April 2, 2014

Anne Applebaum ponders World War G

Anne Applebaum, wife of the Polish foreign minister, writes in her column in Slate / Washington Post:
TBILISI, Georgia—Halfway through an otherwise coherent conversation with a Georgian lawyer last week—the topics included judges, the court system, the police—I was startled by a comment he made about his country’s former government, led by ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili. “They were LGBT,” he said, conspiratorially.    
What did that mean, I asked, surprised. Were they in favor of rights for sexual minorities? For gay marriage? Were they actually gay? He couldn’t really define it, though the conversation meandered in that direction for a few more minutes, also touching on the subject of the former president’s alleged marital infidelity, his promotion of female politicians, his lack of respect for the church. 
Afterward, I worked it out. The lawyer meant to say that Saakashvili—who drove his country hard in the direction of Europe, who pulled Georgia as close to NATO as possible, who used rough tactics to fight the post-Soviet mafia that dominated his country

Who also started ... a ... tank ... war ... with ... Russia, but who can remember that?
—was “too Western.” Not conservative enough. Not traditional enough. Too much of a modernizer, a reformer, a European. In the past, such a critic might have called Saakashvili a “rootless cosmopolitan.” But nowadays the insulting code word for that sort of person in the former Soviet space—regardless of what he or she actually thinks about gay people—is “LGBT.”      
It was an eye-opening moment. Like Ukraine, Georgia is a post-Soviet republic that has tried to pull itself out of the sphere of Russian influence. Unlike Ukraine, Georgia does not have a sizable Russian-speaking population, and Georgians even have cause to fear Russia. Since their 2008 invasion, Russian troops have occupied the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, about one-fifth of the country. Russian tanks are parked a few hours drive from Georgia’s capital. 
Yet despite the absence of Russian speakers, a form of Russia’s anti-Western ideology can be felt in Georgia, too. It’s a minority view that drifts in through religious leaders—part of the Georgian Orthodox Church retains old ties to Moscow—through some pro-Kremlin political parties and Russian-backed media. But it finds indigenous support, taking the form of xenophobic, anti-European—and nowadays—anti-gay rhetoric. 
   
I quote this because it's the perfect set-up for my new column in Taki's Magazine.

Keep in mind that I admire Anne Applebaum. She's always impressed me as a good person. Her faults -- she's a little earnest and lacking in self-awareness -- are the faults of good people. She's an above-average quality representative of the American media's center-right, so her cluelessness about who has had the whip hand in World War G is illuminating about the self-interested obliviousness that has been driving this dangerous confrontation.
       

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve, your favorite public intellectual Masha Gessen was on the op/ed page of the Washington Post about two days ago.

She is getting quite the stage to air her grievances against Russia and Putin.

NoAnnieApp said...

Who gets to determine what is "modern?" Why is LGBT "modern?" What makes it so? Wasn't all of this gender-bending and feminist crap tried many times before? Is there anything new under the sun? Why are the things that have weakened our society "modern" and the things that are strengthening Russian society not? If being "modern" is so useful, why then was not Suckassfeely unable to win the war he started? You'd think that all of that "modernity" would've brought victory.

Chubby Ape said...

It is very funny how representative Anne Applebaum is of our current governing class when she's astonished to find people thinking this way. How could anyone make such an odd connection between the West's powers-that-be and the LBGT agenda? Surly it's only backward, former East Bloc types who buy such crude Kremlin propaganda?
To be fair, it's understandable that Anne Applebaum would be unaware of the odd events in the tiny hermit kingdom of France, where some people showed up to protest unsuccessfully against gay marriage and gay adoption.

Apparently another name for the "World War G" campaign is "Gayropa", which blends "gay" with "Europa". This cartoon of Ukraine at the crossroads between Russia and Gayropa is an instant classic.

5371 said...

These people need an enemy, and Islam doesn't do it for them, because most countries inhabited by Muslims are US clients. There's only one Russia, it's as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Very off topic but tangentially related:

right now there is a real oddity in board/wargaming. A very respected wargame designer (who has designed incredibly innovative wargames on the Napoleonic and Civil Wars) is coming on as transgender.

The oddity? He's an historical wargame designer (not just a boardgame/Dungeons and Dragons oddball, but realistic, historical wargames, which I had thought really self-selected for reasonably conservative, staid folks). Furthermore, he is really getting alot of public support from (folks I know personally) traditionally conservative communities-including a retired marine officer, and a whole spectrum of what I would have thought to be relatively level-headed folks.

Not sure if you are interested, but more information can be found at Boardgamegeek.com. The guy's name is Bowen Simmons.

Its not an earth-shattering event, but it really is strange. What it says about our culture is really something-even if it is in and of itself not a culturally/politically significant event.

anonymousse

Anonymous said...

