Sunday 14 October 2012

The heresy of nationalism: case study - Poland

This letter received from Jacek, a fairly typical Polish nationalist, is also typical of one of the more destructive errors that ever helped to sunder the unity and peace of Christendom.

I speak of the disease of fanatical nationalism.

Nationalism is NOT patriotism.

Nationalism is a form of political psychopathy and it became the tool and offspring of self-worshipping, political psychopaths.

It is the enemy of Christendom and the plaything of Satan.

It was invented at the Protestant Reformation with the deliberate intention of bringing about the destruction of Catholic Christendom.

It is yet another of the evils that the Protestant Reformation brought into the world.

The picture is of Tadeusz Kościuszko, a fanatical Polish nationalist, Freemason, and revolutionary whose uprising seriously damaged his own country and led to the Third Partition of Poland.

Jacek's letter

Here's Jacek's letter, written in response to a comment from me:

"Dear Tribunus

'And what did the Austrians do soon afterwards? Help partition Poland-wipe it off the map. Some gratitude.'

In reference to your responce to above quote:

Firstly, why do you assume this comment was made by a Pole?

Secondly, if it was made by a Pole (it likely was), why would you assume it was supported by a nationalist viewpoint? I do not know how one can tell. In fact, as a Pole I could positively say the sentiment underlying in that comment is universal among Poles precisely as an expression of our faithfullness to the Holy Mother Church and self-identificaton as Catholics first. We resent the Habsburgs' land grab of Galicia with Lwów and Lesser Poland with Kraków (in your post you mention the agreement between Leopold and John regarding mutual defence of the capital cities - well, less then a hundred years after Poles saved Habsburgs and Vienna from being finished off in the most ignominious way imaginable the Habsburgs were occuping our glorious city of Cracow). But what we resent the most is that after John III, Defender of the Faith, Lion of Lechistan saved the Habsburgs and whole Christendom from Armageddon in 1683, the same Habsburgs, Holy Roman Emperors, in their land grab of 1774 (1th...) and 1795 (3th partition of Poland) allied themselvs against Kingdom of Poland with P r o t e s t a n t Prussia and S c h i s m a t i c Russia. Against Kingdom of Poland upon which Pope Aleksander VII bestow a title of Regnum Orthodoxum - the Most Orthodox Kingdom (as in case of France - Regnum Christianissimum; and Spain - Regnum Catholicissimum). Against Kingdom of Poland - Antemurale Christianitatis.
You call Louis XIV "devious". Louis XIV was a saint when compered to Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Finally, if it was made by a Pole who does not share the above-mentioned Catholic sentiment, why would you assume he is 'fanatic nationalist'. Can't he just be a Polish patriot. Are you of opinion that a patriot 'cannot be called Christian in any meaningful sense of the word'? To that I say: Amor Patriae Nostra Lex (latin proverb that was common inscription on sabres carried by Polish nobility and in turn Hussars that led the way in 1683, sabres that defended Christianitas for centuries).

Concluding, I could go into great detail debating some of the statements you made in your 'To all fanatical nationalists ...' comment, including the issue of nationalism, Polish involvement in the Napoleonic Wars, Irish conflict. However, before I do that, I would like you to clarify what you mean by "LITTLE NATIONALITIES" and whether you stand by that phrase.

Yours sincerely

1. Despite some minor inaccuracies it is a great post you have written on Battle of Vienna. I would just recomend you add this picture of John III Sobieski picture of John III Sobieski.
2. I am not a native english speaker. I apologize for the possible mistakes. I do not think I misspelled anything but I struggle with english interpunction at times"

I answer thus.

First, Jacek, try to remember one important thing, if you can: the Habsburgs were CATHOLIC, unlike the Protestant Prussians and the Orthodox Russians.

I repeat: they were CATHOLIC.

That means they were of the religion of which you, a Polish nationalist, boast. And yet you despise them! Where is your charity? Drowned in fanatical nationalism?

