It is certainly true that the vast majority of privileged people are white. It is also true that most whites, however, are not privileged. In previous blogspots, we had noted that Poles had been incorrectly and unfairly lumped as “whites”, even though Polish-Americans had never been privileged in any way, shape, or form.This issue has also divided blacks and Jews, who had once been in strong alliance. In fact, the issue of affirmative action is one of the few things that American Jews in general deviate from liberal politics. This entire issue is all about identity politics, and the Democrat agenda in the USA. The whole idea is to make minorities keep feeling like victims, so that they will keep being scared to death of Republicans, and so that they will keep voting for Democrats and their tax-and-spend government-dependency programs, no matter what. That is also why there is so much emphasis on slavery and the Civil Rights movement in American history classes—as if it was still 1950’s Selma, Alabama. The whole idea is to reinforce ceaselessly the notion that minorities were, are, and always will be victims, over and over and over again. The moment that this would end, and a substantial fraction of minorities would vote Republican, it would be the end of the Democratic Party and their tax-and-spend government-dependency programs. The treating of whites as privileged is merely a mirror image of the endlessly-reinforced notion that minorities are victims. If you are white and you disagree, you are a racist. If you are a minority and you disagree, then you are not an “authentic” minority.
I've told this story many times before. Apologies for repeating myself.I went to Indiana University Bloomington to pursue a PhD. I was put to work for a professor. Within a couple of months of my arrival, I received a phone call. My father was dying.I told my boss. She told me that I could not leave Bloomington because she was hosting a conference and she needed me to type up the programs.I left anyway. My father died as my train was pulling in to Penn Station.I stayed for his funeral, and rushed back to IU.My boss began to harass me in sick, twisted, and, indeed, illegal ways. I put up with it for a month. I knew I needed the job. After about a month, I couldn't take it any more. I reported the abuse to a dean.The dean insisted that I could not leave campus (my plan.) She said she needed me to testify against my boss.She said that my boss was an abusive person, a psychopath or sociopath -- I forget the exact word. She said my boss had come close to *killing* people.The university put me up in an abandoned office. They summoned me to meetings with many of the top campus officials. This went on for the next six months, even as I was attending classes full time.the stress was too much for my body. My inner ear burst. I did not realize, at the time, what was happening.I spent the next six years intermittently paralyzed, unable to stop vomiting. I could not work. I used up my life savings. I lived in absolute poverty. I relied on a food bank for food and was, at times, homeless. Finally, pro bono surgery by Richard T Miyamoto ended my symptoms.those are the conditions under which i wrote my dissertation, which would become "Bieganski." One of the many reasons I can't stand it when Polonians send me emails begging for a free copy of the book. The professor who harassed me was black. That's why no one wanted to defy her. People said that to me in so many words: university deans, lawyers, professors: She's a black woman, and if we say something negative about her, we will be denounced as racist and sexist, and we risk our jobs. Another thing -- I wrote to all the Polonian organizations, asking for help of any kind. And I got no help. Poor whites who confront this sick system on university campuses today are, as often as not, without allies.
So sorry to hear of your experience.This factor of "she was black" and thereby beyond criticism, applies to other liberal-appointed "victim groups". That is why, with reference to the previous blogspot, Poles cannot criticize or "shame" anybody about Polonophobia and be taken seriously--for the simple reason that Poles are not a recognized "victim group". Taking this reasoning further to encompass this blogspot, Poles are "only white", and, after all, whites are privileged. So Poles have nothing to say. If they talk at all, they should be contrite about the wrongs that they had done to "genuine victim groups."
I was constantly reminded, while in grad school -- You are inferior because you are white trash / Polish Catholic. So you don't deserve to be on this hallowed campus You are privileged because you are white. so you should take the back seat to a black person / hispanic / what have you / because they have suffered, and you are privileged. Of course the two stances contradict each other, but none of the PC followers realized that. it's a no win situation, and I see my own poor white students, of many different nationalities, face the same dilemma. Again, i'll mention Mary Grabar's essay, "Yes, Barack Obama, We Are Bitter."
