Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
November 11th, 2017
WARSAW, Poland – Patriots and nationalists are set to assemble Saturday in Warsaw for a march that has become one of the largest gatherings in Europe and perhaps beyond for increasingly emboldened Europeans who, unlike their globalist peers, aren’t afraid to show their love of country.
The march held on Poland’s Nov. 11 Independence Day holiday has drawn tens of thousands of participants in recent years.
Patriotic nationalist from Sweden, Hungary, Slovakia and elsewhere now join Polish nationalists in a public display of anti-socialist and right-wing views since the event began on a much smaller scale in 2009.
The slogan for this year’s event is “We Want God,” words from an old religious Polish song that President Donald Trump quoted in July while visiting Warsaw.
Trump praised Poland for what he described as the country’s defense of Western civilization.
Leftist opponent, Rafal Pankowski, head of the anti-extremist association Never Again, says that despite the reference to God, the march shouldn’t be viewed as inspired by religious beliefs.
He claims Far-right “neo-pagans” plan to take part along with Roman Catholic groups.
The Warsaw march has grown so large it might be the world’s biggest assembly of patriotic nationalists reports AP News.
The organizers include the National-Radical Camp, the National Movement and the All Polish Youth, radical groups that leftists claim, trace their roots to anti-Semitic groups active before World War II.
The emergence of Central Europe as a crucible for patriotism, also known as nationalism, carries a number of paradoxes. The region, once stuck behind the Iron Curtain, has seen impressive economic growth since Poland, Hungary and other countries threw off communism, embraced capitalism and joined the European Union and NATO.
Few of the Muslim invaders who have arrived in Europe since 2015 have sought to settle in that part of the continent, preferring Germany and other richer countries in the West. Naturally, anti-invasion views run high among patriotic citizens.
Political scientist Miroslav Mares, an expert on extremism at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, said Central Europeans hear about attacks by Islamic extremists in France, Germany and England and fear that “beyond the borders is a state of chaos and war” that could envelop them.
While extremist movements often thrive during hard times, the quality of life is better than ever now in a region that has known wars, occupation and oppression.
“Central Europe is living the happiest time in its history,” claims Grigorij Meseznikov, president of the Institute for Public Affairs, a think tank in Slovakia. “Never was life in this region as prosperous as it is today.”
But like others in the era of globalization, many people feel frustrated that the improving economy hasn’t benefited them.
There are complaints that wages remain much lower than in the West while the nations contend with the adaptation from communism to capitalism.
“If you look at Slovakia, the situation 25 years ago was much worse. There was high inflation and unemployment higher than 20 percent, yet we didn’t have a fascist party in the parliament,” Meseznikov said. “Today, we really have a functioning economy, low inflation, declining unemployment; we are in the EU and NATO. … And nevertheless there are fascists in the parliament.”
Mares thinks a lot of the disappointment stems from a tendency by Czechs and their neighbors to compare their financial situations to those of Germans and others in the West, rather than looking east to much poorer Belarus and Ukraine and feeling encouraged by how far they have come.
The frustrations, combined with a souring mood toward established socialist elites, have helped far-right parties in recent elections in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. In Poland and Hungary, right-wing governments promote tough anti-migrant policies and promote patriotism, not globalism.
Meseznikov uses Russia as a bogeyman to blame for the spread of anti-European Union views that spread on social networks as part of what leftist globalists view as a “toxic mixture” behind the growth of the far-right.
It could be years, if ever, before the tide ebbs and Poles revert back to the love of Communism, according to Pankowski, the Polish expert.
Sociological data show that the generation of Poles that only has known democracy is more prone to patriotism and right-wing nationalism than their parents’ generation, with younger Poles turning their backs on Communist values.
“I think many of them will keep those far-right views inside them for decades to come,” Pankowski said. “It’s not an issue that will disappear.”
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