Poland in the Modern World

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E pluribus unum — or maybe not.

Here and here are two articles that came out this past week, and should be essential reading for those trying to make sense of the current crisis. The articles deal with the US, but the broad principles apply to Europe as well. I’m not personally endorsing every component of these two pieces, but when taken

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Today’s Teachers Protest, and the Fight Yet to Come

Below I’m posting a few images from today’s protest by the Związek Nauczycielstwa Polskiego (Polish Teachers’ Union, or ZNP). Around 50,000 people attended, despite a driving rain and cold. Their slogan was “No to Chaos in the Schools.” If you aren’t familiar with the issues, they summarize their complaints here. The actual specifics of the

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A Coup to Save Democracy? Obama, Trump, Piłsudski, Dmowski, and the Value of Ahistorical Analogies

Last week brought an interesting conjunctions of dates: first the catastrophic US elections on November 8, and then, just three days later, the celebration of Polish Independence Day. The way each of these days played out got me thinking about historical memory and analogy, about Obama, Trump, Piłsudski, and Dmowski. While preparing for the commemorations

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An Angry White Male

We are hearing a lot today about the angry white working-class men who formed the core of Trump’s support. Throughout this campaign, we’ve been told that we need to get over our urban, coastal, ivory-tower, liberal, elite pretentions and recognize that Middle America offers a perspective that we need to appreciate and empathize with. So

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My Facts are Better than Your Facts

One of the most frustrating aspects of political life today is that we mostly argue about the basic facts, making it impossible to even discuss competing values, goals, preferences, and interests. This is just as true in Poland as it is in the United States. There are many obvious and extreme examples of this, but

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Halloween and Black Magic in Today’s Poland

I need advice with a problem that combines a common child rearing dilemma with the specific challenges of the cultural politics of today’s Poland. My nine-year-old daughter asked a friend from school if she’d like to come over to carve some jack-o-lanterns. She was eager to share one of her traditions, which excited her because so far

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