Hi Danusha-wow. Your story is incredible- I admire You, especially Your perseverance-stay strony and plz keep defying all odds and obstacles-its a true inspiration :-) About the topic-this is complete insanity.Jan has more or less said everything that came to my mind as well so I would like to tell You about s.th that has happened in Poland some time ago.Its about racism.Anti-White racism. Coming from a black person. In Poland, as well as in other European countries, we are unfortunately having complete morrons who are "fighting racism"- as as job (yes, they get payed for this! (One of this "expert" is a certain Pankowski who has written a book about Mlodziez Wszechpolska and ONR. In this book, he is depicting them as vile racists-and I am very sorry,but racist they are truely not! Ive read a book and it tells one rather about Pankowskis fears and personality-Jan, You might be interested in giving it a try ;-)) There is an organization, called "Nigdy Wiecej" (Never again)- they were caught last year red-handed while they were trying to make the fans of Lechia Gdansk look racist-they wanted to over-paint racist posters,but there were non. So they had a huge one produced themselves ("If your not a Pole than f---- off from Poland"), put it up and over-painted it-without saying that it was their own and thus suggesting that Gdansk Ultras were racist. They even had their own "integration prize". One of their winners was a guy from Ghana-Simon Mol. He came to Poland as a persecuted journalist (later it turned out that he had lied about his background), became a member of Nigdy Wiecej and "fought" racism. He also slept with a lot of Polish women whom he accused of being "racist"-because they insisted that he put on a condome first. Some did not want to be "racist" and allowed he to do withoug. Surprize- he was HIV-positive.And he KNEW it all along! He also died before Polish courts could indict him. What is my point? My point is that EVERYONE can be a racist (plz listen to the song: Everyones a little bit racist by Q Avenue :-)) and no one should be exempt from having ones motives questioned just because ones skin is darker!I believe this to be a weapon of sowing disunity among nations who otherwise whould have no problems at all to integrate people from all around the world (remember my photos of Black Polish soldiers?) into their own societies.Who is doing that? I believe people from a certain political background (see Frankfurt school) for whom the proletariat was exchanged for victimised minorities.In the end Bronislaw Wildstein (a Jewish Pole, regarded as a great patriot by Polish right-wingers) noticed that privileges for minorities turns AGAINST those very minorities in the end.Why? Because its a crass discrimination of the majority!
"I believe people from a certain political background (see Frankfurt school) for whom the proletariat was exchanged for victimised minorities". This quote demonstrates the writer has little, if any, knowledge about the Frankfurt School and its project.
Okay, Peter, you've just assessed the poster negatively. How about making a positive contribution? Tell us about the Frankfurt School. Share your knowledge in a collegial way.
Hanna wrote: the proletariat was exchanged for victimised minorities.Dundes says something similar in The Polak and the Jew. I quote him in Bieganski.
After the the failure of the working class - particularly in Germany and UK, the two most advanced industrial countries in Europe - to rise and take power in the wake of WW1, a new generation of younger Marxist theorists tried to make sense of the failure. Since they believed that Marxism was a scientific theory of history and society they wanted to analyse whether they had misunderstood Marx or whether the theory needed further development. None of them saw the Russian Revolution as following the path Marx had outlined (ie Russia did not possess a large, advanced, self-conscious working class) yet there the Revolution had succeeded. The answer they (this is shorthand for Horkheimer, Adorno and Marcuse, though the FF school is also generally thought to include several other thinkers such as Walter Benjamin, Wilhelm Reich etc) proposed was that bourgeois "culture" had a deeper and more powerful inhibiting effect on the development of a revolutionary consciousness of the western working class than they (and Marx) had thought. To analyse this culture it would necessary to rethink the relationship between base and superstructure within capitalist societies. At the same time they sought to explore the possibility of synthesis between Marxism and Marxist inspired theory and the new insights of psychoanalysis, in their view, the one significant intellectual development after Marx. In "The Dialectics of Enlightenment" Horkheimer and Adorno explored the conditions under which such a revolutionary "enlightenment" (development of a revolutionary consciousness) might form, Adorno's "The Authoritarian Personality" utilised Freud to try and understand the personality traits that attracted people to movements such as fascism. It was a very influential book along with Marcuse's "One Dimensional Man". Wilhem Reich also applied Freud and developed his bizarre theories which were influential in the 1960s but are now, thankfully, considered true curios. Adorno also wrote a lot on music and the differences between popular and high culture and their effects on the audience.The Frankfurt School writers who