Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market House Prices Bull Market Trend Current State - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Gold and Silver End of Week Technical, CoT and Fundamental Status - Gary_Tanashian
3.Stock Market Dow Trend Forecast - April Update - Nadeem_Walayat
4.When Will the Stock Market’s Rally Stop? - Troy_Bombardia
5.Russia and China Intend to Drain the West of Its Gold - MoneyMetals
6.BAIDU (BIDU) - Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Stocks Investing To Profit from AI Mega-trend - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Stop Feeding the Chinese Empire - ‘Belt and Road’ Trojan Horse - Richard_Mills
8.Stock Market US China Trade War Panic! Trend Forecast May 2019 Update - Nadeem_Walayat
9.US China Trade Impasse Threatens US Lithium, Rare Earth Imports - Richard_Mills
10.How to Invest in AI Stocks to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
The Bad News About Record-Low Unemployment - 24th June 19
Stock Market New High, but…! - 24th June 19
Formula for when the Great Stock Market Rally Ends - 24th June 19
How To Time Market Tops and Bottoms - 24th June 19
5 basic tips to help mitigate the vulnerability inherent in email communications - 24th June 19
Will Google AI Kill Us? Man vs Machine Intelligence - 24th June 19
Why are Central Banks Buying Gold and Dumping Dollars? - 23rd June 19
Financial Sector Paints A Clear Picture For Stock Market Trading Profits - 23rd June 19
What You Should Look While Choosing Online Casino - 23rd June 19
INTEL (INTC) Stock Investing to Profit From AI Machine Learning Boom - 22nd June 19
Here’s Why You Should Drive a Piece of Crap Car - 22nd June 19
How Do Stock Prices React to Fed Interest Rate Cuts? - 22nd June 19
Gold Bull Market Breaking Out! - 21st June 19
Post-FOMC Commentary: Delusions of Grandeur - 21st June 19
Gold Scores Gains as Draghi and Powel Grow Concerned - 21st June 19
Potential Upside Targets for Gold Stocks - 21st June 19
Gold Price Trend Forcast to End September 2019 - 21st June 19
The Gold (and Silver) Volcano Is Ready to Erupt - 21st June 19
Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged – Gold & Stocks Rally/Dollar Falls - 21st June 19
Silver Medium-Term Trend Analysis - 20th June 19
Gold Mining Stocks Waiting on This Chart - 20th June 19
A Key Gold Bull Market Signal - 20th June 19
Money Saving Kids Gardening Growing Giant Sunflowers Summer Fun - 20th June 19
Investing in APPLE (AAPL) to Profit From AI Machine Learning Stocks - 20th June 19
Small Cap Stocks May Lead A Market Rally - 20th June 19 -
Interest Rates Square Minus Zero - 20th June 19
Advice for Financing a Luxury Vehicle - 20th June 19
Stock Market Final Blow Off Top Just Hit… Next Week Comes the FIREWORKS - 20th June 19
US Dollar Rallies Off Support But Is This A Top Or Bottom? - 19th June 19
Most Income Investors Are Picking Up Nickels in Front of a Steamroller - 19th June 19
Is the Stock Market’s Volatility About to Spike? - 19th June 19
Facebook's Libra Crypto currency vs Bitcoin: Five Key Differences - 19th June 19
Fed May Trigger Wild Swing In Stock Index and Precious Metals - 19th June 19
How Long Do Land Rover Discovery Sport Brake Pads Last? - 19th June 19
Gold Golden 'Moment of Truth' Is Upon Us: $1,400-Plus or Not? - 18th June 19
Exceptional Times for Gold Warrant Special Attention - 18th June 19
The Stock Market Has Gone Nowhere and Volume is Low. What’s Next - 18th June 19
Silver Long-Term Trend Analysis - 18th June 19
IBM - Watson Deep Learning - AI Stocks Investing - Video - 18th June 19
Investors are Confident, Bullish and Buying Stocks, but… - 18th June 19
Gold and Silver Reversals – Impossible Not to Notice - 18th June 19
S&P 500 Stuck at 2,900, Still No Clear Direction - 17th June 19
Is Boris set to be the next Conservation leader? - 17th June 19
Clock’s Ticking on Your Chance to Profit from the Yield Curve Inversion - 17th June 19
Stock Market Rally Faltering? - 17th June 19
Johnson Vs Gove Tory Leadership Contest Grudge Match Betfair Betting - 17th June 19
Nasdaq Stock Index Prediction System Is Telling Us A Very Different Story - 17th June 19
King Dollar Rides Higher Creating Pressures On Foreign Economies - 17th June 19
Land Rover Discovery Sport Tailgate Not Working Problems Fix (70) - 17th June 19
Stock Market Outlook: is the S&P today just like 2007 or 2016? - 17th June 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Gold Price Trend Forecast Summer 2019

Geopolitical Journey Through Poland, A History of Tragedy and Greatness

Politics / Eastern Europe Dec 04, 2010 - 03:45 AM GMT

By: STRATFOR

Politics

Diamond Rated - Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleTo understand Poland, you must understand Frederic Chopin. First listen to his Polonaise and then to his Revolutionary Etude. They are about hope, despair and rage. In the Polonaise, you hear the most extraordinary distillation of a nation’s existence. In the Revolutionary Etude, written in the wake of an uprising in Warsaw in 1830 crushed by Russian troops, there is both rage and resignation. In his private journal, Chopin challenged God for allowing this national catastrophe to happen, damning the Russians and condemning the French for not coming to Warsaw’s aid. Afterward, Chopin never returned to Poland, but Poland never left his mind.



