Interesting. This man was quite famous, and incredibly enough, he wrote for my blog for some time. But he did so under a pseudonym, so I never had any idea of who he was. He used to write me from time to time to send me his new stuff. He said he was an academic who had left the US and fled to Eastern Europe.
After resuming his research near the end of the 20th century, Hannan widely travelled in Ukraine, Poland, Russia, and the Balkans. He came to the conclusion that civic cosmopolitanism, divorced from localized ethnic values as embodied in long-lasting ethnic groups (often imagined as nations), failed people, leaving them to the anonymous and dehumanizing economic forces of supply and demand. An epitome of such a situation he saw in his native United States, which, according to him, explained a constant increase in genealogical research in the country, observed since the 1970s. In this line of thinking, a person can find one’s identity only in one’s ethnolinguistic ancestry, not in the technical rationalism of law and economy. Hence, the United States or any other settler state could never become a ‘real ethnic country’. Hannan blovated on this in Why I Left America: Reflections on History, Culture and Religion / Dlaczego wyjechałem z Ameryki, which he published under a pseudonym in 2003, fearful of possible backlash that would bar him permanently from obtaining a position at a Western university.
As a positive alternative to the de-ethnicized United States he posed the ethnic values of Poland in his My Poland: Essays on Polish Identity / Moja Polska. Eseje o polskości from 2005. He did, on occasion, make note of the failings of Polish nationalism and national statehood such as the long-lasting preservation of serfdom and the never-ending quest for ethnolinguistic purity, which led to vast ethnic cleansing in the communist period (1944–1989). He was especially critical of the relentless Polonization of Belarusians, Rusyns (Lemkos), and Ukrainians, who, in his eyes, preserved ‘real Slavic spirituality,’ as encapsulated in Greek Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, and the liturgical language of Church Slavonic.
Hannan chose Poland as his adopted homeland in preference to the Czech Republic, which he perceived as an example of an overexclusive ethnic nationalism, which led to the 1993 breakup of Czechoslovakia, producing this nation-state and another, Slovakia. He qualified any strong-Polonist sentiments by saying that ‘his Poland’ was the southern half of the country skirted by the multilingual, multiethnic, and multiconfessional Carpathians.
Hannan was a character. He absolutely hated Communism and didn’t think much of Jews either. I had a hard time publishing him because, honestly, Hannan was an anti-Semite, though not a particularly virulent one. He opposed the Jews of Poland because during and after the Communist era, Polish Jews had gone on the warpath against the Polish people and the Polish nation.
What I found fascinating was that after 1989, there were perhaps 10,000 Polish Jews left in the whole country, yet one of them owned one of Poland’s largest newspapers. Hannan absolutely hated this man, and indeed this Polish Jewish media magnate spent much of his time dragging the Polish people and their nation and identity through the mud. Hannan felt that since 1945, the Polish Jews had been waging a campaign that could be summed up as “Poles are evil.” Note the similarities to the Jewish War on Whites in the US.
Hannan was very much a traditionalist, and in his favor, I will say that he told me that he was a socialist, but he was not a Communist. I suppose his position could best be summed as a socialist nationalist. He felt that the globalized McWorld had destroyed everything of value that humans had created, and he thought that the only antidote to corporate globalized atomization was local cultures, traditions, religions and strong ethnic identities.
Hannan should not be considered a Polish nationalist. In fact, he opposed mainstream Polish nationalism which seeks to obliterate all other ethnicities and languages in Poland, saying they are all Poles speaking dialects of Polish.
The wars the Poles have waged on the Lemkos, Silesians and Kashubians have a tragic history. Most Polish linguists have been overtly politicized for a very long time. Polish textbook, in particular history books, are some of the most wildly politicized and propagandized in all of Europe. Your average Pole gets a pitiful brainwashed version of an education. Polish nationalists are ferocious, and like all ethnic nationalists, they are stupid, belligerent, ignorant and opposed to facts, science and knowledge.
Hannan opposed Polonization efforts of Belarussians, Ukrainians and Lemkos in Poland.
Hannan told me on numerous occasions that he had to write his political pieces under a pseudonym, as he felt that if he wrote under his real name, he would never be able to get a job at a US university. He hinted that he was mainly afraid that Jewish influence would keep him from getting a job due to his Jewish-critical writings.
He died in 2008. I was informed of this by a friend of his sometime after the fact. I actually liked this fellow. He was a very interesting man. I will see if I can find any of his old essays so I can republish them.