survived the war (Benjamin didn't) mostly settled in the US, all rejected Marxism-Leninism and became foundation thinkers of the neo-Marxism which became influential in the 1960s and 1970s. In the US, their ideas were adopted and adapted by a new generation of social theorists many of them coalescing around the journal Telos, who also rejected Marxism-Leninism and sought utilise the Franfurt School writers' take on Marx to examine and understand the new socio-cultural movements that emerged in the West in the 1960s. A change then came in the 1970s. The idea of marginalisation of minorities within the social power structure of middle class society seemed attractive to the second wave feminists and early gay theorists, so a neo-Marxist feminism emerged (eg Shulamith Fireston's "The Dialectic of Sex"). However, as the Left project stalled, French theories started to take hold, most of which rejected any and all types of Marxism. To make a long story shorter, when the post-modern turn came with its emphsasis on marginalisation, the transgressive, the creation of social 'norms' through language more than through socio-economic relations, such groups rushed to join up. Middle class gays and feminists could see themselves just as much victims as the working class whose social attitudes were, in general, aggressively anti-feminist and anti-gay. Add in racial minorities and here is where identity politics replaced the left project. it was post-modernism that allowed and allows identity politics to flourish, not the Frankfurt School.
Peter, thank you! :-)
A couple of points: identity politics is a curse and a divisive approach to politics that allows the left-liberal sections of the middle class to be smug about their own 'radicalism' while ensuring that inequality persists. Special minority programs for entry into elite universities are always applauded while the state universities struggle with shrinking budgets often the result of tax cuts for the already rich sections of the middle class. i am not advocating a return to crude class based politics and analysis of society. However, I am influenced by the best of the neo-Marxist tradition, especially its commitment to Enlightenment values. And here is another place where post-modernism parts company with the old New Left. Post-modernism rejects the Enlightenment project and says its ok to wallow in ignorance and stupidity as long as you are oppressed as a gay, woman and non-white. There is a new book that may be of interest to you as it goes straight to the heart of these issues. It's "Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life" by Barbara Fields and Karen Fields. Racial politics, in which the African-American community has invested so much, will not bring about anything very positive for the vast majority of that constituency unless they start talking about class as well as race. What difference will a 1000 more black graduates from Ivy League institutions make to the prospects of 98% of African Americans? SFA (if you know what I mean). And that's the same in many other western industrial societies.
On-I made it seem that the FF school was a kind of conspiracy controlling the whole process.you are absolutely right-wingers they were not. The just, in my eyes, delivered the ideological weapons and the time was ripe anyway. Still- with regards to left-wing politics I rest my case: they are caring about minorities more than about regular people.
The point I tried to make was that they (ie the Frankfurt School) did not as you put it "deliver the ideological weapons". That was done by post-modernism which developed a completely different critique and therefore created a different intellectual framework.If I were you, I wouldn't "rest my case" just yet but actually do some work so you have a better grasp of what constitutes left-wing politics, as based on your posts on this blog, it is clear that you don't really know much about it save that there is communism and identity politics which concerns itself with the interests of minorities at the expense of "regular people".
How does what Peter said contradict Hanna's abbreviated version? It seems to have been direct descendant followers of the Frankfurt School who saw the value of radicalized minorities. Certainly the Soviet Union, which it seems they tried to pretend they did not like, did an excellent job itself of targeting minorities everywhere, not the least in the US where Blacks made up a disproportionate share of US Communist organizations. MB
I think that Peter Rechniewski presented an excellent analysis of the Frankfort School, and its .One of the thinkers not mentioned is Antonio Gramsci. I wonder to what extent the secularist attack on religion in Poland, as exemplified by the "War of the Crosses", is at least partly inspired by Gramsci's teaching that abandonment of religion is one of the paths of progress in a society.
JP you are correct that Gramsci was very influential but he wasn't part of the Frankfurt School. Most critical thinkers from the Enlightenment on were hostile to religion though not all of them were on the left. Hegel was not a left thinker, in fact he ended up very conservative but he was not supportive of religion except in as much as it supported the State.Gramsci's most influential concept was that of 'hegemony' and I have to say much of what he said about that concept still strikes me as correct especially when applied to the influence of the media.
