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About Adam J Chmielewski

Adam J Chmielewski is professor of philosophy in the Institute of Philosophy, University of Wrocław, Poland. His books include Popper's Philosophy: A Critical Analysis (1995); Open Society or Community? (2001); and Psychopathology of Political Life (2009). He is also the author of the successful bid of the city of Wroclaw for the title of the European Capital of Culture 2016

Articles by Adam J Chmielewski

This week's editor

NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Polish prospects in the May 2014 elections

The European elections in Poland will be treated as a test of political parties' national popularity, rather than any belief in Poland's role in Europe. Euro elections landscape, 2014.

Academies of hatred

A series of public events in Wrocław, Poland’s European Capital of Culture in 2016, have been disrupted by radicals. Those responsible are not only supported by the main right-wing opposition party. They have also received strong material support from the present Polish government.

Poland and the US elections: respect for an ally

Poland is less engaged with this American election than on previous occasions. But its people and elites are still viewing the contest and its candidates with a wary eye that reflects their domestic political concerns, says Adam J Chmielewski.

Barack Obama and Poland: injurious ignorance

The American president's award to the wartime Polish hero Jan Karski was tarnished by a historical blunder that reveals all too much, says Adam J Chmielewski.

Poland’s tragedy: sorrow, and anger

The air-crash which decapitated Poland’s state elite may owe something to reckless behaviour, official negligence - and the flaws of modern democracy itself, say Adam J Chmielewski & Denis Dutton.

(This article was first published on 13 April 2010)

Warsaw and Washington: after illusion

The American administration has chosen 17 September 2009, the day of the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, to announce that it is giving up on the (in any case stillborn) anti-missile shield over Poland and the Czech Republic, which had been designed with the putative threat from Iran in mind.

Adam J Chmielewski is professor of philosophy in the Institute of Philosophy, University of Wrocław, Poland. His books Open Society or Community? (2001)

Also by Adam J Chmielewski in openDemocracy:

"Europe's missing link" (25 August 2005)
In response to this it is worth recalling that when the United States sought it fit and noble to invade Philippines in 1898-99, President William McKinley justified this eventually homicidal step by saying that the Filipinos have to be "Christianised". When someone remarked that they are Catholics, McKinley is said to have responded: "That is why we have to Christianise them!"

In the view of the average level of historical knowledge of American presidents, I am not inclined to regard Barack Obama's abandonment of the missile-defence plans on this potent anniversary as anything more than a coincidence, nor to hold it against the US president or his administration. After all, no American government has ever paid much attention to the easily wounded feelings of people in Poland. George W Bush's leadership did not; there is no reason that anyone should expect such an attitude from Barack Obama's.

But this decision will be an excellent lesson in geopolitics for the broadly (and often blindly) pro-American Polish population. The Soviet attack on 17 September 1939 - two weeks after the invasion by Nazi Germany from the west - has long been ingrained into Polish consciousness as a "knife in the back". Perhaps the US decision of 17 September 2009 will ever after be called a "knife in the chest". Moreover, this will be for better rather than for worse; for it may only help Poles to understand that they have no other geopolitical choice but to make friends with Germans and Russians alike, and to abandon their own foolish policy of "two enemies".

Europe's missing link

2005 has proved a bad year for supporters of the integration and expansion of the European Union. The majority of voters in the referenda in France (29 May) and in the Netherlands (1 June) rejected the EU’s constitutional treaty; the subsequent summit in Brussels (16-17 June) failed to agree the union’s budget for 2007-2013.

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