Poland finally became an independent nation in 1918. The prime minister it chose to represent it at Versailles was Ignacy Paderewski, a pianist and one of the finest interpreters of Chopin. The conference restored the territories of Greater Poland, and Paderewski helped create the interwar Poland. Gdansk (the German Danzig) set the stage for Poland’s greatest national disaster when Germany and the Soviet Union allied to crush Poland, and Danzig became the German justification for its destruction.

A History of Tragedy and Greatness

For the Poles, history is always about betrayal, frequently French. Even had France (and the United Kingdom) planned to honor their commitment to Poland, it would have been impossible to carry it out. Poland collapsed in less then a week; no one can aid a country that collapses that fast. (The rest of the invaders’ operations comprised mopping up.)


Wars take time to wage, and the Poles preferred the romantic gesture to waging war. The Poles used horse cavalry against German armor, an event of great symbolism if not a major military feat. As an act of human greatness, there was magnificence in their resistance. They waged war — even after defeat — as if it were a work of art. It was also an exercise in futility. Listen carefully to Chopin: Courage, art and futility are intimately related for Poland. The Poles expect to be betrayed, to lose, to be beaten. Their pride was in their ability to retain their humanity in the face of catastrophe.

I think Chopin can be understood geopolitically. Look at where Poland is. It rests on the North European Plain, an open country whose national borders to its west and east are not protected or even defined by any significant geographical boundaries. To its east is Russia, by 1830 a massive empire. To the west were first the Prussians and after 1871 the Germans. To the south until 1918 was the Hapsburg Empire. No amount of courage or wisdom could survive forces as massive as this.

Poland is neither the master of its fate nor the captain of its soul. It lives and perishes by the will of others. Little can be done to stop the Germans and Russians when they join forces or use Poland as their battlefield. The most Poland can do is hope that powers farther away will come to its aid. They can’t. No one can aid a country that far away unless it aids itself. Chopin knew this in his soul and knew that the Poles would not succeed in aiding themselves. I think Chopin took pride in the certainty of catastrophe.

There is a book by Ivan Morris titled “The Nobility of Failure.” It is about Japan, but the title resonates with me when I think of Poland, Chopin and Paderewski. The Poles were magnificent in defeat, something I say without irony. But it must be remembered that Polish history was not always about the nobility of failure, nor is this kind of nobility Poland’s certain fate. Before the Russian empire emerged, before the Hapsburgs organized southeastern Europe and before the rise of Prussia, Poland was one of Europe’s great powers, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.


When the Germans are divided, the Russians weak and the Austrians worried about the Ottomans, then Poland stops being a victim. The Poles remember this and constantly refer to their past greatness. It is not clear that they fully appreciate why they were once great, why the greatness was taken away from them or that its resurrection is not unthinkable. The Poles know they once dominated the North European Plain. They are convinced that it will never happen again.

The Poles today want to escape their history. They want to move beyond Chopin’s tragic sense, and they want to avoid fantastic dreams of greatness. The former did nothing to protect their families from the Nazis and Communists. The latter is simply irrelevant. They were powerful for a while when there was no Germany or Russia, but they’re not now. Or so it would appear. I would argue that this view is lacking in imagination.

Poland, Russia and Europe

The Poles, like the rest of Central Europe, look at the European Union as the solution to their strategic problem. As an EU member, Poland’s German problem is solved. The two nations are now to be linked together in one vast institutional structure that eliminates the danger the two once posed to each other. The Poles also think the Russians are not a danger because the Russians are weaker than they appear and because, as one Foreign Ministry official put it to me, neither Ukraine nor Belarus is simply a Russian satellite. Indeed, he thought of Ukraine and Belarus more as buffers. As for the old Austro-Hungarian threat, that has dissolved into a melange of weak nations, none of which can threaten Poland.

Under these circumstances, many Poles would argue that the dangers of life on the North European Plain have been abolished. From my point of view, there are two problems with this perception. The first, as I have said in previous essays in this series, is that Germany is re-evaluating its role within the European Union. This is not because the German leadership wants to do so; Germany’s financial and political elites are deeply wedded to the idea of the European Union. But as with many elites worldwide after 2008, Germany’s elites have lost a great deal of room for maneuver. Public opinion is deeply suspicious of the multiple bailouts the German government has underwritten and may have to underwrite in the coming years. As German Chancellor Angela Merkel put it, Germans are not going to retire at 67 so Greeks can retire at 58.