"What difference will a 1000 more black graduates from Ivy League institutions make to the prospects of 98% of African Americans?"This isn't about that. It may be that blacks in SA are worse off economically now than under apartheid but at least they know that the people on top are "their" people - even if their people are corrupt and indolent. Why do you think Yassir Arafat had such support for so long. Certainly post-colonial Africa, one can argue, would have been better of if it had remained part of various Euro empires. For that matter Poland was probably better off under Prussian administration than independent - and yet economics were not enough.The left did not invent identity politics - our identity is in our genes - it is not a social creation. People tend to be clannish - diversity is not about diversity, it's about getting the most our guys in there that we canMeir Shalta
"The left did not invent identity politics - our identity is in our genes". The first part is right, the second part is nonsense. There is nothing in our genes that carries our identity. If you had said in our language, culture and upbringing that would have been different. Why you jumped to blacks in South Africa I am not sure. Please cite something to support your contention that SA blacks were better off under apartheid than now. I'd be very interested to see them. "Certainly post-colonial Africa, one can argue, would have been better of if it had remained part of various Euro empires." And it would have been better off if the European empires had not gone there in the first place.
No, the left did not invent identity politics, but they made it into a fine art, notably in American politics. Not only Africa would have been better off without colonial powers ruling it. Imagine if the Prussians (and, of course, the Russians and Austrians) had never partitioned Poland, and the famous Constitution of 1791 had gone into effect. Imagine Poland's peasants emancipated right then and there, and not by the partitioning powers decades later for their own ends of playing Polish peasants against Polish landlords. Imagine Poland not missing the Industrial Revolution. In short, imagine what Poland would have been like.
"Why you jumped to blacks in South Africa I am not sure."Didn't you bring blacks into this? vide:"What difference will a 1000 more black graduates from Ivy League institutions make to the prospects of 98% of African Americans?"As for this:"There is nothing in our genes that carries our identity. If you had said in our language, culture and upbringing that would have been different."Have you expanded beyond vinyl into genetics? How do you know what is and what is not in our genes so as to be able to call it "nonsense"?Meir Shalta
@ JP: "Imagine if the Prussians (and, of course, the Russians and Austrians) had never partitioned Poland, and the famous Constitution of 1791 had gone into effect"Except, of course, there would have been no Constitution of 1791 but for the fact that the country was about to be (and partly already was) subject to partitions. The Polish szlachta had 700 years and counting to end feudalism in Poland - they did not. The very little that was done in 1791 was only done because the country's archaic structure was made laughably weak by the neighboring powers. In fact, as you know, it was the Prussians (and later the Czar) that freed the Polish serfs. "decades later for their own ends of playing Polish peasants against Polish landlords."Sure - except, who put the country in that position in the first place? Was there something stopping the szlachta AFTER the partitions (but before the Russians and Prussians "treacherously" freed them) from freeing the serfs??? What was it??? "Imagine Poland not missing the Industrial Revolution. In short, imagine what Poland would have been like."It is no necessary to imagine anything. I can tell you exactly what Poland would have been like had the partitions not occurred - it would have been a backward feudal society run by a few with little to show for industrialization. The same broken system just rolling forward another 100 years. That's it. This kind of pining reminds of Afro-nationalists who complain that the Europeans looted their continent. They conveniently forget that it was their local chieftains that fully colluded with that project. Moreover, what would Africa be like now? Same as it was in 1400 except maybe a few more would be driving imported Mercedeses.In order to resist, you have to have cojones and a tight society. That is why the Japanese were able to do what they did. That is why Singapore was able to rid itself of the British. Etc. But for THAT you have to have self-respect. Self-respect starts by not blaming others for your miseries. If someone spits on you, beat the crap out of him and he won't do it again. But it's much easier to complain.
How do you know all that? Sounds to me like you have a pretty negative view of Poles and their capabilities.
