Concepts, Debates, Identities
Chapter 6: The Divisive Effect of Romantic Patriotism: National Mourning Following the Smolensk Crash in 2010
Chapter 6 The Divisive Effect of Romantic Patriotism: National Mourning Following the Smolensk Crash in 20101 The two previous chapters have shown the progressive polarization of the public discourse after 2000. This polarization stemmed from the emergence of a strong circle of conservative intellectuals, and its gradual involvement in politics. The conservative intellectuals provided the conservative party PiS with a conceptual framework, which proved instrumental for a PiS victory in the legislative elections in 2005. The polarization and radicaliza- tion of the discourse were reinforced by the emergence of a circle of right- wing Publizists, as well as the right-wing turn of public institutions such as the IPN after 2005. However, previous chapters have also epitomized the continuous vivacity of discussions about the concept of patriotism, and numerous attempts at proposing a new, or modern, vision of this concept. This final empirical chapter focuses on the aftermath of the catastrophe of the presidential aircraft in 2010, near Smolensk, flying to Russia for the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre. This shocking moment for the community will be used as a litmus test to verify whether earlier intellectual developments concerning patriotism provided a lasting cultural code and intellectual tools to deal with the national mourning. Within the discussion of this last ‘discursive event,’ a number of topics will be singled out, in order to better assess whether the nature of the contestation over patriotism changed in this key moment. The argument will show that despite a strong discourse about unity...
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