|forgotten, especially when analyzing today’s alarming developments. It may be surprising to discover that the design behind the stripping away of freedoms and destruction of sovereign nations using both overt and covert means is not a new concept.
I recently read the James A. Michener historical novel “Poland”. It describes the lives of three different families through major periods of Polish history, ending around the time of the Solidarity movement in the early 1980’s. After further researching Polish history, I discovered many historical events in the book are accurately portrayed even though the book is fictional. One part of the book I found especially intriguing was the description of the three-phase partition of Poland in the late 18th century. These partitions by Tsarist Russia, Hapsburg Austria, and the Kingdom of Prussia (Germany) ultimately led to the complete dismemberment of the Polish state, for over 100 years. In this book, Michener describes a nation with three different reactions to those events. Most of the magnate class (most powerful and wealthy) either actively supported or were completely ambivalent to the destruction of Poland. The lesser gentry were divided similarly as the magnates, but some became actively involved in the campaign for true freedom. Most of the townsmen and peasants supported the goals of freedom and equality, and many valiantly fought to obtain them. An analysis of events leading up to the complete loss of Polish independence in 1795 bears a striking resemblance to the current situation worldwide.
The demise of Poland began in the 17th century with the advent of numerous wars that served to dramatically weaken the country’s economic infrastructure. The magnate class of the nobility used this financial turmoil to transform previously independent gentry into subservient clients and to increase their hold on the general population. The magnates used their influences to successfully manipulate the people of Poland into believing that they (the magnates) were the protectors of the nation and the defenders of liberty. Another destabilizing factor was the election of various kings through the massive bribery of magnates, loyal only to their own selfish interests, by foreign governments. The magnates considered their privileges integral to the foundations of the Polish state and called it their ‘golden freedom’, though it undoubtedly was not a universal freedom. Using their complete control over internal politics, the magnates ensured the application of the liberum veto after 1652 in the Polish parliament, called the Sejm. This veto power allowed any one deputy of parliament to object to proposed legislation in order to nullify it. Often, the client gentry of the magnates were under orders to invoke the liberum veto when the Sejm attempted to institute sensible reforms that would strengthen Poland by resisting foreign influences, but did not fit into the magnate’s vision of ‘golden freedom’. This internal chaos and decay was engineered by the neighboring powers of Russia, Prussia and Austria along with the leading magnate’s complicity. The stage was now set for the complete destruction of Poland.
By 1763, overt Russian influence determined the election of Stanislaus Poniatowski, who ultimately became Poland’s last King. This selection proved to be an error on the part of the Russians since Poniatowski immediately attempted reform and even founded a school to train the next generation of more progressive Polish leaders. One graduate of this school was Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who assisted George Washington in the American Revolution, and subsequently returned to Poland to lead a stunning, yet unsuccessful resistance against the partitioning powers. Unfortunately, the reforms instituted by Poniatowski would prove short-lived, as the Russian Empress, Catherine II exerted tremendous pressure on the Polish Sejm, with the use of her military forces, to reverse all the beneficial reforms and to reinstate the sham of ‘golden freedom’. Russia was determined to maintain control over Poland and made an agreement with Austria and Prussia to dramatically reduce the size of Poland in 1772. (Called the First Partition.)
The first partition of Poland finally shook Polish society from its lethargy, and the hope of reform became almost universally accepted. However, the realization of reform rested upon the wishes of Russia, since it was the established guarantor of the Polish political system through the magnates who administered that power. In spite of this major obstacle, King Poniatowski called upon the Sejm to meet without the liberum veto when the Russians were distracted by a war with Turkey. This four-year session of parliament instituted the reforms necessary to break free of the ‘golden freedom’ system enforced by Russian military strength. The Constitution that also developed as a product of this Sejm would allow an independent Poland where freedom was more fairly distributed. Of course, Russia was opposed to these developments and incited a group of magnates to defend the old system. Russian troops again entered Poland to ensure the abolishment of the new Constitution, and a second partition of Polish territory was made with Prussian assistance in 1792. The remaining Polish territory was now officially placed under Russian protection for the stated purpose of ‘defending Polish liberties’.