@ Meir Shalit No, I prefer vinyl but I play CDs as well so I know all about them. Just because you've read something of the latest from the socio-biologists, a bit of Richard Dawkins and swallowed the lot simply means you're at the "cutting edge" of popular confusions/delusions. The one example in your first post was that people are "clannish". Have they found that particular gene?Now in your post above there are a few problems.In general I agree with your critique of the nationalist fantasy that the Szlachta and the Polish peasant had a lot in common but that wedge policies on the part of the Prussians turned them into enemies. Kosciuszko himself told his Szlachta supporters that he wasn't going to lead them so that the old order would return. However, you spoil the effect by first writing that "The Polish szlachta had 700 years and counting to end feudalism in Poland". No they didn't, unless the end of feudalism was going to come through an act of will on their part. That was possibly the case in Russia when Alexander1's efforts to end serfdom were stymied by the nobility but pre-18th century Poland? For the Polish Szlachta there was too little economic imperative to do so. Have a look at Hillel Levine's "Economic Origins of Antisemitism: Poland and Its Jews in the Early Modern Period".Feudalism ended in Western and Central Europe for a number of reasons but none of them involved the aristocracy "deciding" that it should end as a single, decisive cause.The rest of your critique of Peczkis (and the confusions and misunderstandings regarding European colonisation of Africa) also founders on ideas connected with either individual or social acts of will rather than broader historical forces driven by a multitude of factors. Your deployment of terms such as "cojones", "tight society" "self respect" betray a de-contexualized analysis of historical change.Peczkis is quite right to focus on the Partitions because they stymied change. On the other hand, your idea that without them things would have remained the same has little foundation. The Second and Third Partitions took place in order to roll back the reforms granted by the Consitution of the Third of May. They were reactionary acts and many, though not all of the Szlachta supported them in order to maintain their privileges at the expense of Polish independence. Nevertheless, the period showed that there were powerful forces within the country pushing toward change (including the King) and there is no reason to suppose that had only the First Partition taken place a process of reform followed by economic development would not have been set in train. You also discount the effects of Napoleon in all this. Though he shamelessly exploited the Poles (like he did everyone else) his effect across Europe, as an alleged "carrier" of Revolutionary ideas was profound. If Poland, as an independent state, had survived (whether allied to Napolean or not), and even if the reforms of its constitution were rolled back by the Congress of Vienna, a new, similar constitution could have been been granted as early as 1830 and no later than 1848 when the Metternich system finally keeled over and expired.Just on other matters imperial. In your critique of Afro-nationalists you confuse the slave trade, whose success definitely owed much to the collusion of local rulers, with European imperial expansion in the 19th century in Africa, which didn't. A small point perhaps but a crucial one . . . Singapore didn't become independent because it was a tight society and it didn't receive its independence from the British either. A small point but a . . .
@ Meir Shalta First my apologies for getting your name wrong in my post above. It was accidental. Second, you wrote in answer to me "Didn't you bring blacks into this? vide:"What difference will a 1000 more black graduates from Ivy League institutions make to the prospects of 98% of African Americans?"Yes, I did - African Americans. I still don't quite understand the relevance of the experience of black South Africans to that of African Americans unless one belives in mystical, racial unions where the experience of one becomes the experience of all.
"The Second and Third Partitions took place in order to roll back the reforms granted by the Consitution of the Third of May."The Constitution would not have been passed but for the First Partition that woke some (though hardly all) people up. "No they didn't, unless the end of feudalism was going to come through an act of will on their part."Err.... yes? Last I checked, Kosciuszko freed his slaves. The argument that they had no incentive economically to change anything is necessarily true but you seem to qequate that with a powerlessness on their part? Just because doing something would not be economically beneficial to me (at least in the short run) doesn't mean I'm incapable of doing it.It's not in my interest to give a penny to a beggar but I do (sometimes more). Of course, you can make that argument but I don't see how one can then square that with the complaint JP was making which was that the partitioning powers were setting up peasantry vs nobility and playing them off each other. How shameful of them. My only point was - the szlachta - got yourselves in that position.What I read in your message is basically an argument about abdication of all responsibility on the part of the nobility in the form of "we didn't create this mess, we are here now, we have no incentive to change anything (and that you seem to equate with we CAN'T change anything) and then oh how shameful of you Prussia to set peasants against us." When you read that the szlachta look like prisoners of history each and everyone of them. Amazingly, they are even unable to free their own serfs. "I wish I could set you free. I really do. But it ain't within my power, ya see because then I lose, whatchamacall it, oh yes, profits".They were in charge - if change were to come up it was up to them to create it. If not the szlachta then who?The only way the peasants could change anything was through rebellion which took place - the most extreme example obviously in the Ukraine.
