The pun in the title of this post is obligatory with any article about opposing views internal to Poland. Nonetheless, I use the cliché because it works.
An “SJW,” for the sake of readers unfamiliar with the term, is an abbreviation for “social justice warrior,” itself a pejorative for anti-racist (read: anti-White) globalists. Last year Vox Day wrote a best selling book about them, which I bought and I highly recommended. This post takes a look at Polish nationalists and anti-racists.
The March 4, 2016 edition of the International Business Times (IBT) posted an article titled “Polish far-right groups extending influence across Europe, warns expert” about the cooperation between Polish nationalists abroad and their counterparts in Western European countries.
Nationalists in Warsaw, 2013 (Getty)
Expressions of solidarity among modern European nationalists are not a new thing, but active cooperation probably is. The IBT article writes about the phenomenon disapprovingly, relying on statements by Rafał Pankowski, whom it describes as a leading expert on Polish nationalism:
… branches of far-right groups had been set up in Polish immigrant communities throughout Europe, where they are forming alliances with native anti-immigrant groups, and engaging in racist attacks.
…Last week Polish far-right activists joined UK extremists the North-West Infidels at a rally in Liverpool, where they clashed with anti-racism demonstrators.
The occasion has provided an ideal opportunity for Polish extremists to build alliances across the continent.
… In Sweden, Polish far right groups have formed ties with members of the Nordisk Ungdom (Nordic Youth) fascist group, while in neighbouring Hungary Polish extremists have built alliances with far-right group Jobbik, which is notorious for its fiercely anti-Semitic rhetoric and for organising attacks against Roma.
Five things are missing from the original article: (1) context for what is implied to be unprovoked hostility toward immigrants; (2) acknowledgment of the sheer size of the migrant influx since last year and its deleterious impact on Western Europeans; (3) any indication of an awareness that European nationalism may be a natural fight-or-flight response to a state-engineered displacement of Europeans in their own countries; (4) any nod to the arguments that mass immigration of more than one million unaccompanied military-aged men is considered to be an invasion, rather than humanitarian policy, by the immigrants themselves and by opponents of immigration; (5) and any reference to the widely known predatory behavior of immigrants themselves — intimidation, shitting in public, rape, and murder — that motivates nationalists to either retaliate or to simply show up to deter further violence. But neither Pankowski’s statements, nor IBT’s own editorial discretion, provide any such elements of a more complete picture.
Nevertheless, in reading that article, I was heartened by the international spirit of “we’re in this together” among Polish, English, and Swedish nationalists. And that type of solidarity isn’t without precedent: the Polish-Hungarian friendship has been legendary for centuries.
The irony that nobody seems to have picked up on, is that working-class Poles abroad are objectively going abroad to take the working class jobs of native Western Europeans, yet as such, they still actively support their hosts’ nativist cause. It’s genuinely the case of workers of the world (or at least of Europe) uniting, but not in the way that Communists had envisioned.
A Point About the Immigrant’s Obligation
This is a sidebar item but it needs addressing. Pankowski was also quoted as follows:
After Poland became part of the EU, millions of young Poles took advantage of the union’s freedom of movement policy to escape economic stagnation at home and find employment in prosperous northern European countries. Pankowski acknowledges the ‘paradox’ that those who are themselves immigrants should show support for such violently anti-immigrant groups.
“They don’t seem to realise they are actually attacking other migrants who may be in a similar situation apart from they have a different skin colour,” he said.
That is a commonly used argument and it’s illogical. I once veered into politics with an Eastern European-born woman who said that she supports open immigration to the United States because, as she said (her nose shot up into the air), “I am an immigrant too.”
“So am I, you idiot girl” was my response. I then explained that the immigrant’s obligation of loyalty is to the people who took him in, not to the party-crashers that follow him. On the practical level, an immigrant has no interest in seeing the country that he tied his fortunes to degrade via low-value immigration, just as a homebuyer has no interest in seeing his neighborhood turn into a slum.
