Songs About Warsaw

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Image source: Youtube

The songs I picked span the post-war decades and the videos give you a feel for the city of its respective decade. I translated selected verse lyrics, not the entire songs.

Though 82 years old now, Irena Santor is doing well and still occasionally performs. There is a whimsical other-worldliness in her voice, most so in her 1960s/70s heyday. The title of her early-1990s song Chodź na kawę Warszawo (“Come join me for coffee, Warsaw”) is grammatically constructed as one girlfriend addressing another. There is double entendre in the lyrics, with the capitalized adjectives also being names of Warsaw streets:

Your face is your streets
You wake up Cold like ice
Wolfish and Wild, and Dark like a Tear
I look and sense pain
But as a woman, you’re Fickle
You’re Kind when you want to be
Simple and Beautiful
Honey-filled to the brim
You’re as Bright as the bells of Jasna Street

Lady Pank (pron. like “Lady Punk” in English) is an eighties band. Unlike the bright pop culture of American eighties, Poland’s pop culture from that decade reflected a gloomy political reality. That aesthetic is prominent in Krzyztof Kieslowski’s “Decalogue.” Nineties-era song Stacja Warszawa (“Warsaw Station”) is about the alienation of people who came to the city for work during its post-Communist construction boom.

The faces on the metro are alien
So why bother knowing anyone
All of this is too expensive
Best to keep going and then sleep
Everything would be different
If you were here, I know

The band T.Love’s uptempo Warszawa lovingly catalogs the cold mornings and the scattered empty bottles. There is a sub-genre of poetry, notably William Shakespeare’s sonnet “My Mistresses Eyes Are Nothing Like The Sun,” that lists the flaws of one’s beloved as testament to the speaker’s fondness for something that’s imperfect, but is his. As pop songs go, this one does something similar:

When I look into your eyes, as tired as mine
I love this city, so tired like me
Where Hitler and Stalin did what they did
Where springtime breathes in the exhaust

Krakowskie Przedmieście is sun-drenched
Whirling like mist, you come from the gate
And I’m hungry, so hungry
My love, feed me with dreams
The trees and the shrubs bloom
In leafy Żoliborz, fucking Żoliborz
Completely drunk on the river’s waters
I want to scream, I want to roar, I want to sing

Mieczysław Fogg’s career spanned from his first professional performance as an adult in 1928 until his death in 1990. His style recalls the 1930s aesthetic of a lost culture, not the least his aristocratic Kresy accent. Piosenka o mojej Warszawie (“A Song about my Warsaw”), recorded shortly after World War II, shows film footage of pre-war days. The song’s first two verses compare the speaker’s antebellum strolls through the city to the joy of young love. Clouds then gather in the third and final verse:

I know that you’re not yourself today
That you survived bloody days
That despair and pain crush you
That I have to cry with you
But such, as you live in my memory
I’ll restore with my blood
And believe me, Warsaw, beside my song and tears
I am ready to give you my life.

With its simple didactic lyrics and cheerful melody, the song “Warszawski dzień (“A Warsaw Day”) is an example of socio-realist art that was mandatory during the 1945 – 1954 Stalinist era. Warsaw was almost completely razed after the 1944 general uprising, including its historic Old Town and the King Sigismund column at the top of this post, and it had a quarter of its civilian population murdered. Seeing color footage of the city being rebuilt in this vintage Communist propaganda reel can bring a tear to your eye:

The streets were dark, the night was black.
A flame of hope lit the undergrounds,
Then it resurrected, and it awakened
The light over the ruins is once more in force.

Over the Vistula River, a new day dawns
It speeds with the trams, this Warsaw day!
Back to the schools
Back to the offices
Rushes to construction scaffoldings, this Warsaw day!

Here is English composer Richard Addinsell’s “Warsaw Concerto,” written in 1941. The quiet piano solos in this piece recall Frederic Chopin’s Nocturnes:

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Defending Elk

As reported by RT Online, “xenophobic” riots erupted in the Polish town of Ełk (pron. Eh-wk) after a 21-year-old local man was stabbed to death by four men of Arab descent outside of their kebab diner. The suspects are in police custody. More than two dozen protesters were later detained as 300 people ransacked the diner in retaliation.

