Discard the notion that old ideas or old societies failed because they themselves were failures. First of all, nothing made by man lasts forever. Second, look at the history of the 20th century and ask yourself this question: are we any better than we were in the 13th century? Yes, technology has gotten better, lives have gotten longer, and societies have gotten wealthier. But those benighted, pre-modern souls worked less hours than we do now, lived closer to God, and had no idea about totalitarianism, corporate-backed homosexuality, or the corrosives nature of recreational drugs. Never forget that modern societies have only really evolved in the art of killing on a massive scale.
Finally, combining what is old with the best of what is new (think of something akin to Guillaume Faye’s archeofuturism) is, theoretically, a path towards renewed greatness and vitality. Therefore, pursuing the return of Europe's old kingdoms or the original republic of the United States are worthwhile and spiritually fulfilling goals.
With that in mind, let us resurrect a lost cause called intermarium. After World War I, the intermarium idea was one of the great projects of Warsaw. Although its origins reached deeper into the Polish past, intermarium truly became a rallying cry after Marshal Jozef Pilsudski became the strongman of the Second Polish Republic (1918-1939). Quite simply, intermarium was a proposed plan to create a federal state linking the formerly Russian and Austro-Hungarian states of Central and Eastern Europe. The heartland of this federation included Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Finland, the Baltic states, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In essence, intermarium sought to recreate the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of history’s most powerful, yet forgotten states.
Pilsudski seemed like the man to put intermarium into action. Born in Lithuania when that state was governed by the Russian Empire, Pilsudski was the scion of minor nobility who imbibed his family’s loathing of the tsars. As a medical student in 1886, Pilsudski was labeled a political enemy by the Russian state. He was sent to Siberia a year later. None of this dampened Pilsudski’s anti-Russian rage.
Pilsudski dedicated his life to fighting Russia and bringing down the Russian Empire. He was a member of the Polish Socialist Party and a man who once sought Japanese backing for a Polish revolution during the Russo-Japanese War. Regarding his socialism, Pilsudski once said that he “had taken the red streetcar as far as the stop called Independence and gotten off.” Poland’s independence and the independence of the Polish people was the only “socialism” he cared about.
During World War I, Pilsudski led the Polish Legions of the Austro-Hungarian Army against Tsar Nicholas II’s military on the Eastern Front. During the Battle of Kostiuchnówka, Pilsudski’s out-gunned and out-manned forces held off the Russians in their own territory (part of modern day Ukraine). Pilsudski served the Central Powers until 1918, then began attacking German troops in East Prussia and Silesia. Here was a man of real convictions with a warrior's inclination.
After World War I, Pilsudski was the arch Polish patriot who helped lead his country to victory over the Soviet Red Army. It was this fear of the Red Army that gave added impetus to the intermarium plan—a project that could have put up a defensive front against Soviet intrigue in Central and Eastern Europe. If intermarium had worked, then much of Christian Europe could have been spared the twin terrors of Communism and Nazism.
Men like Jozef Beck and Wladyslaw Sikorski similarly supported intermarium unions of one kind or another, but these plans proved to be nothing more than tilting at windmills. The brave Polish Army could not withstand two invasions in 1939, which once again submerging the Polish nation under another foreign occupation.
What does the legacy of intermarium, an idea never put into practice, mean for us today? Well, organizations like the Visegrad Group, which includes Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, have successfully held off the European Union and its suicidal immigration policies for three years. In these countries, politicians as diverse as Viktor Orban, Andrzej Duda, and Milos Zeman, have again and again reaffirmed the Christian character of their nation-states. In the face of a godless, technocratic Brussels, these are the European nations who have remained defiantly European.
Duda first broached the topic of a new intermarium in Romania back in 2015. Many foreign policy commentators said and continue to say that Poland is in no position to carve out its own “third way” organization in the heart of Europe, especially when competing against a resurgent Russia. Oddly enough, at least one policy outlet decried Duda’s intermarium for giving hope to the “far-right”.
Intermarium is not as impossible as these over-paid scribblers seem to believe. Poland and the rest of the Visegrad Group are already on the EU’s naughty list, and they are not the only ones. The election of populist leaders in Slovenia, Austria, and Italy have further weakened the EU and have helped to expose the venal machinations of Macron in France and Merkel in Germany. What if these nations formed a new alliance—a populist intermarium outside the purview of the European Union? We know that if the old Austro-Hungarian Empire reformed today it would have a projected GDP of $1.18 trillion dollars, thus making it the world’s fifteenth largest economy. Now, if all of Poland, Italy, Ukraine (barring the ethnically Russian eastern portions), Belarus, and the Baltic states were added to this mix, then the intermarium of the 21st century would be the most powerful economy in Europe outside of Russia.
This new state could receive support from the United States, too. President Donald Trump and his “Trumpist” ideology neatly aligns with the policies pursued by many of the populist governments in Central and Eastern Europe. The new government in Italy is also aligned with President Trump. If Trump or a politician of his ilk were to support a new intermarium, then the total balance of geopolitical power would shift. China would still be ascendant in East Asia and Africa, but in Europe, a new, less globalist union would oversee the re-Europeanization and re-Christianization of the land. It would be in America’s interest to support intermarium, but the fiscal conservatism of Trump’s Washington may hesitate to overly upset the wealthy nations of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
If for nothing else, an intermarium union of the 21st century could return some Europeans (and not a few Americans) back to the older ideals of patriotism, loyalty, and Christian liberty. Pro-central state historians have called the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth an “anarchy,” but, for the most part, this union produced great art while maintaining the borders of Christendom against Islamic savagery. The “Golden Freedom” of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth saw an oligarchy of sword-bearing nobles rather than weak-willed merchants overseeing a better, more stable democracy than then one that we are all currently enjoying in the United States. The Roman Catholic Church was given a privileged status in society, but religious tolerance was the rule of the land. The Commonwealth was home to Jews, Protestants, Poles, Ukrainians, Germans, Armenians, and many others. Pilsudski, in echoing the old Commonwealth, believed that Poland’s minorities could cultivate a devotion and adherence to the government, rather than be forcibly assimilated a la Roman Dmowski and the National Democrats. In Austria, the United States, and Italy, all of which have large, non-white populations, such a pragmatic approach to patriotism can be pursued after massive deportations and the closure of Islamist and racialist organizations like La Raza and the Open Society Foundations.
Call me crazy, but intermarium for the 21st century is one geopolitical goal worth fighting for. By leveraging the rising tide of right-wing populism and dissatisfaction with globalized capital and its libertine social policies, a new intermarium program could begin the process of restoring European and European-derived nation back to the concept of Christendom and subject-hood.