From the point of view of Germans — and the least interesting views are expressed by the increasingly weak elite — the European Union is turning into a trap for German interests. For the Germans, a redefinition of the European Union is needed. If Germany is going to be called on to underwrite EU failures, it wants substantial control over the rest of Europe’s economic policy. A two-tiered system is emerging in Europe, one in which patrons and clients will not have the same degree of power.

Poland is doing extraordinarily well economically for the moment. Its economy is growing, and it is clearly the economic leader among the former Soviet satellites. But the period in which EU subsidies will flow into Poland is coming to an end, and problems with Poland’s retirement system are looming. Poland’s ability to maintain its economic standing within the European Union is going to be challenged in years to come. Poland could then be relegated to the status of client.

I don’t think the Poles would mind being a well-cared-for client. The problem is that the Germans and other core EU members have neither the resources nor the inclination to sustain the EU periphery in the style the periphery wants to be cared for. If Poland slips, it will have the same sort of controls put on it that are being placed on Ireland. One Polish official made clear he didn’t see this as a problem. When I mentioned the potential loss of Polish sovereignty, he told me that there were different kinds of sovereignty and that the loss of budgetary sovereignty does not necessarily undercut national sovereignty.

I told him that I thought he was not facing the magnitude of the problem. The ability of a state to determine how it taxes and distributes money is the essence of the sovereign state. If it loses that, it is left with the power to proclaim national ice cream month and the like. Others, most particularly the Germans, will oversee defense, education and everything else. If you place the budget beyond the democratic process, sovereignty has lost its meaning.

Here the conversation always got to the essence of the matter: intention. I was told over and over that Germany does not intend to take away sovereignty but merely to restructure the European Union cooperatively. I completely agreed that the Germans do not covet Polish sovereignty. I also said that intentions don’t matter. First, who knows what is on Merkel’s mind? WikiLeaks might reveal what she has said to an American diplomat, but that does not mean she has said what she thinks. Second, Merkel will not be in charge in a few years, and no one knows who comes next. Third, Merkel is not a free actor, but is constrained by political reality. And fourth, call it what you will, but if the Germans realign the structure of the EU, then power will be in their hands — and it is power, not the subjective inclination as to how to use that power, that matters.

Another conversation concerned Russian power. Again, officials emphasized two things. The first was that Russia was weak and not a threat. The second was that Russian control over Ukraine and Belarus was much less than imagined — neither is fixed in the Russian orbit. On this, I agreed partly. The Russians have no desire to recreate the Russian empire or Soviet Union; they do not want responsibility for these two countries. But they do want to limit Ukraine’s and Belarus’ options in foreign policy. The Russians will permit all sorts of internal evolutions. They will not permit politico-military alliances between the two and Western nations. And they will insist on Russian army and naval forces’ having access to Belarusian and Ukrainian soil.

I do not find the argument about Russian weakness persuasive. First, strength is relative. Russia may be weak compared to the United States. It is not weak compared to Europe or Russia’s near abroad. A nation does not have to be stronger than its strategic requirements, and Russia is certainly strong enough for those. True, Russia’s population is in decline and it is an economic wreck. But Russia has been an economic wreck since Napoleon, if not before. Its ability to field military power disproportionate to its economic power is historically demonstrable.

I raised the question of European, and particularly German, energy dependence on Russia, and was told that Germany only imports 30 percent of its energy from Russia. I had thought it was 45 percent, but still, I see 30 percent as a huge dependence. Cut that percentage off and the German economy becomes unsustainable. And that gives Russia a great deal of power. And while Russia needs the revenues from energy, it can stand a cut in revenues a lot longer than Germany and Europe can stand an energy cutoff.

Finally, there is the question of German and Russian cooperation. As I have discussed before, the German dependence on Russian energy and the Russian requirement for technology has created a synergy between the two countries, something reflected in their constant diplomatic consultation. In addition, German questions about the future of the European Union have taken them on a more independent and exploratory course. For their part, the Russians have achieved the essentials of a geopolitical recovery. Compared to 10 years ago, Putin has taken Russia on an extraordinary recovery. Russia is now interested in splitting Europe from the United States, and particularly from Germany. As Germany is looking for a new foundation for its foreign policy, the Russians are looking to partner with Europe.

The Polish leaders I spoke to all made it clear that they did not see this as a problem. I find it hard to believe that a German-Russian understanding does not concern the Poles. Yes, I know that neither Germany nor Russia intends Poland harm. But an elephant doesn’t necessarily plan to harm a mouse. Intentions aside, the mouse gets harmed.

I think the real point the Poles are making is that they have no choice. When I pointed out the option of the Intermarium with American backing, a senior Foreign Ministry official pointed out that under the new NATO plan the Germans have guaranteed two divisions to defend Poland while the United States has offered one brigade. He was extraordinarily bitter on this score. Following on the American decision to withdraw from a commitment to construct a fixed, permanent Ballistic Missile Defense installation in Poland and the tentative nature of a rotational deployment of a single Patriot battery, he saw this as a betrayal by the United States of earlier commitments. I lamely made the argument that one American brigade is a more effective fighting force than two contemporary German divisions, but that is debatable at best, and I deliberately missed the point. His charge was that there was no American commitment under the new NATO plan, or at least nothing credible.

