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60% of Poles say Szydło's government should resign


mafketis 23 | 8,404
24 Jul 2017 #211
what exactly is meant by social capital?

It's one of those terms that everybody uses in their own way. My personal definition has to do with education and the ability to function and pull one's weight in a civil society (having the education and life skills need to find and keep a job, being able to form purposeful relationships with those from outside your family/ethnic/religious group, things like that.

People from clan-based societies tend to be low social capital because it's hard to create useful connections between clans and education is regarded not as something useful for its own sake but a tool to increase the economic power of the clan.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,075
24 Jul 2017 #212
Oh woops! I've just re-read your original post and indeed I misinterpreted it.

The social capital is bigger in Germany, Ireland or anywhere in western Europe than it is in Poland. I think that's a bit clearer. What say you 'mon brave'?

A suggestion coming from a native speaker of English with the hell lot of Celtic blood in the veins must canot be wrong :-). To be honest, I had the impression of my sentence being a little clumsy. I believe that saying "... or anywhere in WE including Ireland" (instead of "Ireland included") would have made it much better from the very start.

education is regarded not as something useful for its own sake but a tool to increase the economic power of the clan.

In more simpler terms, social capital is practicing honest, decent behaviour on many levels, from being honest in business relations to being honest and helpful in everyday life. The Polish language knew this old-fashioned word for that which was "zacny", a word which has completely come out of use today.

I am reminded of an excellent example of what the "social capital" should not be like. In traditional China when something bad happened to you in the street, for example you have been knocked down by a bicycle and the offender ran away (negative social capital in itself), you could count on the passers-by which would stop and try to help you (as anywhere else in the civilized world). But this in no longer the case in modern China after many instances publicized on TV in which the victim and the family of the victim were accusing the helping person later on of being the culprit of the accident and thus taking them to court for getting a financial compensation for the losses or injuries. Since that people simply stopped taking notice of the victims and quickly pass on to minding their own business.
mafketis 23 | 8,404
24 Jul 2017 #213
The Polish language knew this old-fashioned word for that which was "zacny", a word which has completely come out of use today.

That's what 44 years of communism does to a society. A big problem was that a lot of types of civic organizatons had been sucked up into government in PRL and after communism ended they just kind of died with nothing really taking their place for many years.

But this in no longer the case in modern China after many instances publicized on TV in which the victim and the family of the victim were accusing the helping person later on of being the culprit of the accident

i think it's actually worse, if you report an accident or try to help a victim you're making yourself legally responsible for the results (including things like burial costs). It's classic communistic negative selection - making it in people's interest to act as badly as possible.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
24 Jul 2017 #214
they just kind of died with nothing really taking their place

But now we've got numerous Soros-bankrolled NGOs including the Open Dialogue Foundation which renently circulated step by step instructions on how to overthrow Poland's government.
jon357 63 | 15,214
24 Jul 2017 #215
after communism ended they just kind of died with nothing really taking their plac

Poland has the lowest level of volunteering in the EU, however there are some encouraging organisations and foundations now to promote an active involvement in society.
Atch 17 | 3,224
25 Jul 2017 #216
a native speaker of English with the hell lot of Celtic blood in the veins must canot be wrong :-).

The tongue wouldn't be lodged in the cheek there now would it? :)) It would also suffice to say that I am now, have always been and will always be right about absolutely everything. That covers all options :) I fear I am turning into InPolska with all the smiley faces. The difference is that mine are genuine and hers were a vain attempt at covering her Gallic arse, having just said something really nasty and insulting.

My personal definition

Apparently when the term first appeared it was defined as:

"those tangible assets [that] count for most in the daily lives of people: namely goodwill, fellowship, sympathy, and social intercourse among the individuals and families who make up a social unit".

Nowadays the OECD defines it under three main headings :

Bonds: Links to people based on a sense of common identity ("people like us") - such as family, close friends and people who share our culture or ethnicity.

Bridges: Links that stretch beyond a shared sense of identity, for example to distant friends, colleagues and associates.

Linkages: Links to people or groups further up or lower down the social ladder.

I took a quick look at some research regarding the social capital in Poland and found that apparently studies conducted by various sources show amongst other things, a consistently a 'very low level' of social trust in Polish society with the political and intellectual figures being perceived in a particularly negative way. Others who are very negatively perceived include successful women (though 'women' in general are liked in the same category as the elderly or disabled!), scientists, feminists, Germans and the 'rich'. These are all categories whom those surveyed view with distrust. Imagine being a rich, female, German, scientist!!

