/ What do Poles owe to Russians?
I said it was senseless trying to convince you with reasonable arguments because your point of view is too idealistic
Argumentum ad passiones.
I read your argument, I repeated it to you, and I countered with my argument, which obviously disagreed with yours. You offered nothing in further support of your argument, or in counter to mine, except to repeat the mantra that I'm apparently idealistic and shouldn't be listened to whereas you're a realist and ought to be. To me, that is senseless.
Now that I've cleared the air, would you like to tell us how the downfall of Poland (particularly the Partitions) could have occurred but for the avarice of Poland's neighbours?
we should talk about hard core realistic politics where there is no mercy for the weak, but they are devoured, in parts or whole. But wise elites, having good resources, are able to prevent it happening. With such resources as Poland used to have in the past, allowing it to be partitioned was unheard-of an event in the history of Europe.
If you wish to talk about 'realistic politics', then fine, but don't do so whilst peering through the lens of hindsight because anyone can be wise after the fact.
As you know, the thrust of Poland's Constitutional/Legal/Monarchical position, commencing in the Medieval period (but really bonding in the C16), was placed, and indeed postulated, against the background of Poland's immediate neighbours, and somewhat having regard to places such as England etc. These 'other' countries had, generally, two key areas of longstanding difficulty that Poland saw, and wished to avoid, namely lack of religious tolerance, and despotic/autocratic rule (I acknowledge there were others though).
Poland, in seeking to avoid the Despotism of Muscovy, the Divine Royalty of England and the Enlightened Imperialism of the HRE, fostered three key concepts that transposed themselves from ideals into reality by virtue of becoming enshrined in legislation - the right to vote for the king, the right to rebel against the king, and the principle of unanimity.
These concepts, let alone being legally enshrined rights and obligations, were a stupendous victory (having regard to what was happening elsewhere in Europe) for democratic rule over arbitrary and unilateral rule. They were not vices - they were virtues.
Turning to religion, you mention Skarga - he was somewhat sagacious in his counsel, but he also advocated for reining in religious tolerance, and for that, he falls down, because religious tolerance, at the time, was key to fostering a stable and peaceful society. He was not listened to because what he advocated smacked too much to the szlachta of turning to the realities of the unilateral and arbitrary rule that I mentioned above, and this was unacceptable having regard to what the szlachta saw happening in the said countries.
If you wish to advocate 'reality' over 'idealism', then rather than going half-way and saying the szlachta should have paid taxes and the 'elites' should have done something, then you would advocate that the Cth. should have afforded the king absolute power over raising taxes, absolute power over dictating foreign policy, absolute power over the Army, Star Chamber justice for those szlachta who resisted, and a foreign policy of invasion and occupation of the HRE, Muscovy, Sweden and so on. After all, if the reality was 'dog eat dog', the Cth. had several ample opportunities to crush any one or all of these nations, and for the purposes of staving off a potential threat, or simply for the purposes of aggrandisement.
Poland, and later the Cth., chose a different path. Whilst it had its obvious failings and aberrations, it was far better in terms of equity and justice than the models adopted by other European countries. That it was later scorned by its critics (Carlyle called it a marvellously luminous rot heap) is not a measure of its success or otherwise, but rather the propaganda of apologists of other nations who were at the time waging war in Europe over the preferred way to decorate a church, burning and torturing women for being different, and locking up and subjecting to summary execution dissidents who did not believe that one person should have the right to rule over others without being held to account.
Perhaps King Zygmunt said it best when he quipped "It is not a question of religion, but a question of liberty" and "permit me sir, to be the king of the goats as well as the sheep".
That some of the said countries took advantage of the Cth. in consuming it like an artichoke is not a matter that warrants blame being placed on the Cth., but is a matter that warrants attention in terms of discussing how dissimulation and propaganda can successfully be applied in fooling some into believing that Colonialism, Imperialism, Occupation and Partitioning is the fault of the nation being subject to same.
Two more words: I hope you never become a leader of any country.
Another one, Mr Idealist:
As to the above comments, the scorn of silent reproach is the only worthy and deserving response.