Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War. Hosted by Peter K
gebhk
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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by gebhk » 01 Aug 2020 10:30

wm wrote:
31 Jul 2020 21:08
Please, Poland's history begins with that guy who accepted Christianity in 966.
What sort of history do you mean? I presume you don't mean that our predecessors suddenly appeared in Poland from the moon in 966 and immediately accepted Christianity (or perhaps had Christianity foisted upon them for political reasons). Do you mean written history? Then yes it begins with 'that guy' (his name was inter alia Mieszko) - specifically the excerpts of the account of ibn Yacoub relating to his journeys in 961-962. They describe a well-established state but say nothing AFAIK about its religion. So clearly, written history does not begin in 966 nor is it related to Christianisation.
Christianity in 966. Earlier, we have a black hole where much later invented legends slowly levitate.
This would be a much more convincing argument if the date itself, the circumstances of the event and at least 50 -150 years after were not themselves a 'black hole' of 'invented legends'. All we can be reasonably sure of is that most likely between 960 and 975 Christianity became the state religion of what was later to become Poland and that Mieszko was the ruler at the time.
There is no such thing as pre-Christian Polish history.
As this statement is patently absurd, I can only presume you mean it as a hyperbole. However, while pre-Christian history may be meaningless to you, that is a view which is not necessarily shared by others. I would suggest that ignoring everything that went before the imposition of ones preferred system of beliefs is a poor substitute for holistic assessment when we attempt to assess a culture. The point is that one can, for example, declare that Poland's history began in 1946 with the creation of the Polish People's Republic and that there was no Polish history before then and that, therefore, all Polish culture has always been based on communism. It is just as absurd and just as likely to lead to wholly incorrect conclusions.
That the Commonwealth was tolerant doesn't prove that today Polish culture isn't based on Catholicism.
It does however suggest (quite strongly in my view) that Polish culture was different to that of the vast majority of other Christian cultures. It also proves, among many other pieces of evidence, that there were many influences on Polish culture other than Catholicism. In this instance a very strong humanist influence.
The (unrepresentative) Warsaw Confederation happened almost half a millennium ago.
This would be a stronger argument if you weren't citing 966 as the starting point of Polish history and evidence that Polish culture was 'always' based on Catholicism. Also, if proximity to modern times is to be the determinant for being the basis of culture, then Communism has a much stronger claim to be the basis of modern Polish culture. Incidentally, just how representative was the opposite view to that of the Warsaw Confederacy of 1573?

The point is that, in my opinion at least, Polish culture is the mainstream and not a branch of Catholicism. Modern-day Polish culture is based on previous Polish culture, which existed long before Christianity became the state religion of the Polish state. However strong, Catholicism is but one of many inputs into that mainstream but not the mainstream itself.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by Steve » 02 Aug 2020 22:54

Futurist, I have no idea if Mr Maclean is a man pretending to be a woman or a woman pretending to be man dressed as woman. Am I imagining it or does he/she have chipmunk cheeks?

Let us assume Mr Maclean is a man and plays the mother’s role in a child’s life while dressed along the lines in the photos. Imagine the embarrassment for a ten year old child if at the school sports day or whatever he goes along dressed as a woman and an objection is raised about him using the woman’s toilet. In this situation would he enter the men’s toilet dressed as a woman with the child’s school friends watching? Does he go to the school dressed as a man? Does he just stay away from all school activities? Children can be very unkind to other children and in the case of children adopted by homosexual couples quite a lot of brainwashing may be required in schools they attend.

If an uncle or aunt is needed in an adopted child’s life then something has gone wrong.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Aug 2020 08:03

Hi Steve,

That link appears to be designed to counter absent biological fathers.

It says, "When both parents are involved with the child, infants are attached to both parents from the beginning of life."

Later on it clearly distinguishes between "fathers and father figures".

It Is not addressing adoption in any form.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Aug 2020 08:09

Hi wm,

Obama had an absentee father and is half black, or in American terms, apparently just Black.

