Weblog of the Sydney Traditionalist Forum
While the Rest of the West moves towards incremental civilian disarmament, some are beginning to realise that the policies that enfeeble a nation are not the way to face an uncertain future. The belief that tightening gun laws will somehow limit their availability to those who are most likely to use them for terrorist and criminal activity is becoming increasingly untenable, particularly in light of recent events on the Old Continent west of the Oder-Neisse Line. Likewise, the institutionally feminised Defence Ministries of the ‘respectable’ Western EU states are symptomatic of a decadent political order infatuated with liberal conceits instead of being committed their intended purpose: i.e. the defence of the national realm.
Ever since the rise of Orbán in Hungary and the success of the Kaczyński/Duda/Szydło government in Poland, it is these nations of the Visegrad Group who have shown that the Western model is irrelevant to states whose national self-confidence hasn’t yet been completely eroded by decades of cultural Marxism. Take as an example the recent developments in Poland concerning legislative reform concerning firearm ownership, and national defence policy.
Paweł Kukiz, the leader of Poland’s third largest political bloc which rode the wave of conservative ascendancy in the country’s latest parliamentary elections, has been on record advocating for the liberalisation of gun laws in his country – even publishing a video of himself using an automatic rifle for target practice.1 The weapon he used in the video is known as the “Polish Kalashnikov”, the Beryl 223 REM.2 The success of this populist politician reflects similar trends throughout the Western democracies, where political outsiders have made significant inroads among a disaffected electorate. Kukiz, who is a popular local musician, singer and actor, tapped into the sentiments of the younger demographic which had grown disillusioned by the scandal-wracked neo-liberal former government of the Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska). His parliamentary group, the “Kukiz Movement” (Ruch Kukiza), has become the de facto junior partner with the Law and Justice party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość) both of whom have ambitious plans for implementing significant institutional reforms across all facets of the state bureaucracy, courts, law as well as the national media.3
Poland, the largest of the Visegrad Group nations, held both Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2015. Originally a contender for the Presidency in late 2015, Kukiz was defeated in the first round of Presidential elections before his parliamentary group subsequently won 42 seats in Polish Lower House (Sejm). Last November Super Express reported that while Kukiz was campaigning for the Presidency he wrote to Andrzej Turczyna, the president of the nation’s peak civilian lobby group for firearm owners (Ruch Obywatelski Miłośników Broni) that “I believe the introduction of firearms is an essential way to protect the household. Poles have the right to defend themselves in their own homes.”4 In the interview with Super Express, Kukiz stipulated that gun ownership should be conditional on the completion of relevant medical checks and a course of training that instructs gun owners how to “respect” as well as use their weapons. Naturally, MPs from Kukiz’s parliamentary group are opposing the implementation of EU directives that would limit the civilian proliferation of firearms in their country. Late last year Fronda reported that in the opinion of these MPs:
“One of the foundations of the civil rights is the ability to defend one’s self and one’s family, but the EU Directive, which prohibits gun ownership, significantly limits this civil right. In the opinion of the elected members from the Kukiz Movement, this limitation is a breach of human rights.”5
The EU Directive in question mandates that gun licenses be limited to a maximum period of five years, that purchasing ammunition over the internet be strictly prohibited, and that controls over gun collectors be significantly tightened.6 In a press release, the Kukiz Movement stated that: “The EU Directive concerning firearms is a success for the terrorists. The politics of disarmament is suicidal.”7 Kukiz himself added that “terrorists do not need the legal market for firearms. But it is necessary for law abiding citizens who wish to protect themselves from criminals.”8 As the third largest block within the Sejm, late 2015 concerns by Kukiz Movement MPs (i.e. that the conservative government has taken the EU Directive under consideration) are not easily dismissed.
Unsurprisingly, early this year the ruling Law and Justice party indicated that it may in fact introduce legislation that effectively liberalises gun ownership laws in Poland. Onet reports that a government MP, Stanisław Pięta, claimed such a move would indeed complement Poland’s broader national defence priorities. This is because presently “young people are automatically considered part of the Army Reserve” he said, adding “but this is a fiction, because without the right training and experience, this is not a reserve at all.” Point being that enhancing civilian access to firearms would facilitate a culture of gun ownership as well as knowledge and skill in the use of firearms. In other words, a nation that knows how to personally defend itself is collectively safer from external attack as well as internal chaos, should it eventuate. The recent immigration catastrophe experienced by Poland’s ‘senior’ EU partners – who have shown little to no interest in the defense of their populations against the ongoing demographic ware-fare facilitated by their own by utopian ‘progressive’ elites – highlights the legitimacy of this view. Furthermore, Pięta further emphasised the need to “find a training formula” such as a Territorial Army or Force which would amplify the nation’s military defence capacities.9
In a related report also by Onet, Col. Krzysztof Gaj has also announced the pending formation of a Territorial Defence Force as a “fifth branch” of the national military.10 The planned Force, which has been planned since the new Minister of Defence Antoni Macierewicz assumed office,11 will be composed of 30 battalions, three brigades of which will be initially formed in the country’s north-east. “If these units aren’t formed during peacetime, the chances that they will be regimented in wartime are poor”12 he said, adding that the Territorial Force will be partly composed of largely static units, dedicated to securing vital infrastructure and liquidating enemy infiltrators13 while also being capable of manoeuvring through enemy occupied terrain.
