Janusz Korwin-Mikke

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Janusz Korwin-Mikke
MEP
Janusz Korwin-Mikke Sejm 2016.JPG
Janusz Korwin-Mikke in 2015
Member of the European Parliament
In office
1 July 2014 – 1 March 2018
Member of the Sejm
In office
25 November 1991 – 31 May 1993
Constituency Poznań
Member of Parliament
for Silesia
Personal details
Born Janusz Ryszard Korwin-Mikke
(1942-10-27) 27 October 1942 (age 75)
Warsaw, Polish Governorate
Political party Liberty (2015–present)
Other political
affiliations
SD (1962–1982)
UPR (1987–2009)
WiP (2009–2011)
KNP (2011–2015)
KORWiN (2015-present)
Spouse(s) Ewa Mieczkowska (1966–73,div.)
Małgorzata Szmit (1993–?,div.) Dominika Sibiga (2016–)
Children 8
Alma mater University of Warsaw (Master of Philosophy in 1969)
Signature
Website korwin-mikke.pl

Janusz Ryszard Korwin-Mikke (Polish: [ˈjanuʂ ˈkɔrvʲin ˈmʲikkɛ]; born 27 October 1942), often referred to by his initials JKM, is a Polish politician, writer and the founder of the right-wing libertarian and Eurosceptic political party called "Liberty". He has been a Member of the European Parliament from 2014 until 2018. He was the leader of the Congress of the New Right (KNP),[1] which was formed in 2011 from Liberty and Lawfulness, which he led from its formation in 2009, and the Real Politics Union (UPR – Unia Polityki Realnej), which he led from 1990 to 1997 and from 1999 to 2003. Currently, he is the chairman of the party Liberty, which changed its name from KORWiN.

Biography[edit]

Janusz Ryszard Korwin-Mikke was born in German-occupied Warsaw on October 27, 1942. He was the only child of Ryszard Mikke and Maria Rosochacka. His father was the head of an engineering department of the State Aviation Works. After the death of his mother during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, he was under the care of his grandmother and later stepmother. He studied at the Faculty of Mathematics and Faculty of Philosophy of the Warsaw University. For his anti-communist activities, in 1964 he was detained by the communist authorities while studying psychology, law, philosophy and sociology. During the 1968 Polish political crisis, he was again arrested, jailed and expelled from the university for his participation in student protests.[2] Despite his anti-communist activities, JKM was reinstated and allowed to finish his studies with the dean Klemens Szaniawski. He successfully defended his master thesis Metodologiczne aspekty poglądów Stephena Toulmina (eng. Methodological aspects of Stephen Toulmin's views), written under the guide of Henryk Jankowski.[3] He never finished other majors.

In the years 1969–1974 he was a researcher in the Institute of Motor Transport (Instytut Transportu Samochodowego), and then at Warsaw University. In 1978 he established the "Liberal Publishing House" (Oficyna Liberałów), an underground publishing house.

From 1962 to 1982 he was a member of the Democratic Party. In August 1980 he supported the political strike of the Szczecin Shipyard workers, and later he was an adviser of NSZZ Rzemieślników Indywidualnych "Solidarność" (Independent Craftsmen's Union). When he was elected the chairman of a classical liberal political party called Ruch Polityki Realnej (Movement of Real Policy), which in 1989 changed its name to Unia Polityki Realnej (UPR, Union of Real Policy). In 1990 he established a new weekly, Najwyższy Czas! ("It's High Time!"). The paper was named to have published a number of antisemitic articles, some of them by Korwin-Mikke himself, but no exact reference to any particular articles was made.[4] Janusz Korwin-Mikke himself has since then frequently denied being an anti-Semite.[5][6]

Lech Wałęsa appointed him to Solidarity's advisory body, Komitet Obywatelski (Civic Committee).

Korwin-Mikke met with Milton Friedman when Friedman toured Europe advocating free-market policies. Friedman wrote about Janusz Korwin-Mikke in his memoirs:[7]

Janusz Korwin-Mikke, with whom I corresponded, had been active before liberation as an underground publisher, bringing out a translation of Capitalism and Freedom and Hayek's Road to Serfdom, as well as other libertarian literature. Subsequently, he ran for president on a strict libertarian platform. At the time we were in Warsaw, his Union of Real Policy was housed in a former dwelling that was a literal maze of small offices, all occupied by young people actively working on spreading the libertarian gospel. We had very good, lively discussions with them.

