[Introduction to] POLISH LIES

Opening a big retailer: POLISH LIES

I didn’t name it “mistaken beliefs of Poland” — too long.
I didn’t use the word “half-truths” — with 2/3 truths or 1/4 truths or zero-truths, it’s too complex.
I didn’t use the word “misconception” — it has more than 3 syllables.
I wanted to use the tag “Polish myths”, but it’s occupied. (Darn!)
[What about “Polish thinking“? Well…Polish Thinking is ‘distorting mirrors’ reflecting ordinary Polish thinking. Polish Lies is ‘ordinary mirrors’ reflecting distorted Polish thinking.]

Now, DISCLAIMER. The reason for POLISH LIES posts will be to give food for thought. Not to give fuel for flamewars. (When you’ll throw down the gauntlet, however, I may, reluctantly, pick it up.) Other members of this blog may not share my understanding of what POLISH LIES are.

And just to show you what to expect, here are some one-liners:

FALSE: Poland receives more from the EU than it pays into it.
TRUE: Within the EU, Poland pays more than it gets in return.

FALSE: Poles buy more cars, commodities, enjoy exotic travels because they have grown rich(er).
TRUE: They do it because they’re poor.

FALSE: It matters that, on average, Poles earn (much) less than Britons or Germans.
TRUE: It matters not.

FALSE: We have to care for democracy, the best system we can have.
TRUE: There is a better ding.

FALSE: There exists a good government.
TRUE: Any government (including PiS I voted for) has just one aim of having power – it is having power [for more]. And you’re ciemny lud if believe otherwise.

FALSE: We have to care for our Ojczyzna (wherever it should be).
TRUE: There are no ojczyznas (as we knew it) any more.

FALSE: We have to care for the planet going warmer, species going extinct, Al Gore going awarded, pick your hobby.
TRUE: There’s no “we”.

FALSE: Giving everyone more money is, by definition, okay. [Example: flat tax suggested recently or less recently.]
TRUE: It is not okay to give everyone more money. (Socio-economically. I don’t want to deal with morality here.)

FALSE: Restitution of property (to Jews, Church(es), pre-war owners) is just (and moral).
TRUE: It’s not just (or moral). Let alone it’s stupid.

FALSE: I saw a free lunch once.
TRUE: There ain’t such thing as a free Wiki entry. So, when you write I’m stupid, I take it as a lesson I had to pay for. And when I write you may be stupid, don’t take it freely.

Next, premiere: POLISH LIE #68
[March 1968 was about expelling poor Jews from Poland.]

Just passing through.

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9 thoughts on “[Introduction to] POLISH LIES

  1. some dude says:

    I actually started writing a massive rant, but I just realised that the fact that there are people that disagree with a statement, automatically disqualifies this statement as ‘truth’.

    If you wanted to get me (of course, not me specifically, let’s say people like me) angry, than you failed. I’m just bored. I could just point my finger and say ‘YOU ARE A LIAR’, but a) I agree with you on some points, b) you actually haven’t said anything but the introduction, c) there is no point in that. That’s your point of view and I respect it.

    So, okay, write about how all the Poles are antisemites, or how they all completely aren’t, you’ll be right. Or you will be wrong. As long as you don’t make me take what you are saying for ‘absolute truth’, I’m going to read it, since you are a nice person to read, but terrible to quarrel with ;)

    Enjoy a nice weekend.

  2. darthsida says:

    some dude, thank you three times:

    = first thank you:
    for a comment, it’s always nice to get one.

    = second thank you:
    for showing me where my error is. I erred thinking I stressed the thing well enough: the posts won’t be meant to raise hell or wreak havoc — ranting for ranting’s sake is not what we need. Instead, I’ll propose posts, with facts, figures, and go-figures. [But: read first, judge later, OK?]

    = third thank you:
    A massive comment would require a massive counter-comment I couldn’t find time for right now :D

  3. island1 says:

    Darth: Lie to me baby!