You don't consider these things major disadvantages in the USA and "want some"?

Personally I would be more inclined to "want some" of Trump's inherited many hundreds of billions of dollars, more conventional family background and lack of racial obstacles in life. Luckily I already have two out of three!

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Aug 2020 08:30

Hi wm,

Certainly the documentary showed "fringe politics", but they were fringe Catholic politics apparently tolerated by the Polish government and Church.

The Roman Catholic Church is dogmatic and intolerant of questioning. That is why the Protestant churches separated from it.

It also has a leader who, since the 19th Century, has been considered "infallible" and issues decrees on that assumption.

So, yes, I would contend that Catholics grow up in an authoritarian religious ethos and I suggest to you that that may have contributed historically to a tendency for Catholic politics to often have an authoritarian flavour (Franco, Petain, Tiso/Hlinka, etc.). Today, there are some indications that there may be a Catholic/Slavic tendency in Eastern Europe (Hungary, Poland and sometines Slovakia) that is also leaning towards authoritarianism while still paying lip service towards liberal democracy.

Cheers;

Sid.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by gebhk » 03 Aug 2020 10:04

Hi Sid

I think there are some fatal logical problems with your 'Catholic' argument. Firstly, the Protestant churches were (and often still are) just as dogmatic and intolerant of questioning as the Catholic Church. To paraphrase - that's why the Pilgrims left the shores of England.... to create their own dogmatic and intolerant of questioning community in America. Historically, therefore, there is little to suggest that Catholic politics were any more authoritarian than those of folk brought up under any other religion - Stalin, Japan, Germany, Chiang kai-Shek, Phibun - to name but a few examples from the same period. Secondly, a significant number of Polish Catholics - and that includes probably the majority of those in influential positions (I include being parents in this group) grew up in an authoritarian but atheistic ethos of the Communist state.

On a wider issue, I think you appear to equate religiosity with the Church. While clearly linked, they are not the same. The fact that the electorate is predominantly Catholic (on some level) does not mean the Church has a direct pipeline into the government (or had one before the war). As I pointed out earlier, this is quite different to the situation in the UK where the established church does have such a pipeline. And even so, this has not led to a theocracy in the UK.....

I think we are missing the fundamental point in this discussion, which is relative wealth. The areas of the former Prussian empire were more affluent and this was very visible even before the war and remains so to this day. More affluent folk (or perhaps more to the point, where there is a strong middle class) tend to be less religious and more liberal. There are other factors such as health, longevity, criminality etc which vary in predictable ways over a wealth divide and vary in just this manner in the 'East/West' divide in Poland.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Aug 2020 14:42

Hi gebhk,

Indeed, many Evangelical Christians are just as dogmatic and are often unregulated one-man-bands, but the organised Protestant Churches tend not to have an "infallible" head and such an autocratic superstructure. Some of them are remarkably democratic at the top. I would suggest that it may be no accident that liberal democracy developed in Protestant northern Europe and not in Catholic southern Europe.

One of the reasons why some people gravitate towards Catholicism is because of the certainty and immutability of the message it propagates. The same appeal is there in autocratic and authoritarian regimes.

The other religions you mention are not really alternatives to Catholicism. Protestantism is. A much more direct comparison can be made because it shares its roots with Catholicism and has the identical scriptures.

Opposition to Communism doesn't mean one is not prone to authoritarian tendencies oneself. Victor Orban seems to be a case in point.

I did not say that the Catholic Church had a direct pipeline into government. I have little doubt that it has the ear of the Polish Government more than its competitors, but I don't think it is directly pulling the strings. My point is that it may, through its own authoritarian ethos, which is inculcated into people at a very young and impressionable age and requires regular attendance thereafter throughout life, be inadvertently preparing the population to be open to secular authoritarianism.

The church is unlikely to object much to that so long as that authoritarianism is Catholic. In Tiso's case, wartime Slovakia had a Cathoilc "Vodca" (Leader) who was not only a practicing Catholic priest, but headed a political party founded by another Catholic priest and bearing his name (Hlinka). Tiso never had to make a choice between the priesthood and politics.