The arms of the Imperial House of Austria that ruled the Holy Roman Empire, the very sheet anchor of Catholic Christendom, for many centuries.

Secondly, try to understand this: Catholicism is NOT - repeat NOT - Polish nationalism. They are DIFFERENT things.

I realise this is hard for a Polish nationalist to grasp but it is nonetheless true.

Thirdly, try to understand that my theme is Catholic Christendom and that to compare Louis XIV with Joseph II is ENTIRELY TO MISS THE POINT BECAUSE BOTH OF THEM WERE NOT REALLY TRUE CATHOLICS.

They were no more so than Józef Piłsudski and Edward Śmigły-Rydz, two fanatical Polish nationalists, were.

Your comparison therefore is of little worth.

The truth about the Polish partitions

The First Partition of Poland came about as a result of the failure of the Polish-Luthanian Commonwealth which had been heavily influenced by the Protestant Reformation and had lapsed into political chaos, not least becuase of the anarchic effect of the so-called liberum veto which enabled any member of the Sejm to veto any proposed Act of the Sejm.

 The Polish Sejm in 1622. 
This parliament was another example of what Europe was already doing long before America even thought of it. However, the Sejm was rendered unworkable by the excessively democratic power of the liberum veto allowing every member to veto any proposed legislation at any time.

This was based upon an idea of the equality of the Polish Schlacta or nobility, which had been inflamed by the excessive individualism of the Protestant Reformation which, until the coming of the Jesuits, had made great inroads into the noble families of Poland.

The Jesuits, happily, brought the Catholic Reformation to Poland and restored Catholicism to the noble families.

The Commonwealth had become a tool of Russian foreign policy and, almost inevtiably, Russia soon formalised this state of affairs by signalling to Prussian and Austria that it intended to annex part of Poland.

Prussia greedily agreed as it wanted to close the Danzig corridor and unite East and West Prussia.

 Holy Roman Empress Maria-Theresa. 
She was a devout Catholic and a good ruler but ruled at a time when the Enlightenment was seeking to destroy all Catholic monarchy and replace it with a more secularised rule. Despite being surrounded on all sides by enemies, she managed to rule well.

The Holy Roman Empress, Maria Theresa, objected, and always continued to object, to the partition of Poland but her hand was forced, partly by the political machinations of her Prime Minister, Count, later Prince, Kaunitz who was an Enlightenment figure, and therefore not really Catholic, and was, himself, something of a nationalist, and partly by Russia and Prussia.

You wrongly and ungratefully give her no credit for her objection.

Wenzel Anton, Prince-Imperial of Kaunitz-Rietberg, Imperial Chancellor of the Holy Roman Empire. Although nominally Catholic, Kaunitz was actually an Enlightenment figure and a Freemason, secretly opposed to his monarch and the Church.

Kaunitz persuaded her on the basis that if she did not annex a part of Poland, then Russian and Prussia might divide the remainder amongst themselves which might present a later threat to the security of the Holy Roman Empire.

Further, one cannot deny that all of central Europe was once part of the Holy Roman Empire, including Poland and that under the rule of that Empire, distinct nationalities and races had always been respected, preserved and protected.

You simply ignore these very salient facts in your narrow, hasty, imprudent and prejudicial Polish nationalism.

The Holy Roman Empire played no part in the Second Partition of Poland and objected to it.

The Third Partition of Poland came about thanks to the very fanatical nationalist uprising led by Tadeusz Kościuszko who was no Catholic but, far from it, a libertine, a revolutionary and a self-promoter who sought the downfall of Christendom, just as his idol Bonaparte had done.

He was so strongly opposed by Polish conservatives that they sought the aid of Tsarina Catherine the Great to defeat him. That inevitably led to the Third Partition and, again, since Russia and Prussia were involved, the Holy Roman Empire had also to be involved in order to protect its own security.