— Milton Friedman, Two lucky people: Memoirs by Milton Friedman, Rose. D. Friedman

Korwin-Mikke was a Member of Parliament during the first term of the Sejm of the Third Republic of Poland. He was the originator of the vetting resolution on 28 May 1992, which obliged the Minister of Internal Affairs to disclose the names of all politicians who had been communist secret police agents. The disclosed list contained numerous prominent politicians of most political factions. This led to the government being overthrown by the opposition and the President Lech Walesa.[8]

He was a candidate for the UPR in the Polish presidential election of 1995, obtaining 2.4% of the vote. He was also candidate in 2000 when he got 1.43% of the vote. In the senate by-election in Wrocław in April 2004 he got 18% of the vote, but did not win the seat. In the presidential elections of 2005 he obtained 1.4% of the vote. Running as a candidate of a new party, the self-named "KORWiN", he received 3.3% of the vote and placed fourth in the 2015 presidential election.[9]

Janusz Korwin-Mikke is a libertarian conservative.[10] His economic views are radically libertarian.[11] He frequently refers to such figures as Frédéric Bastiat, Alexis de Tocqueville, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Margaret Thatcher.[12] Korwin-Mikke is a self-declared monarchist and thinks that democracy is the "stupidest form of government ever conceived"[13] where "two bums from under a beer stand have twice as many votes as a university professor".[14] Because of that his initials (JKM) are usually compared to Polish abbreviation of the phrase "his majesty" – Jego Królewska Mość. He claims that "This leads to idiocy, defraudation and corruption" and "this is how the Athenian democracy ended".[14] He constantly praises Margaret Thatcher for her handling of colliery closures, and advocates the same heavy handedness in dealing with miners in Poland.

In 2005, he left UPR and created a new party, Liberty and Lawfulness (Polish: Wolność i Praworządność, WIP).

In 2008, his blog was the most popular political blog in Poland.[15]

Janusz Korwin-Mikke is a former professional contract bridge player. He has authored, together with Andrzej Macieszczak, a popular book on the subject.[16]

Controversy[edit]

During the 2000 presidential campaign in Poland

Korwin-Mikke is a popular public figure in mass media and in the Internet, mainly due to his unusual or eccentric ways of demonstrating his political stances. For instance, together with the Polish musician Krzysztof Skiba, he protested against the high taxes in Poland by eating his tax return in front of the Polish revenue service office.[17]

One of Korwin-Mikke's idiosyncratic claims that caught public attention was him denying the basis for women's suffrage, as according to him most women were not interested in politics anyway and would more often vote for a welfare state.[18] He also claims that women are generally less intelligent than men. However, he also makes it clear that he perceives intelligence as a very specific criterion and that on average, women have better memory and are generally wiser and more patient than men.[19] To back up his claims, he pointed out that in the top 100 chess players there is only one woman.[5] On the other hand, he does not deny women the passive right to vote and he claims that Margaret Thatcher is his political authority; he attended her funeral.[20][21][22]

Other provocative statements include his claim that there is no written proof that Adolf Hitler was aware of the Holocaust.[23] He also stated that the difference between rape and consensual sex is very subtle.[23] He further claimed that: "there is a hypothesis that the attitudes of men are passed to women by way of the semen which penetrates the tissue... now when contraceptives are much more in use, the women become much more independent".[11] During the 2012 Summer Paralympics, Korwin-Mikke wrote that the general public should "not see the disabled on television".[24] In 2007 he set up the "Individual Development Foundation" which helps disabled people develop their skills in chess.[25][26] He proposed that the European Commission's Berlaymont building would be better used as a brothel.[13][27] In regard to welfare, he believes that "if someone gives money to an unemployed person, he should have his hand cut off because he is destroying the morale of the people".[11]

