Історичне минуле

Формування польської месіанської візії
Віталій Лисенко
13.09.2017, 16:51


УДК 94: 327


У статті досліджується ґенеза формування польської месіанської візії, що складалася з ряду ідеологічних компонентів - таких як: ідеологія сарматизму, світоглядні риси польського релігійного світосприйняття. Аналізуються джерела виникнення тези про божественне призначення польського народу, який є оплотом стабільності та процвітання. Автор доводить, що внаслідок зовнішньополітичних чинників ідея вищого призначення Речі Посполитої, як захисника цивілізованої Європи від варварського Сходу, стала ключовою позицією месіанської сентенції "Великого кордону", тобто держави, що має вплив на геополітичну ситуацію в світі. Ця ідея згодом, внаслідок доповнень та змін, переросла у польську месіанську доктрину, що обґрунтувала необхідність існування Речі Посполитої на політичній карті світу.

Ключові слова: сарматизм, догматизм, католицтво, культура, незалежність.

Actuality of the topic. In today's conditions of our state building there is a growing need for the disclosure of its geopolitical significance in the international arena. Explanation of the significance of sovereign Ukraine on the political map of the world is a key issue of the present. In the context of the war with the Russian Federation, disclosure of this position is to involve the solution of this issue more foreign countries that will defend our sovereignty. One of such instruments is the messianic vision that is typical of all political nations, which outlines the role of Ukrainians in the struggle for democratic and universal values. However, without taking into account historically conceived concepts, it is impossible to realize it. Therefore, a comprehensive study of Ukrainian-Polish relations is extremely important for national self-affirmation and establishment of partnership relations with Poland. A separate component of this problem is the study of the Polish messianic vision aimed at exaltation of the nation, but led to an exacerbation of interethnic relations and antagonisms. Nevertheless, Polish messianism remains an example for Ukrainian socio-political thought as an expression of a strong ideological basis for the struggle for independence and stability of its own state. Therefore, the purpose of our study is to reveal the ideological origins of the formation of the Polish messianic vision.

Analysis of the last researches. The study of this problem occupies a prominent place in both native and foreign polonistics, in particular, it is necessary to mention the works of: O. Brodskyi [1], S. Bukharin [2], O. Vasiliev [3], G. Koroliov [4], V. .Makushev [5], O. Nemenskyi [7], I.Fiialkovskaia-Yaniak [8]. However, it should be noted that, unfortunately, there is no solid work today that systematized all the components of the ideological origins of Polish messianism, which in turn gives grounds for further study of this issue.

The results of the research. Considering the problem of the origins of the Polish messianic vision, we must dwell on a number of sententias, which in our opinion form the basis for its formation, in particular:

First, the ideology of Polish sarmatism, that is, an explanation of the origin of the Polish gentry from the Sarmatian tribes, which was formed in the early modern era when the the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a powerful empire in Central and Eastern Europe. It was based on a number of heroic myths about the Sarmatians, who are the Knights of the "Great Steppe", in particular Sh. Starovolskyi in his work "Memoirs of the Sarmatians", wrote: "We are Sarmatians, we can be proud of the feats of many glorious men. We have been proud of them from ancient times .... The glory of our people is abundant" [13, s.100]. That is, gradually the myth was changed by giving the role of protectors of the steppe to the Polish gentry, which was designated as defender of civilized Europe from the barbarian East. S. Bukharin believes that sarmatism became the dogmatic-mythological basis on which the national ideology of Polish nobility was formed. The search for historical roots and ancient ancestors led not only to the idealization of the "golden age", but also to the divine origin of the political tradition, which the Sarmatians derived from the Roman republican system [2, p. 500]. This, on the one hand, is legitimate, because the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the second part of the XVI - XVII centuries was one of the strongest states in the world, which had a highly-equipped army, which has repeatedly provided military assistance to the countries in Western Europe to fight the Ottoman Empire. An example of this is the salvation of the "Silver Apple of Europe" - Vienna in 1683.

