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The Populist Radical Right in Poland: The Patriots (Extremism and Democracy) (Hardcover)

jan peczkis|Sunday, December 21, 2014

Buyer beware. When you read an author who harps on the radical Right, but ignores the radical Left, one should suspect an agenda. Sure enough, such is the case. Pankowski has been caught making the Hitler salute himself, and has known ties to radical leftist organizations. (See first Comment).


Much of the book itself is essentially a clone of like-minded leftist and Judeocentric authors such as Joanna B. Michlic and Jan T. Gross. To correct the countless items of misinformation (or disinformation) and omissions of this book would require a book in itself. I can only touch on a few matters in this review.

Throughout this book, Rafal Pankowski mischaracterizes those who do not go along with his leftist ideology. He implicitly conflates extremists with various mainstream conservative groups, and then dumps them into the same smelly bag. For example, he discusses RADIO MARYJA (pp. 95-98), and then, without so much as a subchapter heading, suddenly changes the subject to neo-Nazi skinheads on page 98. The attempt to link the two together is rather transparent. In Pankowski's imagination, the neo-Nazi skinheads are, in effect, a youth-oriented version of RADIO MARYJA.

The author complains about traditionalist-minded Poles, of the past and present, having a moral absolutism. (p. 161). How gross! We should all be merry moral relativists.

Are Poles afflicted with xenophobia when they dare to prefer their own Catholic culture to western-style hedonism, materialism, and non-Polish influences? In Pankowski's left-wing echo chamber, they are.

The author makes many assertions that should not be believed by the reader without verification. For instance, Pankowski repeats the discredited GAZETA WYBORCZA insinuation of Uruguay millionaire Jan Kobylanski having been a onetime Nazi collaborator. (p. 96).


The author's Judeocentric bias goes to ludicrous extremes. To Rafal Pankowski, Jews are simply objects of perceptions, and never flesh-and-blood humans who interact with their environment. All he has is a simplistic dialectic, where Poles are the bad guys and Jews are never more than victims. Pankowski's trash-the-Poles mindset would have the reader believe that Poles have no right to say anything unflattering about Jews. How dare those rascally Poles disagree with Jewish attitudes and actions! By what audacity do the Poles stand up for their nation?

The author takes the Jewish side of the Auschwitz cross controversy. (pp. 104-106). Just who do those subhuman Poles think they are in imagining that they are worthy to have the 100,000 Polish Catholic dead commemorated alongside the 1,000,000 Jewish dead!

Rafal Pankowski accepts Polish culpability for Jedwabne as a self-evident truth. (p. 106). Not surprisingly, he elsewhere tries to discredit Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, a Polish historian, whose careful research led him to a different conclusion on Jedwabne. (See first Comment).


The author engages in all the standard leftspeak. He especially likes to throw around terms such as ethno-nationalism and integral nationalism. In doing so, he makes these terms so elastic that they become meaningless.

Let the reader learn from the example of famed Soviet dissident and Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. He found much of western culture objectionable, and opined that it had "intolerable music" and "television stupor". By some unfathomable reasoning process, Solzhenitsyn actually preferred his own native Russian culture to that of the west. What a terrible guy, this Solzhenitsyn! Following Pankowski's ethnonationalist and integral nationalist labels directed at the LIGA POLSKICH RODZIN (League of Polish Families) and RADIO MARYJA, Solzhenitsyn finds himself in the same company.


Many left-wing authors [LEWAKS] begin their attack on RADIO MARYJA by alleging that much of its listenership consists of the elderly and the rural--as if it was some kind of revelation that older and rural people tend to be more conservative than younger and urban people. Pankowski especially stresses the older age of many of RADIO MARYJA's listeners (e. g, p. 95, 97, 98, 128). Pankowski harps on racism, but, in his hypocrisy, has no problem with elitism and vulgar ageism. Pankowski would have us think that listeners to RADIO MARYJA are a bunch of ignorant country bumpkins and has-been crotchety geezers. His leftist snobbery directed against country folk reminds me of that of American leftists, who often refer to the rural states of the central USA as "flyover country" while travelling between the left-wing east and west coasts.

As "proof" that RADIO MARYJA is anti-Semitic, he quotes the following statements of Stanislaw Michalkiewicz (March 27, 2006): (quote) "...we had Jews making scenes in the Auschwitz concentration camp, the exaggeration about the incident in Jedwabne and now the preparations for the propaganda event in Kielce to commemorate the anniversary of the so-called `pogrom'. (...) The US press [is] controlled by the Holocaust industry (...) `Tolerance' in fact means accepting the Jewish point of view, while `dialogue' equals indulging every whim of the Holocaust industry. GAZETA WYBORCZA plays a crucial role in this process of taming, being a unique example of a Jewish fifth column in Poland. (...) The Holocaust industry managers are trying to extort dollars from the Polish state." (unquote). (pp. 174-175).

What unspeakable thoughtcrimes RADIO MARYJA is committing! It is actually causing Poles to think for themselves about Holocaust-related matters and--even more horrible--for disagreeing with Holocaust orthodoxy and the all-knowing leftist/Judeocentric GAZETA WYBORCZA!

[For the truth about RADIO MARYJA, please check the latter part of the first Comment under this review.]


Typical of a leftist [LEWAK], Pankowski engages in selective sensitivity to bigotry. He is silent about the epidemic of church-desecrations and church arsons in Poland. His self-appointed crusade against racism completely ignores the mountains of racism that characterize much of the Holocaust-related slanders directed against Poland and against Christianity.

The reader with common sense realizes that the damage to the self-esteem and reputation of targeted groups, by little-league racists such as soccer fans or skinheads, pales in insignificance with that caused by the Big League racism of people in influential positions. Saying that Poles are naturally anti-Semitic is every bit as racist as saying that Jews are naturally unscrupulous or that African-Americans are naturally lazy. Yet Jews who make bigoted statements against Poles are not cranks, extremists, or soccer fans. They are respectable Jews found in opinion-forming circles of academia, media, and government. Pankowski's silence about these Big League racists is telling, and his agenda is obvious. For more on his agenda, please see the first Comment under this review.
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