The final partition of Poland took place in 1795 after a popular uprising led by Kosciuszko liberated key cities in Poland. Both Russian and Prussian troops were called in to dispel this rebellion. Part of Warsaw, Poland’s capital city, saw its population exterminated in reprisal, also known as the ‘Pacification of Praga’. The break for freedom had been defeated. Russia, Prussia, and Austria divided the rest of the Polish state amongst themselves. Poland ceased to exist as an entity until 1918 after World War I ended.
What went wrong? In little more than 100 years, Poland experienced the transformation from a strong, respected State, instrumental in 1683 for saving Vienna from Turkish occupation, to become mere provinces within three despotic empires. Poland had been relatively prosperous, tolerant and progressive, but witnessed the evaporation of this way of life in the wake of events their own leaders perpetrated. What forces and trends within that country proved detrimental, and what lessons can modern societies learn from Polish mistakes made during this period of history?
First, self-serving, paid agents of outside governments controlled the Polish nation. It seems clear the forces of the global elite have now usurped authority over most national governments using various institutions. The International Monetary Fund, Bilderberg Group, United Nations, Council on Foreign Relations, as well as several others come to mind. This elite is forcing the interests of once sovereign nations into subservience using influential leaders and private interest groups to destroy national cohesion. When outside influences render national sovereignties meaningless, the marked decay of a State begins. We can clearly observe this fact in hindsight, and are experiencing this very decay today.
Secondly, the controlled leaders of Poland continually claimed they were the defenders of Polish liberties and of the common people, while systematically destroying the strengths of their nation. This development is also easily recognizable today. Our leaders constantly speak of the preservation of liberties and the protection of citizens from terrorists, but their actions speak louder than their hollow rhetoric. On a global scale, they are planning to tax and monitor the masses. Already, stringent, draconian laws have been or are being legislated to restrict our most basic freedoms. Like the Polish magnates in history, the modern elite also prefers its populations to be dependant clientele under their direct control. Power and greed fueled historical tyranny and the same remains true today. The Polish Sejm was rendered useless by special interests, much like our current, so-called democratic legislative institutions. Wealth, power and selfish interests heavily influenced the election of leaders then, and in this modern age where the same electoral processes are largely unchanged.
Lastly, Polish society only awakened from their apathy when the brutal disruption of their lives actually began. They may have possibly avoided this fate if only they recognized and spoke against foreign and internal corruption prior to the consequences. The world today certainly seems to be perched precariously on the edge of similar destruction. We cannot afford to participate only as spectators while awaiting the impending doom. It is our duty to at least attempt to stop and then reverse this global takeover. Information is the key to the resistance of tyranny. The last Polish King apparently understood this truth, and attempted to foster education within the country, but those efforts were squelched before they could achieve the desired effect.
This analysis concerning the lessons to be learned from the partitions of Poland is only one of many historical precedents we should not allow to be ignored or forgotten. The elite’s plan is not new. Even the very dynamics of their plans remain materially unchanged; they are only strengthened by technological advances and are now even more subtle and refined. Are we doomed to experience the same lessons generations of Poles learned after the destruction of their society? The major difference between that period of Poland’s history and current events is the stakes are now global in scale.
Rob Ronning welcomes your comments at email@example.com.
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|One of Many Historical Precedents the Global Elite Prefer You Ignore
By Rob Ronning
The past illuminates the future. Lessons learned from history can often be used in the analysis of contemporary events. Many pages of commentary have been written comparing the fall of Rome to the decay of the British Empire and of the United States. Similarities between events such as the burning of the German Reichstag and September 11, 2001 have also been successfully articulated. Both personally and collectively, lessons not learned are often repeated in different forms until the necessary understanding occurs. Human history is full of examples that should not be ignored or