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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 Seven: The Modern Pole Confronting Turn-of-The-Century Challenges


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Chapter Seven The Modern Pole Confronting Turn-of-The-Century Challenges

The responsibility of people who have any ideas at all, who think just a little about the past and feel the need for some continual, consistent action following a clear plan, is above all to work on drawing human attention away from these details, from chewing over this dreary daily fare, to directing it to broader and more important issues, to real work for the future of the nation, to realistic, planned politics.

Cajus [J.L. Popławski], ‘Kilka słów o naszej myśli politycznej. Pogadanka warszawska’, Przegląd Wszechpolski, 15 III 1897, no. 6, p. 123

You have to know the world and understand it, and create your own life following your own needs. Then the world will not be so ugly, and life in it not as bad as we often imagine.

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