The Professional Anti-Racist
After having read that IBT article, I became interested in a private dialogue with Pankowski, should his email address be posted on his organization’s site. I imagined a serious-looking man, about a decade older than me, whom I can persuade to reconsider some of his opinions. But cursory web search took me to his eponymously-named web site and after a quick look, I dropped the idea.
Pankowski’s web site describes him as a sociologist and political scientist, Doctor of Humanities, Professor of Collegium Civitas in Warsaw, deputy editor of the magazine Never Again, and:
He is coordinator of the Monitoring Centre on Racism in Eastern Europe, a board member of the network UNITED for Intercultural Action (based in Amsterdam) and Football Against Racism in Europe (based in London). He was employed, among others, as an expert-consultant in the Department of Tolerance and Non-discrimination of the OSCE, he took up their cooperation with Chatham House, Policy Network and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.
Additionally, he has authored four books on racism and other such subjects. In other words, he is a professional leftist and experience has taught me that engaging them on a dialectical level with the goal of convincing them of anything is futile. I am also unfamiliar with the magazine or the organizations he’s affiliated with, but it is reasonable to start with an assumption that any anti-racist outfit in Eastern Europe is either a George Soros- or otherwise an American-funded subversion. And then, there is his appearance, per the photo below from his web site:
The face of an anti-racist. Nobody is mistaking him for Pudzian. Granted, practitioners of clerical occupations get a pass on having a less-than-working-class physiognomy but there is such a thing as an SJW look, and he’s got it. This is purely intuitive on my part, but one should trust his intuition and talking with an SJW is even more futile than with a mere professional anti-racist.
Final word on Pankowski: while he and I are ideological adversaries, I don’t rule out a possibility that I may be wrong in my personal reservations about him and he may in fact be a thoughtful writer who is willing to discuss nationalism from outside of the anti-racist perspective. He may also be a very nice and charming person. Either way, without knowing more about him, the tone of this post remains duly respectful toward him because despite my disgust with the ideas that he promotes, he has given me no reasons to adopt any other kind of attitude.
What Makes a Polish Anti-Racist?
Here are factors that contributes to the formation of a Polish (and more broadly, an Eastern European) anti-racist or SJW mentality. Some of the following qualities are universal, while others are particular to Eastern Europe:
Being Jewish. Let’s get that out of the way first. Polish and Jewish perspectives on Poland’s history and her national question differ. Historian Jan Tomasz Gross, who has made a career out of tarring Poles as murderous savages, is an example of a professional anti-Polonist Jew — a less buffoonish version of what Tim Wise is to U.S. Whites. You can also plumb the depths of Jewish animus in Art Spiegelman’s Holocaust-themed “Maus,” in which Poles are, literally, swine.
Ego. The human ego is the most powerful force in the universe. When personally invested in identifying with a political orientation, a lot of people will double-down on their positions rather than reconsider them when faced with facts or insights that contradict their views.
Mid-wit intelligence. Such a person has an above-average but by no means exceptional IQ, along with little capacity for original thought. He also lacks the discipline for rigorous dialectic. Mid-wits are intellectually at home operating within manichean, state-sanctioned ideological templates.
Career. Academic careers are rarely renumerative, except when you get into a Western-affiliated globalism-promoting NGO network. Then like any good employee, you enthusiastically support your employer’s mission.
Pathological snobbishness. The upper-middle-class contempt for members of the working class is a human universal.
Gamma male. This refers to a psychological profile conceptualized by Vox Day and elaborated-on in my post titled “Assessing Your Place on the Hierarchy.” A Gamma male passive-aggressively acts out on his resentment of men who are higher than him on the socio-sexual hierarchy. If he gets involved in politics, he sublimates that resentment into a left-wing ideology.
Eastern European inferiority complex. Decades of material backwardness behind the Iron Curtain and the subsequent collapse of their states in 1989 has had a psychological impact on many Eastern Europeans. Some of them overcompensate by identifying with the European Union’s ruling class values.