Yet despite the absence of Russian speakers

The usual journalistic rubbish. About 10% of non-Georgian population uses Russian almost exclusively - it's a lingua franca. In Tbilisi, the percentage of Russian speakers is as high as percentage of English speakers in Amsterdam.

leftist conservative said...

what is the "driving force" behind the cultural-propaganda push to put gay rights and indeed all forms of inclusiveness? Ah, that is the question.

The total acceptance of gays and the elevation of gays to high social status in western culture is key to promoting an attitude among young americans that they should willingly and warmly accept into america those who are not like us. "Inclusiveness," in a word.

What does having young americans accept outsiders mean to certain powerful segments of society?

It means that lots and lots of cheap 3rd world worker/consumer human livestock can be imported via mass immigration and put to work as busy little bees, working and buying, working and buying, and thereby used to increase the GDP and corporate profits.

Growth through inclusiveness propaganda.

Growth Uber Alles!

Gay rights, multiculturalism, diversity, the idea of inclusiveness and the elevation in social status of those who are different from us, this is all part of the growth strategy of the corporate think tanks that mold and shape policy in america.

If you can get young people to accept those who are 'different', if you can pound white guilt memes into young white minds in school, you can manufacture consent for growth through mass immigration of third worlders, who are very different from us.

All those third worlders need to feel welcome, or else they will not come here. So teach young people to idolize nonwhites, and others who are different from us.

It's not a conspiracy. It is simply the codified washington consensus wisdom that has come out of think tanks over the decades.

More human livestock for the livestock operation that is america, that america has always been.


You want to change it? Fat chance. Do you even understand how democracy happens? Change would require more democracy. How can we get that when we don't even really know what that means?

Titus Didius Tacitus said...

The problem with attributing Jewish aggression toward Russia to natural Jewish fear of actual or purported Tsarist pogroms is that the very Jewish club that brought about the coup in Ukraine and then took over the country shows no fear of actual neo-Nazis. Smiling contempt and an eager willingness to use these thick-witted thugs for all they are worth, yes. Uncontrollable, historically traumatized dread, no. Not a trace of it.

To sympathetic Christians, who incorrectly suppose that they are sharing the emotions of the Jews they collectively love, the idea of Victoria Nuland wandering about a brutalized environment, surrounded by neo-Nazis, should be nightmarish. It was not so for her; she was happily handing out cookies to her hired and oh-so-disposable help.

Jews prefer to be seen by others as helpless innocent victims, owed just compensation for thousands of years of unprovoked acts of aggression by non-Jewish whites. They publicize stories that support that lachrymose narrative.

But Jews know themselves collectively to be successful in a wide variety of fields requiring smarts, and winners in inter-group competition, pretty much any time they can get a foot in the door. And they act accordingly.

Harry Baldwin said...

In the past, such a critic might have called Saakashvili a “rootless cosmopolitan.” But nowadays the insulting code word for that sort of person in the former Soviet space—regardless of what he or she actually thinks about gay people—is “LGBT.”

It makes sense, though. The people I know who are obsessed with LGBT issues, or non-issues as I regard them, are all of the rootless cosmopolitan type.

Bill said...

It's probably a good rhetorical strategy to pick out some neocons and pretend that they are good guys. But, it's not factual. Anne Appelbaum hates commies, and hating commies is certainly a good thing.

Why do neocons hate commies? Well, by definition, neocons are people who were OK with Communism back when Communism was Jews and Georgians slaughtering ethnic Russians by the million but who began to hate Communism when ethnic Russians took control of it and were very slightly mean to Jews. Evil is a pretty good description of this overall point of view.

Marissa said...

But it finds indigenous support, taking the form of xenophobic, anti-European—and nowadays—anti-gay rhetoric.

She says that like it's a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

"....so her cluelessness about who has had the whip hand in World War G is illuminating about the self-interested obliviousness that has been driving this dangerous confrontation."

Steve, What do you mean by this? Thanks!

a very knowing American said...

Regarding "LGBT": A good acronym shouldn't have more than three letters (CIA, IRS, BLT). Otherwise it's too hard to say and remember. I used to keep forgetting all the letters in LGBT, or worse yet, microaggressing against women by remembering it as GLBT.

Until I read, in the "Saga of the people of Laxardal," that one of the characters, Geirmund, has a sword named "Leg biter." This name makes the acronym easier to remember. So let the enemies of the West fear the sting of the leg biters!

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that I admire Anne Applebaum. She's always impressed me as a good person. Her faults -- she's a little earnest and lacking in self-awareness -- are the faults of good people.

I think you're assuming that because she's married to a Polish Catholic, she must have some real affinity for traditional Europeans. There's no indication of this in her writing and activism however. She's a standard neocon/ethnic activist.

Toddy Cat said...

Unlike a lot of liberals, Applebaum seems to be genuinely horrified by Communism and it's record of mass murder, and that's all to the good. But someone should tell the poor woman that 1)the USSR fell back in 1991, and 2) Harry, Ike , and Ron did not stand up to the Commies in the name of gay rights. And while we're at it, someone should tell NATO as well

Anonymous said...