Tsarina Catherine the Great, Tsarina of all the Russias. She was a powerful and tyrannical ruler who seized Polish territory on the pretext that it really belonged to Russia. In the end, even Polish conservatives were forced to turn to her for aid against wild revolutionaries like Tadeusz Kościuszko. 

Most famously of all, Polish language, culture and nationality were closely protected and encouraged within the Holy Roman Empire but were crushed in Russia and Prussia.

In your fanatical nationalism, you give absolutely no credit to the Holy Roman Empire and its Habsburg rulers for this incontrovertible fact.

In the end, where did your fanatical nationalism lead?

It lead to further fanaticism under Józef Piłsudski and Edward Śmigły-Rydz which, in turn, led to conquest by Nazi Germany and then by Communist Russia.

Marshal Józef Piłsudski is considered a great Polish "patriot" but he was a fanatical nationalist and more secular than Christian. Polish political leader, Roman Dmowski, called him "a great sinner" and recognised in him a man who loved power more than faith and truth.

Marshal Edward Śmigły-Rydz was deputy, and later rival, to Piłsudski. He sided with the Socialists and then later became friendly with the Fascists, running Poland himself as a dictator and was a political enemy of General Sikorski. He was the Commander-in-Chief at the time of the German invasion of Poland and escaped to Romania where he was interned.

Now it has led to a Poland, under the rule of ex-Communist apparatchiks, capitulating to the bullying tactics of the European Union.

Of all the external rulers that Poland has had, they never had it so good as under the rule of the Habsburg emperors within the Holy Roman Empire.

But the blindness of fanatical nationalism will not allow them to see it.

Conclusion - I therefore repeat my comment

I repeat what I said in my original comment.

To all fanatical nationalists around the world:


Nationalism is what led to most of the wars of the 19th century and the appalling destruction of World War I and World War II.

Christian Europe and Christendom were one.

Fanatical nationalism - invented chiefly by Protestantism - sundered Europe into fragments and led to the bloody and internecine war, killing millions.

Hungary claimed the right to be free from the Empire whilst crushing and oppressing its own minorities.

The Poles did not distinguish themselves when they sided with the anti-Catholic, Pope-imprisoning and mass-slaughtering Bonaparte - the first of the great modern destroyers of Christian Europe.

Even now, when my post praises the Poles who fought at the Battle of Vienna, anonymous Poles can do nothing but snipe ungratefully.

But this is typical of the disease of nationalist fanaticism.

In Ireland it led to terrorism, war, and the murder of Irishman by Irishman - a disgusting legacy that achieved nothing good and mountains of evil.

Blessed are the peace-makers.

"Blessed are the peace-makers" says Christ.

"Blessed are the terrorists, bomb-throwers, murderers, war-mongers and slaughterers" says the fanatical nationalist.

Fanatical nationalists cannot be called Christian in any meaningful sense of the word.

In fact, I would go further.

Fanatical nationalism was the deceitful tool that Satan used to destroy Christian Europe.

Satan tempted Christ with all the kingdoms of the world, just as he tempted men to overthrow Christendom through nationalism and, even now, tempts men to become fanatical nationalists and put their own selfish aims before that of mankind and their fellow men. His real aim is to get men to worship him and reject God.

Catholics have no excuse for it. They, of all people, should understand the universality of Christianity and the brotherhood of all mankind.

A Catholic who is a fanatical nationalist is a perfect servant of Satan

So, dear Jacek, I urge and implore you: be a Polish patriot, be a lover of your great country, but do not be a fanatical nationalist who cannot see beyond the border of his own country and people and even goes so far as to hate those of his own religion because they are not also of his race.

Racism, whether Polish or otherwise, has no place in Catholicism or Catholic Christendom.

What matters is truth, not race; Christ, not just one's own country and people.

As Christians we are called to love all men and to love the truth, not to be narrow, little fanatical nationalist racists.

