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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 Six: A Journey Towards Ideals


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Chapter Six A Journey Towards Ideals

Roman Dmowski’s Journalism 1895–1905

People with our temperament do not wish to be hobbled by any moral obligations […]. We both tend to do things a little on the grand side, which means that both of us feel confined in this world of ours. […]. You feel that there are no free people in Poland, ones breathing deeply, liberated from this stink which impregnates our moral climate […]. Meanwhile, only those people who are prepared to ignore everyone and everything can make a major impact.

Roman Dmowski to Władysław Reymont, 1898, M. Kułakowski, Roman Dmowski w świetle listów i wspomnień, vol. 1, London 1968, pp. 216–217

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