Polish Self-Reliance and the United States

My real response to these points was something different. Poland had been helpless for centuries, the victim of occupation and dismemberment. It had been free and sovereign in the interwar period. It had thrown away its sovereignty by simply depending on French and British guarantees. Those guarantees might have been dishonest, but honest or not, they could not have been honored. Poland collapsed too quickly.

Guaranteeing Polish national sovereignty is first and foremost a Polish national issue. First, a nation does not give away control of fundamental national prerogatives, like its economy, to multinational organizations, particularly ones dominated by historical threats like Germany. Certainly, a nation doesn’t do that based on its perception of German intentions. All nations change their intentions; consider Germany between 1932 and 1934. Second, to take comfort from Russia’s economic weakness is to deliberately misread history.

But most important, a nation’s sovereignty depends on its ability to defend itself. True, Poland cannot defend itself from a treaty signed by Germany and Russia, at least not by itself. But it can buy time. Help may not come, but without time, help can’t possibly come. Of course, Poland can decide to accommodate itself to the Germans and Russians, assuming that this time things will be different. It is a comfortable assumption. It may even be true. But Poland is betting its nation on that assumption.

My reading of the situation is that both Polish officials and the Polish public understand that they are safe for the moment but that the future is unknown. They also feel helpless. Poland is a bustling European country, full of joint ventures and hedge funds. But all of the activity only covers the underlying tragic sense of the Polish nation, that in the end, the idea of the Polish nation is not in Polish hands. What will come will come, and the Poles will make a heroic stand if worse comes to worst. Chopin turned this sensibility into high art. In the end, survival is more prosaic, and ultimately harder to achieve, than the creation of art. Or more precisely, for Poland, survival is harder than artistic works of genius, and more rare.

Ultimately, I am an American and therefore less taken by tragic sensibilities than by viable strategy. For Poland, that strategy comes from the recognition that not only is it caught between Germany and Russia, it is the monkey wrench in German-Russian entente. It can be crushed by this. But it can prevent this. To do that, it needs three things. First, it needs a national defense strategy designed to make it more costly to attack Poland than to find way around it. This is expensive. But how much would the Poles have paid to avoid the Nazi and Soviet occupation? What seems expensive can be cheap in retrospect.

Second, Poland by itself is too light. As part of an alliance stretching from Finland to Turkey, the Intermarium, Poland would have an alliance of sufficient weight to matter that would be free from the irrelevancies of NATO. NATO was the alliance of the Cold War. The Cold War is over, but the alliance lives on like a poorly fed ghost administered by a well-fed bureaucracy.

Poland would need to coordinate with Romania, regardless of, say, Portugal’s opinion on the matter. This alliance requires Polish leadership. It will not emerge from it. But Poland must first overcome the fantasy that the 18-year-old European Union represents Europe’s millennial transformation into the peaceful Kingdom of Heaven. Eighteen years isn’t much time by European standards, and Europe has been looking unwell of late. If Germany bets wrong on the European Union, it will survive. Will Poland? National strategy is based on the worst-case scenario, not on hopeful understandings with transitory leaders.

Finally, the Poles must maintain their relationship with the global hegemon. Certainly, the last years of the Bush administration and the first years of Obama’s administration have not been pleasant for Poland. But in the end, the United States has fought three times in the 20th century to prevent a German-Russian entente and the domination of Europe by one power, whether that be Germany, Russia or a combination of the two. These wars were not fought for sentiment; the United States had no Chopin. The wars were driven by geopolitics. A German-Russian entente would threaten the United States profoundly. That is why it fought World War I, World War II and the Cold War.

There are things the United States cannot permit if it can stop them. The domination of Europe by one power tops the list. At the moment, the United States is more concerned about ending corruption in Afghanistan. This fixation will not last. Of course, the United States runs by a different and longer clock than Poland does. The United States has more room for maneuver. Poland also has time now, but it must use it in preparation for the time when the Americans regain their sense of perspective.

The European Union might right itself, and what emerges could be a confederation of equal nations as originally planned. The Russians might go quietly into that good night. Whatever my doubts, it might happen. But the problem the Poles have is what they will do if the best case doesn’t emerge. I would argue that there is no nobility in a failure that could be avoided. I would also argue that if you listen carefully to the Polonaise, it is an invitation not only to survival, but to greatness.

The Polish margin of error is extraordinarily thin. What I found in Poland was not an indifference to that margin, but a sense of helplessness coupled with intense activity to do well while living well is impossible. But it is the sense of helpless fatalism that frightens me as an American. We depend on Poland in ways that my countrymen don’t see yet. The longer we wait, the greater the chance of tragedy. The Germans and Russians are not monsters at the moment, nor do they want to be. But as Chopin makes clear, what we want to be and what we are are two different things, a subject to be considered in my concluding essay.

By George Friedman

This analysis was just a fraction of what our Members enjoy, Click Here to start your Free Membership Trial Today! "This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR"

© Copyright 2010 Stratfor. All rights reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis.