Another interesting thing is that of the former Eastern Bloc countries Slovenia, Estonia and Czech Republic are the leaders in terms of social capital whilst the lowest are Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
25 Jul 2017 #217
encouraging organisations and foundations

...bankrolled by the shadowy, sinister multi-billionaire Soros to destroy the very fabric of a country's society by contaminating it with alien concepts, practices, ethnicities and ideologies.
OP Harry
25 Jul 2017 #218
bankrolled by the shadowy, sinister multi-billionaire Soros to destroy the very fabric of a country's society

Got any proof of that or are you just making it up in the way you made up your claim about Walesa wanting to arrest thousands of people?
Atch 17 | 3,224
25 Jul 2017 #219
The interesting thing is that Polly is displaying another typically Polish trait of belief in conspiracy theories which once again, according to reputable and widely ranging research, is higher in Poland than in any other former Communist country. No doubt those who support such theories would declare that this is evidence of how shrewd Poles are and how gullible the entire civilised, or rather developed world is.

@Polly, you can't have it both ways. Whingeing and moaning as you do about a heartless, selfish, greedy, materialistic world and at the same time whingeing and moaning about charities and organisations dedicated to creating a more caring society.
jon357 63 | 15,214
25 Jul 2017 #220
in conspiracy theories

It's not unusual to make up fear stories in the absence of truth. A certain type of person/political tendency needs hidden enemies in order to inspire them.

Personally, I think that although Duda's veto/climbdown is a positive thing, we should still be worried. It has all the hallmarks of a classic 'one step back, two steps forward' manoeuvre. Meaning doing just enough to lessen the scale and frequency Polish pro-democracy rallies now, but pushing the same 'reforms' through the back door later, possibly in the middle of winter when large-scale protests are less likely.
mafketis 23 | 8,404
25 Jul 2017 #221
Nowadays the OECD defines it under three main headings :

Oooh that's bad. A bunch of vague undefined terms that could mean anything.

Me slightly refined version would be individual and collective.

The social capital of an individual is the sum total of those characteristics that, all else being equal, allow them to contribute to a civil society (make the society better).

The social capital of a society is the percentage of those with positive social capital versus negative social capital.

This is going to include things like education and life skills and values.

a 'very low level' of social trust in Polish society

Both Catholicism and communism tend to correlate with lower levels of social trust in Europe (which is still higher than anywhere in the middle east or africa). Social trust is a weird thing in that it's a necessary pre-condition for prosperity and prosperity tends to increase social trust.

Low social trust tends to reinforce poverty and low trust societies that become more prosperous through the effects of resource extraction still tend to be pretty crappy places to live (Russia, Saudi Arabia...)
Atch 17 | 3,224
25 Jul 2017 #222
we should still be worried

Oh absolutely. It's far too early to be complacent. Clearly some action was needed and it certainly took him long enough to react. Dithering Duda! (You know that expression to be 'all-of-a-dither-and-a-doodah', how apt). I suspect it was a step taken as a result of off-the record discussions with the EU and perhaps the USA. Bascially, Poland was undoubtedly facing EU sanctions, despite Hungary's support because Hungary itself is not to be relied upon. They could climb down at the last minute, as indeed Poland did to them over the refugee quota vote. Stephen Fry says that his Hungarian grandfather said that Hungarians are so slippery and dodgy that a Hungarian is the only man who can enter a revolving door behind you and come out ahead of you.
Atch 17 | 3,224
25 Jul 2017 #223
The social capital of a society is the percentage of those with positive social capital versus negative social capital.

I suppose definitions vary but it's basically about people. In Ireland the Central Statistics Office says that 'in essence the central premise of social capital is that there is value in social networks (who people know), and that these networks can lead to people assisting each other in all sorts of ways.'