She attributes any conservative impulse anywhere, even among Russia-hating Georgians, to Russian influence. Kirchick and that iSteve commenter who imagines that Right Sector must be on Putin's payroll display the same mentality. Conservatism is bad, Putin is the world's chief baddy and chief conservative (not really, but he is in their eyes), therefore all conservative feeling everywhere must be his work. The next logical step for these people would be to extend Putin's influence back in time, towards Nazi Germany, the Spanish inquisition and ancient Sparta. How could nationalism and other types of right-wingery have existed in ancient Greece without Putin to finance it with his oil money? They're starting with the assumption that this stuff can never spring up naturally by itself, that man is a swipple by nature and that any deviations from that can only be a product of laborious conspiracies.

The attribution of Ugandan homophobia to the influence of white Christian missionaries works on the same principle.

Anonymous said...

Man is born a swipple and is everywhere corrupted by Putin. His gas pipelines are serpents delivering the forbidden fruit of machismo to the Garden of Europe.

Whiskey said...

Russia and the US are bound for conflict over the global price of oil. Dirt cheap or ultra pricey.

WWG is just the figleaf.

Kevin Michael Grace said...

You give Anne Applebaum too much credit. She's just another sneering globalist seeking to force rootless cosmopolitanism upon all of us.

Writing in Slate in 2012, Applebaum mocked those in France, Greece and Holland fighting for national sovereignty as "troublemakers" who "want to ‘withdraw from the world.’ They don’t like their multiethnic capital cities or their open borders, and they don’t care for multinational companies or multilateral institutions."

Can you imagine!

Nations, communities, traditions: they are all about to wither away. Applebaum thinks they're all risible, anyway. "[Nicolas] Sarkozy tried to attract [Marine Le Pen's] supporters by promising, among other things, to impose a test of ‘French values’ on any foreigner who wants to live in France. It was an intriguing thought—perhaps would-be French citizens should be required to undergo a blind tasting, to see if they can tell the difference between California chardonnay and the real thing.” Ho, ho, very satirical.

According to Applebaum, Europe’s malcontents “would turn back the clock, if they could, to a time when national governments really made decisions all by themselves—a charming fantasy that could end in various forms of disaster. It still sounds impossible—but just because something can’t work doesn’t mean someone, someday, won’t try it.” Yeah, well, who died and made Anne Applebaum queen?

Remember when Khrushchev boasted, "We will bury you"? This has become America's 21st-century version of the good neighbour policy. "What's ours is ours; and what's yours is ours." Old Cold Warriors will understand the reference. I'm sure some will appreciate the irony.

Anonymous said...

I liked Anne Applebaum's book "The Iron Curtain," but the PC moralistic mush she serves up while writing for Slate resembles a diversity training session for college freshmen.

She doesn't lack self-awareness. She's an ambitious careerist who knows enough about who is shaping the prevailing media consensus to suck up to them, that's the point of this article.

Sean said...

Uganda almost brought in the death penalty for G. The origin of all this is not G (In five countries and in parts of two others, homosexuality is punishable with the death penalty, while a further 70 imprison for it).

The increasing international tension started in 2010 Magnitsky. Russia retaliated asymmetrically as is its habit, by banning Americans from adopting Russian children. The anti G measures (no stronger than Thatcher's) of 2013 were another round of tit for tat.

Poland attacked Russia and tried to conquer it after WW1. Because it was WEAK.

Russians can read, and all this 'open season on G in Russia' is being lovingly reproduced for educated Russians to show them there is an information war on Russia. Russia does not have much of an economy to take sanctions against. It won't have to back down. Yet another American failure paid for by those unfortunate enough to inhabitant a country the US tries to 'help' is in the offing.

David said...

It's dog-whistling. She has to know that the term "rootless cosmopolitan" has an antisemitic pedigree (the term predates Soviet jargon). I read this as her telling Jews that effective LGBT advocacy is coming to be seen as a Jewish thang nowadays; that this particular ethnic conflict is very important; and that the Cossacks are noticing.

Anonymous said...

Think about this: according to Anne Applebaum Putin is guilty of importing machismo TO THE CAUCASUS. I've known some Caucasus natives, so to me that beats anything anyone ever claimed about Chuck Norris.

Just Saying said...

I've said it again but it bears repeating: the new Cold War will be the US (Coca-Cola, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, same sex marriage) against Russia: home, family, manliness. Maybe Putin isn't the greatest exemplar of this, maybe he's just using it, but so what?

It's something that has much deeper roots than our garbage culture, and Marxism-Leninism.

Oh yeah, the cultural face of America is increasingly black all over, another turn-off.

Edward Spears said...

Did she write Koba the Dread?

If so she's as unaware as Robert Conquest.

The real enemy is the fiction of equality and those who push it. Appelbaum is unawares because she is paid to be unaware.

Phillyastro said...

