THE LEGACY OF 'NATIONAL DEMOCRACY' AND ITS PLACE IN THE HISTORY OF NATIONAL IDEOLOGIES IN POLAND
The ideology of the so-called 'National Democrats' emerged at the turn of the nineteenth century as an attempt to create a truly modern Polish nationalism, capable of organizing national forces without resorting to romantic illusions. Unlike the romantic nationalists, the 'new nationalists', headed by Roman Dmowski (1864-1939), embraced the notion of a homogeneous ethno-cultural nation, demanding from its members an undivided, total loyalty. Dmowski made it clear that this integral nationalism was levelled not only against national minorities, especially Jews, but also against the dissenting Poles. It presented itself as the standpoint of the 'true Poles' - as opposed to the 'half-Poles', who were to be kept under the 'moral dictatorship' of the self-conscious national elite. In the independent Poland Dmowski's nationalism joined forces with political catholicism and gave birth to the influential ideal of 'the Catholic state of the Polish nation'. In the 1930s different forms of this ideology dominated the entire right-wing of the Polish political spectrum, in this way the very term 'nation' was endowed with a right-wing connotation. Unfortunately, some elements of this legacy of right-wing, antiliberal nationalism are still alive in contemporary Poland.
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