Both Catholicism and communism tend to correlate with lower levels of social trust in Europe

That doesn't make sense to me. How would you account for the high levels of trust in Irish society in that case?
mafketis 23 | 8,404
25 Jul 2017 #224
In Ireland the Central Statistics Office says

a bunch of meaningless claptrap.... gangs can assist each other in "all sorts of ways" but hardly contribute to any society

I think my idea is closer to what wikipedia calls human capital but that's only about economics (an important variable but not the only one)

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_capital

Since the definitions of social capital are useless at predicting anything and human capital is only about economics, I propose a new term

Civil capital

The civil capital of an individual is the sum total of those characteristics that, all else being equal, allow them to contribute to a civil society (and make the society better by increasing the quality of life within it).

The civil capital of a society is the percentage of those with positive social capital versus negative civil capital.

This is going to include things like education and life skills and values (more variable since values that might increase a person's civil capital in one society might have no effect or might actually descrease a person's civil capital in another.

How would you account for the high levels of trust in Irish society in that case?

Well I said 'tend' not 'absolutely predict' and Ireland is helped geographically (culturally) by being part of NW Europe (along with parts of NE Asia) one of the parts of the world with the highest levels of social trust. My working assumption would be that social trust was introduced /strengthened in Ireland by the English (hard to jibe with history but.....)
Atch 17 | 3,224
25 Jul 2017 #225
a bunch of meaningless claptrap....

I think that's rather harsh.

social trust was introduced /strengthened in Ireland by the English

I'll take that as the joke which I believe it must surely be. We had a highly socially developed society long before the English arrived and in fact the first wave of 'English' settlers were Norman and Catholic and became so Gaelicsized that by the end of the fourteenth century the English crown was bemoaning the fact that they had adopted the laws and usage, manners, language and fashions of 'the Irish enemies'. The next wave of settlers were the aggressive Planters whose legacy remains in the North of Ireland,what do you think of the social capital up there Maf? Sorry but suggesting that 'backward Catholic Ireland' was made a socially, more equal and inclusive place by the English is laughable. You'll have to come up with a better explanation of high levels of social capital in a Catholic country.

In any case I don't see why Catholicism would result in lower social capital but seeing as we find it hard to agree on what social capital is in the first place, that's probably not surprising. However if you take a definition as a combination of both yours and mine we can still agree that it's low in Poland.
mafketis 23 | 8,404
25 Jul 2017 #226
I think that's rather harsh.

Okay "not that helpful in understanding the concept".... better?

In any case I don't see why Catholicism would result in lower social capital

it tends to correlate with high degrees of uncertainty avoidance (and secondarily to xenophobia mild or strong) In Europe the trend (yes, there are some exceptions) are that the major historical religions influence social trust

orthodox - lowest
catholic - medium
protestant - highest

correlation isn't causation of course (though it does suggest where to look for causation). My guess would be the degree of ritual and the importance of formal compliance in a religion can influence social trust, orthodox have the most complex rituals and protestants the least. It's also possible that social trust helps determine which religion becomes dominant....

We had a highly socially developed society long before the English arrived

sociall developed is not the same as social trust - The Ottoman empire was highly socially developed but did not leave a legacy of social trust
Atch 17 | 3,224
25 Jul 2017 #227
We also had high levels of social trust - oh yes, everything Irish is much, much better than everywhere else :D The custom of fostering in particular which was widely practised helped to develop that. It was practised at every level of society from the earliest pre-Christian times up until the early 18th century, and the Normans adopted it, sending their children to be fostered by Gaelic families which is one of the reasons for the Normans becoming completely Gaelicsized. It was basically designed to encourage peace and social bonding in a rather war-like society where rival clans were constantly at battle.

Children were fostered upwards and downwards on the social scale though they had to be educated to fit their future role in life when they returned to their birth families at maturity and both boys and girls were fostered. It thus created not only a more peaceful but a more socially equal and fluid society where class boundaries were diminished, and networks were established bridging class differences. There was also a set of very detailed laws governing fosterage and penalties for breaking them, designed to protect the child from abuse or neglect. That also increases social trust, the feeling that a higher authority cares about you as an individual, acknowledges your rights as the parent, is concerned for the well being of your child and that action will be taken if those rights are violated.

