Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Poland: Winning the Culture Wars

Guest commentary by Postmodern Conservative.

Popular culture in Poland is very different from ours. There is widespread outcry over the fact that a 14-year-old girl is being pressured by Planned Parenthood to abort her unborn child. Most Poles find this politically-motivated emotional exploitation reprehensible. See: Poland in an Uproar after Coercive Abortion Pressure Put on 14-Year-Old by Planned Parenthood.

On a related note is the story of a Agata Mroz, a 26-year-old champion Polish volleyball player who chose to delay invasive therapy for a fatal case of leukemia until the birth of her baby daughter (April 2008) even though it lead to her death just three months later. See: 2005 Polish Volleyball Champion Sacrificed Her Life for Unborn Child.

This sums up what the culture war is really about, more than just ideology or polemics. As Edmund Burke pointed out long ago, the most important things in life are beyond politics and it is these things that define our political values, not the other way around. That may explain why the Poles are more successful in fighting the culture wars than many of their Western counterparts, despite the fact that they have the added liability of a totalitarian past. Nor can it be put down to simply a political reaction. After all, Russia is still a huge mess. The difference is Poland's strong religious heritage which has survived political and cultural vicissitudes.

For a related commentary on Polish social conservatism, see our January 24 post.