Sign unfurled by Polish fans at a recent volleyball match between Germany and Poland.
Last November, I was tentatively optimistic that conservative populists, particularly in Central Europe, could have a leading role in ending German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s catastrophic mismanagement of the migrant crisis. In fact, developments are even more positive than we might have hoped, with the new conservative government in Poland opposing the reception of “refugees,” pushing to increase the Polish birth rate, and fighting to eliminate leftist bias in state media.
Poland has a long and proud history of resistance to communism inspired by Polish nationalism. The November 11 National Independence Day celebrations in Warsaw typically feature Europe’s largest nationalist demonstrations, most recently featuring over 10,000 protesters with slogans such as “Today refugees, tomorrow terrorists!” and “Poland, free of Islam!”
While Jarosław Kaczyński’s Law and Justice party (PiS) won an outright majority of seats in parliamentary elections last October, not a single left-wing party was able to enter parliament, despite there being only an 8% electoral threshold to do so.
PiS are largely Cold War conservatives raised in a patriotic and Catholic counter-culture which existed in opposition to communism. Support for PiS is based in part on a widespread feeling that Poland’s liberal elites have created an economic model indifferent to poverty and destitution for many Poles. PiS’s populism is then ostensibly concerned with both patriotism and economic social justice, with moves to increase taxes on big businesses and banks.
What’s more, and very encouragingly, opposition to immigration appears to not only be popular among the elderly, who could not even have imagined Afro-Islamic settlement of their lands, but even more so among Polish youth: “Young people are decidedly more likely to be against Poland accepting refugees than the older generations, and they are often attracted to the ideology and parties of extreme nationalism.”
PiS’s heritage and temperament can be problematic, with its politicians often pushing for increasing the American presence in Europe or engaging in anti-Russian conspiracy theories. For the most part however, the new PiS government has proven more positive and more radical than we might have expected. In particular, the government appears to be perfectly conscious that demography is destiny and that culture is an essential part of the struggle for national existence.
One of the first actions of the new government was, following the Paris Islamic terrorist attacks, to reject the migrant relocation scheme that was agreed on between the previous liberal government and the European Union. Poland then effectively joined the other members of the Visegrád bloc — Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia — and Romania in rejecting the scheme. The EU had initially pushed for Poland to accept 12,000 rape- and terrorism-prone “refugees,” while today it looks like very few if any will actually arrive.
A second move is a major new program to boost fertility. Poland is one of the most ethnically homogeneous countries in Europe. Unfortunately, her birth rate is catastrophically low, having fallen to 1.3, one of the lowest levels in the world. Such a low birth rate, combined with substantial Polish emigration to Western Europe in search of higher wages, is disastrous for Poles’ medium and long-term power and influence in a dangerous world. The government at least sees this as a problem and is searching for solutions, notably by proposing a 500 złoty ($125) monthly universal child benefit for every child beyond the first. This represents a handsome sum in a country where the average net wage is around $850.
Thirdly, the new Polish government recognizes that mainstream Western culture has become hostile to traditional values in general and indeed to the continued existence of European nations. In particular, the government has passed a new law to eliminate leftist bias in state media and to promote patriotic programming. Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski was quite explicit in an interview with Bild, the popular German tabloid:
The previous government carried out a leftist program [in the public media]. . . . It was as if the world was set up according to a Marxist model which has to automatically develop in one direction only—a new mixture of cultures and races, a world made up of cyclists and vegetarians, who only use renewable energy and fight all forms of religion. . . . These policies have nothing to do with traditional Polish values [which are] traditions, awareness of history, patriotism, faith in God, in a normal family life between husband and wife.
There is no doubt that Western elite culture has, for many decades, been sliding towards the anti-national far-left, with top intellectuals including figures such as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Eric Hobsbawm, to name only a few.
Incidentally, perhaps the most prominent and vociferous critic of the new PiS government has been Adam Michnik, the Jewish editor of the leading liberal newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and a leading “public intellectual.”
But perhaps Poland’s top “intellectual” is none other than Zygmunt Bauman, an elderly Jewish Marxist sociologist and prophet of globalization, who lulls his subjects into an awe-filled daze using phrases like “liquid modernity” and “irreversibly globalized” (the latter expression, when I first came across it, struck me quite obviously as a euphemism for the end of nations and ethnic Balkanization throughout the West implying, in the end, outright White genocide).
Bauman is, naturally, pro-immigration. In a recent article, chock-full of pseudo-moralistic and pseudo-intellectual spiel, he writes:
[O]ne conclusion needs to be equally clear: the sole way out of current discomforts and future woes leads through rejecting the treacherous temptations of separation; indeed, making such separation unfeasible by dismantling the fences of “asylum-seekers camps” and bringing the annoying differences, dissimilarities, and self-imposed estrangements into a close, daily and increasingly intimate contact — hopefully resulting in a fusion of horizons instead of their induced yet self-exacerbating fission.
That is surely one of the most obtuse rationalizations for the Afro-Islamization and Balkanization of Europe that I have ever read. I would move that we test these multiculturalist theories forthwith by deporting both their promoters and the “refugees” to Israel. I would be very curious to see the results. (Speaking of “separation,” Bauman has been mildly critical of the Jewish ethno-state of Israel, but in the end has lectured there and is opposed even to such a mild measure as a boycott of the country.)