It's in complete contrast to the wider European (and indeed English) feudal tradition where there is no crossing or blurring of social boundaries, where everyone has a very fixed position in society and belongs in their own category and never steps outside it. They relate to others only in relation to their own place in the pecking order and if you're at the bottom of that pile you have no status other than being a chattel of your overlord. The interesting thing is that in Slavic nations, because they are younger, the Feudal system was only beginning to take hold when it was almost done with in the rest of Europe.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
25 Jul 2017 #228
any

Soros is too clever to leave himself uncovered. He's got na army of pricy lawyers to ddefend him agaisnt any charges, so he can continue breaking banks, bankrupting countires, influencing elections, evoking coups, overturning govenremtns, installing his hand-picked goons an destryoing the fabric of society with his toxic leftist ideology. And hecan rest asured that thabks to his money no credible evidence against him can be collected.
mafketis 23 | 8,404
25 Jul 2017 #229
We also had high levels of social trust

Maybe the English got it from Ireland? or more likely it's a general areal feature (NW Europe) that survived the advent of RCatholicism...
Braveheart16 18 | 195
25 Jul 2017 #230
To me what is odd are the roles of the President and Prime minister...I have been following the progress of the PIS and news reports over the last year or so and I find it difficult to understand who is actually properly managing Poland....The Prime minister has of course been vocal at press conferences and the President also....however I get the impression that Beata Szydło is a politician who aspires to a higher level which really is currently above her station....I sort of think that she needs to gain more experience before she starts addressing Europe on international issues. Whilst her main issue is immigration and related problems I can appreciate the points she makes....but that is all....I don't see her talking much about the economic problems in Poland...pay scales...health service....housing....levels of pollution.....etc the usual concerns faced by everyone....however she does talk a lot about immigration which although important should really provide views on a more broader level...there are many other very important issues to address....and time drifts by....

In the other corner is President Duda who although a cheerful chap and looks the part...doesn't really cut it on the political circuit....save to irritate Europe on his internal reforms and all the other stuff...he just doesn't seem credible....Jaroslaw Kaczynski the leader of PIS is probably the person with all the power in my view and you really get the impression that he pulls a lot of strings...However he really doesn't have a lot of clout outside Poland save to cause concern and worry on what he is putting forward as PIS policies.....I think he needs to think more internationally and take on board the bigger picture....sadly I don't think he will and will eventually run out of steam to make way for a more progressive and internationally knowledgeable leader....

Again who is running the PIS...President...Prime minister or Leader....?
mafketis 23 | 8,404
25 Jul 2017 #231
Again who is running the PIS...President...Prime minister or Leader....?

The Party Chairman is the leader of PiS, which in its current incarnation is a replay of the old communist system where the power was held by the party leader.

A peculiarity of the Polish system is the presence of both a PM and a relatively strong President, usually in countries with both one or the other is mostly a figurehead ceremonial figure. I think it's probably American influence - the US always tries to impose presidential systems because it likes the idea of just dealing with a single leader...
Ironside 49 | 10,312
25 Jul 2017 #232
The Party

BRAVO Maf you stand against the chance that Poland will become a better place. You hold American values dear up your backbone ... Be proud of yourself standing hand in hand with the soviet scum. How they use to call people like during the cold war - useful idiots?
delphiandomine 85 | 18,266
25 Jul 2017 #233
standing hand in hand with the soviet scum.

Like Piotrowicz standing hand in hand with Kaczyński?

A peculiarity of the Polish system is the presence of both a PM and a relatively strong President, usually in countries with both one or the other is mostly a figurehead ceremonial figure.

Maf, isn't that because of the political situation post-1989? As far as I remember, the 1989 President was intended to be something like the American President, with strong executive power. The idea was that Jaruzelski got the job so that he could push through the reforms needed, as the army had loyalty to him. It then turned into "your President, our PM", and he turned the Presidency into somewhat of a ceremonial role.

Wałęsa then got elected, and he was fighting constantly with governments over his exact role, because it was all quite unclear. The 1997 Constitution addressed this by placing power primarily in the hands of the PM, but they had to leave some (unclear) powers in the hands of the President in order to get it through the Sejm. That's why the strange role of the President in foreign relations exists, for example, or the very unclear role of the President as Commander-in-Chief.

but pushing the same 'reforms' through the back door later, possibly in the middle of winter when large-scale protests are less likely.

That's my suspicion too. Duda shouldn't be trusted here, as the whole thing reeks of political calculation.
Ironside 49 | 10,312
26 Jul 2017 #234
Like Piotrowicz standing hand in hand with Kaczyński?

