New Poland


Zdzisław Krasnodębski

Gazeta Polska Codziennie 17/10/2011

[Translation by – Agata Czarniak]


Professor Zdzisław Krasnodębski is a Polish sociologist and a philosopher. Although he is an academic at Bremen University, he stays abreast of the current situation in Poland. He publishes his articles and comments in both Polish and foreign press. He firmly talks on the issues of his native country and he is deeply concerned about his motherland. In this article not only he confirms this concern, but also makes a link between this text and his latest book called ‘The Biggest Miracle We Can Get’. By reminding the mission of John Paul II, he is appealed in it to his Polish compatriots in 2011 by saying - ‘The Spirit has already done his job. Now it is our turn’.


And what does he reckon about the results of general election? [Introduction by Freedom of Speech Freedom of Image 17/10/2011]


The Poles made their choice. They decided what the Poland should look like in the next four (or maybe even forty) years, for these elections have presumably determined the character of Poland for many decades ahead. And only a staggering event or a great miracle could change it. It did not happen because of media or Moscow, let alone Berlin.  Poles themselves made that decision and chose this government consciously and deliberately. Some of them chose it only by not participating in the vote. Apparently they considered the policy of a ruling party as bearable at least.


Now we cannot comfort or justify ourselves, as we did that under the communist rule. Back then a belief that the choice was imposed on us by the authorities and that we did not have any alternative was very common. But this time is different. We made our choice and we will have to suffer the consequences of it. The Poles supported the party that was not even going to keep its election promises from the campaign of 2007. They gave power the party which was declaring from the very beginning that was in favor of the post politics - an open political cynicism. The Poles trusted the party that specialized in covering its numerous affairs over corruption (buying votes, election scams, changing bills due to buddy-buddy lobbyists). Finally, the Poles chose people who are incapable of ruling, who are dreadfully incompetent, but who do know how to make themselves and their friends rich.


They re-elected people who are politically responsible for death of President Lech Kaczyński and his spouse Maria, for death of ministers and generals, and other remarkable persons. They chose the authorities that had no moral doubts when it came to playing against their own President only so they could be praised by Russian government. They were also capable of abetting foreign press in attacking their political opponents (as it happened with Mr. Kaczyński and German media). They opted for people who were caught lying on Smolensk investigation on numerous occasions. And now Ewa Kopacz, who officially lied about examining the scene of the Smolensk catastrophe, will be awarded and will become the Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland. Poles voted for people who have bullied and kept under surveillance its society, who have restricted freedom of speech and freedom of gather in public, who fired from public television journalists who were criticizing the government.


But re-electing Civic Platform (PO) is not the only thing that amazes me, as the history of new parties is also intriguing. The ‘refugees’ from Law and Justice (PiS) were utterly defeated in those elections. Their spectacular failure proved that a pretty face, willingness to compromise, and alleged expertise are not enough to achieve a political success. The defeat of Poland Comes First (PJN) is a failure of ‘the myth of the third way’. It is also a failure of the myth of ‘sensible right-wing’; the myth which was built on the belief that PiS has been losing the elections only due to its controversial and reputedly radical leader.


Palikot (who was previously in PO) and his success are a proof that something different is important for the public opinion. Primitive behavior, insolence, wrangle and shady business are something that is desirable in Poland. This is also what the Polish ‘left-wing’ looks like – the poor are left to themselves as everybody cares only for big fish and their dodgy business. And let’s not forget about praising the promiscuity as one of the indicators of Polish ‘left-wing’.


No wonder that Ryszard Kalisz, who is said to become a new Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) leader, was considering a membership in Palikot’s Movement. But Palikot is not only a Civic Platform’s child, he is also a ‘product’ of so called Łagiewnicki Church – priests who are so desperate to brown nose the authorities that they are willing to remove crucifixes from public areas with their own bare hands. Also voting for Kazimierz Kutz by citizens of Katowice was a proof that people do not need competent and skilled MP’s; they want the primitive ones. And electing Bogdan Klich (a former minister of defense, who left his post in disgrace), by citizens of Cracow indicates that Polish voter have neither shame nor moral doubts.


If we look realistically at the vote’s results, we can see that Law and Justice made the most of it. The best polls gave the party 31-32 %. But there were also surveys with only 18 % of support. There was a strong belief that due to a good campaign PiS could gain few more percents. But it was a false hope. Now, while facing the election’s results (both presidential of 2010 and parliamentary of 2011), we have to admit that a new era in a Polish history has begun. 10 April 2010 was a turning point. And now, like it has always been, Poland’s faith will depend on courage and determination of a minority. And the foreseeable future will tell, if there is any public space left for starting the fight for a better tomorrow.