The Catholic Church has often been very useful to, and integral with, nationalism when under real or perceived foreign oppression (i.e. Ireland, Poland, Slovakia, etc.). The Germans didn't kill so many Catholic priests for no reason.

In England the established church is headed by a constutional monarch with very limited political powers which she can't, in practice, use. In order to create a theocracy, the Archbishop of Canterbury would have to overthrow the monarchy. This is such a remote possibility that in my entire 64 years it has never even occurred to me. The established church has no direct pipeline into government and very little influence. Today under 2% of the population regularly attend its services.more British Catholics attend Sunday services than do followers of the Church of England.

My religiosity theory was only a suggestion.

I think you have a much more demonstrable point about relative wealth explaining the East/West political divide in Poland.

My main question would be related to one Greg Singh raised earlier. How did the Poles from East of the Curzon Line assimilate so quickly into this divide? They presumably started out as amongst the poorest in the country, yet their grandchildren seem to have taken on this voting pattern as well.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by Steve » 03 Aug 2020 18:42

Sid, I know the link is nothing to do with adoption it explains why a father figure is important in a child’s life but it could have been a mother. I suspect that some people may not understand this which is why I added the link. Once this importance is recognised then the issue of homosexual adoption may become clearer. The issue is not about whether two loving people no matter their gender should be allowed to adopt children. The issue is how such an adoption will affect a child’s development not only because of an unusual home life but in what will occur outside the home.

Am I the only one who found the lamentably brief discussion on Chinese sparrows more interesting?

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by wm » 03 Aug 2020 19:06

Sid Guttridge wrote:
03 Aug 2020 08:30
Certainly the documentary showed "fringe politics", but they were fringe Catholic politics apparently tolerated by the Polish government and Church.
That's free speech in action, nothing wrong with it.

Sid Guttridge wrote:
03 Aug 2020 08:30
The Roman Catholic Church is dogmatic and intolerant of questioning. That is why the Protestant churches separated from it.
It's the word of G-d. We aren't supposed to question His teachings. Error has no rights.

Sid Guttridge wrote:
03 Aug 2020 08:30
It also has a leader who, since the 19th Century, has been considered "infallible" and issues decrees on that assumption.
Only two times (the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption of Mary).

Sid Guttridge wrote:
03 Aug 2020 08:30
So, yes, I would contend that Catholics grow up in an authoritarian religious ethos and I suggest to you that that may have contributed historically to a tendency for Catholic politics to often have an authoritarian flavour (Franco, Petain, Tiso/Hlinka, etc.). Today, there are some indications that there may be a Catholic/Slavic tendency in Eastern Europe (Hungary, Poland and sometines Slovakia) that is also leaning towards authoritarianism while still paying lip service towards liberal democracy.
Franco saved his country from communism. Petain won a world war first, then tried to save France from collapse. In comparison with the other creatures: Stalin/Mao/Hitler/Pol Pot, they are veritable saints.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by wm » 03 Aug 2020 19:18

Sid Guttridge wrote:
03 Aug 2020 08:09
Hi wm,

Obama had an absentee father and is half black, or in American terms, apparently just Black.

You don't consider these things major disadvantages in the USA and "want some"?

Personally I would be more inclined to "want some" of Trump's inherited many hundreds of billions of dollars, more conventional family background and lack of racial obstacles in life. Luckily I already have two out of three!

Cheers,

Sid.
Obama's parents were wealthy and members of the superclass (in their own countries). That's not a calamity.