STRATFOR Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments


05 Dec 10, 04:11
Poland

I have to agree that US helped a bit to defend Poland but after all sold Poland to Russia .All countries in western Europe received help from Marshall plan but we had to pay Russia for independence in cheap coal losing 600 milions dollars, not to mention all the stolen infrastucture.That was the biggest robery od XX century ,at the same time however Germany was receiving help from Marshall plan.I canot see where we got the help, let me think ……………. Can not think of anything. Anyway all is now past and we have to look to the future.If Germany ended up as one of the biggest creditors of the Europe then there is nothing to worry about .And I hope Poland will do not joint EU currency which will dissapear eventually .


Andrew
06 Dec 10, 04:42
Rebuttal to "Poland"

Hello "Poland",

This is the first time when I post on this forum.

I find your comment irritating - as a Polish person myself I have heard such opinions for many, many years. We Polish people have a very unpleasant habit of blaming everyone else for our own mistakes - you with your comment are not much different. What you wrote is full of myths, misconceptions and completely unjustified grudge against the US (why the US?). It is also annoying to hear yet another Pole lamenting how much we suffered. Your comment seems particularly pretentious in that sense.

I would not like other people reading this article and seeing your comment to believe it since the arguments put forward are completely false.

Let us go through what you wrote carefully, ok? Very carefully...

"I have to agree that US helped a bit to defend Poland but after all sold Poland to Russia."

- First of all, Russia did not exist at that time, so the US could not have "sold" us to it. The article clearly mentions the Soviet Union. Secondly, neither the US nor Britain did sell us to anyone once the WW2 ended. The Red Army troops were already in Poland at that time - we were under quasi-military occupation of the Soviet Union. What would you expect the US to do at that time? Confront the Soviet Union militarly in order to do what, sorry? The Red Army troops were already stationed what was later known as East Germany, but somewhat I do not hear any Germans moaning and complaining that "The US sold them" to anyone. The war was over, no? What did you expect the US or Britian to do?

Thirdly, in case you forgot it was the Polish government that "sold Poland" - shortly after the arrival of the Nazi they packed their stuff and ran away to London leaving the entire country to their fate. The only "government" that was in Poland in May 1945 was the communist one. Had the Polish emigrational Government done anything more than just hiding cowardly in London, maybe the UK and the US made an agreement with them, right? They - our own pre-war Polish government - ran away leaving us to our fate...

Fourthly, Poles are Slavs - this is our ethnicity. Whether we like it or not we are culturaly very close to Russians.

We despize the Russians due to our inferiority complexes, but the reality is we have always been "within their camp". We almost speak the same language. Like it or not, we remain Slavs. It was therefore natural of the US to consider us the "Red camp".

"All countries in western Europe received help from Marshall plan but we had to pay Russia for independence in cheap coal losing 600 milions dollars, not to mention all the stolen infrastucture." - oh my godness... Oh, oh poor us, no? Do not be pathetic, ok? You sound like an old lady. Have a bit of dignity.

Do you really think that the economic success of the post-war Europe was only attributed to the US was pushing there their surplus production (which was known as the Marshall plan)? The US had a vested interest in rebuilding some of the European countries. Their economy expanded massively during the WW2 so they needed to do something with all the things they were still producing. No, not all of the countries received that help.

I keep hearing that gibbering about the Soviet Union (NOT RUSSIA!) stealing our coal all my life. It is rubbish. Where did you find that figure of 600 million dollars? Is it given in the current USDs? Can you please show us some studies proving that figure of 600 million dollars?

The most bizzare thing is: if the Soviets had stolen so much coal from us, how come we still have plenty? I can easily point to many statistics and studies that show that the amount of coal we have in Poland is still enormous.

If they had stolen so much, how come it is still there?

"not to mention all the stolen infrastucture." - How can you steal infrastructure? I thought this is something you cannot easily put into your pocket? I was born and brought up in the region of upper Silesia of Poland and I do not remember anyone dismantling any mines or taking any equipment? What exactly do you mean by "stealing infrastructure"? It is all rubbish what you wrote. Complete rubbish.

"That was the biggest robery od XX century, at the same time however Germany was receiving help from Marshall plan." - see the latin american countries to understand how much those were robbed and stop moaning.

Germany owes its success to their skills, spirit, labour, craftmanship, organization, discipline. I wish we had that characteristics. Have a bit of dignity when writing such things you old lady!!!

"I canot see where we got the help, let me think ……………. Can not think of anything." - work for yourself and earn your success. Have a bit of dignity. I am Pole myself and I do not ask for help. Have a bit of dignity.

"Anyway all is now past and we have to look to the future.If Germany ended up as one of the biggest creditors of the Europe then there is nothing to worry about." - they are the driving horse of the EURO zone economy - this is all thanks to their work culture.

"And I hope Poland will do not joint EU currency which will dissapear eventually ." - I hope you study history more carefully and have some humility. I hope such people like you disappear eventually.

