Kapuscinski is neither an intellectual nor an evangelist; politics as such is of no interest to him. Using his press accreditation, he has simply spent years insinuating his way into unlikely situations for his own purposes as a writer. Yet there is a fund of sympathy in this dubious character which always earns him the benefit of the doubt.
I remember well, incidentally, that when the explosion of 1980 finally arrived and the government was obliged to sign the series of revolutionary social agreements with the workers, Mr. Kapuscinski coined a phrase that for a few weeks was on the lips of every official. “In the past, we have learned only from our mistakes. Now we are learning from our experience.” I have brooded on this apothegm ever since, concluding that—especially in a country whose experience consists mostly of its own mistakes and those of other powers—it means nothing whatever.