Xenophobic. The word’s disapproving usage codifies the respectability of tolerance, making judicious postures toward foreigners unfashionable. Cultural Marxism works as long as it successfully persuades attractive young women to judge men by its values and convinces men to dance to that tune to get laid. In other words, it installs girls as arbiters of correct attitudes toward the destiny of their nation. But Europeans are snapping out of their cornucopia trance and anyhow, we are a K-selected patriarchal race — we do more than display to our women, we also have them aspire to meet our standards.

The slain young man may not have been an innocent victim. According to a credible-sounding regular commenter at Vox Popoli, he was allegedly a known criminal with a rap sheet: “he started not-so-friendly chat with bar service, and the he left with two cokes, refusing to pay. Two Algerians, Moroccan and Tunisian (a chef) run after him. [The] chef stabbed him twice.”

It doesn’t matter. Foreigners don’t get to do vigilante justice. And as I put it last year, a healthy society includes its own reasonably contained criminal underclass:

We are better-off for having our own reserve army of muscle and balls. And importantly, we need someone to rule the rougher streets; best it’s our thugs than their thugs.

Looking from the perspective of a future victory, we would not have repelled the invaders and hanged the traitors without our own rough young men […] being the first to stick their necks out and take it to the streets.

Morbid tolerance did not work out well in Sweden. It has not worked out well anywhere.

With regards to action, I never tell readers to do something, in part because one shouldn’t tell anyone to do something he wouldn’t do himself. I navigate a neoliberal sewer every day and I don’t do anything about it. However, there are circumstances under which I would in fact do something.

An example from my visit to Poland, a tourist district of another medium-sized city. I’m having dinner with an older relative in an outdoor section of a restaurant, when he says with a wry smile on his face: “Hey, it looks like diversity has followed you here from America.” He nods his head toward something behind me, a hostess leading a party toward their table. It was five men in their late twenties wearing their country’s national team track suits and appearing to be professional athletes. Two were White and three were a mix of black African and Arabic.

They were having a lively conversation in French. I kept a discrete eye on their table and sussed out their dynamic. One of the two White men was the leader of the group; he was mostly quiet but had authority in his expression and the others’ body language was deferential toward him. The diplomat of the group was one of the mixed-race men, mostly sub-Saharan in appearance but with an Arab angularity to his facial features. He talked the most and others laughed at his jokes. They talked loudly but then again, elite athletes aren’t shy people. I didn’t pick up on any disrespect to the other patrons.

A pretty waitress came to take their orders and they spoke with her in heavily-accented English. The “diplomat” had a big grin and very bright eyes. They were visibly impressed by her but not lecherous. Like schoolboys awed by a beautiful teacher. As someone who has traveled, I could relate: when in an unfamiliar culture, you walk the thin line of appreciation and inoffensiveness.

When she returned to check on their table, she was wearing a jacket over her blouse. Poland can be cold even in the height of summer.

They left before we did. Two observations, one on hospitality and one on action. On the former: visitors who haven’t been accommodated to feel overly comfortable someplace that is not their home respond by behaving like guests and not like invaders. Xenophobia works. On the latter: had they disrespected what’s mine, I’d have gotten up.

The linked RT article concludes with a statement by Serbian-American political commentator and former Yugoslav dissident Srdja Trifkovic:

In general, it is the former Soviet bloc countries which also include the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary which have offered stiff resistance to the attempt by the European Union to impose migrant quotas on individual member countries regardless of their parliaments’ will or public opinion. So, it is really in this context that this should be seen as an expression of nativist anger and resistance to what is seen in central and eastern Europe as western Europe’s failed policy of excessive welcoming of the migrants and unsuccessful attempt to [integrate] them into the whole society.

The Anti-Racist Clown Show in Warsaw

There is no point in making an appeal to yesterday’s terrorist mass-murder in Belgium. It is like all the previous acts of terror. Like so numbingly many instances of lethal or demoralizing human friction in the past several decades in White countries, it is a product of the forced mixing of people who should — by every dictate of natural and moral law — be living separately from each other. That forced mixing is the policy of Western governments and it is propagandized by their anti-racist (anti-White) activists and useful idiots.

In the recent “Poles Apart” essay, I listed the psychological root-causes of anti-racist thinking in Eastern Europe, in Poland specifically. That post was written in a reasonable, even gentle, tone in order to reach any potential or borderline Polish SJW and compel him to reflect on his unwitting role as a collaborator with the powers that mean his country ill.