No like you standing hand in hand with soviet scum.

in its current incarnation is a replay of the old communist system

patafian, u stutter ?or you are just an empty vessel that repeats the same nonsense again and again hoping that somehow it makes it look full.
Atch 17 | 3,224
26 Jul 2017 #235
I don't see her talking much about the economic problems in Poland...pay scales...health service....housing....levels of pollution.....etc the usual concerns faced by everyone.

I'm afraid it's always been that way in Poland from my recollections even when 'the other crowd' as I call Civic Platform were in power. I remember ten years ago, as an outsider, being forcibly struck by the weirdness of Polish politics. I even made a note in my diary about how political debate and discussion seemd to consist soley of 'scandal' 'affairs' and 'lustracje'. Everything else such as health, education etc came under the heading of a 'matter', a seemingly unimportant minor issue. The measure of the government's success seemed to be taken on the basis of how effective they were at punishing, purging and taking revenge on 'traitors'. It's medieval by our standards. We were talking about 'social trust' and how that is conspicuously lacking in Poland. There is a deeply rooted culture of suspicion and scepticism at every level of society.

The thing is that from our point of view as people from the British Isles, we simply cannot understand how far removed our political world is from the post-Communist countries. I don't want to sound patronizing or condescending but it is stating a simple fact to say that they are politically immature and their development can't be forced. It will have to happen in its own time.

I also think an important difference is that the general public, due to Poland's history, has held a belief that they have no real power to inluence anything. Now contrast that with Britain - take something as basic as the ancient concept of public right of way over private land and how ordinary English people have defended that tooth and nail. A completely different culture and you can't recreate it in Poland. Also, in Britain, there has been a systematic programme of development and social reform which has been built upon for countless generations. Certain fundamental basics are so solidly established that it's possible to concentrate on the important current issues. Poland still hasn't got the basics and has to cope with all the extras and it's struggling.
mafketis 23 | 8,404
26 Jul 2017 #236
Also, in Britain, there has been a systematic programme of development and social reform which has been built upon for countless generations.

First, do the name "Hajnal line" ring a bell? The wikipedia article is a little tame, but it corresponds with a bunch of political stuff too (controlling for changing borders of course). Essentially, the foundations of western civilization are rooted within the hajnal line - in the US a similar concept is "Affordable family formation" where those who want a stable situation before starting a family tend to vote Republican while those who do not reproduce and/or do not make the connection between fertility and economy tend to vote Democrat.

Most of (historic) Poland is on the 'wrong' side with maybe just part of historic wielkopolska being part of the western group (historically it's the most economically.... prudent within Poland)

Second, is it possible to concentrate on important issues like Pakistani inbreeding burdening the NHS?

What about grooming gangs targeting young women?

For that matter, is it possible to openly discuss the benefits and drawbacks of immigration from different places (way eastern europe vs sub-saharan africa)?

Get back to me when those and related issues are freely debated in the public space....
Atch 17 | 3,224
26 Jul 2017 #237
For that matter, is it possible to openly discuss the benefits and drawbacks of immigration from different places (way eastern europe vs sub-saharan africa)?

Why do you think it isn't?:

Some very upset members of the public discussing immigration in their neighbourhood on BBC:
youtube.com/watch?v=rK3JAL3hKRo

People of Wakefield respond to 'Condescending Liberal' on the subject of immigration:
youtube.com/watch?v=zQS8Nkm47qo

Topic, is Britain no longer British?
youtube.com/watch?v=oaNnatCed7Y

I'm not sure if you feel that these examples constitute open discussion. I'd say the very eloquent member of the public, from Wakefield in the first clip certainly gets to make his point. I only put three links because the Mods are not overly fond of them but pretty much every issue you mention would be debated on Question Time at some point.

I'm not quite sure what your point is Maf. Are you saying that Britain is in fact just the same as Poland in terms of no debate on the really important issues?? I couldn't agree.
mafketis 23 | 8,404
26 Jul 2017 #238
Why do you think it isn't?:

None of those links addressed the issues I mentioned and past a certain point in time public debate on immigration ceased to have any perceptable effect on policy...

Are you saying that Britain is in fact just the same as Poland in terms of no debate on the really important issues?

i'm saying both have their (very distinct) problems. I mostly agree with you about the diversionary nature of public discourse in Poland, but it's very hard for me to see the UK as much (if any) better...


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