I can't help thinking that if Dostoyevsky wrote Notes from the Underground today, he'd replace the Narrator's rants against the Crystal Palace with rants against LBGT alliance.

Anonymous said...

KGB vs LGBT

Percy Gryce said...

Anne Applebaum also likes her some child rapists, like Roman Polanski.

Anonymous said...

There is more to the so called "Ukraine Crisis" than the idiotic American MSM views, a glance at the Russian side would do no harm.

Anonymous said...

"so her cluelessness about who has had the whip hand in World War G is illuminating about the self-interested obliviousness that has been driving this dangerous confrontation."

For some reason the new CEO of Mozilla, Bernard Eich, comes to mind. Few people would dare to push for his termination if he were, say, a Communist - McCarthyism and all that. But give $1,000 to support Prop 8...

I think people are about to start getting fed up with the Gaystapo.

Anonymous said...

o/t - tonight UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg debated UKIP's Nigel Farage about the EU, but Putin and Ukraine/Syria inevitably came up, after Farage said he admired Putin "as an operator, though not as a human being".

The Guardian's not exactly UKIP's biggest fan, but the verdict of the readers - the dreaded Guardianistas - is interesting.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/2014/apr/02/farage-v-clegg-the-debate-for-europe-politics-live-blog

"I thought Clegg was absolutely awful ....patronising and arrogant. I think he thought his Putin attack would be a killer blow. It wasn't. I'm pro Europe and I thought Farage won by a mile ...and more"

"I have have just experienced a moment of sudden and striking realisation. I know why Farage seems different; unlike Cameron, Clegg and to some degree Milliband, he doesn't remind me of Blair."

ogunsiron said...

"For some reason the new CEO of Mozilla, Bernard Eich, comes to mind. Few people would dare to push for his termination if he were, say, a Communist - McCarthyism and all that. But give $1,000 to support Prop 8...

I think people are about to start getting fed up with the Gaystapo. "

Peak G ?

I don't know. Those who want that man to lose his job surely aren't biting their tongues.

I don't know if this is new but blatant advocacy for "repressive tolerance" à la Marcuse is more and more common in various forums that I read. In the tech world in particular, the repressive progressive voice seems louder and louder. Live and let live libertarians and conservatives are on the defensive.

Anonymous said...

As someone with an interest in model railways Im unhappy with LGBT because: LGB.

jaakkeli said...

"Apparently another name for the "World War G" campaign is "Gayropa", which blends "gay" with "Europa". This cartoon of Ukraine at the crossroads between Russia and Gayropa is an instant classic."

I'm not sure why though as I really don't see Europeans sending lesbians plotting to destroy marriage over to Russia, it's just Obama's America that's gone full rainbow. I have no doubt McCain's America would have loved to get into a crisis with Russia but it wouldn't have been the World War G, it would have been the World War War.

Over here in Finland we have to actually seriously think about what to do in a EU/Russia crisis so Pussy Riot and all the rainbow LGBT stuff magically disappeared even though half our news is now about Russia. All this gay imperialism sounds to me like the Obama administration isn't taking the issue seriously and they're just seeing an opportunity to throw some political rewards to the domestic faithful.

Matra said...

Steve Sailer: Anne Applebaum, wife of the Polish foreign minister

Another commenter refers to him as a Polish Catholic. Let's name him. He is Radek Sikorski, former columnist for Bill Buckley's National Review. IIRC he was hardline against any compromise with the Soviets and was at odds with a lot of Europeans at the time.

He was also a dual British citizen until quite recently but now sides with France and the other opponents of an EU budget cap. Needless to say his Poland, unlike Britain, is not a net contributor to the EU.

Sikorski also manages to spare some time to lecture his old Tory chums about why leaving the EU would be bad for Britain.

More recently Applebaum's husband has complained about that famous xenophobe David Cameron. You see the phony Cameron under pressure from Ukip said that he might do something about the thousands of vibrant Poles drawing child benefits in the UK (yeah right!). Sikorski tweeted that his government would block any attempts by Britain to change EU laws on benefits. (One Polish political party was so upset it called for a boycott of a British supermarket chain in Poland). Like most representatives of countries that can't employ their own people Sikorski seems to believe that other countries should be grateful for all those hard-working migrants doing the jobs the locals won't do.

Americans who didn't read National Review in the 80s (99.9% of you) might not have heard much about Sikorski. Some might however remember this Pole so grateful for America's role in the Cold War victory that freed his country strongly advocating on behalf of a certain ex-Polish movie director who raped an American teenager.

Thank goodness we in the English-speaking world have friends like Radek Sikorski and Anne Applebaum.

Anonymous said...

"What's ours is ours; and what's yours is ours." Old Cold Warriors will understand the reference. I'm sure some will appreciate the irony.

Wasn't it, "What's ours is ours; what's yours is negotiable"? Funnier, anyway.

georgesdelatour said...

