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Praising Poland can be dangerous


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
10 Nov 2010 #1
When discussing Poland, almost everything is off limits. If you say Poland is the largest and most successful of the eastern European countries, someone will immediately start quibbling that `eastern' Europe does not exist. That will start a long argument about whether `east central Europe' or `central Europe' is the best way of describing the ex-communist region, at which point someone else will chip in and say that the term `ex-communist' is anachronistic). `Largest' is dodgy too not least because it may prompt a discussion about the fragile and tragic foundations of Poland's eastern and western frontiers.

Most dangerous of all is to praise the achievements of Poland's current government, as the Economist did recently. Clearly, some readers said, the author of such an article has never been to Poland. Otherwise he would know that a small and coincidental spurt of economic growth does not make up for pervasive corruption, ineffective administration of justice, two-tier public services and a cartel-like political system...


europeanvoice.com/article/imported/even-praising-the-poles-is-playing-a-very-dangerous-game/67117.aspx
garry - | 6
10 Nov 2010 #3
I guess that term "eastern europe" was always a political term as Prague was in eastern europe but Vienna far to the east was in the "west". I have noticed a few people using central europe about Poland, which is more accurate as a geographical term.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
10 Nov 2010 #4
Draw a line from Malmo to Rome. Everything to the right is Eastern Europe ; )

Seriously though, how can Poland not be Eastern Europe, geographically?

Put it this way, if it isn't, then what is?

I guess that term "eastern europe" was always a political term as Prague was in eastern europe but Vienna far to the east was in the "west".

I'd agree with that though.
Polonia1 3 | 53
10 Nov 2010 #5
I think its just Polish nature to have a whinge about the govt. regardless of how good it is, ull always find someone who dsnt like this or that. As for the other things Poles still do have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder's (rightly so) regarding modern history and thus are suspicious and pedantic of most historical/geographical discussions.
Harry
10 Nov 2010 #6
I have noticed a few people using central europe about Poland, which is more accurate as a geographical term.

CEE or CEE region are the preferred terms here.
Sandman 3 | 28
10 Nov 2010 #7
Draw a line from Malmo to Rome.

Draw a line from Nordkapp to Athens and repeat the experiment. I've never heard of Malmo as a yardstick of Europe. Does their City Council know about this new role? :)

Everything to the right is Eastern Europe ; )

Ventian gondolas work the tough waters of Eastern Europe? The things you learn online...

Put it this way, if it isn't, then what is?

Central Europe. Why does your north-south divide cut Europe in two exclusive parts, as if you've never heard of a center? There's Central America, Central Africa, and Central Asia. Is Central Europe M.I.A.?

Prague was in eastern europe but Vienna far to the east was in the "west"

I see Finland referred to as Western Europe, while, curiously, it's one time zone east of Poland. Western Europe is apparently quite an acrobat, as it assumes the most geographically contorted positions just to avoid Warsaw and Prague. :)

The East/West divide from 20 years ago lives on in the popular mind and defines geography, whether people admit it or not. It's rooted in how the human mind works: the subconscious sense of tribal affiliation is always defined by the last long conflict in memory, the Cold War in this case. That's why Helsinki and Vienna are in the "West", while Warsaw and Prague are in the "East". This won't change until a very long time passes or another long-term conflict comes around. Imagine that tomorrow Moslems launch a war against Europe (a purely hypothetical scenario), their armies take Slovenia and the Italian Trieste, cut Austria in half, take Slovakia and the Ukraine. Let's say this situation lasts 30 years or so, displacing memories of the Cold War. After 30 years those Moslem parts would become "Eastern Europe" in the popular mind, while Poland would suddenly find itself in "Western Europe".
Teffle 22 | 1,321
10 Nov 2010 #8
Jesus Sandman - I guess you didn't notice the ; ) eh?
David_18 68 | 982
10 Nov 2010 #9
I think most "western" politicians and even media use the term "eastern" just to undermine Polands position in the modern western society.

It's all about jealous and ignorant people that don't know better.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
10 Nov 2010 #10
Seriously though, how can Poland not be Eastern Europe, geographically?

Geographical Europe extends well in to Russia.

Don't worry, coming from Ireland, they are all from the East ;)
Teffle 22 | 1,321
10 Nov 2010 #11
I think most "western" politicians and even media use the term "eastern" just to undermine Polands position in the modern western society.

Yeah David that's it exactly.

Here we go again.

And by the way - make your mind up:

Polands position in the modern western society

...the same west that is often cited as the root of all Polands problems is it?

That of course is on the rare occasion that you actually admit that Poland has any problems ; )
Sandman 3 | 28
10 Nov 2010 #12
Jesus Sandman - I guess you didn't notice the ; )

Didn't I put :) in my post, too?
David_18 68 | 982
10 Nov 2010 #13
...the same west that is often cited as the root of all Polands problems is it?

I don't see west as the "problem" to Poland.

That of course is on the rare occasion that you actually admit that Poland has any problems ; )

Poland got plenty of problems. I just don't like to paint Poland in negativity.
A J 4 | 1,088
10 Nov 2010 #14
I guess that term "eastern europe" was always a political term as Prague was in eastern europe but Vienna far to the east was in the "west".

Maybe to some people it's a political term, but my compass says East so that's why.