However, there are occasions when anti-racists (or “social justice warriors” / SJWs as they are derisively referred to) effectively declare themselves a belligerent party and as such, they will not be reached by appeals to reason or decency. They are an invasion-abetting and White-genocide-advocating enemy who ought to be treated as such.

Here is an example of this type of SJW. Poland’s major online news portal Onet has an article and photo gallery from a small “No to Racism” march that took place in Warsaw on March 19th. (All photos are credited to Polska Agencja Prasowa/PAP):

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The orange clowns are not trying to persuade. They are trying to mock. It’s a Level 1 protest per my original analysis of the three types of political street demonstrations. Or at least they think it is if they believe that Poland has fallen to the globalists.

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Is that Bernie Sanders in the blue jacket? The happy merchant’s cousin next to him? The yellow sign says “Say no to Racism.” The smaller white sign says “Open the Borders!” at the bottom. The large white sign says “Allah and Jesus, brothers be,” a blasphemy and a deliberate mockery of the 400-year-old Polish-Hungarian friendship proverb that is now used in solidarity marches involving nationalists from those two countries.

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The sign above says “Say no to Racism.” You can also see the anarchist/Antifa flags, which connect the protesters to foreign subversion. The anti-racist language in the placard slogans and in the words of some of the quoted marchers is an Alinskyite counterfeit claim to moral high ground and popular support. One anti-racist participant is quoted saying:

What happened in a country … where Solidarity was founded?

I will be patient with the feigned stupidity and answer the question. Poland’s anti-Communist movement and its post-Communist order was peaceful because it occurred in an ethnically-homogeneous nation of 38 million, where there was no build-up of scores to be settled along ethnic fault-lines. Things were different in Yugoslavia.

Then he continues:

And today there are groups that want to do referendums against those whom we should accept. The border should protect us from the enemy, but to be open to all those who need our help.

But the more that an SJW speaks, the more one wonders if his stupidity is entirely feigned. Another anti-racist activist from that march is quoted:

Poland is slowly becoming a country in which every person who has a bit of a darker skin color is afraid to walk down the street.

My blood pressure just dropped a little. But then she adds this:

People who feel frustrated because they earn very little and have a difficult housing situation, and instead of looking for the enemy where he actually is, they are looking for it in some mythical refugees. We will not find solutions if people do not start to organize around the real problems.

Don’t worry, sweetheart. When Europeans finish dealing with the street-shitting, child-raping infestation that had been invited into Europe, they will indeed look for and find their real enemy.

On another upbeat note, do readers remember the truism I repeated, that people go straight to the comments-section of corporate press articles to get truth and clarity? I am happy to say that all comments under that Onet article were anti-immigration. A typical comment by a female reader (Polish past-tense verbs are gendered so the sex of the writer is known) is along the lines of her always having been non-racist until she visited or traveled to work in England, where she witnessed vibrant diversity in practice.

***

I do not yet understand, from the perspective on an observer of history, if the globally coordinated project of ruining of White countries will ultimately have to be resisted in non-violent ways that encourage the globalist juggernaut to self-destruct if our nations are to survive, or if the enemy will at some point have to be fought directly just like the Red Army engaged Wehrmacht soldiers at Stalingrad and overcame the invasion.

On a closing note, the Onet article does not say how many people attended the rally, but it’s a common photojournalism trick to take close-ups of a smaller group of demonstrators to create an illusion of a large crowd. Yet neither in terms of numbers nor quality was that anti-racist clown show in Warsaw speaking on behalf of  Poland — rather, it was a mockery of a thousand-year-old nation.

The real Poland is in the video below, represented by the 50,000 people marching through Warsaw at the anti-immigration rally on November 12, 2015:

Poles Apart: Nationalists and SJWs in Poland

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 Nationalists

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.

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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:

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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?

“Dispatches from a Besieged City”

Here is a fragment from Zbigniew Herbert’s poem “Dispatches from a Besieged City” (orig. “Raport z oblężonego Miasta”). Herbert wrote this poem during Poland’s 1981-1983 Martial Law as an allegory for that event, using imagery from the 1939 siege of Warsaw and the 1944 Uprising to tell a larger story of nations that are under attack. Do we know of any nations that are under attack today?