  4. Brad says:

    So which are the lies? The items marked “False” or “True”? I honestly can’t tell which, so I’m not sure if this is supposed to be cynical and critical or what.

    Right from the start, with the EU funds thing: Show me the statistics from Eurostat. Anything else is basically going to be meaningless.

    And, actually, the whole thing is meaningless. There are absurdly poor, unhappy, stupid, right-wing, religious and lunatic people in Poland. There are absurdly rich, happy, smart, left-wing, anti-religion, sane people in Poland. There are the usual combinations of those things, and more.

    Stereotypes are lazy so write about what you know and have experienced or pull data from a reputable source.

    My experience, regarding the Polish people I know. Very briefly:

    – Poles buy stuff because they have more money now. Like people anywhere.
    – Poles care about how much everyone else is earning. They want to get paid more for the same or similar work.
    – Poles don’t really understand democracy just like they don’t really understand queuing. They’re not used to it or at least not used to thinking about how their actions negatively affect those around them which, in turn, negatively affect themselves. Most blame communism for this.
    – Most Poles I talk to are happy that PiS is gone because they’re not as embarrassed about whatever idiotic thing some PiS politician has had the gall to say on that particular day.
    – I don’t know that most Poles really think about Poland as a country, as a state of mind, set of ideals, etc. Do the majority of the residents of any country really idolize their country?
    – It’s not that Poles don’t care about the environment, it’s that they don’t think about it.
    – The Poles I know don’t talk about taxes very much. They do talk about how taxes don’t appear to be enough to pay for police or doctors and that’s about it.
    – I’ve never heard someone not in a newspaper or TV talk about property restitution.
    – A free lunch is the one you get from grandma, on Sunday.

    A long post! Sorry.

  5. darthsida says:

    => Island
    I will. That’s a promise. (Huhuh.)

    => Brad,
    don’t be sorry :) Thanks a lot for the comment, though we missed one another on too many points here. I only gave a selection of “lies” topics I would like to cover in posts to come. A teaser is what I gave here. Hope we’ll meet again when I go on with specific posts.

    But to make it clearer from the start, yes — the “false” line contains a lie — and the “true” line contains my answer to a given lie.

    PS There are lies and lies in your comment, a general one, for instance:
    == “Most Poles” (who do this or that).
    It’s a lie in saying there is a thing / fact / statistically firm and verifiable group that equates to “most Poles”, or even to “most Poles one talks to”

  6. michael farris says:

    “FALSE: Poles buy more cars, commodities, enjoy exotic travels because they have grown rich(er).
    TRUE: They do it because they’re poor.”

    I would modify this a little bit. I’d say that many (maybe most) Polish people have what I call ‘poor people taste’ That is, they feel poor (which may or may not have any particular relation to reality*) and try to relieve that anxiety that comes with that through consumption.

    And feeling poor isn’t all bad, the great majority of Poles actually know how to live on a budget. That’s a skill like any other and a very useful one (and in very short supply in much of the west).

    There’s some regional variation to this as well. IME Varsovians are much more into showing off their money while the tradition in Wielkopolska (where I live) is to not be so conspicuous, spend money on things that don’t make you stand out.

  7. darthsida says:

    Michael, you’re stealing my thunder :)
    When that post’s time has come, I’ll try to modify your modification. I don’t think anxiety is the key psychological factor.
    PS Silesia is a land of the down-to-earth (or even down-in-earth, when you think of the miners).

  8. […] to let anti-Polish slanders from peoples that are not so romantic — slip unnoticed. Poles ready to lie whenever lies would sound romantic. Praising their sportsmen romantic enough to lose. Glorifying […]

  9. […] Polandian and guest wha’ Tags: economy, errors, ethics, Polish Lies, statistics [Introduction to] POLISH LIES: What our lie detectors detected (before they opened their […]

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