In 2014, Korwin-Mikke was fined by President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz for 'expressing himself in a racist manner'.[28] The decision was taken due to Korwin-Mikke's speech given during the plenary session on 16 July, when Korwin-Mikke had compared the EU employment policy to the policy of John Kennedy's administration and concluded that: 'we have 20 million Europeans who are now negroes of Europe'.[29][30] According to Korwin-Mikke the word 'negroes' was not meant as an offence, but rather referred to the song by John Lennon and Yoko Ono 'Woman is the Nigger of the world'.[31]

At the plenary session of the European Parliament held after the assault at Charlie Hebdo, Korwin-Mikke expressed his dissatisfaction with the public reaction to those events by typing at his laptop 'I am not Charlie. I am for death penalty' and presenting it to the public instead of a sign 'Je suis Charlie' held by the other MEPs.[32] The following day Korwin-Mikke gave a speech stating that 'our enemies are in mosques' and advocating the reinstitution of death penalty, rejection of the acquis communautaire, and the dissolution of the European Union.

Korwin-Mikke during a press conference in the Polish Sejm, 2015

In January 2015, Korwin-Mikke was dismissed from the position of the leader of the Congress of the New Right by one of the party's supreme bodies.

On 15 April 2015 the Polish news outlet Wiadomości quoted Korwin-Mikke that the snipers that shot civilians and police officers during the Maidan protests were trained in Poland and that they acted on behalf of the CIA to provoke riots.[33]

In July 2015, Korwin-Mikke was suspended from the European Parliament after giving a Nazi salute and saying "ein Volk, ein Reich, ein ticket" during a speech to protest against a uniform EU transport ticket.[34]

On 8 September 2015, Korwin-Mikke was giving a speech in European Parliament about the European migrant crisis, during which he described immigrants unwilling to work and only interested in welfare as "human garbage".[35] His opinion met with critical reaction of other MEPs. As a result of this, Korwin-Mikke was once more suspended from the European Parliament for 10 days and fined €3062.[36][37]

On 1 March 2017, Korwin-Mikke sparked controversy by stating that women were paid less than their male counterparts due to them being "smaller, weaker and less intelligent", during a debate in the European Parliament regarding the gender pay gap.[38][39] Two days later, Korwin-Mikke would make further comments stating that there was a stereotype that "women have the same intellectual potential as men,” with a follow up that it “must be destroyed because it is not true.”[40] Later Korwin-Mikke was suspended for 10 days from the plenary sessions as MEP of the European Parliament.[41]

Private life[edit]

Janusz Korwin-Mikke in 2010 with his family and second wife, Małgorzata Szmit

Korwin-Mikke's private life has been a subject of much controversy, especially within right-wing circles, as he has been married three times and has eight children by four women.

He civilly married his first wife, Ewa Mieczkowska, in 1966, divorcing in 1973. They had two children: Ryszard (born 1968) and Krzysztof (born 1971).

In 1973 he started a relationship with Małgorzata Szmit, with whom he had three children: Kacper (born 1974), Jacek (born 1977) and Zuzanna (born 1982); they married in a Catholic ceremony in 1993. While still married to Szmit, he fathered three illegitimate children in adulterous affairs: Korynna (born 1983), Nadzieja (born 2011) and Karol (born 2013).

In 2016, he married Dominika Sibiga, the former "Miss UPR" and the mother of his two youngest children, who is 44 years his junior.[42]

Publications[edit]

Selected works by JKM:

