Politics as echo of history

Marek Jurek

The biggest success of politics is not lost elections but taking acts and creating institutions that last in spite of lost elections. John Paul II thought us that the social system is the structures of good that make the lives of people and nations better and that protect societies against the structures of evil, which destroy the lives of nations, families and people. We could see the way the structures of good function during the summit of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in July during which our country blocked the efforts of the USA, France and Sweden, which presides over the European Union now, concerning the definition of abortion as a human right and a medical service. Our government did not announce this decision as success since it did not result from its liberal ideology or election strategies. However, it took such a stand because it was obliged by the Polish law, passed years ago, and by the character of the Polish culture reflected in our public opinion, which even moderates Polish liberalism. The consciences of politicians founded support in the binding Polish law, obliging them to defend justice, human rights and the endangered heritage of the Decalogue.

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The former German chancellor and co-author of the Baltic oil pipeline Gerhard Schroeder announced in the Berlin paper ‘Handelsblatt’ that ‘it is high time to rebuild strategic relationships with Russia.’ At the same time he accused Georgia of having started war with Russia last year and he regarded the proposals to accept Georgia and Ukraine in NATO’s ranks as nonsense. The tradition of the German-Russian collaboration aiming at Europe’s loss and against Poland’s freedom is still morally devastating the German politics and the Polish-German relationships. It is not enough to say it but one should declare it. Since as far as the German-Polish relationships are concerned the Polish politics (we write about it in the programme of the Republic Right Party) should follow the clear principle: the German politics concerning Russia should never – after the experiences of the partitions and World War II – be realised in the way that Poland regards as a threat to its independence and sovereignty. We should openly present this clear doctrine in our talks with the Germans and in the European forum. We should seek supporters for this policy and explain our German partners that it is the realisation of the criterion included in the policy that leads to good Polish-German collaboration based on trust. This principle connects strictly the experiences of the past and the criterion to build the future. It gives rational and not emotional character to our reactions. At the same time it is rooted in moral values, foreseeing political tensions, which are worth avoiding. However, in order to avoid serious tensions in the future we should oppose the views of the former Chancellor Schroeder today and demand the same from his successor.

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When Schroeder accused Georgia of attacking Russia the American Vice-President Joe Biden supported the territorial integrity of Georgia during his visit to Tbilisi. He confirmed that the United States would not recognise the separatist republics (i.e. partitions) of Abhasia and South Ossetia. He supported Georgia’s access to NATO. The present American government runs a very ambiguous policy towards Russia but the status of superpower obliges it to confirm the principles America declares and its historical interests. A country that stops defending its friends loses them since they begin doubting in its power. In the meantime, the declaration of Vice-President Biden confirms that the United States are still a ‘geopolitical lever’ that can balance the disproportion of strengths that divide between Russia and the countries that have regained their independence in Central and Eastern Europe. In the time of crisis, which is the unclear geo-strategy of President Obama, it is important to preserve the continuity of the politics that his predecessors made.

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These several examples show one principle: in politics the most important thing is responsibility for the future since future begins today. Governments change, sometimes political guidelines change but the aim of politics is durability of the good for which you work. And if it is your real aim you can almost always reach it.

"Niedziela" 33/2009

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl