Jewish problem, PR, Freud, Edward Bernays, era of a big lie and human nature

I must confess that almost every day I start with reading American Magazine “The Atlantic“. Since I am not native English, American, Australian or Canadian speaker, I still improve my English by reading American or English magazines and books.

And today I came across an article by Jeffrey Goldberg – “Glenn Beck’s Jewish Problem“, in which the Author writes about a serious TV commentator who “has something of a Jewish problem”, and later on:

“This is a post about Beck’s recent naming of nine people – eight of them Jews – as enemies of America and humanity. He calls these people prime contributors to the – wait for it – “era of the big lie”.

Among those eight he enumerates “Edward Bernays, the founder of public realtions, and a nephew of Freud’s”.

I myself am not a big fun of PR, and may even agree that we live in an era of a big lie, but consideration of the more or less important political, social or economic matters through the prism of nationhood, in categories of the nations, does not make sense. We – as human beings – still do not learn from history, we are permanently incapble of drawing conclusions from mistakes made by our ancestors. But the truth is simple and trivial – the human nature in its deepest dimension, in its deepest core, is still the same for all individuals in all nations, taking of course into account all superficial differences and nuances being the results of our diverse cultural and religious background.

Blaming Jews for PR and contribution to creating “era of a big like” does make the same sense as blaming Jews for October Revolution in Russia, or Georgians for Joseph Stalin. It is a road to nowhere.

Let us also take into consideration that PR is used with great pleasure not only by Jews, but all other nations, I mean not also governments and politics. We may know, we may feel that PR is not always honest, but still see that our governments, our politics, our coprporations, our firms resort to it. I am not happy with that, but when I take the deeper insight into me, I realize that sometimes in my private, daily life I also resrot to my “small, private PR” in interpersonal relations, but in any case I do not blame Jews for it.

Of course, I do not want to say, that it is OK, but human beings are still fragile and weak. They will always fall and stand up, without the end.

And let’s try to answer following question: are there really any persons who do not use some “private PR” in thier daily lives? And whose the gulity?

My ideas about Russian literature

Today I came across an interesting article – “Why western authors are in love with Mother Russia” by Andrew Miller, and resolved to write a comment below it, including my private and modest ideas concerning Russian literature:

A few years ago I read about one of my favourite Russian writers, that “he was closest to the truth about human being”. This sentence concerned Fiodor Dostoyevsky. And it is impossible to disagree with this statement, when one reads “Idiot” or “Crime and punishment”. In every of these books one is able to find himself/herself, to identify with some characteres. When I read Dostoyevsky or Turgeneiv I read it with all my nerves, it is not just work of the mind, but work of my whole being (my soul, my mind and body).

That is why I agree with following Author’s statement:

“Writers born elsewhere tend to be captivated first by the grandeur and reckless honesty of the great Russian authors (…)”

Russian writers do possess not only “reckless honesty”, but also – sometimes even heroic – courage to tell truth about human being’s nature. It is a kind of civil courage, which so often Western writers lack, with exception of Joseph Conrad, C.S. Lewis, or Jack London. They do not hide truth behind the curtian of courtesy, social conventions or political corectness. They show it with all its pain, suffering, ugliness, so that we get fed up with our reality, and do not see another possibility, apart from changing our inner, spiritual world.

With regard to another Author’s statement:

“Nick, my narrator, is sucked into Moscow during its greedy, oil-fuelled boom. He only finds out what sort of man he can be, perhaps has always been, when he lives in Russia.”

I think that in Russia we may feel in some sense “naked”, it is still a state, where one can feel as “pure”, “naked”, “raw”, “defenseless”, as it is only possible, where state, law, authority, social conventions do not prevent him/her from all evil human instincts existing in all human beings. In Russia there is a bare human being standing opposite omnipotent authority, simple people opposite corrupt officials or oligarchs. In such milieu all human stances, all human behaviours are sharper, more visible, distinguishable. If you are courageous, you are much more courageous than in Western countries. What is the price of courage in Great Britian, or Germany and what is the price of courage in Russia? You can answer this question, when you take into consideration, fate of such persons as Anna Politkovskaya, Natasha Estemirova, Nastia Baburova, Litvinenko, Chodorkovsky.

In Russia you have much better and more occasions to be decent or wicked, and when you decide to be decent you have much more to lose, than when you decide to be decent in France.

In other words, I think that in Russia, a person have much more possibilities to be more human, to be more real and true, than in other parts of Europe. And no wonder, that in such reality, great literature appears…

Remnants of Bialystok ghetto – part 1

I have always been amazed by the contrasts included in beautiful places. How is it possible that place that witnessed most cruel events in the world history may at the same time include so much beauty? I mean contrast between internal appearance of a place and history it contains.

The most beautiful gardens in my native town are on the areas of the former ghetto. Bialystok’s history has not witnessed more cruel period than time of the II World War, when about 50.000 Jews were gatherd in interior part of the town, where German Nazis organizied ghetto. Those beuatiful gardens, wooden small houses, old bulidings, old trees, lush green of the gardens, many colurs of flowers, picturesque paved streets, red brick factories were witnesses of unimaginable cruelties in human kind’s history – murders of hundreds of innocent children, women, men; later on uprising in Bialystok ghetto and deaths of further hundreds of persons.

