Op Ed #2 Poland and the breeding grounds for Fascist Extremism (Dimitrios Monette)

The world is much like a wheel in its makeup. One moment a section of the wheel is free of the ground, touching open space and avoiding the weight of the vehicle upon it, yet but a moment later that very same section of wheel will find itself trodden upon by the full weight of what it carries, and it shall see the sky no more. This concept is applicable to empires, and more specifically, politics and power in our global human context. History has shown us as a people to follow a simple trend in our course of empire building and power supporting. Hard times breed hard people, hard people breed hard law and by extent in many cases, rise in power and good times by extension. In the aftermath of too much easy time, we create easy living people, who on their turn breed hard times yet again, allowing the cycle to continue. If you disbelieve this concept, look to our own human past, the Greeks were a hardened war fighting people would defeat the decadent Persians, the Romans, a once war hardened nation defeat the Greeks in turn, only to allow themselves to perceive delusions of invincibility, laying the groundwork for Germanic settlers to tear down their empire. This is the cycle, and we as an empire of the west have hit our peak.

We as a western empire lead by our heart nation of the United States of America have collectively begun to declare ourselves rather invisible and unassailable. We have taken to the idea that we are above any kind of downfall and must therefore look inward at every glance, yet this has led to conflict in the Middle East for over two decades, and political polarisation and lines of hate being developed between people of the same nations. This has in turn produced a new form of radical “hard people” and a hard movement, and they are largely a movement to be aware of and monitored as well as actively opposed. 

Right wing populism in Europe is something that has been on the rise in recent years in response to the overwhelming wave of leftist support that Europe has been engulfed within following the shadow of the Second World War, and rightfully so. Right wing extremism effectively shattered the continent, driving numerous nations into destitute states and destroying the landscape as it went, costing the lives of millions in brutal conflict, and murdering many more. Due to this, a climate of anti right wing thought has been the norm in Europe, manifesting in an anti national European union, and a wave of leftist governments across its nations post 1945. Despite this, recent years have seen the birth of a new generation of right wing advocates in Europe, especially in many nations with entrenched leftist leadership, and nations with proximity to the Russo threat which had begun seizing the Ukraine. 
Closest and perhaps most threatened by this upcoming threat from the east is Poland. Within Poland borders we have seen a resurgence of right wing populism amongst its ruling party and the people, featuring the establishment of armed militias. This is in stark contrast to the nation disbanding mandatory armed service by its populace in 2008. One might point to a rising threat in the east for such a resurgence of armed groups among the Polish people, and one might be correct as this is the reasoning given to us from the mouths of those involved in these groups, yet one might also pint historically to Wiemar Germany post world war one and see the potential for a dangerous shift. The Spartacist uprisings in Wiemar were brutally stomped out by the Friekorps, a private army designed to fight communism at its outset, yet numerous of the men who would serve amongst its numbers would go on to be leading members of the Nazi party including Ernst Röhm, head of the Sturmabteilung, Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, and Rudolf Hos, Kommandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp. It is difficult to not see a breeding grounds for this future in nations like Poland and Ukraine, due to perceived threats of outward influence and invasion. But how can one reverse these mentalities? Our society has certainly not given itself the best tools to disable such thinking, but rather has driven numerous to it, as according to the guardian “Many citizens take the view that ordinary, virtuous people have been betrayed, neglected or exploited by a corrupt elite”. Outside threats play huge parts in this vein of thinking, and our political climates have done little to settle the matter with either parties spectrum though being very radical. Political discourse must find a medium, a calm wave length to discuss our mutual living else wise this slope may be continued down into a future reminiscent of a past we should never see again.

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