Translated excerpts from Herbert’s poem:

Too old to carry a weapon and fight like the others —
I was assigned by their grace the chronicler’s role
I write — do not know for whom — about the siege
I have to be exact but I do not know when the raid precisely began
two hundred years ago last December September maybe yesterday at dawn
all of us here ail of the loss of the sense of time
[…]
I write as well as I can to the rhythm of endless weeks
Monday: the warehouses are empty the rat became a unit of currency
Tuesday: the mayor has been murdered by unknown perpetrators
Wednesday: talks of a ceasefire the enemy interned our emissaries
we don’t know of their whereabouts read: their place of slaughter
Thursday: after a stormy meeting the majority rejected
the spice merchants’ proposal for unconditional surrender
Friday: the beginning of plague Saturday: N.N. the steadfast defender
committed suicide Sunday: no water we repelled an attack at the Eastern Gate
[…]
in the evening I like to wander around the borders of the City
along the borders of our uncertain freedom
I look down at the ant heaps of their troops their lights
I listen to the noise of the drums the barbaric screams

[…]

(The full original poem is HERE. Przemysław Gintrowski interprets the poem musically HERE.)

The selected passages above feature a speaker who reports on the everyday conditions of the siege in a resigned and matter-of-fact way. Herbert then shifts the speaker’s tone, over the course of several additional free-verse stanzas, into bitterness and then anger upon noting the ghastly precociousness of the city’s children.

Herbert’s speaker then reaches an epiphany to resist despite the lack of hope. He gets there by connecting his situation to that of history’s other besieged people who have always been ignored, or at best condescendingly pitied, by the rest of the world. He concludes that defending the real and the metaphoric ruins is all that’s left to do.

***

In his Harvard lectures that he later compiled and published in a volume titled “The Witness of Poetry,” Czesław Miłosz said that in reading the scribbled notes of concentration camp inmates, he noticed that it was not educated adults, but rather children who most vividly described their conditions.

One of the worst thing a child can feel is a recognition that he is abandoned by trusted adults. And in thinking about cities under siege from a child’s — or in this case a teenage girl’s — point of view, see a German girl’s now-famous YouTube video, which was banned from Facebook. The brave 16-year-old girl, named Bibi Wilhailm, makes a heartfelt appeal for help. She also denounces the adults and authority figures who have abandoned her to the terror of the refugees.

Her video is at the end of this post. Here is a transcript of her words from the English subtitles:

16 y/o German girl talks about muslim immigration, destruction of her own country (Engl. subs)   [title of the YouTube video]

Hello, you can read the newspapers but this video is about the real situation in Germany. I would like to tell everyone about this on Youtube and Facebook. I am almost 16. I would like everyone to know what is going on, what I am authentically feeling at this moment.

And I am so scared everywhere. For example, if my family and I go out together, or if I see a movie with my friends. Usually I stay at home, but sometimes I stay out until 6 pm in winter, and it is so scary. It is just very hard to live day-to-day life as a woman.

I just want to say that I am not a racist. But one day, a terrible thing happened at the supermarket. I ran all the way home. I was so frightened for my life. There’s no other way to describe it.

My aunt and her friend have said you have to grow up. Why should we, children, have to grow up in such fear? It’s not just me, my friends too. You can see on Facebook, a 17 year old attacked, a 15 year old attacked, two 12-year olds attacked, so many. It is really so sad that this is happening … because of YOU PEOPLE.

I cannot understand why they do this. But more importantly, I cannot understand why Germany is doing nothing! Why is Germany standing by, watching, and then doing nothing? Please explain, why. Men of Germany, these people are killing your children, they are killing your women. We need your protection. We are so scared, we don’t want to be frightened to go to the grocery store alone after sunset. The politicians live alone in their villas, drink their cocktails, and do nothing. They do nothing! I do not know what world they live in, but please, people, please help us! Please, do something! I cannot understand why this is happening. One day, my friend and I were walking down the street, and a group of Arabs were protesting and demonstrating. They shouted, “Allah! Allah! Allah is the one God! Kill those infidels! Allah Allah!” What should I do? Should I wear a burka? Why should I have to convert to Islam?

It’s fine if you believe in Allah, but why do you want to make everyone else believe in Allah too? I just think it would be better if there were no religion. Stop trying to make everyone else believe in your God when they do not want to.

Please, people of Germany. Do something!

When I try to tell the authorities about what has happened, they hold their hand up towards me and they say it is a problem and then ignore it. and they laugh. It is unfair. They laugh at us. They say we are dumb. They think this not only of me, but of the entire state of Germany. They don’t care about our fear. Please help us. This is an emergency! There are more and more of them.