One of my best friends was at Oxford with Anne Applebaum's husband-to-be - Radosław Sikorski - back in the early 1980s. Sikorski once told him the driving force of his very being was his passionate, unremitting detestation of Russia. Every morning, before breakfast, he would try to think of some ingenious new way to bring that despisèd country to harm.

Of course people change. I know I hold very different opinions now to the opinions I held back when A Flock Of Seagulls were apparently Big In America. But the awareness of Sikorski's erstwhile Russophobia has stayed with me. I'm married to a Pole, so I "know the territory", and think I recognise the Sikorski type.

Most Poles hated - and still hate - Russia; in a far more visceral way than American Cold Warriors like George Kennan ever even tried to hate it. For one thing, Poland's "Russia Problem" didn't start with Lenin, but at least with Catherine the Great, if not earlier. For another, Poles still dismiss Russia as barbarous and "Asiatic". For them, the Curzon Line is really the boundary between the Europe of Copernicus and some vile, pagan Greater Mongolia.

Every Pole "knows" that Russian soldiers hurled Chopin's piano out of a fourth-floor window. Pointing out that Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and Shostakovich were also pretty good composers does you no good at all. The Russians played no part in the Renaissance, the Reformation or the Enlightenment, don't you know! So they're not really Europeans at all.

We recently visited Thailand. One night we arrived very late at a remote location on a remote island. The night would have been unbearable but for the gracious hospitality and generosity of some Russians who were still up and partying past midnight. The family dad - who my wife dismissed as a vulgar small-time thug - turned out to be a lecturer at Moscow State University.

Steve Sailer said...

It contributes to world peace to pay attention to who hates whom so you can be prepared to appropriately discount what you hear about how awful somebody else is.

The problem in America is that the bigger the Bias X Influence, the more unmentionable it becomes.

To state in public that Mr. Sikorski is biased against Russia because he's Polish is probably okay. It's kind of exotic, and the Poles don't have hugely strong lobbies in the U.S.

To state that Mrs. Sikorski is biased against Russia because here husband's Polish is likely marginally okay.

But to state that Ms. Applebaum is biased against Russia because she's Jewish is Not Okay.

Hunsdon said...

georgesdelatour said: Most Poles hated - and still hate - Russia; in a far more visceral way than American Cold Warriors like George Kennan ever even tried to hate it. For one thing, Poland's "Russia Problem" didn't start with Lenin, but at least with Catherine the Great, if not earlier.

Hunsdon said: Earlier. Every small nation dreams of when it was a great nation, and I would not be surprised if Polish nationals and nationalists dreamed of "Great Poland" stretching to the Dnieper and beyond. (Compare and contrast, for instance, "Greater Serbia" and "Judea and Samaria.")

Thanks for the interesting anecdotes.

Hunsdon said...

Our host said: But to state that Ms. Applebaum is biased against Russia because she's Jewish is Not Okay.

Hunsdon said: And isn't that, really, the root of the problem? Where do all our cliches fall away, in these sort of instances? "Sunlight is the best disinfectant" and that sort of thing. Umm, "disinfectant" solely in the meaning of revealing biases and grudges

Hunsdon said...

Anonydroid at 6:14 PM said: Wasn't it, "What's ours is ours; what's yours is negotiable"? Funnier, anyway.

Hunsdon said: At least per NPR today, it was your version.

Hunsdon said...

Anonydroid at 2:14 PM said: For some reason the new CEO of Mozilla, Bernard Eich, comes to mind. Few people would dare to push for his termination if he were, say, a Communist - McCarthyism and all that. But give $1,000 to support Prop 8...

Hunsdon said: For all his hipster squishiness, Rod Dreher has been on this one. He posted the meme of Islamic Rage Boy with the title "Error Has No Rights;" the comments (as far as I got into them) were actually fairly supportive.

AmericanGoy said...

Right now in Poland there is a big debate on "gender" in schools.

By that I mean, that there are hundreds of posts on internet forums who either dislike or hate this new program, but the elites in power are full steam ahead implementing it.

So that a boy can dress as a girl and that is celebrated. Because boy and girl stereotypes (how to dress, how to behave, etc) must be destroyed.


Right now there is a big discussion on the "tecza" (rainbow) which used to stand on the "Plac Zbawiciela" (the Resurrection Square) in front of one of the biggest churches in Warsaw.

The rainbow, of course, is in the LGBT colors.

The Poles, uncouth, uncultured, behind the times anti-semitic racist bigots barbarians that they are, burned it to the ground in a riot.

On Polish TV there were also pictures of young people - err, I mean soccer hooligans - who tried to get in on German ANTIFA heroes, err, I mean German left wing rioters, imported to help along Poland's transition into a better place for all by participating in street battles and protests on Polish soil (that went very well with the natives...).

The German ANTIFA heroes, natch, locked themselves in a house (with boarded up windows and thick metal door) and decided to NOT participate in a counter demonstration. Then they went home to Germany, perhaps to fight for the rights of Turkish or Arab German citizens or beat up some racists.

