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Poland-Current Issues Recommended

Strategic Communications

Marek Chodakiewicz

Professor of History, The Kosciuszko Chair in Polish Studies, Institute of World Politics, Washington

Strategic communications means purveying a specific narrative tailored to achieve a strategic goal. Essentially, Poland does not have strategic communications capabilities either at home or abroad. The government lacks a clear idea how to sell itself even to its own electorate. Forget about reaching foreign audiences. On the other hand, the opposition simply plagiarizes politically correct Western media who get their cues from the post-Stalinist and post-Trotskyite milieu of former dissidents in Warsaw.

Thus, the opposition wins by default but overseas only. At home it is even more tone deaf than the government. Most people do not buy the opposition’s alien spin. Yet, they also distrust the government’s amateurish yarn.

The lack of confidence in any sort of leadership reflects a much deeper cultural malaise. It afflicts Poland and the post-Soviet zone as the disease of post-Communism. But its sources are in nihilism and moral relativism which have paralyzed the West, including Poland. The acids of sexy intellectual trends, including post-modernism and deconstruction, have managed to dissolve, to a large extent, traditional Western verities of freedom, family, Christianity, individualism, and private property. Whatever survived the Communist terror and the counter-cultural revolution of the 1960s has mostly succumbed to the untender mercies of multiculturalism, political correctness, and Marxism-Lesbianism.

What’s the remedy? How can Poland’s voice be heard abroad? How to communicate successfully with the Polish people themselves? The techniques applied to address foreign publics can also be modified to sway domestic audiences. It is really simple.

In a short run, for outside communications, the government finally hired western experts. Since the opposition had a two-year head start, turning the narrative around will not happen overnight. But it can be done. Any professional strategic communications outfit worth its mettle knows how to navigate both traditional and new media with equal ease and how to harness and coordinate various voices; there would be an integrated digital and social media team, able to inspire a motivated army of tech-savvy English-speaking cybervolunteers who would help spread the new narrative about Poland.

In the long run, however, Poland must generate talent of its own. This entails dispatching kids to be educated abroad. Most should come to the United States, as it is the world empire. This must be a priority. Less important Western countries come next. The UK should be favored because of its convenient proximity and the English language. It is crucial to be able to influence one’s allies first, so Germany and France ought to follow. On the other hand, Warsaw must not neglect other nations, both hostile and ambivalent. The order of importance should be as follows: Russia, China, India, and Japan. Young Poles need to be sent to those nations to learn their ways.

Of course, all of them should master the English language first. And Poland must find a way to finance the project. When they return, they will have known how to set up strategic communications. If, in the confrontation with alien cultures, the Polish scholarship students learn who they truly are, they will be then able to figure out what they want. That means being able to identify the strategic objective.

Poland’s greatest problem is that it utterly lacks a strategy. Its government and elites are almost entirely reactive. They need to learn how to be proactive. They need to shed their post-Soviet slave mentality and the attendant inferiority complex and learn how to navigate in the contemporary world. Once they regain confidence and stand tall and proud, the people will emulate them. And that is the key for Poland’s rejuvenation.

The nefarious nonsense must end. And Poland may just be the agent of change and salvation not just for itself, but for the rest of the West. First things first. Learn strategic communications from the best. Educate the young. Get ready for a Reconquista. The rest will be history.

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz
Washington, DC, 20 January 2018


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