The link between gun liberalisation and national defence becomes clear when appreciating the relationship between less formal civil defence structures and the actual army. The former can support and bolster the latter in times of crisis and destabilisation. That there should be large scale public sympathy for the creation of paramilitary structures thorughout Central Europe should come as no surprise, especially given the region has for generations been the battleground for foreign powers.14 Back in 2014, security analyst John R. Schindler wrote that:
“Warsaw is taking the remarkable step of creating home guard forces to harass the Russians in the event of occupation, a condition that Poles are only too familiar with. Unlike Ukraine, Poland plans to be prepared should Putin opt for war.
“Ever since Moscow’s aggression against Kyiv became overt in the spring, the Polish MoD [Ministry of Defence] began quietly standing up volunteer forces to bolster the armed forces, should the Russians come again. [an allusion to the Polish-Bolshevik War of 1919-21 and the Soviet invasion of Poland on 17 September 1939] Building on shooting clubs that exist all over the country, possessing several hundred thousand members, the MoD has been supporting the establishment of paramilitary units that would bolster the army if needed. Their intent would be to counter Russian irregulars, GRU’s ‘little green men’ that caused such havoc in Crimea a few months ago.”15
Again in contrast to its Western counterparts, Poland’s Defence Ministry has pursued an aggressive plan of military modernisation and reform, expanding the defence forces’ capabilities while also curbing reliance of foreign sources of military hardware, supply and maintenance.16 To this end, the Minister of Defence, Antoni Macierewicz has recently ordered a close-range air defence system which will be built entirely by local industry.17 Costing one billion złoty, this marks the country’s largest ever defence investment. Macierewicz’s announcement concerning the new system has effectively fulfilled one of the Law and Justice party’s electoral promises of strengthening national defence while simultaneously bolstering local economy and workforce.
In a similar vein, the former neo-liberal government’s commitment to purchase combat helicopters from a French manufacturer has come under sustained criticism by the present establishment, particularly in relation to the tender process which Macierewicz claims was intentionally engineered to favour Civil Platform’s backers in Western Europe and therefore explicitly exclude local bidders: “Polish money should, to the extent possible, develop Polish industry, benefit Polish workers and Polish interests”18 he said. In an interview on Poland’s conservative Catholic “Radio Mary” (Radio Marja) – which for the last two decades served as the Polish right’s unofficial Catholic-Nationalist media organ opposed to the Eurocentric globalist liberalism of the prior government – Macierewicz claimed that the military was “returning to Poland” and added that:
“On occasion, people have been unclear whether this or that politician [on the right] was competent and responsible over his ministerial charge […] however I trust that you gentlemen never had a shadow of any doubt that my responsibility has always been connected to the protection of the national interest. That is why I accepted the role of Defence Minister.”19
National self-sufficiency and defence, local patriotism, the prioritisation of domestic economy over globalist integration; these above examples illustrate that an alternative attitude for pursuing the national interest is indeed possible. It should come as no surprise that Poland has also blocked proposals of an EU administered collective border protection force, and thus ensuring that Europe’s national borders will remain in the control of their respective nations. After the recent EU joint ministerial meeting at Amsterdam, Poland’s Minister for Internal Affairs Mariusz Błaszczak stated he was pleased that “Poland’s view has prevailed, that without each member state’s explicit consent, no EU border patrol force can have a presence on that member state’s territory.”20 In contrast to the domestic and foreign utopian projects favoured by Western European political elites, Central Europe has chosen that its future is in its own hands. Far from being an example of ‘extremism’, the policies of the Polish Republic are effectively designed to avoid the potential nightmare where “Type 3 Protests”21 push a body politic beyond the event horizon where liberal solutions to liberal perversity is no longer possible. In this, it has become a model for the rest of the West to follow.
– Cecil Lansdowne is a student of politics and a conservative grass-roots campaigner in the Sydney region.