The rainbow in question, WILL be rebuild by the government, using tax payer money, of course, with fake flowers now made with special flame retardant materials.

And of course the LGBT rainbow will, again, be placed right in front of one of the biggest churches in the nation, in that nation's capital.

Anonymous said...

"Man is born a swipple and is everywhere corrupted by Putin. His gas pipelines are serpents delivering the forbidden fruit of machismo to the Garden of Europe."

Libscript will use thought in coming text.

AmericanGoy said...

"georgesdelatour said: Most Poles hated - and still hate - Russia; in a far more visceral way than American Cold Warriors like George Kennan ever even tried to hate it. For one thing, Poland's "Russia Problem" didn't start with Lenin, but at least with Catherine the Great, if not earlier."

You would be shocked to read Polish fora on the internet, then.

Roughly 99% of the posts are either pro-Russian Crimea annexation, or calls to get along with Russia because Polish farmers and what's left of Polish businesses depends on Russian clients.

Also, many bring back the memories of 1939 and how Western allies "helped", and then comes Yalta...

Basically 99% of Polish fora are pro Putin at this point.

Interestingly enough, Polish elite, just like in the case of the "rainbow", deign to not follow such crass populist viewpoints, and damn the torpedoes choose to act as a big strategic power re: Russia and talk a big game.

Again, from the fora, the natives expect this behaviour to result in Poland's and their own economic ruin, to become a laughingstock of the world, and for the politicians in question to get sinecures in EU organizations for "a job well done".

Anonymous said...

" For one thing, Poland's "Russia Problem" didn't start with Lenin, but at least with Catherine the Great, if not earlier.

Poland and Russia have been at war with each other in almost every century since the 11th. From the mid 14th to the mid 17th century Poland had the upper hand in the rivalry.

For another, Poles still dismiss Russia as barbarous and "Asiatic". For them, the Curzon Line is really the boundary between the Europe of Copernicus and some vile, pagan Greater Mongolia.

Copernicus was an ethnic German. Until their defeat in WWII and the subsequent wave of political correctness Germans always considered Poland barbarous and Asiatic.

Every Pole "knows" that Russian soldiers hurled Chopin's piano out of a fourth-floor window.

Chopin was half-French. The Poles have failed to produce a single entirely native artistic figure with Europe-wide appeal. Poland's population is comparable with that of England.

The Russians played no part in the Renaissance, the Reformation or the Enlightenment..."

Neither did the Poles. After Peter the Great's reforms Russia did make numerous contributions to European art, science and technology. The Poles made none.

Oswald Spengler said...

Hunsdon said: Earlier. Every small nation dreams of when it was a great nation, and I would not be surprised if Polish nationals and nationalists dreamed of "Great Poland" stretching to the Dnieper and beyond. (Compare and contrast, for instance, "Greater Serbia" and "Judea and Samaria.")

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Over two centuries ago, there did exist a "Greater Poland" of sorts--the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Lithuanian_Commonwealth

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/Rzeczpospolita2nar.png

Flight Lt Johnny Johnson said...

They also like Communism the most when a Jew like Trotsky was a frontman for the movement.

The Brits got in a terrible pickle helping Poles out btw. Whatever service they provided in the Battle of Britain was not worth the bother.

Titus Didius Tacitus said...

Steve Sailer 4/2/14, 6:31 PM: all true.

That is my theory on why there will never be a "psycho-history" that can predict the social future.

We can never predict the social future even reasonably well because there is always taboo-making and censorship to shore up the positions of the powerful and secure their active interests, and the more something is made taboo to discuss or censored for such reasons the more likely it is that it's the kind of "elephant in the room" issue that will invalidate all your models if it's not included.

Besides the hugely important stuff we know but can't say, there's what we strongly suspect but cannot investigate scientifically or historically, for the same reasons.

There's also Popper's problem: you never know today what you will learn tomorrow. But we never even get to the point of having included in our (publicly discussible) models what we have good reason to suspect today and what we knew for a fact yesterday and the day before (until we were warned that only soon-to-be-fired bigots think about stuff like that). So never mind how future surprises would affect otherwise-accurate models; we will never have such models.

You can have more or less of the taboo-making and enforced social oblivious that makes you unfit to discuss the social future in any helpful way. And in the recent past we had a lot less of it, before the current lot took over, that run a counter-majoritarian regime with strong controls on what can be said and thought. But even then there was a fair amount of censorship, which would have made it impossible to discuss let alone soberly predict what "gay power" (or really "J power") is giving us today.

And that regime, with relatively high personal freedom to think and speak as you liked, proved not too difficult to enter, subvert and knock over. So that's a dead end, and there is no escape from the trap of social blindness through taboo-making.

Anonymous said...

obama's foreign policy in asia is like World War G too-- by that it's run by gays.

Anonymous said...