One time in summer, the Muslims said we were sluts for walking outside in a t-shirt.

Yes, we were wearing t-shirts. It’s summer!

Another day, I was wearing this. My friend and I purchased it while shopping hehe. If we feel like wearing it, we will wear it! And you Muslims have no right to physically assault or rape us for it! God willing, never in my life. You have no right to attack us because we are wearing t-shirts. You also have no right to rape.

The life of Germany has changed because these people cannot integrate. We give them so much help. We support them financially and they do not have to work. But they only want more babies and more welfare and more money. Men of Germany, please, patrol the streets and protect us. Do this for your women and your children. If you do that, I believe that we will have a chance.

This sort of action would be wonderful. We would be so grateful and thankful. So many thanks, if steadily, more men would come to protect us. We are so scared.

I am so upset about what Merkel has done.

Thank you, Angela Merkel, for killing Germany! I have no more respect for you, Merkel. I do not think you know what you have done. You do not see how our lives have changed. Open your eyes! Is this normal? Should I, a 16-year old who is almost 17, be so scared to walk outside my house? No, it is not normal. You have killed Germany!

This is the truth. We are no longer allowed to walk outside. We are no longer allowed to wear our clothes. We are no longer allowed to live the German life. This is the sad truth.

I think it’s about time to end this video. I believe I have given a full account from a normal person. I hope others can see this and understand.

I only want to end with one message: Men, please, help your women. Help your children. I am so scared. My friends have the same fear. We are shocked that this has happened. I hope this video can convince you, and that this terrible events can stop.

“Welcome to Hell, Stray Lambs”

The are three types of political street demonstrations in the contemporary Western context, each a function of a different type relationship between the state and its citizens:

  • Type 1 Protest: A ritualistic humiliation of the state’s internal enemies.
  • Type 2 Protest: A show of solidarity between the people and the state against an external enemy.
  • Type 3 Protest: A people’s challenge to the legitimacy of the state.

Type 1 Protest — “Hey Hey, Ho Ho…”

This is the type of protest in which the participants are jubilant and cocky, visibly having a good time. Participating in this kind of a demonstration is risk-free with regards to legal consequences, especially considering how destructive those protests can wind up being. I happened upon one of those demonstrations last year while walking down 14th Street just east of the White House. The procession looked something like this:

protestblm

It was about fifty #BlackLivesMatter demonstrators marching, with several police cars slowly trailing them. The chanting was a spirited call-and-response. I have to give Blacks’ this: they are good at the clappy-rhythmy thing. I couldn’t get the chants out of my head for a while. If you didn’t know any better, you would believe that marching people were righteously angry, judging by their furious voices and wild faces. But we know better: it was all self-indulgence and theater, like the histrionics of an “American Idol” hopeful channeling Aretha Franklin.

Porter over on his Kakistocracy blog nails this attitude in his inimitable style:

Blacks don’t hold a monopoly on solipsistic meanderings, though they certainly make a market. […] It’s like hearing a child lecturing to play-doh figures. The latter being mute objects whose value and morality is judged by the extent they serve the speaker’s ends. There’s only one beautiful creature owed deference by the world. And I don’t just mean TaNehisiCoates.

There is no real anger among American blacks because America is their paradise. No other group of people in history had been given so much privilege on so little merit, short of maybe old Egyptian sun-gods. Anger is a very serious and dangerous thing; frivolous demonstrations of something that resembles anger are just play-acting.

With its fake indignation, the Type 1 protest purports to oppose the system, but it is in fact aligned with that system. Even when those protests get overly exuberant and cause loss of life and destruction of property, they never threaten the system itself or even risk much of a backlash when establishment press provides public relations cover.

This is the template for a standard left wing protest in Western countries. Other versions of this melodramatic freak show are Slut Walks or college campus rallies over a triviality. A Type 1 protest can look like a celebration or a tantrum, but whatever its form and tone, it affirms the state’s rule by humiliating any active or potential opponents of the state’s ideology. The Ferguson riots were essentially American establishment’s victory dance over traditional notions of community and property rights, all under the umbrella of Obama administration’s apocalyptic enmity to White America. At its core, the Type 1 protest is a by-proxy display of the establishment’s vigilance against internal threats to the system.

