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Chauvinism, Polish Style

The Case of Roman Dmowski (Beginnings: 1886–1905)


Grzegorz Krzywiec

The book addresses the genesis of Polish integral nationalism and the role of Roman Dmowski as a co-founder of this phenomenon in the development of Polish political thought at the fin-de-siècle. Based on extensive documentary research, it attempts to show a broader picture of modern Polish political and social thinking in context of the late 19 th and early 20 th East Central Europe. The author reflects on the significance of racial thinking and Social Darwinism of the new nationalist imagination, arguing that its intellectual foundations came from anti-positivist and anti-Enlightenment tradition. He challenges the widespread assumption that Polish nationalism in its early version cherished somehow mild attitudes toward minorities, especially the Jews, claiming instead that enmity toward «Otherness» constitutes its ideological core. A major feature of the book is the contextualization of Polish nationalism against the backdrop of the fin-de-siècle European political thought.
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Chapter Four: In The Face of A Crisis of Civilization


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Chapter Four In The Face of A Crisis of Civilization

Poor, a thousand times poor, mankind! How many terrible dramas lie hidden in those pubs, in the lives of those girls, who know nothing, love nothing and live any old how and any old way. How do we destroy this dung of civilization? What should we do?

S. Żeromski, Dzienniki, vol. 3: 1888–1891, Warsaw 29 IV 1888

Now I am Zarathustra – the analogy with Christ I leave to master Wincenty – I talk to no-one, I just think, think and write.

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