Fortunately, the vast majority of Polish people today are not fanatical but usually charitable to all. In our day, it is clear that our Lady has indeed smiled upon them.

Long may it be so!


Our Lady, the Black Madonna of Częstochowa,
pray for Poland!



Firmus et Rusticus said...

Dear Tribunus:

If I may, I would like to lend in support of the central idea of this post an article of mine:

"Hereditary Evils of the French Revolution: Nationalism"

And to add an opinion:

Nationalism (that is, the ideology that claims that every people has an innate right to statehood) is certainly inadmissible from a Catholic perspective. That is not to say, however, that a certain people *may not* aspire to an independent (within the context of Christendom, of course) political status, whether tied by national bonds or not. This belongs to the realm of prudence, of human government.

For that reason, (non-idelogically-based) independence shouldn't be ruled out on principle only because a ruler is Catholic. Louis XIV and especially Joseph II may not have been truly Catholic, but many other kings have undoubtedly been personally faithful and yet not conformed their government to Catholic teaching. Their government, or at least the particular heretically-inspired measures, can and must be contested regardless of the king's personal piety. Not as a struggle for "national freedom" but as a political action; that is, an action pertaining to the organization of society and the interaction, governed by the virtue of Prudence, between the governed and lawful authority.

I don't mean with this to make any conclusions about Poland's particular case. Only to frame the discussion by pointing out the dangers and anti-Catholic character, as you have of nationalism, of an excessively prince-centered outlook (perhaps too a descendant of Protestantism's "cuius regio, eius religion").

Your servant,

Firmus et Rusticus.

Anonymous said...

So the Hapsburgs were Catholic, and so it was OK for them to carve up Poland (but not for the Prussians or the Russians, who weren't Catholic). And any Catholic who objects to his country being invaded by other Catholics is not really a Catholic. He's a nationalist, and therefore a heretic.

The Hapsburgs weren't all Catholics though, because Joseph II was a Hapsburg (on his mother's side), and he wasn't really a Catholic.

Jenkins said...

Isn't there a contradiction between your belief that "Fanatical nationalism was the deceitful tool that Satan used to destroy Christian Europe." and your seeming disdain for a European Union that has once again united Europe while respecting the idiosyncrasies of the different states?

Kevin Nowell said...

Keep up the good posts!

Anonymous said...

Poland was outside the Holy Roman Empire; not all of the Hapsburg territories were in the Holy Roman Empire. The Czechs were in; the Slovaks and Hungarians and Slovenes and Croats and Transylvanian Hungarians and Romanians were all Hapsburg subjects under Maria Theresa and Joseph II but not part of the Holy Roman Empire as the Czechs and Austrians (both Hapsburg-ruled peoples) were.
Maria Theresa was only Holy Roman Empress because her husband (a non-Hapsburg) was elected Holy Roman Emperor. She was Queen of Bohemia and Apostolic King of Hungary in her own right but not Holy Roman Empress except as the wife of the Holy Roman Emperor, Steven, her husband. The Holy Roman Empire didn't allow women to hold that title.

Tribunus said...

Dear Firmus et Rusticus,

I'm not sure I follow the drift of your post but if you are saying that governments can be bad even if their kings are good, then that is truism.

Likewise, governments can be good even if their kings are not.

Similarly, if you are saying that nation states ought to be allowed to exist within the framework of Christendom, that, too, is a truism, and was, as a matter of fact, historically so.

It is perfectly right and proper to be Polish and proud of it and, at the same time, a willing and loyal member of Christendom.

Tribunus said...

Dear Anonymous Polish nationalist fanatic,

You have clearly not read my post.

Go and read it and then come back.

Tribunus said...

Dear Jenkins,

Where is the alleged contradicition?

Or are you seriously suggesting that every supra-national movement must necessarily be good, simply because fanatical nationalism is bad?

If you ARE suggesting such, then you need to go back and read a book on simple logic. Try Aristotle's Square of Opposition for starters.