Most Poles hated - and still hate - Russia; in a far more visceral way than American Cold Warriors like George Kennan ever even tried to hate it. For one thing, Poland's "Russia Problem" didn't start with Lenin, but at least with Catherine the Great, if not earlier. For another, Poles still dismiss Russia as barbarous and "Asiatic". For them, the Curzon Line is really the boundary between the Europe of Copernicus and some vile, pagan Greater Mongolia.

The thing is Poles have generally been considered as some type of Russian in the West. This goes for Slavs more generally.

Dries said...

Ironically Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and Shostakovich were all of Polish descent. Same goes for Igor Sikorsky, Konstantin Tsiolkovski and sadly Felix Dzherzhynsky. Most of them were descendants of Polish gentry, deported to Russia after some Russo-Polish wars.

Anonymous said...

@Steve, polish readers.

Are Poles aware that internationally, many Jews still dislike Poles?

I'm asking because of the recent incident with a drunken polish MEP in Frankfurt:

Polish MEP arrested for shouting 'Heil Hitler' in airport

The use of the German command to “go” angered the Pole owing to its association with the shouts of Nazi troops during their wartime occupation of Poland.
“I asked him if he knew what the word ‘raus’ meant to Poles,” said the MEP. “It’s like saying Heil Hitler.


What makes this polish establishment politician think that he can use the jewish victim narrative for himself? The Jews usually don't like this sort of thing at all.

Anonymous said...

georgesdelatour said: Most Poles hated - and still hate - Russia; in a far more visceral way than American Cold Warriors like George Kennan ever even tried to hate it. For one thing, Poland's "Russia Problem" didn't start with Lenin, but at least with Catherine the Great, if not earlier.

Kennan did not hate Russia.Indeed, he had a very profound appreciation of 19th century Russian culture.

Anonymous said...

One of the major misconceptions about Poland in the West is that to be Polish is to be Catholic and Slavonic. For most of its 1000-year history, however, Poland was, like the United States, a multiethnic and multiconfessional state. That someone is of German or African or Jewish origin doesn't make him or her any less American, and the same principle held true for much of Polish history. That's why De Optimo Senatore (1568) written by Goslicius (Goslicki), a Polish nobleman, and immediately translated into English was in Jefferson's library. Polish experience was relevant to the founding of the American republic. The multiethnic character of Poland went so far that its ruling class, the gentry(szlachta), from which Radek Sikorski is descended, regarded themselves as Sarmatians, ethnically different from the peasantry. The multiethnic vision of Poland continued to be stressed as late as the early 20th century, most recently by Joseph Pilsudski

Anonymous said...

Polish gentry may have regarded themselves as descended from a different (more heroic) ethnic stock to the peasantry - but they weren't. They were Slavs like everyone else.

Following the border changes and population transfers that came after WW2, Poland is now almost entirely Catholic and Slavic. And even before that its 'multiethnicity' took the form of white people living next to other white people. Much like America at the time of independence.

Don't project modern political correctness on a politically incorrect past.

Jerry said...

"Are Poles aware that internationally, many Jews still dislike Poles?"

Rather. And some of them are likely commenting on this thread, too.

I can confirm that popular opinion in Poland is strongly for Putin taking Crimea back. Not that you will read about any of that in Poland's leading daily, founded and defined in 1989 by Michnik (originally Schechter, father a high-ranking Communist thug).

The Russians with money are visibly present in Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong. The ones without money, more numerous, are the working girls in Poland, or in Dubai, Hong Kong. The Poles have had a deep collapse after 1989, but the Russian collapse has been deeper and more destructive. Alas, the Poles suffer from the disease of pity.

Russia and China have a lot of similarities, BTW, in terms of patterns of government and relations with smaller neighbours. Would make for an interesting book.



Anonymous said...


Hunsdon said: Earlier. Every small nation dreams of when it was a great nation, and I would not be surprised if Polish nationals and nationalists dreamed of "Great Poland" stretching to the Dnieper and beyond. (Compare and contrast, for instance, "Greater Serbia" and "Judea and Samaria.")


Indeed. How about a Poland-led East European federation stretching from Finland to the Adriatic?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermarum

Mr. Anon said...

"Keep in mind that I admire Anne Applebaum. She's always impressed me as a good person. Her faults -- she's a little earnest and lacking in self-awareness -- are the faults of good people. She's an above-average quality representative of the American media's center-right,...."

To paraphrase Dee Snyder: If that's our best, our best won't do.

Anonymous said...

"I can confirm that popular opinion in Poland is strongly for Putin taking Crimea back."

I'm surprised. Jerry, can you expound on the reasons for that? I know that Poles have good reasons to hate Banderites. Anything besides that?

Anonymous said...

Sikorsky requests 10,000 NATO troops for Poland.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10737838/Ukraine-crisis-Poland-asks-Nato-to-station-10000-troops-on-its-territory.html

"Most Poles hated - and still hate - Russia"

I've got somewhere an early Victorian English novel where the romantic hero is an exiled Pole nursing ideas of revenge on the land or the Czars.

