Stary Wiarus (Polish for "old veteran") is the pen name of an Internet essayist and commentator focusing on the issues of Polonia's relationship with Poland and Poland's (not very successful) attempts to transform itself into a more Western society. Born and educated as a historian in Poland, he has lived in Australia since the early 1980s (since 1981 according to one of his blogposts). He writes mostly in Polish, with a few contributions in English.
Stary Wiarus started publishing his commentaries in the late 1990s in the Usenet newsgroups (now Google Groups), primarily soc.culture.polish. He continued as a key contributor to the since defunct Polonian bulletin boards Polonia Michigan, Cyberexpres, and Salon Niezaleznych (salonniezaleznych.org). Since 2006, he writes in his own blog "W Temacie Maci" (wtemaciemaci.salon24.pl).
Since his earliest contributions, Stary Wiarus identified and represented the most vital interests of independent Polonia and warned of the impending problems resulting from its unresolved legal status in Poland in such fundamental matters as citizenship and military service, especially given the high level of corruption in Poland. He was instrumental in raising Polonia's awareness of the hostile "passport trap" policy, including the negative consequences of yielding to Poland's pressure and obtaining its passport with regard to eligibility for security clearance.
His vivid style and uncompromising attitude quickly gained him many dedicated followers as well as a few bitter detractors, and his tireless commitment and leadership - the nickname "St. Wiarus". His writings are very adept at exposing and ridiculing the pomposity and hypocrisy of the Polish society, in particular its political and cultural elites. He mercilessly debunks the Polish illusions of grandeur and self-importance, rooted in the messianic streaks of Polish national character dating back to the period of Romanticism. He effectively contrasts them, as well as the premature aspirations to belong to and to yield influence in the Western culture, with the grim Polish reality of Third World corruption, lawlessness, and backwardness. While strongly anti-Communist, Stary Wiarus is not a supporter of the Polish political "right", and its representatives are also the subject of his criticism because of their false pretenses. He points out that even "right-wing" Polish parties support Big Government statist policies which limit economic and personal freedoms.
In spite of numerous early attempts to goad him to reveal his identity - often by invoking traditional Polish values, now more accepted as outdated for the Internet - Stary Wiarus has maintained his anonymity, disclosing only a few basic biographical details, such as those included in this note.