Having destroyed the unity of Christendom through the Protestant Reformation, enemies of Christianity then sought to establish their own supra-national empire first, through Communism, then through a league of Fascists, and now through secular globalism and secular Euro-Unionism.

The EU is a militantly secular organisation and is intolerant of Christianity and becoming more so.

Far from uniting Europe it has divided it still further and, into the bargain, caused nation to turn against nation as a result of the Euro crisis created by the incompetence of EU leaders.

Tribunus said...

Dear Turnip,

No, wrong.

Pomerania and Silesia are part of Poland today and they were almost always part of the Holy Roman Empire.

Slovenia was always part of the Empire.

Get your facts straight.

The fact that the Habsburgs were rulers of those countries not in the Empire merely emphasizes my point that the Habsburg emperors respected national differences, unlike other empires, and did not seek to incorporate them into some greater Reich.

Empress Maria Theresa was ruler of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands and Parma IN HER OWN RIGHT by virtue of the pragmatic sanction and her husband Francis (not Steven) only became Emperor at her insistence that the Prince Electors elect him to that office.

Her husband was officially Emperor - and she Empress - but she was the effective ruler.

I am not sure what is the point of your post.

Saterius said...

Dear Tribunus:

Holy Roman Empire was no so catholic as you think.

Poland was much more catholic. Land of peace, faith and honour.
Land of true knihhts, so different from Austrian hypocrites, who were in fact German nationalists. Learn history, because you are typical western european ignorant, who does not not know nothing about Poland, its history and tradition.
Be ashamed for you have written here, because your text is one big lie and I will pray to Jesus Our Lord for that he will show you truth about Poland.

You are right that Bonaparte was evil, but some Poles support him because they were betrayed your pseudocatholic Austrian Empire.

It is not nationalism to condemn Hapsburgs for what they have done - an evil, infamous act, for which Jesus Christ send them justice in 1918. Whoever join to the partitions of Poland joined also to the Satan and freemasonry.

Tribunus said...

Dear Saterius,

I'm sorry to say that it is you who are a typically ignorant fanatical, Fascist nationalist of the kind that started world wars and the oceans of blood that have since been spilled in the name of fanaticism.

It is YOU who are typically ignorant of history and that is because you clearly REFUSE to learn any and to face the truth.

It is YOU who should be thoroughly ahsamed of your ignorant, Satanic, and anti-Christian bigotry and hatred.

You are so ignorant of the history of Poland that you are clearly unaware that King Jan Sobieski fought the Turks at the Battle of Vienna in 1689 IN DIRECT SUPPORT OF the Holy Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold I, with whom he had an alliance.

So King Jan of Poland would condemn you and your opinions!

It is precisely to warn people about nationalist fanatics like you that I wrote my post.

And you prove my very point!

You are a fanatic and a bigot.

The Holy Roman Empire was not only Catholic but was expressly approved by pope after pope after pope from its very beginning to its very end.

Whereas the Polish nationalist fanaticism of Kosicisuko and the many Poles (many Freemasons) who supported him, attacked the Pope and the Church and was condemned by the Pope.

And you even ADMIT that Poles supported the EVIL Bonaparte!

Poland was partioned as a punishment for infidelity among many Poles in the post-Reformation period.

It was Satanic Freemasonry that led to the fall of the Holy Roman Empire and later of Austria.

After Austria fell, the gap was filled first by Fascism and Nazism and then by Communism - both of which caused the worst ever suffering to the Polish people.

And you celebrate this?

If you think God wanted this then you prove your own evil thinking.

Pilsudski and Smigly-Ridz were both Freemasons and allied to Fascism.

Poland then further suffered the consequence of such evil in 1945 when Communism took over.

Jesus Christ sent them justice - to use your own words.

Wake up, you liar and hypocrite, before you, too, suffer the justice of God and are sent to the father of lies, Satan.

Be ashamed of yourself and your racist hatred!