Trump received 400+ million mostly in property and is worth today seven times more. That's impressive.
Last edited by wm on 03 Aug 2020 19:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by wm » 03 Aug 2020 19:28

gebhk wrote:
01 Aug 2020 10:30
What sort of history do you mean? I presume you don't mean that our predecessors suddenly appeared in Poland from the moon in 966 and immediately accepted Christianity (or perhaps had Christianity foisted upon them for political reasons). Do you mean written history? Then yes it begins with 'that guy' (his name was inter alia Mieszko) - specifically the excerpts of the account of ibn Yacoub relating to his journeys in 961-962. They describe a well-established state but say nothing AFAIK about its religion. So clearly, written history does not begin in 966, nor is it related to Christianisation.
The story is that guy got rich quick selling slaves to Jewish traders at the slave market at Prague, got ambitious and with his a dozen or so merry men conquered this and that and presto - we had a prince (it's an unsubstantiated hypothesis, but the others are unsubstantiated too).
There were no Poles earlier, and there were no Poles later - it was a mere bunch of different tribes with not much in common except a common ruler.
Only the succeeding rulers, dynasties, and the Church that made them Poles.

There wasn't any black hole after that guy, multiple written sources exist. But pre his rule - nothing.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by gebhk » 03 Aug 2020 20:19

WM

Your penultimate statement is patently incorrect. There are no contemporaneous written sources between ibn Yacoub's account and that of Thietmar, written approximately fifty years after the 'Baptism of Poland'.

Isn't a common ruler/government the very essence of a state? What you say of Mieszko's 'Poland' can equally be said of the Zulu Nation of Shaka or modern-day Belgians. Yet most folks agree that there is such a thing as Belgium and its inhabitants are Belgians and that the Zulu Nation existed. I find it peculiar that you consider Mieszko's and Boleslaw's apparently efficient state with centralised government, administration, a standing army, tax collection and some form of uniform justice 'a bunch of different tribes' yet consider that the chaos and disintegration that followed 'made them Poles'.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by wm » 03 Aug 2020 20:51

What about Widukind of Corvey, Annales Altahenses, Dagome iudex?
Before him, we have nothing since the flood.
There was some chaos later, but the country survived it. It survived because it was internationally recognized, and it was hard to conquer internationally recognized Christian kingdoms.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by gebhk » 03 Aug 2020 20:57

Hi Sid

You certainly make a thought-provoking theory regarding the role of the Catholic Church. However I don't feel up to debating that one this evening - so please don't be offended that I will return to the subject maybe in a day or two.

However, in the context of this thread, the important question is the last one. I suspect the answer lies in the fact that the areas ex-Prussian Empire were substantially more technologically/industrially advanced, had a better transport infrastructure - were just more modern. This meant that new arrivals from the East stepped into a situation where recovery from wartime destruction would have been quicker, better paid jobs more plentiful etc. This in turn would have quickly led to a situation of relative affluence, with the rest of the country playing catch-up. Once such divides are created, there is a natural tendency for them to self-perpetuate - an effect clearly visible in the UK in the North/South divide.

Let's not forget that massive population upheavals affected the whole of Poland during and after the war. Thus the experience of the new arrivals from the East was not that unique. Also - it was nearly 50 years since the end of the war before voting commenced in Poland, so that much if not most of the electorate had no personal experience of being uprooted and of the poverty of their ancestors who had been transplanted from the East.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Aug 2020 23:38

Hi wm,

Freedom of speech is fine. Trying to deny others equality before the law is not.

Which is the Word of God? The Catholic, or Protestant version?

Franco saved his country from Socialism and in doing so provoked a Communist intervention. He then massacred tens, possibly hundreds, of thousands of people. He is not a very appealing personality.

Petain was fighting for a secular republic in WWI. His fall from grace came when he presided over a Catholic-orientated Vichy state in WWII. Not a particularly bad man, but certainly autocratic by nature.

Sainthood is not a relative occupation. You are eiither a saint or not, regardless of how bad anyone else may or may not be. Franco and Petain were definitely not saints.

This might also be the appropriate time to mention that Hitler was brought up a Catholic and showed authoritarian tendencies.

I have read that Trump inherited some $800 million and, after inflation, we can't even be sure he is any better off today because he won't release his tax returns. He may just be flatlining for all we know. It is certainly true that at least six of his businesses have gone into bankruptcy, causing others enormous expense.

Cheers,

Sid.

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