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The Fall of the New Internationalism

 

Tomasz Sakiewicz

 

Gazeta Polska No 46; 16/11/2011

[Translated by BBS]

 

There is something that links the incident of November 11th (2011 in Warsaw) and the EU crisis. The experiment with the elimination of nations, as subjects of Europe, is coming to an end. Such an experiment has been carried out by successive empires and revolutionary movements every now and again. Some people wish to have national aspirations eliminated thus making the nations control easier; others want to introduce their internationalist ideas – social  engineering – halted by the existence of strong nations. The Soviet Union was a combination of two ideas: Russian imperialism and communist internationalism. At the end the nationalistic imperialism won and it resulted in a conflict with communist China, where the imperial view at the world dominated as well. The last extraordinary conception of elimination of nationalism and replacing it with a new, more inclusive project was the European Union - an attempt to create a common state and a common nation. But building the new patriotism has failed. Each nation in the EU, with acceptance for pan-European slogans, has fought hard to keep their own interest, driving the Union to the verge of bankruptcy. There is no more talk of European patriotism. Slowly we have started to say good-bye to a common currency. Soon the idea of the common state will taper off. Surely some of the Union institutions will survive, but without reforms, their role will be minor in comparison to direct agreements between the states. I am writing this with hope but also with real fear. In its present form the Union is a combination of pathology and prosperity, social and lawful safety with serious downfall of morality and tragic unproductivity. The EU itself has allowed to be  exploited by the most powerful countries at the expense of the weakest ones. Obviously, it  generates still stronger desire by the majority of EU members to restore their own nationalism. An explosion of these aspirations is only a matter of time.

 

The incident of November 11 (2011 in Warsaw), though somehow distorted, was a collision of these desires. The national exclamations appeared to be more attractive than colour international movements. Neither the German troops nor the provocative decisions of the city authorities helped. The hardly known nationalist organizations attracted ten times more people than the “progressive” movements supported by the media. The social moods move strongly to the right and strongly to the left. The right wing seems to have incomparably larger backup. Then why did PO win the succeeding elections? It did because PiS had searched for its electoral support again in the centre. What is the capacity is this mythical centre today? It is more or less displayed by the scores of PJN. It showed that those, who did not vote, were not at all moderate, but much more radical than the whole base of PiS. It is a very good message for PiS, but up to a point. It is good, because it shows that there is an electorate of millions, exceeding the traditional base. However it is not good because till now PiS has not been able to mobilize a significant part of this electorate. It was a smart move by PiS during the last days of the elections to remind the nation about the Smolensk matter, and the strong reaction to the invasion of troops from Germany. There is a certain unusual feature of the “sleeping” right wing’s electorate. Contrary to the propaganda in the media, a majority of it remains tolerant to other nations. But it wakes up rapidly, when someone steps on its toe.

 

Because of the Smolensk tragedy millions of Poles became mad at Russian imperialism and the invasion of the German leftists hurt the national pride. If PO hides its head in the sand or with one hand supports the left-wing party in the problems like that, the public feelings will turn toward PiS. Kaczyński’s party must not neglect this trend. At the same time, it has to propagate patriotism in such innovated ways so its traditional electorate would feel that it is a part of a high and strong wave. Europe is changing and Poland will change also. Now the question is who will be a leader in these changes. Definitely, the one who will be able to tell Poles, how wonderful it is to feel good about their own country will lead.