Kind Regards,

Jedrzej ("Andrew") Szelc


LIbertarian Spirit
18 May 11, 16:27
Rebuttal to Andrew

Let's have a look at what you said and examine it throughly:

"First of all, Russia did not exist at that time, so the US could not have "sold" us to it"- are you really that naive, or a liar, or a fool, maybe all three? I guess the USSR was run by Estonians and it's official language must have been Lithuanian? The ruble surely wasn't its currency. For the record- the USSR= Mother Russia.

Churchill considered landing a powerfull military force in the Balkans instead of on the Normandy Beaches in order to cut the Russians off from advancing towards the west and bringing the zone of russian influence 1000 kilometers closer to the UK, but Roosevelt with his pro-soviet advisors decided otherwise. Many bright western military leaders, general Patton among them, considered attacking the soviets and driving them away from Europe. Such a brilliant move would have eliminated all future Cold War spending that followed, not to mention the Korean war and numerous other instances of countering the russian meddling in Vietnam, South America, Africa and all over the world.

"Thirdly, in case you forgot it was the Polish government that "sold Poland" - shortly after the arrival of the Nazi they packed their stuff and ran away to London leaving the entire country to their fate. The only "government" that was in Poland in May 1945 was the communist one."

Whom are you trying to fool? The communist government created by Stalin and imposed by force upon us wasn't Polish, it was a puppet government that our russian overlords installed to facilitate their taking control over Poland. It was as much "polish" as the Nazi General Government, I pity the fool who doesn't understand it. Meanwhile, the true and real Polish government in London had continued to coordinate armed resistance against the Nazis through operations of the Home Army. And in case you didn't know, every country has plans to move its government out of harms way should an event like war happen, that's perfectly normal and the right thing to do. The USA for example has its Air Force One to allow its president to be safely in command when things go horribly bad on the home soil.

"Fourthly, Poles are Slavs - this is our ethnicity. Whether we like it or not we are culturaly very close to Russians."

Russians are barbarians that never gave anything to the world like capitalism and property rights, constitution or personal freedom. Even today they're murdering journalists in plain view of the world. Their history is nothings but variations of tyranny: czars then communist dictators and the KGB/mafia rule of today. Russians raped 98% of women in Berlin in 1945, ages 8 to 98. And you dare to compare those animals to us? They may be like you, but not like me or any other true Pole.

"I keep hearing that gibbering about the Soviet Union (NOT RUSSIA!) stealing our coal all my life. It is rubbish. Where did you find that figure of 600 million dollars? Is it given in the current USDs? Can you please show us some studies proving that figure of 600 million dollars?"

You obviously haven't done your homework on the subject. Read "Stalin's Satellites in Europe" by Ygael Gluckstein or "Dramatyczny Rok 1945" by Tadeusz Zenczykowski, these books explain the methods by which the russians exploited their satellites-colonies very clearly and provide economic data. A quick summary on this issue can be found here: http://libcom.org/library/Hungary565. In the south-eastern Poland where I hail from there are many old factory buildings from which all equipment and machinery was stolen by russians in 1945 and 46. The communists may have started a new production in them, used them for a different purpose or had them demolished but the soviet pillage is a fact. I will just add that russians were milking Poland dry already since the partitions (circa 1772), the Russo- Japanese war of 1904 brought draconian taxes and forced deliveries of goods that devastated the occupied polish territory. After WWII polish farmers, including my grandparents, every year had to give away a substantial portion of their produce and livestock to the communist authorities to be shipped to Russia(USSR), consequently they had hardly any left and could barely survive.

On a side note the dollars "Poland" mentions are 1940s dollars, their present worth can be found here http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

or better yet, here:

http://www.shadowstats.com/inflation_calculator.

Speaking of currencies, the euro will not survive a couple more crises, if history is of any guide. I urge you to study it- there is much to be learned from it, or follow your own gut feeling, park all your money in euros and let the future prove me wrong.

Best regards,

The Libertarian Spirit of Poland,

speaking for all true Poles


Andrew
07 Aug 11, 19:06
Rebuttal to “Libertanian Nightmare of Poland”

Let us examine what you wrote thoroughly:

“are you really that naive, or a liar, or a fool, maybe all three? I guess the USSR was run by Estonians and it's official language must have been Lithuanian? The ruble surely wasn't its currency. For the record- the USSR= Mother Russia.”

Russia did not exist in 1945. The West did not sell us to “Russia” nor to the USSR to that matter. We were not sold or betrayed by the West. In 1945 the Soviets troops were already in Poland. The West had no point or ability in confronting the USSR for Poland.

More importantly, we cannot compare today’s Russia to the USSR because of the same reasons that we cannot compare today’s Germany to the Third Reich or its predecessor Weimar Republic. The same argument holds true for Poland: you cannot compare today’s Poland to the Peoples’ Republic of Poland before 1989 or the pre-WWII Poland.

Saying that Poland was betrayed is a myth perpetuated by reactionary and nationalistic Poles that wish to blame the whole world for our misfortune after 1945.

For the recored: The USSR was run for some time by an ethnic Georgian known as Jozef Stalin (nop, he was not a Russian). Does it mean that we will be blaming today’s Georgians for the Stalinism, dear Sir…? I am sure you see my point. Will I blame modern Austrians for Adolf Hitler…?