Korwin-Mikke in 2013
  • Brydż (Bridge), 1976
  • Program Liberałów (Liberal's Program(me)), 1979 – Program(me) of a future libertarian-conservative party.
  • Ubezpieczenia (Insurances), 1979 – Critical analysis/evaluation of state-provided social insurances.
  • Katechizm robotnika liberała (Catechism of a liberal worker), 1979 – Explanatory brochure ("FAQ") about the basic tenets of economic liberalism, aimed at the working class.
  • Bez impasu. Elementy logiki i psychologii w brydżu (Without impasse/finesse. Elements of logic and psychology in bridge), 1980
  • Brydż dla początkujących (Bridge for beginners), 1980
  • Gospodarka po sierpniu 1980, czyli co proponuje P. Józef Pińkowski (Economic system after the Gdańsk Agreement, a word about Sir Józef Pińkowski's proporsals), 1980 – Critical analysis/evaluation of a socialist economy, as well as the economic policies of Solidarty movement and the ruling government.
  • Historia i zmiana (History and change), 1982 – On evolution of political systems and their economies.
  • JK-M vs. NN (JKM vs. Anonymous reader), 1985 – Brochure of JKM's polemics with an anonymous reader.
  • Liberum veto, 1986
  • Brydż sportowy (Sport's bridge), 1986
  • Ratujmy państwo (Let's Save the Country), 1990
  • Nie tylko o Żydach (Not Only About Jews), 1991 – About inter-Polish politics.
  • Prowokacja? (Provocation?), 1991 – Combined feuilletons from years 1980–1990, originally published in "Gazeta Handlowa" in the city of Poznań.
  • Vademecum ojca (Father's vademecum), 1991 – Aimed at the young fathers on how to raise one's children.
  • "Rząd rżnie głupa" – czyli mowy sejmowe (The government is playing dumb – Sejm's speeches), 1993
  • Wizja parlamentu w nowej konstytucji Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (Vision of parliament within the new constitution of a Polish Republic), 1994
  • Kara śmierci (Death penalty), 1995 – Analytical, pro-capital punishment brochure.
  • U progu wolności (At the doorstep of freedom/liberty), 1995 – Combined feuilletons from years 1981–1995, originally published in various sources.
  • Niebezpieczne ubezpieczenia (Dangerous insurances), 2000 – Critical analysis/evaluation of insurances and their negative influences on society's progress.
  • Ekonomikka (Economikks), 2001 – Combined feuilletons on economic subjects, chosen by Zdzisław Kościelak.
  • Rok 2007 (Year 2007), 2001 – An account of fictional letters that JKM would write and send to the world's leaders once elected and in power.
  • Dekadencja (Decadence), 2002
  • Naprawić Polskę, no problem (To fix Poland? No problem!), 2004
  • Podatki – Czyli rzecz o grabieży (Taxes – byword for robbery), 2004 – Critical analysis/evaluation of a state imposed taxes, with focus on Poland.
  • Kto tu dymi? (Who is raising a fuss here?), 2007
  • Rusofoby w odwrocie (Russophobes in retreat), 2009 – Analysis and criticism of Polish foreign policy, with focus on Eastern Europe (Belarus, Ukraine, Russia).
  • Świat według Korwina (World according to Korwin), 2012 – Combined feuilletons.
  • Europa według Korwina (Europe according to Korwin), 2016 – Combined feuilletons, strong criticism of European Union.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Korwin-Mikke ousted as leader of New Right". thenews.pl. Polskie Radio. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Ostaszewski, Krzysztof. "The Market Solution to Economic Development in Eastern Europe" (PDF). Illinois State University. The Edwin Mellen Press. Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Cezary Zawalski: Prezes. Janusz Korwin-Mikke – publicysta i polityk. Warszawa: Von Borowiecky, 2003. p. 29-30. ISBN 83-87689-53-X.
  4. ^ Pankowski, Rafal; Kornak, Marcin (2005). "Poland". In Mudde, Cas. Racist Extremism in Central and Eastern Europe. Routledge. p. 151.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ a b "Korwin-Mikke tłumaczy holenderskim mediom, że nie jest antysemitą... po angielsku, z "francuskim" akcentem". 
  6. ^ "Korwin-Mikke: nie jestem antysemitą". 
  7. ^ Two Lucky People: Memoirs – Milton Friedman, Rose. D. Friedman. 
  8. ^ "4 czerwca 1992 r. skończyła się wolność". 
  9. ^ "PiS sit top after election results". New Poland Express. 16 May 2015. Archived from the original on 29 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Lansford, Tom, ed. (2014). Political Handbook of the World 2014. CQ Press. p. 1157. 
