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Economy; European Union History Poland Commentary

Opinion: Can independence be sold and is it worth doing so?

Poles have been opposing foreign powers since the 18th century, says Professor Andrzej Nowak, a historian at Jagiellonian University

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: TVP Info
via:

Professor Nowak put Poland’s conflict with the European Union over the “rule of law” mechanism in a historical context in an interview with TVP Info.
Professor Nowak emphasized that for Poland, foreign intervention is not something that’s being experienced for the first time in 2020; it is something Poles have known since the start of the 18th century.
“The idea of independence has solidified our political culture. Especially in our political dictionary, the moment foreign powers came here and said ‘Poles, you have chosen wrongly. The king you’ve chosen is not the one you should have. You should choose who Vienna, Berlin and Petersburg tell you to,’” he explained.
Nowak noted that this foreign interference first occurred in 1773 and has been hanging over Poland ever since, increasing the internal disorder toward which every political community leans.
He referred to the opinion of Lord John Acton, who described the influence of the partition of Poland on the international order in Europe, a system that “collapsed when the second largest country on the European continent was removed from the composition of independent states.”
Nowak stressed that this act was done not because Poland turned out to be incapable of existing but because it had completely confirmed its ability to exist through the most wise and thought-out reforms whose fruit was the Constitution of May 3, 1791 – the first constitution in Europe.
“That is when the destruction of the Polish state took place, because its neighbors saw that Poland is able to play a crucial role that would bother them,” he said.
The professor warned that such an approach to international relations in Europe, when the strong have the right to destroy, subjugate and manipulate the weak, leads to a situation in which the international game is one purely of force.
He underlined, in the context of Poland’s membership in the EU, that Poland’s presence in the Union is beneficial to the strongest economies such as Germany or Portugal (which is the largest private investor in Poland). “What would happen if Poland disappeared from the EU? Would only Poland lose from that?” he asked.
Nowak posed the question: “Can independence be sold and is it worth doing so?”
The professor warned that the consequences of politics based on the approach that everything can be bought have a deeply immoral character because then everything comes down to the question: When we do sell our independence, will our “great uncles” from Berlin or Brussels still always help us out?
“Do we have a guarantee that this help will continue to be given when we do not have independence and we will not be able to defend ourselves from the withdrawal of those funds?” Andrzej Nowak asked.