"It's difficult to admit the obvious"
political world

The Many Faces of Tolerance: Attitudes toward Diversity in Poland (Routledge Studies in Political Psychology)

jan peczkis|Friday, December 5, 2014


Left-Wing Pseudo-Scholarship, With All the Standard Leftist Shibboleths, November 15, 2014 This review is from: The Many Faces of Tolerance: Attitudes toward Diversity in Poland (Routledge Studies in Political Psychology) (Hardcover) I give this book two stars because of the sociological results that this work presents. Otherwise, all the left-wing "givens" are assumed and promoted. For instance, the author accepts, as a self-evident truth, the feminist line that posits that there should be no gender roles, that women should just as readily work outside the home as be mothers, and that anyone who disagrees is a sexist. (p. 88).

Ewa A. Golebiowska uses a form of Adorno's concept of authoritarianism. (p. 35). However, the reader is not told that Theodor Adorno was a neo-Marxist. She repeats the dogma that homosexuals cannot change. (p. 20). Throughout this work, she adheres to a "morality does not matter" mindset. She even manages to repeat neo-Stalinist Jan T. Gross' myth of Polish guilt at Jedwabne. (p. 58). (For more on this, please see the first Comment under this review).


The author tells the reader that, "Employing several measures of social distance--in particular, attitudes toward different degrees of social intimacy with religious minorities--as my dependent variable, I have demonstrated that Poles as a group are highly tolerant of Jews, Muslims, Orthodox Christians, and Protestants, as indicated by their widespread acceptance of minority group members as co-workers, neighbors, and bosses." (p. 60).


What exactly does tolerance mean? Typical of leftists, Golebiowska confuses tolerating something with agreeing with it. This is obvious in her conclusion, "I find that, as a group, Poles tend to be tolerant of ethnic and religious difference, though their tolerance varies with the extent to which the activity to be tolerated intrudes on their personal space." (p. 12). And why not?


The author's sociological findings on attitudes towards LGBT raise more questions than answers. Is it a matter of young people tending to be more tolerant, or is it a matter of young people tending to be more idealistic and non-discerning? Is it a matter of the religious tending to be more authoritarian, or is it a matter of the non-religious tending to be more anarchic? Is it a matter of hard times causing people to be more suspicious, or is it a matter of easy times causing people to become flaccid in their thinking?

The unstated issues are even more basic. Where does a society draw the lines between not tolerated, tolerated, and endorsed sexual behaviors, and who decides where to draw the lines? Where do the rights of the majority end, and where do the rights of a minority begin? As for minorities, where do equal rights leave off, and where do special rights begin? Is being gay a private matter, or must sexual preference (or orientation) be a matter of group identity and public policy?


Golebiowska's preconceptions raise other questions. Is the problem one of many Poles wanting a "closed national-religious nation" centered on Catholicism (p. 35, 154), or is the problem one of "Polish" increasingly becoming an amorphous term? Do Poles get to decide their own concept of self-definition, or do they have to leave it to left-wing ideologues to do so? Do small foreign and domestic pressure groups have the right to impose their will upon the Polish nation? Is it a matter of Poland needing to adopt western concepts of so-called egalitarianism, or is it a matter of Poland being free to reject western-style hedonism?


One of the arguments against Poland joining the EU (European Union) had been that membership in that organization would be used to force secularist western European concepts upon Poland. While using standard leftspeak, Golebiowska makes it obvious that this concern has a large measure of truth, and that it helps fuel the culture war between the Europeanizing Polish elitists and the "backward" natives. She comments, "While Polish elitists have been under considerable pressure from the European Community to bring their views and actions in line with liberal European standards, the ubiquity of overtly homophobic expression in the Polish media and among Polish politicians demonstrates the extent to which most have resisted this pressure." (p. 31).


In her bashing of Radio Maryja, Golebiowska writes, "Its programming, most popular with older women, is imbued with a heavy dose of anti-Semitism. For example, one guest speaker, a professor emeritus from the University of Warsaw, argued on a Radio Maryja broadcast that the Polish government is trying too hard to promote Jewish culture and `Jewish viewpoints' at the expense of Polish culture." (p. 113). How dare anyone say that!

To begin with, Golebiowska needs a reality check. As anyone who regularly listens to Radio Maryja knows, Jews are seldom mentioned at all on Radio Maryja broadcasts. Otherwise, is Golebiowska implying that Jews can never be criticized? As a matter of fact, she adopts the most extreme, ADL (Anti-Defamation League) definition of anti-Semitism, one which uses this label merely, for example, suggesting that Jews exploit the Holocaust experience for personal gain. (p. 39).

In terms of specifics, what makes Golebiowska think that Poles never have a right to disagree with the Judeocentric focus in Poland's (foreign-owned) media and the neglect of WWII Polish suffering in the Polish educational system? What makes Golebiowski think that Poles are supposed to be a herd of sheeple that has nothing to say about those in the Polish government (Jews AND non-Jews) who promote self-interest and foreign interests over Polish interests?


Ewa Golebiowska complains of censorship, such as attempts by some to get books by atheists removed from libraries (p. 120), in a completely one-sided manner. However, censorship is a two-way street. Conservative historians Jerzy Robert Nowak and Leszek Zebrowski are rarely if ever invited to speak on a university campus, based on the shabbiest pretexts. Jewish Communist Zygmunt Baumann, who had a dubious past connected with the Communist security forces and the enslaving (or worse) of Poles, has no problem getting invited to speak on campuses.


Violence is a two-way street, but, to the author, it almost always occurs only against groups that she esteems in accordance with her left-wing bias. She is, for instance, silent about the epidemic of church burnings and desecrations throughout Poland.

The author is predictively selective about LGBT issues. The reader would never guess that homosexuals in Poland march during the Feast of Corpus Christi, one of the most sacred religious feasts in Poland, and dress in mock costumes of the Pope. Golebiowski mentions homosexual marchers getting pelted with tomatoes during gay pride marches, but is silent about homosexuals pelting others, and engaging in other provocative and offensive behaviors, which do not exclude manifestations of homofascism.

Enough said. The trend of this book is unmistakable. It tells us more about left-wing ideology than about tolerance in today's Poland.
Copyright © 2009 www.internationalresearchcenter.org
Strony Internetowe webweave.pl