@JP: "How do you know all that? Sounds to me like you have a pretty negative view of Poles and their capabilities"I obviously do not know and all of this "what if" ing is a like the "if Hitler had a nuclear bomb and Churchill Superman on his side" kind of debating. However, let's look at even 1700-1772 timneframe - what achievements were made by the nobles' republic in that time? Did they pass any constitutions? Oh, yes, the Northern War, liberum veto - the bad Russians and Prussians - strangely, the czar and the elector did not have similar problems at home. It takes two to tango my friend. I do note however a minor point of interest in your message, namely that you seem to be equating the "Poles" with the 10% or so nobility but apparently not with the 80% peasantry. One might, however, think that the real "nation" was instead the vast sea of serfs stretching from the Ukraine to Great Poland and not the royal "elites" who fancied themselves the nation.I have no doubt of the capability of the Poles or any other nation - but I do doubt whether a corrupt overclass would have changed anything at all even if left alone by the neighboring powers - I doubt that because the Partitions did not come out of nowhere but were merely the coup de grace of a long, long period of decline - a period during which the bearers of the national pride did absolutely nothing to halt such decline.
@PR: As far as the black experience is concerned,in both cases the juxtaposition was with whites - if you don't believe me, go listen to some old black men talk - so the experiences as well as the perceived enemy were both the "same".On Singapore: LKY was explicit in saying, "I looked around at the people running my country and asked myself why do we need them?" The them were the British. Singapore, you are right was not nor is a tight society. However, Singapore had and has tight "elites" if you will - those elites are 99% Chinese and it is they that drive the country with others incorporated, tolerated but not allowed to get too uppity. I assure you that, if you were to go live in Singapore, you'd not socialize with the ruling caste - you'd socialize with the "whites". That is how Singapore is set up - and for them it works fine (it also seems to work fine for the Indians, Malays and others or at least well enough as compared with their coutnries of origin such that they stream into Singapore).Back to Africa: the slave trade was what decimated the continent - not the European colonization of the late 1800s - that latter experience lasted a relatively short time and by the 50s/60s it was most definitely over (the French dreams and mercenaries notwithstanding).Finally: "Nevertheless, the period showed that there were powerful forces within the country pushing toward change (including the King) and there is no reason to suppose that had only the First Partition taken place a process of reform followed by economic development would not have been set in train" I addressed this above but you perform quite a dance here. Why did they need the First Partition in the first place to "wake up"? There is every reason to believe that development would not have occurred - because it didn't occur before - they had no incentive to develop anything with their serfs working for them and they didn't want to change - you said it yourself. A similarity may even be drawn to the American South where the institution of slavery severely retarded industrialization as well.Without the First Partition the debauchement and decline would have continued on its merry way - it did from at least the 1500s-1600s all they way up (down?) to 1772. So what would have been different? The fact is that Poland (and most of Eastern Europe) was a basket case (no pun intended) for hundreds of years before. Generally, speaking the further East (or South) you went from England, France and Western Germany the worse it got. Even East Prussia in the 1800s was the poorest and least developed of German provinces. Adenauer once remarked that Europe ended on the Elbe and he was rather correct (in my view).
I think that it is fairly evident that Poland would have been Partitioned regardless of her internal policies. All nations go through periods of strength and weakness. Poland may have been a tree with a rotten core, but she did not fall from her own weight. She was felled by three axemen. The comment about 10% neglects the fact that this was proportionately higher than in many other nations, in which the nobility was 1-2% of the population. Feudalism was much less harsh in Poland than in many other nations. I also question the ability of significant implementation of the May 1791 Constitution, by Poles themselves, while they were under the lash of the three partitioning powers. The remark about Konrad Adenauer about “Europe begins at the Elbe” smacks of racism against eastern Europe, and, being an artifact of a divided Germany and the Cold War, is of little or no relevance to the long-preceding issue at hand. The remark about Superman strikes me as supercilious, and reinforces my earlier suspicion that this person is disparaging Poland and her capabilities. I also smell Marxist ideation: The persistent and unilateral attack on the upper classes as corrupt and solely self-interested, and the notion that national consciousness is a product of the upper classes (fitting-in with the Communist notion that the only real consciousness is class consciousness).
