Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

When national symbols support nationalistic agenda - they don’t make me feel patriotic anymore!


Today is Polish Independence Day. 103 years ago today, Poland became a country again after not being on the map of Europe for the 123 years prior. As a Polish citizen, born and raised in Poland, I should be happy today. I should be celebrating. I should be proud of being Polish. However, I don’t feel that way. It’s complicated. Let me explain:

When national symbols support nationalistic agenda - they don’t make me feel patriotic anymore!

Nationalism is bad, wrong, awful and inhumane.

Let’s start with the concept of nationalism. According to Miriam-Webster dictionary, it is:

a feeling that people have of being loyal to and proud of their country often with the belief that it is better and more important than other countries


a desire by a large group of people (such as people who share the same culture, history, language, etc.) to form a separate and independent nation of their own

Why it’s bad? Because it promotes a notion of Poland only for the Poles - it’s conveying that one country is better than the other. That one nationality is superior to other. And if you want to visit a foreign country or live in it, you’ll always be inferior to the local national. It’s wrong, because:

All humans are created equal. No human is superior to another in worth or dignity.

Instead of demonstrating superiority of our nation though nationalism, we should be celebrating our diversity as representatives of various nations.

That’s why I love the concept of the European Union so much! We are all different. We speak different languages. We live in different countries. We represent different values and beliefs, but in this one thing we should be united: we are all humans of equal significance. Each life is worth the same.

No one is better than another!

Current Polish government promotes nationalism and encourages intolerance and violence against other nations and cultures.

It’s hard for me to be proud to be Polish these days, because Polish government keeps pushing the nationalistic agenda so much, that it makes me sick.

Polish government of 2021 is mainly composed of three parties: PIS - Law and Justice, Konfederacja - Confederacy and Kukiz’15. These parties form a government that can be described as a Kakistocracy, which means a government run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens.

What’s even worse is that as a Catholic I’m seeing how the Roman-Catholic church in Poland got involved in politics, too. In churches all over Poland the priests are promoting hate towards people who are different. Like they forgot the Great Commandment mentioned by Jesus Christ in  Matthew 22:35-40:

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

Instead of love for our neighbors, the people who rule Poland and Polish Catholic Church these days, promote antisemitism, racism and patriarchy. On top of that they discriminate or call for violence against people from our neighboring nations, pushing strong anti-German and anti-EU rhetoric.

The European Union which was created to celebrate diversity of nations in Europe and promotes peace, is especially vilified in my country nowadays.

As a person who has three daughters, has lived not only in Poland but also in Germany and Spain in his life, and has very close friends in most of the countries of the European Union, I cannot share the agenda of the rulers of the country of Poland.

In the nineties of last century, right after the fall of Communism in Poland, as a nation we dreamt of joining the western countries and being a part of the European Union. We achieved it finally in 2004! It was a success which the Polish government of now and an increasing part of Polish nation tries to destroy.

After Brexit, something previously unthinkable like Polexit seems increasingly possible. This makes me both sad and angry.

I don’t feel like hanging my Polish flag today.

I’ve always felt strong patriotism as a Polish citizen:

Patriotism or national pride is the feeling of love, devotion, and sense of attachment to a homeland or the country and alliance with other citizens who share the same sentiment to create a feeling of oneness among the people.

However, today as you can see on the photo I posted, the rulers of my country of Poland want to highlight that only nationalists are the true patriots. The national government officially enables a demonstration by nationalists and extremists on the streets of the capital of Warsaw.

I don’t want to support that.

Every year on November 11, I’d put out a flag outside of my house and wear a t-shirt with a Polish emblem.

This year I’m not doing any of that. I don’t want to support the agenda of the current government of my country. It would make me look as a nationalist and not as a patriot.

I’m a patriot so today I’m celebrating Polish independence quietly with my family.

I’m still proud and happy that Poland 🇵🇱 is a part of the European Union 🇪🇺 (which makes me both Polish and European!) and I’m hoping that this awful government will be overturned in the next general election. I’ll be voting! You should vote, too!

Thursday, November 11, 2021 /nationalism/