Matra said...

"I can confirm that popular opinion in Poland is strongly for Putin taking Crimea back."

I was in Poland two weeks ago. That's not the impression I got. Now the Poles I spoke with were English-speaking cosmopolitans who do business with Western Europeans and so may not be typical but I'd still be very surprised if Poles in general were on Russia's side in all this.

Percy Gryce said...

@AmericanGoy "because Polish farmers and what's left of Polish businesses depends on Russian clients."


I call bullshit. Russia accounts for less than 5% of Polish exports:

http://atlas.media.mit.edu/profile/country/pol/

Thanks for playing, though.

riches said...

I’m not sure that commenter Matra can grasp analogies, so this is for dear readers who may be too young to remember: That movie director/rapist is or was Polish in the manner that Matra’s beau ideal president is/was Hawaiian.

Matra said...

I’m not sure that commenter Matra can grasp analogies, so this is for dear readers who may be too young to remember: That movie director/rapist is or was Polish in the manner that Matra’s beau ideal president is/was Hawaiian.

I know exactly what Polanski is - a Polish Jew. Note the word Polish before the word Jew. You might not consider him Polish but what is relevant to my point is that the Polish government (including an outspoken Sikorski) saw it as their duty to speak up for Polanski precisely because they considered him Polish.

Obama is hardly my beau ideal president but judging by how the neoconned GOP has reacted to the events in Ukraine (and Syria) he's probably less of a disaster than Romney or McCain.

Jerry said...

"I can confirm that popular opinion in Poland is strongly for Putin taking Crimea back."

I'm surprised. Jerry, can you expound on the reasons for that? I know that Poles have good reasons to hate Banderites. Anything besides that?

<<< Anyone who knows history knows that the Crimea was never "really" Ukrainian. Until the Putin circle started making noises about Lithuania etc., there was support for letting Crimea go. Not to mention the fact that Poland has lost too much, too many times.

And another thing, the "right wing" but in fact socialist opposition party has demonised Putin to such an extent (over the Smolensk plane crash) that there has been a ricochet effect. Everyone who is strongly anti-Russian has lost some credibility because of the nutters who claim that Smolensk was a Russian plot.

Anonymous said...

Poland's history is interesting because it serves as a harbinger of things to come not only in Europe but also in the United States . Poland reached the height of its power and influence in the early 1600s after about 700 years of recorded history, and then started to go into decline as the Romanov, Hapsburg, and Hohenzollern dynasties began their ascent, similarly as the U.S. reached its peak around 1960, after only 200 years, and has been in relative decline ever since. Note, I said dynasties not Russia, Austria or Prussia. To speak of the concept of nations before the French Revolution is a major anachronism, and I use the term "Poland" as shorthand. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth stretched as far as northern Italy, was obviously multi-ethnic (but not multiracial), tolerant, peaceful, in contrast to the religious wars raging in western Europe. Its culture was predominantly Protestant (mostly Calvinist, not Lutheran). Polish culture was so attractive it drew thousands of settlers from Italy, Scotland, and the Low Countries. Polish was frequently the language of choice among the Russian nobles, and Erasmus famously said "Polonia mea est."
As Europe is now largely post-Christian, Poland was already moving in this direction around 1600, not only because of sizable Jewish and Muslim minorities (e.g. Tatars) but interestingly by moving even beyond Protestantism toward Unitarianism. The writings of the Polish Brethren (or Socinians) printed at the Rakow Academy were influential throughout Europe, and were even found in Isaac Newton's library.
The Polish experiment ultimately failed due to its utopian libertarian decentralized multicultural ideals while its neighbors were arming themselves to the teeth. Or perhaps, could it be that it failed because it was ahead of its time, and therefore historically premature, as the trends today seem to point toward a multiethnic, post-Christian, and decentralized future

David said...

>Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and Shostakovich were all of Polish descent.<

Weren't the people of Tchaikovsky's father Ukrainian Cossacks and those of his mother, French (at least on her father's side)? The other composers you mentioned certainly had strong Polish ancestry, but I wonder about Pyotr Illych.

Anonymous said...

"Poland's history is interesting because it serves as a harbinger of things to come not only in Europe but also in the United States."

Most of what you said stinks of stale PC propaganda, but that sentence has some truth to it. Even a broken clock...

At the time of its decline Poland had a lot more Jews in it than its neighbors. Jews don't like strong, centralized states. The less centralization, the less likelihood of an organized crackdown. Plus there are business opportunities in chaos - think of the 1990s in the former USSR and Eastern Europe.

Poland's absolutist, more centralized neighbors were able to gobble up Poland because the Polish state wasn't strong enough to resist that.

The more centralized, less chaotic Russia of 2014 was able to take the Crimea from the more chaotic, less orderly, neocon-backed Ukraine for the same reason. The Ukrainian state was too weak to resist.