National pride. This kind of a left-winger is fond of his country but is embarrassed by what he considers low-class attitudes among his compatriots, which reflect badly on Poland and on him. Pankowski’s comment in that article suggests that this may be part of what drives him:
With Poland among the least multicultural societies in Europe, moving to a country with a sizeable ethnic minority population can trigger an identity crisis for some young Polish immigrants, he said. “I think many are quite confused about their identity, and being Polish abroad means understanding what multicultural society looks like, but for others it brings out dormant prejudice, and reinforces some prejudices they are prone to.”
What he’s saying is patronizing as hell and naive, but I can see how he’s trying to do what in his mind is damage-control on behalf of Poland’s image.
Morbid fear of chaos and violence. This type of a leftist prefers to suppress short-term limited and justifiable violence such as border protection, even as suppressing it makes extreme and continent-scale violence inevitable in the long run.
There is a lesson here for makers of national policy: if you don’t like skinheads, then stop creating conditions that make skinheads necessary. Personally, I empathize with all street-level nationalists because they are stepping up where the state has either failed to protect, or has outright betrayed, its own people.
Brotherhood of man. That ideal appeals to me as well, yet am not a leftist. Nationalism and universalism, in fact, are more compatible with each other than anti-racism is with universalism. As I recently wrote:
Men generally enjoy meeting men from other nations and races. There is a lot that is interesting, even fraternal, in the crossing of cultures—so long as these three conditions are met: both parties are coming from positions of equal relative status, each man has a home of his own, and each man knows who he is. Even Pashtun tribesmen are famed for their hospitality toward strangers whom they do not perceive as invaders. But multiculturalism, by imposing strangers on another’s home and codifying this intrusion with the Marxist duality of oppressor and oppressed, precludes any such fraternity.
Or as the American poet Robert Frost put it much more simply: “Good fences make good neighbors.” The humanist who becomes an anti-racist denies man two of his most essential dignities: identity and community.
“It’s Complicated” — Collaborating with the Empire
Being from a smaller country that occasionally finds itself under the power of stronger neighbors or subsumed into an empire comes with dilemmas. Sometimes one has to weigh the pros and cons of cooperating with the occupant for the larger good of his people or for personal benefit.
At its low points, Polish history featured men, sometimes tragic figures, who had stood at such crossroads and made an unpopular but principled decision based on what they thought would be best for their nation. Two such historic figures come to mind: Margrave Aleksander Wielopolski (1803 – 1877) and General Wojciech Jaruzelski (1923 – 2014).
My first example is Margrave Wielopolski, who ran Poland’s civil administration within the Russian Empire and he feared that the Polish independence movement was escalating toward bloodshed. To forestall that, he ordered 20-year-term conscriptions of Polish activists into the Tsar’s army. That decision ignited the January 1863 Uprising, the very outcome Wielopolski wanted to avoid.
The second example is Gen. Jaruzelski, who was appointed Communist Poland’s head of state in 1981. Several months later he crushed the growing Solidarity movement, imprisoned its leaders, and imposed the infamous Martial Law that lasted through July 1983. He is a reviled figure in Poland but his defenders argue that he imposed those measures to prevent a Soviet invasion.
And there is another, very obscure but memorable to me example of collaborating with a foreign power. There was a World War II memoir I read, written by a woman who had survived the notorious Pawiak prison in German-occupied Warsaw where captured resistance fighters were taken for interrogation. As a doctor, she worked in the prison’s infirmary, which put her directly in contact with inmates just coming off their torture-interrogation sessions. She related a story about a prisoner who escaped but was later tracked down and arrested by a Polish collaborator policeman who (as described by the author) beamed with pride as he turned the “bandit” over to the Germans. The policeman was rewarded with a dinner in the German staff dining hall, but as he later listened to the screams of the recaptured escapee coming from the interrogation room, pride had drained from his face.
The Polish anti-racist should make a humbling effort to better understand the refugee influx and the state-enabled Islamic invasion of Europe. He should then extrapolate Europe’s — as well as Poland’s own — fate under the trajectory of those events. Then, as a collaborator with the Brussels-based empire, ask himself: Czy jestem dumny z tego, co robię?