI (1865-1930)



Constitutional lawyer and philosopher of law. B. April 5, 1865, Karsy in the Kielce province of the Kingdom of Poland, in an impoverished noble family. Having largely adopted the position of the legal normativist H. Kelsen, in 1898 Jaworski was nominated associate professor, and in 1905 professor of UJ; from 1910 professor of administrative studies. In 1895 joined the Civic Club (Klub Spo³eczny), grouping young conservatives (including S. Estreicher and A. Krzyżanowski); in 1900 he became political editor of Czas, next year a deputy to the Galicia Parliament, and in 1907 co-founder of the Party of National Right (Stronnictwo Prawicy Narodowej). With M. Bobrzyński and J. Milewski he wrote Z dziejów odrodzenia politycznego Galicji 1859-1873 (“The History of the Political Revival in Galicia 1859-1873”, 1911). During the war he was vice-president, and in 1915 president of the Supreme National Committee (Naczelny Komitet Narodowy), supporting the idea of a re-emergence of the Polish state with the help of Austria-Hungary and Germany. President of the civil law branch of the Codification Commission (Komisja Kodyfikacyjna), editor of Czasopismo Prawnicze i Ekonomiczne, a staunch critic of the March Constitution, associated with the conservative Party of the National Right, he is regarded as the founder of “legal romanticism”, expounding the need for “hinging” the legal system on the “principles of Christ’s morality” transcending this system. It is thought that his Projekt konstytucji (“Draft Constitution”) considerably influenced the authors of the new Polish constitutional order instituted after the May coup of 1926. D. July 14, 1930, in an accident in Milanówek near Warsaw, buried in Cracow.

The selected fragments are from Projekt konstytucji: Cracow 1928, pp. 23-24 and 185-186.


                The ideal of a Bolshevik collectivity – it cannot be called a state – consists in turning individuals into automatons. It will be like a beehive, an anthill, or a beaver colony: a terrible prospect. Man amalgamated with nature, which since primordial times rolls its waves, rushing forward, but rhythmically, according to laws prescribed by historical materialism. Lenin believed that this ideal can be realized and that it would bring happiness to everybody. One must only get people used to this way of life. Hence the aim of all Bolshevik schools, from the lowest to the highest, is to train people like animals. However, this is an ideal. In the meantime the “state” must exist, and it must exist as a dictatorship of the proletariat. What remains outside the ruling class, lives in the condition of slavery.

                The fatal mistake of bolshevism is killing the spirit in man. It must be clearly seen and openly said. However, the cruel chain is breaking, and although bygone times will not be resurrected, the present reality will not prevail.

                The opposite of the Bolshevik outlook is individualistic liberalism. The individual is the beginning and the end of everything. The ideal is the Faustian man, who tore down the walls of the medieval town and marches towards infinity. The expansion of forces, self-realization, state-sponsored individualistic imperialism, the penury of industrial workers, an unbelievable flourishing of technology – these are the features and corollaries of this outlook, which recognized “liberty” in the household and in law as an indefeasible foundation. The fatal mistake of this outlook is divesting man of a stable support, suspending him in the air, searching in man and only in man for what he most certainly does not possess. Such liberty as is demanded by liberalism does not exist on this earth. It was Christ who brought freedom to mankind, but He taught selflessness […], He demanded that we be born again […], and asked us to pray for the advent of a Kingdom of God, not a human kingdom. Christ’s freedom is based on love, the freedom of the liberal outlook rests on the following principle: the greatest profit by means of the smallest effort.

                Let us see what reality has to say about these two outlooks.

                Liberalism is characterized by property rights, which consist of three principles: the right of ownership, the right of inheritance, and the freedom of contract. Bolshevism removed all three of them, while in liberal states “restrictions” were placed on property rights, going as far as expropriation; inheritance taxes are everywhere on the increase, and the freedom of contract is to a growing extent becoming a thing of the past, especially due to welfare legislation. In Russia life itself undermines the rejection of these three principles. No one who was brought up in the mode of thinking which for brevity’s sake we shall call evolutionary, regards the developments in Russia as anything but an episode, which will leave terrible marks, like the soil plowed by war, but it will pass. In Russia, which lives by violence, evolution is not to be seen.

                Reality says, then, that both of these outlooks are false. Neither is man an automaton, nor does there exist a free man, as created by Rousseau, as perceived by the liberal economy, as resurrected by Fascism, which calls freedom a metaphysical entity, but nevertheless is nationalistic and imperialistic, wants people to be forever young, allows them to realize themselves, to use violence if they are strong enough to be effective.

                The truth resides in neither of these extremes, but in the assertion that man is part of an organism and as such he must bear the consequences of this condition. First, he cannot exist alone; secondly, he has neither “natural” rights, nor “natural” obligations, but is planted in a “natural” situation; that is, he is called to fulfill a certain task. Hence if I am to make my viewpoint clear, but have to be brief and therefore use generally accepted terms, I am going to say that I occupy a liberal position, but in the sense of a twofold dependence: of man on the collectivity and of the collectivity on man; that is, the dependence of the members on organism and of the organism on its members. Man cannot be an automaton, for an organism cannot be an automaton, because an organism cannot live if its members are dead. A member cannot do whatever he likes without regard for the organism, because when the organism dies, every member – we repeat, every member – dies.

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