Type 2 Protest — “Welcome to Hell, Stray Lambs”

In this scenario, the protestors are secure in their relationship with the state but to reference writer Anonymous Conservative, their K-selected instincts are triggered by a perceived external threat. Nationalist and anti-migrant marches in east/central European countries belong to this category.

Europe has a knife to its throat but paradoxically, it is the countries that are under less immediate peril that are raising alarms more loudly and clearly. Hungary and Poland have next to no migrant population, and yet it is there that we see the most spirited demonstrations, most notably an estimated 50,000 nationalists marching through Warsaw on November 11, 2015. But it is not paradoxical at all, once you understand that people protest more confidently when they know that their government and police are on their side.

Given the large scope of this subject, I will limit my examples here to banners at football (soccer) stadiums. The following banner says “Protect your women — not our democracy” in English. The banner was unfurled by Polish spectators at a men’s volleyball game in Berlin in response to the EU’s threat of sanctions over Poland’s new right wing government and it refers to the New Year’s Eve migrant attacks on German women in Cologne. The message here is “fuck off, Germany.”

banner3

And the banner below — the namesake for this post — says “Welcome to Hell, Stray Lambs.” Consistent with Type 2 protests, its message is aggressive rather than defensive. The message here is “expect no mercy, invaders.”

stadium

Finally, HERE is a short video that features explicitly-worded anti-invader chants at Polish soccer stadiums, with English subtitles. It gets really good at the 2:10 mark.

What all of these examples have in common is an aggressive confidence of a Type 1 protest with the seriousness which those lack. The Type 2 protest is a warning, a guard dog’s growl in the interest of averting unnecessary bloodshed. It is a populist show of solidarity between the people and an acknowledgment of confidence in their authorities. Nominally, the riot police were out in Warsaw during those massive demonstrations, but there was no sense of antagonism between the protesters and the state. The show of strength is addressed to potential external threats.

Type 3 Protest — “Where Were You?!”

Type 3 protests arise under prerevolutionary conditions. They are potentially a genuine threat to the authorities because they are a symptom of the state’s loss of its legitimacy in face of people’s increasingly implacable grievances. Once the perception of legitimacy goes, all it takes is a push.

The short video below is what motivated me to write this post. It shows a small group of young German men aggressively confronting the police over their failure to keep security in Cologne on past New Year’s Eve, but instead amassing at a subsequent nationalist rally. There is a quality in this protest that is normally absent in Type 1 and Type 2 demonstrations, which you will see and hear in this 13-second clip:

It’s in the protestors’ voices and body language. Look at the man in the center-front of the crowd, his tense and jerky movements like a coiled snake that is still afraid to strike. He is overcome with emotion but restraining himself from lunging at the police. He and his fellow protestors are chanting “Wo, wo, wo wart ihr Silvesternacht!”, or “Where, where, where were you on New Year’s Eve.”

The overwhelming emotion in this protest is the rueful hurt of a man who just realized that he has been betrayed by those he trusted, similar to a man who just caught his wife in an act of infidelity. A government that wants to remain in power best take these people’s grievances seriously. Those German protesters are more dangerous to the regime, insofar as them being an indication of serious problems of legitimacy, than a blocks-long street march of confident people with banners.

Europe 2016: Where to from here?

“To say that democracy in Poland is in peril is ridiculous, to put it mildly. If anyone in Europe should be concerned for their freedom, it is the citizens in the West. If there is any place where political correctness and criminal law prohibit speech, it is not in Poland.”
-Jarosław Kaczyński, chairman of Poland’s governing Law and Justice party

When you humiliate a man, he remembers it forever. The leaders of Western European countries are doing just that. In an unprovoked act of genocide-scale aggression, these governments and institutions are imposing on their people a fight-or-flight condition with nowhere to flee. People have picked up the scent of malice.

It does not appear that the usurper elites, in their arrogance, had thought this through. They rely on state security forces to suppress a reaction but they don’t seem to have considered a scenario in which policemen remove their helmets and join the protestors like Slovak riot police did last year at an anti-immigration march.

Members of Europe’s ruling class and their servants are betting on a comfortable life among Ahmed’s sons in Tahrir Square writ-large, with Johann’s sons protecting them from savagery of the sort that Lara Logan experienced. They keep building that world, all the while running up a bill of scores for Johann’s sons to settle.

ROM-exc