;)
Malopolanin 3 | 134
10 Nov 2010 #15
how can Poland not be Eastern Europe, geographically

poland
Teffle 22 | 1,321
10 Nov 2010 #16
Very good - but I wouldn't count Russia myself.

(Yes, yes west of the Urals etc but it's just not "Europe" in any other way for me)
nott 3 | 594
10 Nov 2010 #17
but that is true.

but... I can't agree with you, can I?...

but... oh, sod it.

I am all right with Eastern Europe. Central Europe suggests that Europe stretches far more East than the Bug River.

In all fairness, Polonius, what can Poland be proud of now? I mean now, and I am just asking.
Krynski - | 82
10 Nov 2010 #18
"Praising Poland can be dangerous" sez "Polonius3"! I've read his post carefully, but haven't found any proof that "praising Poland can be dangerous" in it. And does "Polonius3" mean that it's wrong of some people to disagree with other people's statements? Does he perhaps mean that to disagree with statements by folks writing in the Economist is an unthinkable sacrilege? Why specifically would it be so very wrong and sacrilegious?

Are there also "Polonius 1" and "Polonius2"? If so, imagine what ideas of what is dangerous and wrong they can have....
:)
Ironside 48 | 9,905
10 Nov 2010 #19
Praising for right reasons?
fukk it all!
Krynski - | 82
11 Nov 2010 #20
Central Europe suggests that Europe stretches far more East than the Bug River.

Doesn't Europe stretch beyond the Bug? Why not?
:)
ShawnH 8 | 1,498
11 Nov 2010 #21
Don't worry, coming from Ireland, they are all from the East ;)

Even those Icelanders?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
11 Nov 2010 #22
I think most "western" politicians and even media use the term "eastern" just to undermine Polands position in the modern western society.

They don't give Poland that much thought. Again - the age old Polish problem - thinking herself to be much more important than she actually is.

Doesn't Europe stretch beyond the Bug? Why not?

It certainly does. Ukraine and Belarus are undisputably European.

Cyprus is considered European, ffs!
David_18 68 | 982
11 Nov 2010 #23
They don't give Poland that much thought.

Yes indeed. I wonder why we are so unimportant today? could it be because we got betrayed by our dear friends at yalta?

It's not easy for a proud people that have been the masters of others for many centuries to obey and get stomped on like some serfs.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
11 Nov 2010 #24
Yes indeed. I wonder why we are so unimportant today? could it be because we got betrayed by our dear friends at yalta?

Jesus, stop bleating about history! Attitudes like yours are why Poland will remain to be unimportant, because you're too busy crying about the past to assume your place as somewhat of a leader among the Central-Eastern European countries! No-one likes a crybaby, especially one that keeps dragging up history to justify everything.
nott 3 | 594
11 Nov 2010 #25
Doesn't Europe stretch beyond the Bug? Why not?
:)

Well... does it? :)

Lemme see who... Sandman, post #7, said most of it. Helsinki is the the geographical East of Western Europe, Poland is the Eastern border of Europe, Latvia and Estonia somehow sneaked to the West of the EE, Czech republic earned the place, Hungary I don't know, Ukraine is hesitating. Everything more to the East is Central Asia. Something like that. Oh, Lithuania, right. Extreme East of the EE - but this might be my nationalistic bias.

edit:

and Belarus are undisputably European

Belarus is Russia.
David_18 68 | 982
11 Nov 2010 #26
Jesus, stop bleating about history! Attitudes like yours are why Poland will remain to be unimportant,

Want me to obey master?

because you're too busy crying about the past to assume your place as somewhat of a leader among the Central-Eastern European countries

We were and will be for eternity. Just give us a couple of years to get our GDP up.

No-one likes a crybaby, especially one that keeps dragging up history to justify everything.

Want me to lie? Seems to me that you can't handle the truth ;)

I rather be proud of my history then be an ignorant twat like you.
Krynski - | 82
11 Nov 2010 #27
Helsinki is the the geographical East of Western Europe

What do you mean by that? If geographically Poland is in "Eastern Europe", aren't e.g. Finland and Norway in Eastern Europe too, or perhaps in North-Eastern Europe?

Latvia and Estonia somehow sneaked to the West of the EE,

And what do you mean by that? Do you mean that Latvia and Estonia are in "Western Europe", that they "somehow" moved there? Exactly how?

Czech republic earned the place

And what do you mean by that? What place did the CzR earn and exactly how?

Oh, Lithuania, right. Extreme East of the EE

Do you mean that Latvia and Estonia are in "Western Europe" but their close neighbour - one of the fellow Baltic states - Lithuania is in the "extreme" Eastern Europe? How would that be possible?

but this might be my nationalistic bias.

Or perhaps it is something else? By the way what nationalistic bias would that be - what are you?
:)
A J 4 | 1,088
11 Nov 2010 #28
When discussing Poland, almost everything is off limits.

Is it?

I mean, you've admitted an awful lot about your own country in just one sentence! (Off-limit? Really?)
Chicago Pollock 7 | 504
11 Nov 2010 #29
Yes indeed. I wonder why we are so unimportant today? could it be because we got betrayed by our dear friends at yalta?

Poland was offered the Marshall Plan after the War. They rejected it. For some reason Poland didn't kick the Russians out of Poland after WWII like they did after WWI.
nott 3 | 594
11 Nov 2010 #30
What do you mean by that? I

Euro-political scale, geography doesn't have much to do with it.

what are you?

I am who am. You'll see :)


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