Interview with Matthew Tyrmand – libertarian activist, writer, son of well-known Polish philosopher and writer Leopold Tyrmand.
Also Polish version
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Mateusz Specht: I want to start with a quite easy question for you I think, because you are let me say „a freedom fighter” – we can say it. So what, this value means for you?
Matthew Tyrmand: Essentially, like my father believed, freedom especially in the sort of sociopolitical sense is quite simple – leave me alone. Don’t tell me what to eat, don’t tell me what to drink, don’t tell me what to wear, don’t tell me what to write, don’t tell me what to think. Really, the believe is that my liberty ends, where yours begins. I cannot hurt you, I cannot break a contract with you, I cannot violate the law against you, but beyond that everything else I believe should be permitted.
Last time on the convention of new Gowins party Polska Razem you said that two socialist parties are running Poland. Don’t you worry that Polska Razem will end like these two parties? What do you think about future of Gowins party?
The one think I like in Gowin is that he is not a cruel politician. He run a business. He was head of a publishing house “Znak”, he’s got experience from academy as well. But I spent much time with him, I’ve got to know him as a person and he is a high-integrity individual and he says that he is committed to these ideals, the ideals that he has been fighting in some ways, for many, many years: smaller government, less burden of regulation, encouragement for entrepreneurs, lower taxes – freedom. There is always a risk when politician comes into power and then reverts to the cronyism that we see so often in the political sphere. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try to find those candidates who say the right things, believe the right things and hopefully maintain that integrity all through. One thing I like about him is that he has demonstrated very high integrity for his whole career and multiple industries, politics, academics and industry commerce. So I’m willing to seek a chance on him and I said this to him and said this to others. But when I see him deviate from this ideals that he said he is believing I will dissociate with him and I will have no association with Polska Razem.
What is your advice for young people who want to start a freedom organization?
If you believe in something that is worth fighting for, usually the best way for fight for the ideas is to spread them. It is talking about them, writing about them, encouraging other to do and think the same you do. I encourage young Polish people as they wrap up their academic studies and gravitate toward believing this system to find organization like KoLiber or Jacek Spendels Freedom and Enterpreneurship Foundation and to work with them. Volunteer, write, read, distribute and if nothing exist in your region, start something, spread the word. There’s nothing more rewarding than successfully seen ideals which spread from germ to the plant. People will start to talk about them and to embrace them, this is very rewarding amd this is really how the world is changing by individuals.
Last one question, recently we see difficult situation in Ukraine. Ukrainians want a new freedom for their country but they are still in the sphere of Russian interests. But their freedom is about attending to European Union.
Yes, that’s quite ironic.
Right, so what do you think young Ukrainians should do? Do they go the right way?
Well, I find it absolutely hilarious that there is a freedom movement that is trying to embrace EU which I find to be very antidemocratic institution. But it always could be worse. To be honest, comparing to a current regime in Ukraine which is totalitarian and despotic, there is no rule of law, EU has also weaknesses but we can still accept some of the EU rules. That already makes it better by default than the regime of Ukraine. Personally, in the Ukrainian movement I’m seeing this boxer Klitschko and I like the way he talks and thinks he seems much more individualistic focus than trying to be glamorized. Obviously there’s still gravitation toward western Europe In western Europe ideals of freedom are still quite strong, comparing to other parts of the world. I would hope that Ukrainians have chance to introduce this true ideas of freedom. I can’t tell them what is the best for them. Of course I always say: be leary and go to the EU with your eyes wide open that is not a land of milk and honey, not an utopia. But the most important thing right now – and everything has its time and place – is to overthrow this despotic regime.
Thank you for your statement
fot: Barbara Kulpa/Stowarzyszenie KoLiber