"I think that it is fairly evident that Poland would have been Partitioned regardless of her internal policies"How so? Was Prussia partitioned (back then), if not why not?"The comment about 10% neglects the fact that this was proportionately higher than in many other nations, in which the nobility was 1-2% of the population."Oh great, makes me so happy when I'm tilling the fields - anyday now it will be 12%!'The remark about Konrad Adenauer about “Europe begins at the Elbe” smacks of racism against eastern Europe,"Can you address whether it is true before falling onto the racism bandwagon? Put differently, whether or not it's racist, it is largely true. I know, I know, truth be damned."The persistent and unilateral attack on the upper classes as corrupt and solely self-interested,"Unilateral? Huh? The attack was not on "classes" - the attack was on elites - not because they were elites - but because these elites, as opposed to elites in say Prussia or England, failed to protect their own country. You might say it was an attack on Polish elites of the time. See now you can say it's both racist and classist! It is the elites' job (self-appointed no less) to run the country, therefore the rest of the populace gets to judge them on their performance in that task - by all accounts, the Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian elites performed that task woefully.There were no doubt plenty of indolent peasants in the Commonwealth but they can hardly be judged on running that country."and the notion that national consciousness is a product of the upper classes"Not sure where you got that from. In fact you seem to be saying that not I and it is I that pointed out the silliness of that thinking - don't forget the 80% my friend. Polish national consciousness (for the 80%) did not really develop until the late 1800s - as a repeated yaesayer for Mr. Dmowski, I would have thought you would be the first person to agree with that.
Me "a repeated yaesayer for Mr. Dmowski"? I had kind of figured were you were coming from, but had given you the benefit of a doubt. Now it is clear. Aggressor Prussia partitioned? By whom? Germany partitioning Germany? I rather doubt it.All that in addition to your continued disparaging of Polish achievements, including the high 12% rate of nobility--much higher than that of many other nations. You have just now confirmed my suspicion of your adhering to an essentially Marxist conception of national consciousness, even if you had not explicitly intended to before. Yes, you surely sound like having racist conceptions of eastern Europe. To even consider, as a legitimate point, eastern Europe as not being a part of Europe--is itself racist on its face. Elites...classes...semantics.Yes, Poles have criticized their own, but not with this kind of one-sided disparaging ideation. Those readers interested in a variety of viewpoints on the good and bad points of Partition-era Polish society, see my Listmania on Partitioned Poland.Enough said.
"Certainly the Soviet Union, which it seems they tried to pretend they did not like . . ." Please cite some evidence that they (who amongst them precisely? all of them?) only pretended they did not like the Soviet Union?Certainly the Soviet Union did target minorities in the US and most unsuccessfully which is why the American Communist Party remained small. You are confusing identity politics with a class-based political stance that might attract members of a minority in numbers. The Soviet Union was not interested in The Black Panthers except to try and infiltrate them precisely because the BP's were not interested in aligning themselves with Moscow loyalists like the American CP.
FWIW, I'm posting about the religious side of pc at the other blog. Hanna would love to read your comments.Peter you can tell me what i got wrong.Sue are you still around.Jan you can recommend a book review on the topic ... here is the link:http://save-send-delete.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-flying-spaghetti-monster-cutesy-new.html
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I'm not an historian. Everything I know about Polish history I know from reading people like Norman Davies and Antony Polonsky and others. From what I've read, Meir Shalita is more or less correct about the upper classes in Poland. In fact, Poles themselves produced scathing criticisms of Poland's upper classes.Again and again, critics accuse them of treating the serfs worse than they treat animals, not planning adequately for the future, maintaining an untenable situation, strangling Polish enterprise, commissioning Jews to be hated tax collectors, inn keepers and sellers of alcohol, etc. Again, these aren't critiques from external sources. These are critiques by Poles from within Poland. It's not for nothing that Poland was known proverbially as heaven for the Polish elites, paradise for the Jews, purgatory for the burgher / townsmen, and hell for the peasants.
Yes, there were Poles who thought this way. On the other hand, I have come across contrary informed opinions. Consider, for example, the testimony of an 1860-era long-term English visitor to partitioned Poland. To see my detailed review of his fascinating treatise, please click on my name in this specific posting.
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