Now spring has just come nad those places start again to be the most beautiful places in the town. They are still grey, but in a short time they will explode with lush green and many other bright colurs of the Bialystok gardens.

Is it possible to understand such an indifference of nature to human kind suffering?

On the left – part of the synagogue in Warynskiego street, on the right – old building, both from the begining of the XX century, on the area of former ghetto.

Small wooden house in Czysta 5 street, where Samuel Pisar – surviver of Bialystok ghetto, later on adviser of John Fitzgerald Kennedy – lived in inferno of Bialystok ghetto.

Wooden remnant of the ghetto gate between stones in Czysta street.

View of the Czysta street from the place were ghetto gate stood.

Houses in Czysta street, on the left – Czysta 5 – wooden house where Samuel Pisar lived.

Has the world lost interest in Belarussia?

Brutally supressed democratic, peaceful manifestation in Minsk on 25th March 2008 commemorating the 90th anniversary of The Belarus’ Declaration of Independence; cruely beaten young people in the streets, some of them forcefully packed to the buses, arrested, persecutions of independent journalists – these events make up picture of today Belarussia.

Have Belarussians obtained proper attention from the world? It seems that answer should sound “no”. What is the reason of such a state? Is it conviction of international community that Aleksander Lukashenko has a real support of majority of Belarussians? During several conversations with Belarussians who came to Poland I heard that this support is doubtful. In their opinion Lukashenko is supported mainly in villaeges, but in towns it is not so obvious. Young, well educated people are against him, they want to live in democratic country, they want to travel without limits, without borders, like their peers from European Union or even from Russia. But do they have enough strength to overthrow Lukasekno’s regime? And it seems that majority of Belarussian society lives in the countryside – it is natural electorate of Lukashenko.

Maybe world has lost interest in Belarussia, because similarly to Russia’s case it does not believe in the society’s will to accept the human rights in these both countries? Or maybe it does not want to irritate Russia which considers Belarussia its natural sphere of interest and influence?

Below I publish pictures of regime officials responsible for cruel suppression of manifestation in Minsk taken from Belarussian portal http://www.charter97.org

One of them – Dimitrij Pavlichenko is suspected by international community of abductions and murders of Belarussian opposition’s leaders – Jurij Zacharenko, Victor Gonchar, Belarussian businessman and social activist – Anatolij Krasovski, and independent journalist – Dmitrij Zavadzki.

Reflections on Great Thursday

There are moments in life of human kind when a man doubts in God’s existence, when life overwhlems him or her so much that he or she does not have strength to think of God, when he or she even loses their Faith for longer or shorter periods or even forever. Such states seem unavoidable, sometimes they touch even priests, not to mention laymen. I am not a fervently religious man, though I was raised in catholic family. More than 90% of Poles make up catholics. Unfortuntaly, many Poles’ faith is very shallow and apparent, it happens that it is restricted only to visiting the church every Sunday and only to rituals. Sometimes it lacks deeper background and reflection. No wonder that many young people do not seriously treat their faith, they just do not know what should it be, they do not konw its aim, do not understand its meaning, the do not feel it.

I am 32 years old and my faith is still at the stage of discovering, getting to know, looking for, trying to understand. There are moments in my life when I do not doubt that God exists and sometimes I am not able to maintain its conviction, sometimes I get far away from God – it is not the way that He leaves me, it is impossible, I am sure that I lack smething, but still do not know what – what makes me being far away from God.

Fortunately we often meet in our way people, places, books, magazines, songs, music which confirm that God exists and is close to us, watches us, supports us and never leaves us. For several months I have been reading Slovak Greekcatholic magazin “Slovo”:

http://slovo.grkatpo.sk/

In september of 2007 I visited for the first time in my life Presov – beautiful and picturesque town in the eastern Slovakia. I found there a Greek catholic baroque church in downtown. I entered it with my mother and friend and I get enchanted (I am not sure if it is a proper word). There was a Mass in Byzantine Rite, young and elderly people deeply immersed in prayers, stunning iconostas. After returning to Poland I started to look for information concerning Greek catholics in eastern Slovakia and found website of Greek catholic bishopric in Presov:

http://www.grkatpo.sk/

and on this website also magazine “Slovo”. Fortunatley Polish and Slovakian languages are so similar that I do not have real problems in reading with understanding articles in this magazine. Every time when I read and after reading its magazine I feel that my faith gets stronger.

Slovakian landscapes, villages and towns which I saw, people who I met restored my faith. I cannot explain it – I am not enough religious man to do it, but I have friends who would be able to explain it to me, they claim there are no accidents in human life. I want to believe that in fact it is so.

I am enormously grateful to staff which creates “Slovo”. Thanks to them my faith gets stronger and I have also possibility to learn Slovakian language, to get to know Slovakian culture and history, and especially Greek catholic tradition.