  11. ^ a b c Graham-Harrison, Emma (8 November 2014). "Nigel Farage's new friend in Europe: 'When women say no, they don't always mean it'". The Guardian/The Observer. 
  12. ^ Papierz, Magda. "Korwin-Mikke: Potrzebujemy takich przywódców jak Margaret Thatcher! - Najwyższy Czas!". Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  13. ^ a b "Meet the new faces ready to sweep into the European parliament". The Guardian. 26 May 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Janusz Korwin-Mikke w Białymstoku: Dwaj menele mogą więcej niż profesor [FOTO]". 
  15. ^ Blog Janusza Korwin-Mikke najpopularniejszy w Internecie – blog, Janusz Korwin-Mikke. media2.pl (2012-03-27). Retrieved on 2012-04-06.
  16. ^ Brydż, 1976 (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Watra) OCLC 751027874
  17. ^ "Pijawki kłamią". Gość Niedzielny. 08.08.20 (31/2010).  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  18. ^ "Leader of Poland's Euro-sceptic party believes: "Women should not have right to vote."". 7 April 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  19. ^ sihi (2016-07-26), Right-wing: political correctness, Le Pen, antisemitism, intelligence of women, socialism, retrieved 2016-12-29 
  20. ^ "Światowe media piszą o Korwinie na pogrzebie Lady Thatcher". 
  21. ^ "Korwin-Mikke w brytyjskiej prasie. O Tusku i Wałęsie ani słowa". 
  22. ^ "Margaret Thatcher funeral: mourners from far and wide lined the route". 
  23. ^ a b Szczerbiak, Aleks (10 June 2014). "The Congress of the New Right is the latest anti-establishment party to have success in Poland, but it may struggle to secure long-term support". EUROPP — European Politics and Policy blog. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). 
  24. ^ "Politician blasts Paralympics". News Poland Express. 7 September 2012. Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. 
  25. ^ "Fundacja Indywidualnego Kształcenia – Foundation Site". Archived from the original on 2014-07-29. 
  26. ^ "10 faktow o Januszu Korwinie Mikke których nie znacie". 
  27. ^ Day, Matthew (16 May 2014). "EU elections 2014: the Polish party that wants to turn EC building in Brussels into brothel". The Telegraph. 
  28. ^ "Schulz's decision on the inappropriate language of MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke". 
  29. ^ Syal, Rajeev (20 October 2014). "Ukip does deal with far-right, racist Holocaust-denier to save EU funding". The Guardian. 
  30. ^ Day, Matthew (17 July 2014). "Polish MEP says 'n-----' in EU parliament". The Telegraph. 
  31. ^ "Polish far-right MEP blasted for use of 'racist' language - The Parliament Magazine". Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  32. ^ "UKIP's Nigel Farage urges 'Judeo-Christian' defence after Paris attacks". 12 January 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2017 – via www.bbc.com. 
  33. ^ Stanisławska, Joanna (2015-04-15). "Korwin-Mikke: snajperzy z Majdanu byli szkoleni w Polsce" (in Polish). Wiadomości. Retrieved 2015-04-22. 
  34. ^ "MEPs suspended for making Nazi gestures". 27 October 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  35. ^ "Putin supporter in EP calls migrants human garbage Read more on UNIAN: http://www.unian.info/world/1120566-putin-supporter-in-ep-calls-migrants-human-garbage.html". unian.info. Retrieved 11 September 2015.  External link in |title= (help)
  36. ^ "Polish and Italian MEPs sanctioned for Hitler salutes". 27 October 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2017 – via www.bbc.com. 
  37. ^ "Protokoll – Montag, 26. Oktober 2015". www.europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 2015-11-07. 
  38. ^ "Women 'weaker, less intelligent' - Polish MEP Korwin-Mikke". BBC. 3 March 2017. 
  39. ^ "Polish EU lawmaker says women intellectually inferior to men". ap.org. Associated Press. 3 March 2017. Korwin-Mikke has a history of getting attention for outrageous comments... 
  40. ^ "Lawmaker: Women "less intelligent" than men". Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  41. ^ Rankin, Jennifer (2017-03-14). "Polish MEP punished for saying women are less intelligent than men". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-03-16. 
  42. ^ "Kim jest NOWA ŻONA Korwin-Mikkego?". Retrieved 15 March 2017. 

External links[edit]