In addition, the Sarmatian Polish gentry was given the role of the protector of Catholicism and the stronghold of the papal curia, an illustrative example of this is the correspondence of the King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Sigismund-Augustus with the papal curia. In particular, one can give such an example as a passage from the king's letter to the papal nuncio in Cracow, Fr.Simonetta, which stated that the main purpose in military campaigns was to spread Catholicism, even at the price of their own blood. And somewhat later, the pope Urban VIII wrote Sigismund III: "Let him be cursed, who will keep his sword from blood! Let the heresy feel that there is no mercy for it, calling for the destruction of all the enemies of the union" [9, s.178]. It should be noted that the the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth has always been the central country that supported Rome. In particular, it did not acquire a significant development of the idea of the Reformation, but on the contrary developed the ideas of counterreformation, Catholicism was actively tapped in the subordinate territories. The church and the state became interconnected elements. In such conditions, the Polish early modern national elite formed an orthodox religious outlook that became the forerunner of the messianic vision and influenced the formation of a specific Polish mentality that was fully developed during the period of Enlightenment. As O. Nemenskyi observes, the concept of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth as "Antemurale christianitatis" (Forpost of Christianity) in the east of Europe has developed under such conditions. And if for Sweden and Turkey it was expressed in military clashes (not always initiated by Warsaw it self). The ideology of Poland as an outpost of Christianity led to the fact that the image of Sarmatians in the seventeenth century was secured only by Catholics, and the Polish gentry turned into a sort of belligerent Catholic order. Despite of the historiographical myth of Polish tolerance, sarmatism was an ideology of extreme intolerance. In many ways, this intolerance has weakened and led to the decline of the Commonwealth. At the same time, sarmatism caused a slightly arrogant view of the West. The Catholic and Sarmatian identity, which put the Polish gentry in a rather superficial attitude on the period of Enlightenment, was completed by a secular thought about the superiority of the Polish educated culture. Such "educated messianism" did not cancel previous ideas, but added to the figure of "Sarmatian-Catholic" who fought with "schismatics", a figure of "educated European" [7] .Thus, the process of becoming a Polish mentality has taken place. It included a number of components, in particular: 1) patriotic consciousness, which was manifested in the devotion to the state and its protection; 2) historical memory of the heroic past; 3) an active civic position, which became the basis of the formation of Polish identity; 4) the Catholic worldview that was rational. Thus, the concept of Polish sarmatism combined with deep devotion has created a special image of the belonging and historical necessity of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth as a protector of peace and stability of the civilized West.

Second, the messianic vision shaped by forming the Polish national idea that delineated with the development of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It explained the historical significance and the role of the aristocratic elite political culture that have produced a special control system, which was advanced for its time. This is the formation of an aristocratic republic, which had a 2-house parliament and an elected king that was very peculiar for contemporary Europe, which formed the absolutist monarchy. From this plan, Poland was a certain oasis. The elite role was determined also in economic terms. Due to the inclusion of several new provincies to the Crown after the association of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, it entered a phase of economic growth unlike its neighbors - Muscovia that was recovered after the Troubles and began after the death of Ivan IV the Terrible and the Ottoman Empire which began the "great departure "after the death of Suleiman the Magnificent. In these conditions noble elite culture was formed. It included an explanation of the messianic role of Poles in the international arena and its dominance in international politics.

That is, the protomisian vision did not arise in the early modern era, but due to the fact that Poland entered the phase of political decline in the XVIII century, this sententia did not become a full form. However, the Polish nobility began to form a national idea, which in the future led to the justification of the messianic vision.

After the division of the lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth almost throughout the nineteenth century the Polish political elite, represented mainly by gentry, was captured by the stereotype of the Polish character of all the lands of the former "Republic of both Nations" and the deep conviction of the identity of the "political nation" and the Polish community. This was not surprising, as this "nation" gave birth to most of the creators of national ideology and fighters for independence. The Jewish religious tradition, the historical roots of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the influence of romanticism and the activity of Polish emigration in the 20-30's of the nineteenth century had a significant influence on the formation of Polish messianism. This created the basis for a concept that would explain the historic need for the revival of the Sarmatians on the political map of Europe. As I. Fiialkovska-Yaniak noted, the special situation of the Polish people, deprived of independence for a long period, required an understanding, an eschatological interpretation of what was happening [8]. Therefore, the national elite, summarizing the historical experience of the Polish people, gradually began to justify this sententia.

The catalyst for the creation of the messianic vision was the defeat of the November rebellion of 1830-1831 in the Polish kingdom, when a significant part of the Polish national was forced to leave the country because of the rigid reactionary policy of the Russian autocracy and to go abroad creating so-called "Great emigration".Thinkers raised by insurgent mottos intensified their efforts to develop a national doctrine that laid to the foundation for the Polish messianic vision.

The founder of Polish messianism is Y. Vronskyi, who actually used this concept for the first time. Messianism in his vision is so-called a guiding universal idea that brings enlightenment to mankind on the way to absolute truth and freedom. The Polish people in this context served as the transmitter of the enlightenment of mankind, due to the fact that they borrowed much from representatives of other cultures, which in turn led to the accumulation of positive experiences that make up the basis of changes. O. Brodskyi states that Y. Vronskyi provided the Slavs with a special religious-cultural mission in the future, as the Slavs, as nobody else, could absorb the achievements of other peoples: the Czechs absorbed German culture, the eastern Slavs - "the liberal religion of the Greeks", the Poles - Latin Catholicism. The forthcoming "Absolute Union" was seen by Vronskyi in the form of the final unification of Truth and Good, the political expression of which would overcome the contradiction between today's conflicting ideologies: liberalism (the spirit of truth) and conservatism (the spirit of good) [1, p.192]. It follows from this that the mission of the Polish people to Y. Vronskyi consists of the accumulation of advanced historical experience and its further use in the process of positive change in the world.

A significant role in the formation of the messianic vision was played by Polish writer Y. Slovatskyi, who, analyzing the causes of the defeat of the November rebellion, comes to the conclusion that the Polish people bear the yoke of self-sacrifice for the good of other nations, bearing a conscious gentry. That is, the Poles, as the bearers of an elite culture, the thinker believes, not even looking at the loss of their own state, remains asupport of stability and calm in Europe. They oppose injustice in the name of protecting others [12]. This position of self-confidence shows, however, that the thinker gave the Polish ethnic group a messianic role, manifested in the struggle for goodness and justice. Of course the thinker's position is aimed at the heroization of the people and its likening the Messiah, which suffered for the benefit of others, but nevertheless, this sententia led to the significance of Poland on the political map and influenced the further substantiation of the messianic concept.

The theoretical foundation for the Polish messianic vision was the messianic vision of A. Tovianskyi, who created a mystical sect "Circle of God's cause" in Paris in 1842, which explained the historical mission of individual peoples. In this sense, Poland was defined as the most dedicated state of Rome, serving as the Messiah, sent to Earth for the remission of the sins of mankind through its own sacrifice, and it was crucified as Christ. The Poles were identified with Jews who were scattered throughout the world because they did not save the country, but according to the thinker, the time will come and Poland will resurrect, and the people will unite, for the rebirth of the world [5, p. 474]. Like Jewish mysticism, it was a Polish variation in A. Tovianskyi's representation of the messianic role of the Polish ethnos. In these views, not even looking at the weakness of the arguments in support of the position, the main features of the Polish messianic vision were clearly outlined. It was supported by A. Mickiewicz, and according to O. Brodskyi it is possible that messianism would remain the marginal phenomenon of Polish emigration, if not the writer who gave this ideology the character of the elevated tragic-heroic concept [1, p.194]. The "Book of the Being of the Polish People" described the missionary role of the people who lost their independence at that time. The writer analyzing the reasons for the decline of the Commonwealth comes to the conclusion that the perpetrators are the aggressive interests of Austria, Prussia, and Russia. In this regard, the people receive their historical task in any conditions to revive the independence of the state, in particular, he wrote: "The Polish people have not died, its body lies in the coffin, and its soul has left the earth, that is, from public life, to the fire to the lives of domestic people who suffer in captivity in the country and outside the country to see their patience. And on the third day, the soul will return to the body, and the people will rise again, and will free all the people of Europe from captivity. And pain has been for two days; One day is connected with the first capture of Warsaw, and the second day is connected with the second capture of Warsaw, and the third day will come, but it will not end. But as on Sunday of Christ all sacrifices ceased on the Earth, so with Sunday of the Polish people all wars will cease in the Christianity" [6, p. 5].

Of course this was an utopia in the political realities of the time, but for the first time the writer justified the messianic role of the Poles on a theoretical level. It is quite obvious that the given point of view is only an appeal to the unification of the national elite to fight against the metropolitan countries. However, one should not forget that this sententia still had a hegemonic character, since it determined the historical necessity of establishing the Polish influence on international politics for peace and prosperity. Supplementing this sententia with strong piety and ideas of the messianic role. It was in this key that the beginning of the formation of the modern national ideology was laid, which became a leitmotif for the struggle for its own state and a protective tool against the assimilation of the people.

The idea of Messianism belonged A. Mitskevych, but in an autochthonous interpretation was supplemented by I. Lelevel, who attempted to explain the emergence of the Polish national messianic idea, the source of which was Slavic mentality, which, as a result of influence of Western European culture, was assimilated and subsequently began to be regressed. Therefore, the main task of the Polish people is to return to their Slovyan origins, which will become the foundation for the rebirth of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which will become the basis of the development of Central and Eastern Europe [11]. According to O. Vasiliev, the thinker created a "counterprecedented" version of the concept of national memory from the point of view of the Polish messianic sententia, which revealed the objective need for the revival of Poland and the reasons for its decline. In particular, the concept argued that Poland was unfairly behaved when Austria, Prussia and Russia shared it among themselves, and did not have any internal reasons or preconditions. The explanation for this is following:it was too good, it went too far in comparison with all other countries, that surrounded it. And in a situation where there were only dark, dense, tyrannical, oppressive regimes around it that, like fire, were afraid of the light and happiness that arose out of great Poland, they, of course, destroyed it. However, by doing so, they only confirmed its greatness and showed that the coming rebirth of Poland would be a liberation for all mankind. Poland is the Christ of the peoples, and national messianism is coming out from this, and every rebellion is interpreted as Easter, as Poland is Christ. Thus, a romantically optimistic version of national history was formed, where the main responsibility for all problems rely on the external environment, and the country itself appears in the form of, firstly, the innocent victim, and secondly - absolutely outstanding figure in world history. This is the first story, and it still retains great influence in Polish politics [3].

Fully substantiated messianic sententias were represented by A. Chartoryiskyi in 1849, which introduced the idea of "Europe of nations" in which revived Poland acted as a reliable tool to protect Europe from Russian expansion [10]. The concept of a thinker in the beginning was not intended to revive the independence of Poland, but only the expansion of its territory at the expense of the Polish and Ukrainian lands that were part of it and their accession to Prussia. This is due to the fact that the active support from the "Polish question" in the international arena conducted by Prussia and Austria to weaken neighbor - Russia and their more liberal and moderate policy toward the Poles. However, later, as a result of the harsh anti-Polish policy in the German Empire (the so-called policy of gakatizm), which was characteristic in the second part of the nineteenth century, the concept was transformed into a more radical one, which aimed the revival of the independent the Commonwealth.In the opinion of G. Koroliov, the thinker was later transformed the idea of "Europe of Nations", which became more than just a call for the revival of independent Poland in the family of free European peoples. It was a strategy for the burial of empires and the creation of national states. From this we can state that the variation of Polish messianism of A. Chartoryiskyi was geopolitical in nature, which aimed at the creation of national states and their peaceful coexistence in the world. This position was reflected in the views of Y. Pilsudskyi, who developed the idea of creating a unit of the Intersea Region under the auspices of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth [4, p.59].

Thus, the messianic vision of the Polish people was formed by a number of ideological components that have been formed over centuries - Sarmathism ideology that emerged in the XVI- XVII century, Polish gentry mentality features that positioned themselves as members of an elite culture which is messianic mission in Central Eastern Europe. A separate component, which had an impact on the formation of the messianic vision was the work of Adam Mitskevych and representatives of the "Great Emigration", which gave divine role to Polish people as an expression of stability and prosperity. However, it should be emphasized that this sententia is only a Polish variation of Messianism. The reasons for the formation of which was the loss of independence of the state. But still, Polish theorists did not retreat from the idea of establishing global hegemony of Poland. This in turn made it possible not to assimilate the national elite, but rather unite to fight for their country. The beginning of the creation of the national ideology of Polish nationalism was laid in these conditions. It promoted the idea of creating Wielkopolska (Poland from the sea to the sea), that is a return to the early modern empire. In these conditions the elite returned to explain the historical task of Poland - to be the basis of stability and the support of prosperity in the world.


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В статье исследуется генезис формирования польской мессианской визии, которая включала в себя ряд идеологических компонентов - таких как: идеология сарматизма, мировоззренческие черты польского религиозного мировосприятия. Анализируются источники возникновения тезиса о божественном предназначения польского народа, который является оплотом стабильности и процветания. Автор убеждает, что в результате внешнеполитических факторов идея высшего предназначения Речи Посполитой, как защитника цивилизованной Европы от варварского Востока, стала ключевой позицией мессианской сентенции "Большой границы", то есть государства, имеющего влияние на геополитическую ситуацию в мире. Эта идея, впоследствии в результате дополнений и изменений, переросла в польскую мессианскую доктрину, которая обосновала необходимость существования Речи Посполитой на политической карте мира.
Ключевые слова: сарматизм, догматизм, католичество, культура, независимость.


The genesis of the formation of the Polish messianic vision, which included a number of ideological components such as: the ideology of sarmatism, world outlook features of the Polish religious worldview, is explored. They propagated the thesis about the divine purpose of the Polish people to be the stronghold of stability and prosperity. It is explained that as a result of foreign policy factors, the idea of the higher purpose of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, as a defender of civilized Europe from the barbarian East, became the key position of the messianic conception of the "Great Border" , that is, the state having an influence on the geopolitical situation in the world. It later turned into a Polish messianic doctrine as a result of the additions and changes, which substantiated the necessity of the existence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth on the political map of the world.

Key words: sarmatism, dogmatism, Catholicism, culture, independence.