“Churchill considered landing a powerfull military force in the Balkans instead of on the Normandy Beaches in order to cut the Russians off from advancing towards the west and bringing the zone of russian influence 1000 kilometers closer to the UK, but Roosevelt with his pro-soviet advisors decided otherwise. Many bright western military leaders, general Patton among them, considered attacking the soviets and driving them away from Europe. “

This is a complete myth, one of many WWII plans which is now presented as something that was in fact considered seriously. That “plan” remains sheer speculation. More importantly, this plan was abandoned not because the allies betrayed Poland, but because deploying armies with equipment in Balkans was never possible. How would have those armies been transported there? Through fascist Italy? Long sea trip? Over North Africa? How would they fight their way up to the North? Through the mountains? Through Balkans? Would they need to militarily confront the communist insurgents led by Tito or rather form an alliance with them to fight the Nazi? What logistics would they have there? Have you ever thought about that? Do you think Patton did not…? 

That plan was written down not because “the west betrayed Poland”, but because it was not feasible. Mentioning this elusive, ambiguous, never-existing “plan” today in the context of betrayal is lunacy and a comical distortion of the historical facts. Let us stick to reality of what really happened.

"Such a brilliant move would have eliminated all future Cold War spending that followed, not to mention the Korean war and numerous other instances of countering the russian meddling in Vietnam, South America, Africa and all over the world."

Again, that brilliant move never took place, because it was not brilliant at all. It is a phantasmagoria that never materialized, and it certainly would not influence the situation in Africa, Vietnam, Madagascar, Moon, Mars, Brooklyn, Hollywood or my local groceries despite what some lunatics think today…

"The communist government created by Stalin and imposed by force upon us wasn't Polish, it was a puppet government that our russian overlords installed to facilitate their taking control over Poland. It was as much "polish" as the Nazi General Government, I pity the fool who doesn't understand it."

Precisely, because the Polish government run away to London in the wake of WWII. They left the entire nation behind. It was not a “stay-behind” operation as it might be portrayed today, but an act of disgrace. They ran away, leaving no higher command or any decision making apparatus behind. Thus, it created a vacuum to be filled with the Polish communists that held their ground. The only government which existed in 1945 was formed by the Polish communists that fought against the Nazi through the war (The Home Army was not the only force at that time, it was also terribly unsuccessful…). The west oriented Home Army was gone at the end of the war – they all died in Warsaw Uprising. This is a sad historical fact.

“ Meanwhile, the true and real Polish government in London had continued to coordinate armed resistance against the Nazis through operations of the Home Army.”

This is the way how some would like to portray it today. The reality was, however, that they had very limited ability in coordinating anything. Jan Nowak Jezioranski travelled from London to Warsaw to pass an approval for Warsaw Uprising in 1944. It is a very well know fact that the Uprising was aimed at gaining control over the city before the Red Army arrived. The emigrational government wanted to take over Warsaw before the Russians stepped in. The reason was purely political. This is why there were no weapons airdrops during Warsaw Uprising and almost zero support from the allies for the uprising. Why? Well, precisely because it was aimed against Stalin and the communists. Thus, the allies remained very reluctant to support our “escapade”. Again, the emigrational government failed to inform the UK government about their plans, and did not win any meaningful support for the insurgents in Warsaw. This is also why after the WWII the UK government never recognize that "real Polish government".

The uprising ended up in an overwhelming catastrophe (25k Polish insurgents; 175k civilians Poles died; only 11k Nazi soldiers; no political or military gains achieved; completely ruined city; human catastrophe which facilitated establishing the communist government).

Will the London emigrational government that pushed for Warsaw Uprising kindly take credit for its outcome…? It was very easy to “co-ordinated” the Home Army from their cozy offices in London, was not it? How convenient…

“The Sewer” by Oscar winning Andrzej Wajda tells the story of young Warsaw insurgents who were conned into fighting for a bunch of smart-alecks in London… Well done…

“And in case you didn't know, every country has plans to move its government out of harms way should an event like war happen, that's perfectly normal and the right thing to do. The USA for example has its Air Force One to allow its president to be safely in command when things go horribly bad on the home soil. “

Such plans are known by the code name: “stay-behind”. 1939 we had no such plans in Poland. I can elaborate on that further providing necessary historical details and facts. Poland was unprepared for any form of guerrilla warfare in 1939.

“Russians are barbarians…” – Ah! The libertarian spirit of Poland has spoken!! Thank you dear white Aryan master for sharing with us with your in-depth knowledge of the Russian culture. Your meticulously researched analysis is breathtaking, we at least know whom we are dealing with. Please write more, monsignor! More! More!

What you wrote reminds me of the famous Nazi slogan “Jews are pests” – indeed the same mindset. The most criminal atrocities the world has ever seen were committed by our Western neighbors (incidentally also on the Polish soil). The most extreme mass murders emerged from our “West” flank if you happen to remember. But you would not call our Western neighbors today “Barbarians”, would you? They are different people now. So are the Russians.

