Janusz Korwin-Mikke in 2015
|Member of the Sejm|
25 November 1991 – 31 May 1993
|Member of the European Parliament
1 July 2014
|Born||Janusz Ryszard Korwin-Mikke
27 October 1942
|Political party||KORWiN (2015–present)|
|Spouse(s)||Ewa Mieczkowska (1966-73,div.)
Małgorzata Szmit (1993-?,div.) Dominika Sibiga (2016-)
|Children||Ryszard (born 1968)
Janusz Ryszard Korwin-Mikke (Polish pronunciation: [ˈjanuʂ ˈkɔrvʲin ˈmʲikkɛ], often referred to by his initials JKM, born 27 October 1942) is a libertarian conservative Polish politician and writer, the creator of the Polish libertarian and Eurosceptic political party Coalition for the Renewal of the Republic – Liberty and Hope (KORWiN) and Member of the European Parliament. He was the leader of the Congress of the New Right (KNP), 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 1999 to 2003. Currently he is the chairman of the KORWiN party (along with Przemysław Wipler, Polish MP, and Robert Iwaszkiewicz, MEP), which was formed by part of the Congress of the New Right.
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. In 1965 he was detained by the communist authorities while studying psychology, law, and sociology. In 1968 like other members he was again arrested, jailed and expelled from the university for his participation in student protests. He passed his master's examination without attending any philosophy courses.
In 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, a puppet party subordinate to the communist authorities. 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. Janusz Korwin-Mikke himself has since then frequently denied being an anti-Semite.
Lech Wałęsa appointed him to Solidarity's advisory body, Komitet Obywatelski (Civic Committee).
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 – 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.
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.
Janusz Korwin-Mikke is a libertarian conservative. His economic views are radically libertarian. He frequently refers to such figures as Frédéric Bastiat, Alexis de Tocqueville, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Margaret Thatcher. Korwin-Mikke is a self-declared monarchist and thinks that democracy is the "stupidest form of government ever conceived" where "two bums from under a beer stand have twice more votes than an university professor". He claims that "This leads to idiocy, defraudation and corruption" and "this is how the Athenian democracy ended". He constantly praises Margaret Thatcher for her handling of a colliery closures, and advocates the same heavy handness in dealing with miners in Poland.
In 2008, his blog was the most popular political blog 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.
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. He also claims that women are generally less intelligent than men. To back up his claims, he pointed out that in top 100 chess players there is only one woman. On the other hand, he does not deny women the passive right to vote and he claims that Margaret Thatcher is his political authority and he attended her funeral.
Other provocative statements include his claim that there is no proof that Adolf Hitler was aware of the Holocaust. He also stated that the difference between rape and consensual sex is very subtle. 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.” During the 2012 Summer Paralympics, Korwin-Mikke wrote that the general public should "not see the disabled on television". In 2007 he set up a "Individual Development Foundation" which helps disabled people develop their skills in chess. He proposed that the European Commission's Berlaymont building would be better used as a brothel. In regards 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."
In 2014, Korwin-Mikke was fined by the President of the European Parliament for 'expressing himself in a racist manner'. 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'. 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'.
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. 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.
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. Allegedly, the decision was taken after it had been discovered that he had fathered children out of wedlock.
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.
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 as "human garbage". 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.
His private life has been also a subject of much controversy, specifically within right-wing circles. Despite being self-described conservative (althought not very religious), he seculary married his first wife Ewa Mieczkowska in 1966, they divorced in 1973. She bore him two children Ryszard (born 1968) and Krzysztof (1971). In 1973 he started a relationship with his second, future wife (they married in a religious ceremony in 1993), Małgorzata Szmit. She bore him three children; Kacper (1974), Jacek (1977) and Zuzanna (1982). While still married to Szmit, he fathered three children born outside of their marriage; Korynna (1983), Nadzieja (2011) and Karol (2013). In 2016, he seculary married much younger Dominika Sibiga (born 1986-87), former "miss UPR" and the mother of his two youngest children.
- Ratujmy państwo (Let's Save the Country) 1990
- Nie tylko o Żydach (Not Only About Jews) 1991
- Prowokacja? (Provocation?) 1991
- Wizja parlamentu w nowej konstytucji Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (Vision of parliament in new Polish constitution) 1994
- "Rząd rżnie głupa" – czyli mowy sejmowe (Government playing dumb – Parliament speeches) 1993
- Vademecum ojca (Father's vademecum) 1997
- Niebezpieczne ubezpieczenia (Dangerous insurances) 2000
- Ekonomikka (Economikks) 2001
- Rok 2007 (Year 2007) 2001
- Dekadencja (Decadence) 2002
- Naprawić Polskę? No problem! (Fix Poland? No problem!) 2004
- Podatki – Czyli rzecz o grabieży (Taxes – byword for robbery) 2004
- Bez impasu (Without impasse/finesse)
- Kto tu dymi? (Who is raising a fuss here?) 2007
- Rusofoby w odwrocie (Russophobes on the way out) 2009
- Rząd rżnie głupa (The government is playing dumb) 2013
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