Imagine a large country in the middle of Europe. Formerly prosperous and independent, now it is only a shabby Russian protectorate. Its economy is in a shambles, its culture decaying; it is ruled by a corrupt oligarchy that takes money and instructions from foreign ambassadors. It seems that nothing can stop the country’s drive toward self-destruction.Norman Davies, Heart of Europe: The past in Poland's present p. 389
But all of a sudden a miracle occurs. The people wake up. They want the right to decide their country’s future. Represented by a new generation of activists and thinkers, they demand essential democratic and libertarian reforms. And, what is even more miraculous, they succeed in implementing some of them. Progressive Western circles applaud, but the governments are slightly upset by the prospect of a disturbance in Europe’s balance of power. The Russian protectors threaten the country with open invasion; the domestic oligarchy is humiliated and furious. Backed by their foreign sponsors, they finally find the only ‘solution’ left to them: they cook up a plot and declare a war against their own people. All previous reforms and democratic laws are abolished; the country is placed under occupation. European governments utter a furtive sigh of relief: order has been restored, the balance of power is intact. Now the reader . . . may ask: . . . but what’s the use of recounting yet again the well-known story of Solidarity? The reader is wrong. I have not summed up the story of 1980-1981 but that of 1791-1793: the story of democratic reforms embodied in the Constitution of the Third of May and their annihilation by a confederacy of Polish magnates backed and financed by Empress Catherine the Great, which in turn led to the Second Partition of Poland.
Con una exposición muy bizarra, cuenta la historia de Polonia desde adelante hacia atrás. Empieza en 1983 y termina en la prehistoria. Y después vuelve a 1980. O sea, una historia ya no cíclica, sino directamente anticíclica. Para muestra sirve lo de arriba. La historia podrá no ser cíclica, pero no quita que en el imaginario así se la represente.