Despite the efforts of Michnik, Bauman, and their ilk, the Polish government is moving towards, at least in principle, policies for European survival: Halting of non-European migrant flows, increasing of the birth rate, and self-consciously engaging in the cultural struggle against globalization and the left. Let us hope they are successful.
Poland’s moves have naturally sparked a certain amount of hysterical kvetching in liberal media, both at home and abroad. German and EU politicians in particular have been eager to condemn the Poles. Martin Schulz, a German Social Democrat and the President of the European Parliament, went so far as to accuse recent constitutional reforms undertaken by the PiS government of having “the characteristics of a coup.” Polish football fans artfully retorted following the Night of Rape committed by Muslim migrants in Cologne and elsewhere in Europe on New Year’s Eve: “PROTECT YOUR WOMEN, NOT OUR DEMOCRACY!”
Schulz is incidentally exactly the kind of brainwashed, self-hater typical of the German ruling class. According to Haaretz, he last year told center-left Israeli politician Avraham Burg: “For me, the new Germany exists only in order to ensure the existence of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.” Schulz thus apparently believes the German state exists primarily to protect Jews and Jewish concerns (such as spreading multiculturalism in the West), whereas the protection of German women and girls from rapist invaders is a very secondary consideration. A self-enslaving European, you might say.
The European Commission in Brussels has gone further, initiating legal proceedings to supposedly protect democracy and the rule of law in Poland, which could lead to Warsaw having its voting rights as an EU member suspended. Fortunately, there is little chance that EU pressure against Poland will be successful. First, such measures would require a unanimous vote of the other 27 EU countries, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has already said he would veto any such move.
Second, there is every likelihood that moves against Poland taken by unelected anti-nationalist bureaucrats in Brussels would only play into the hands of the Polish government. As Pawel Swidlicki writes for the London-based think-tank Open Europe:
[M]any will argue — with some justification — that given the number of similar disputes across the EU which the Commission could have involved itself in if applying the rule of law principle dogmatically, Law and Justice has been singled out. [. . .]
[T]his is likely to be counter-productive by undermining the credibility of the [liberal] opposition by linking it to “foreign interests”. Supporters of Law and Justice will also link these developments to the increasingly bitter dispute about how the EU ought to deal with the refugee crisis to argue that Poland is being “punished” for wanting to protect its own citizens.
Despite the dubious nature of the changes introduced by Law and Justice, ultimately, it has a direct democratic mandate and the Commission does not. Law and Justice is therefore well placed to win any argument based on legitimacy, and the EU’s intervention therefore risks undermining its support even among Poles who do not support Law and Justice, as well as further afield.
Already, senior German and EU officials are being portrayed in some Polish media as Nazis plotting to take over Poland again. This is clearly exaggerated, but it shows how nationalist feelings can be easily triggered by foreign meddling, and these feelings can in turn be constructively used by the national government.
The EU and Western governments of course have tools to browbeat and bribe Central Europeans into submission. However, as Orbán or Russian President Vladimir Putin have shown, a popular, ostensibly patriotic leader can often successfully resist such pressure. Critically, Poland is already an EU member and the Polish conservatives caucus at EU level with the same mainstream group as the British Conservatives. Thus, I suspect it will be very difficult to marginalize Poland, just as Hungary has successfully held firm for years. This is in contrast to the situation in 2000, when the EU voted sanctions against Austria for allowing the democratically-elected anti-immigration party of Jörg Haider to participate in the government.
EU elites have succeeded in coercing or even eliminating national governments in the past — notably in Italy and Greece as part of the euro crisis. But this has only been possible among Eurozone members, who by membership in that flailing “club” formally make themselves slaves to financial markets and the European Central Bank. Poland, like Hungary, still has a national currency and a central bank which can protect her from such pressure.
I am therefore quite optimistic that Poland’s conservative populists will remain securely in office, at least for a number of years. Already, even mainstream liberal media are reporting that Orbán’s hardline approach to the migrant crisis is being vindicated, while Merkel is being attacked as an incompetent boob (or worse), incapable of even protecting German women and girls from sexual assault at the hands of foreign invaders. Let us hope the Poles are successful in fighting for the cultural and demographic renewal of their nation, and that their example inspires other patriots across Europe.
Guillaume Durocher, “Orbán vs. Merkel; Can Europe’s Conservative Populists End the Migrant Crisis?,” The Occidental Observer, November 1, 2015. http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2015/11/orban-vs-merkel-can-europes-conservative-populists-end-the-migrant-crisis/
Gavin Rae, “Understanding the Liberal Roots of Polish Conservatism,” Social Europe Journal, January 5, 2016. http://www.socialeurope.eu/2016/01/the-liberal-roots-of-polish-conservatism/
“Polish Govt. to Crush Marxists in State Media,” The New Observer, January 4, 2016. http://newobserveronline.com/polish-govt-to-crush-marxists-in-state-media/
Zygmunt Bauman, “The Migration Panic and Its (Mis)uses,” Social Europe Journal, December 17, 2015. http://www.socialeurope.eu/2015/12/migration-panic-misuses/