Poles are Slavs. We are almost identical with the Russians. We speak almost the same language. We have so many similarities. No amount of black propaganda will distort that.

“that never gave anything to the world like capitalism and property rights, constitution or personal freedom. Even today they're murdering journalists in plain view of the world. Their history is nothings but variations of tyranny: czars then communist dictators and the KGB/mafia rule of today.”

Well, perhaps they saved us from the gas chambers of Auschwitz Birkenau? Do you remember who was operating all those camps? And do you remember who liberated those camps? The Red Army carried out several operations specifically designed to reach the death camps as soon as possible. Thank god those blood thirsty Russian butchers came there soon enough to stop the “capitalists” from what they could do to us too.

It is difficult to comment on the achievements of the Russian people and culture if one wishes to deny them. Those, however, are spectacular in arts, science, aeronautics, biology, geography. Please have your mind open.

Please compare the life in any other region of the world that “the west” was using at their disposal (Africa, Indo-China, South America) to the life in the Communist camp. For the communist camp, as bad as it was (and it was pretty bad at times) the population increase that occurred during those years, free education, health care, investment in infrastructure speak for itself.

You are comparing the USSR that rose from the ruins of WWII having lost 27mln citizens to countries that were not even scratched. The effort in the post-WWII USSR was enormous, and it brought enormous gains.

“ Russians raped 98% of women in Berlin in 1945, ages 8 to 98.” – please provide a reliable reference for that. In the mean time, may I remind you that the Nazi murder 6mln Poles and exterminated 90% of Jews in Europe. But does body count make any difference in this discussion? It is not about counting bodies, but about asking questions what policy is responsible for that, and can we change it in the future.

“ And you dare to compare those animals to us? They may be like you, but not like me or any other true Pole.” – Yes, indeed, thank god they are not like you…

“You obviously haven't done your homework on the subject. Read "Stalin's Satellites in Europe" by Ygael Gluckstein or "Dramatyczny Rok 1945" by Tadeusz Zenczykowski, these books explain the methods by which the russians exploited their satellites-colonies very clearly and provide economic data.”

We were never the USSR colony. The USSR (or the Russians) never exploited us. The USSR might have been a colonial state, but only within its borders. Poland was not part of the USSR, and throughout many years remained independent economically from the USSR to a large extent. No matter how much the history is distorted today to paint the Russians in dark colours the reality is that we were not exploited economically.

“A quick summary on this issue can be found here: http://libcom.org/library/Hungary565. In the south-eastern Poland where I hail from there are many old factory buildings from which all equipment and machinery was stolen by russians in 1945 and 46. The communists may have started a new production in them, used them for a different purpose or had them demolished but the soviet pillage is a fact. I will just add that russians were milking Poland dry already since the partitions (circa 1772), the Russo- Japanese war of 1904 brought draconian taxes and forced deliveries of goods that devastated the occupied polish territory.”

All that talk comes from the paradigm of self pity, weakness and living your life from a standpoint of victims. It sounds as if there was a conspiracy theory of the “Russians” (Soviets at that time!) to “dry milk us”. As if the Soviets (not Russians) were specifically going after Poland. It is lunacy. Please compare Poland of the 1950ties, 60s, 70s, 80s to any African, Latin or Indo-China country to see some real “dry milking”. Have a bit of dignity.

“After WWII polish farmers, including my grandparents, every year had to give away a substantial portion of their produce and livestock to the communist authorities to be shipped to Russia(USSR), consequently they had hardly any left and could barely survive.”

This is a blatant lie or a pleasant family myth. Please provide any evidence of that. It almost sounds as if the USSR starved your grandparents to death. It is a sort of mawkish comical self pity we Poles indulge every time we want to blame someone for the terrible economic situation of the post-WWII Poland. But there is someone else to be blamed for that, right? May I remind you that Poland was completely destroyed by the Nazi during the preceding years? Are we taking into account the massive destruction of the Polish infrastructure that occurred during WWII? Do you blame modern Germans for that? No, and rightly so, because they are a different generation of people, they have nothing to do with those long gone horrors.

“Speaking of currencies, the euro will not survive a couple more crises, if history is of any guide. I urge you to study it- there is much to be learned from it, or follow your own gut feeling, park all your money in euros and let the future prove me wrong.”

Back in the 1950s right wing European politicians were condemning the new born Europe saying it will not last even a decade. It has. EU is more than a currency – it is an idea of having your mind open.

“The Libertarian Spirit of Poland,” – We would like to know your name as well, please.

“speaking for all true Poles” – Are you by any chance friends with that Norwegian guy Anders Breivik…? I think he also wrote in his manifesto that he “speaks for all true Norwegians”…


Marcin Strojny
09 Aug 11, 03:37
Poland

My grandad served in Polish artillery during WWII, killed many Germans and never rode a horse. Died in 1997 of old age, sorry German wifes who never saw their men again. I am amazed that there is nothing in this article about Great Britain who is responsible, through its political and monetary actions for the breakout of WWII. And of course Sikorski's death had nothing to do with British manipulators...and Red October neither.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules