NATIONAL COMMUNITY OR AN 'AGGREGATE OF SLAVES, PUPPETS AND BANDITS': NATIONAL DEMOCRATS' THOUGHTS ABOUT IMPERIAL RUSSIA
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At the turn of the 20th century, reflection on the Russian issue dominated the body of illegal journalistic publications of the political parties which at that time were emerging in the Polish territories. All these political parties, apart from the international Socialists, perceived the system exemplified by Russian rule as the main threat to aspirations for Polish independence. Though the National Democrats finally stood for pro-Russian (in fact, pro-French and pro-British) orientation in 1908, they still had a negative opinion of Russia and its role in the history of humanity, as well as of the country itself as a nation and a community. In their journalistic writings, the National Democrats, as well as the Socialists, continued their analysis of permanent conflict between Europe and Asia, Poland and Russia, to be a result of the existence of two different political systems: on the one hand, democracy (Europe, Poland), and on the other, despotism (Russia). Moreover, the Russian nation was considered an artificial creation, ruled by means of terror and merciless bureaucracy. A constant feature of these publications was emphasis on the major differences between all things Russian and Polish. The aim of the National Democrat journalists was to help prevent Russification. Additionally, Russian philosophical and social thought was evaluated from the point of view of Polish interests. National Democrats thus rejected all Russian ideas, especially Pan Slavism, as tools of imperialist Russian politics.
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