Why Does Poland’s Proud Past
Point The Way To Peace
And Prosperity Today?
INDEPENDENCE, FREEDOM, AND GREATNESS: THE POLISH – LITHUANIAN COMMONWEALTH AND THE CONTEMPORARY CASE FOR THE INTERMARIUM AS A GUARANTOR OF POLAND’S, EUROPE’S, AND AMERICA’S PEACE is the title of the lecture which Professor Marek Jan Chodakiewicz will deliver, in Polish and English, at the Polish Cultural Foundation, 177 Broadway, Clark, New Jersey at 8:30 p.m. on Friday 18 November 2016. The generosity of John and Renata Niemczyk makes possible FREE ADMISSION to this important lecture, which includes a questions and answers session.
Born in Poland, Professor Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, who earned the Ph.D. degree in history at Columbia University, is the author of many scholarly monographs and articles, published in both Polish and English, on the modern and contemporary history of Poland and East Central Europe. Unabashedly pro-Polish, a rarity in the American academic world, Professor Chodakiewicz is the first incumbent and present holder of the Kościuszko Chair in Polish Studies at the Institute of World Politics (IWP) in Washington, DC. IWP was founded in 1990 by a Californian Polish American, Professor John Lenczowski, an expert on the world communist movement, the Soviet Union, and Russia, who served on President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council.
Professor Lenczowski established IWP as a graduate school of international affairs and national security studies to train young men and women to practice statecraft in the name of Western moral and political values. It is these moral and political values, which the Polish Lithuanian-Commonwealth put into practice, several centuries before the establishment of the United States, that today bind together freedom-loving Americans with freedom-loving Poles. The Intermarium is the land between the Black and Baltic Seas, this vast territory was, for several centuries, politically organized by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth as a sphere of freedom based on limited government with respect for individual rights. The re-establishment of this political tradition in our times is the best chance to restore a political space for freedom in the Intermarium. This will only succeed if Polish Americans call for the active engagement of the United States in the Intermarium.
Moreover, the Polish– Lithuanian Commonwealth was the modern Western world’s first sustained multi-ethnic and pluri-religious polity. This is why Poland’s past political achievement is of high contemporary relevance to present politics in America. Teaching at most other American graduate schools of international affairs and public policy is informed by a spineless moral relativism. IWP’S emphasis on basing United States national security policy on the values espoused by the Western moral and political tradition is of special importance today in the context of resurgent Kremlin imperialism, which involves changing internationally recognized borders with armed force and defying other norms of international law and order. IWP is an intellectual and moral force in our nation’s capital that helps American foreign policy decision makers to muster the political will to do what is right to defend the Western tradition of freedom which is under attack in today’s world. This is why IWP is the home of the Kościuszko Chair in Polish Studies.
Professor Chodakiewicz’s lectures generate intellectual excitement. This writer first heard Professor Chodakiewicz when he presented his views on the transformation of communism in Poland at IWP’S Second Annual Kościuszko Chair Lecture in November 2009. This lecture made a lasting impression on me because Professor Chodakiewicz marshaled evidence to refute the propaganda of success, the widespread, but wrong view that all is well in today’s Poland after the collapse of communism. Instead, Professor Chodakiewicz showed that communism did not collapse; it was transformed, and continuity in policy and personnel from communist times outweighs change. The great merit of Professor Chodakiewicz’s writing and teaching is that he shows us how to change for the better the wrong, but deeply held views about Poland and the Poles, which many of our fellow Americans have received from those who fear the Polish idea of freedom, like Putin’s top adviser, Aleksandr Dugin, who advocates the subtraction of Poland from the map of Europe. Poland’s foes get out their message better than Poland’s friends. Professor Chodakiewicz’s good work is helping to change this, but we need to help too.
The present day relevance of the Polish idea of freedom is the theme of Professor Chodakiewicz’s most important book, Intermarium: The Land between the Black and Baltic Seas (Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, New Jersey: 2012). This book belongs in every public library and university library in America. Your donation will help to achieve this goal. This book is truly a paradigm changer. Both official policy makers and the reading public will be persuaded by Professor Chodakiewicz that a strong and truly sovereign Poland, with a state-of-the art national defense, promotes American democratic values and safeguards United States national security interests in the Intermarium.
November 15, 2016