Authoritarianism on the rise in Poland: There is no freedom without solidarity – VoxEurop (English)

After a new attack from radical nationalists against a LGBT+ march, and as the inequivocable signs of authoritarianism grow every day in Poland – but not only – at the expense of minorities and “traitors”, opposition newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza’s journalists call for supporters of democracy to stand up, and defend its core principles.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://voxeurop.eu/en/2019/poland-5123550

I see nothing special in current situation in Poland. Typical cultural conflict between Liberal-oriented pseudo-intellectual elite and Conservative-Populist majority, supporting ruling Law and Justice. Personally I am a diehard pessimist when it comes to social development in Poland. I despite current Polish society, which is full of conflict, egoism, egotism, egocentrism, no matter of social status or political orientation. Both sides of the current “conflict” are totally hypocritical and full of hubris. Polish society has been divided and conflicted for centuries, I can say, that at least since emerge of Polish feudal model, in 15th Century and slow but continous errosion of political power under Jagiellonian dynasty. Poland needs plenty of time to develop new structure within the society, free of social and economic conflict. I am a pessimistic when it comes to the near-future development in all of economic, cultural areas. Poland is a very backward country with very divided society, Poles hate one another. Personally I prefer to stay away from this and prefer to be oriented more on the outside world, than on our primitive backwater.

The article sounds pessimistic but the Polish society has been evolving - especially young generation has been slowly diverting from faith of their parents (number of young practicing Catholics in Poland has been lowest in history) and is capable of critical views, see e.g. the movie Clergy that was watched by most Poles.

Therefore, I don’t think that excessive external pressure on fast changes can help. Other conservative countries like Ireland, Italy or Spain were able to come through the evolution without external pressure too. And in England we could see that Turing was forced to kill himself because of homosexuality 65 years ago and today he is portrayed on the 50-pound banknote. Changes need some time.

However, it is true that the changes around the world has been slowing - not only in eastern and southern EU members, but we can see countries like the USA, England, Turkey, India, Brazil, South Korea, Philippines, etc. - all of them elected politicians who want to resist fast globalization and forming universal world people out of their nations. I guess the main reason is that development in excessively globalist liberal countries is not attractive for citizens of many countries in the world anyomore. For example, the demographic, social and security situation in old EU members scares citizens of new EU members rather than being a role model. That’s why more people turn to nationalist / populist politicians who promise to preserve the current situation in those countries than they would if situation in Western Europe was shiny. For this reason I think that old EU members can better influence the situation in new EU members indirectly by showing that their models work well (and vice versa - if they don’t work well, the counter-pressure to keep their own ways in new EU members - and around the world in general - will be higher).

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The article is well written and convincing. It’s like a European scream in the evening … *“Authoritarian states flourish not when bad people do bad things, but when good people allow it.”

  • "The world as we knew it (…) will irrevocably collapse in front of our eyes if we turn inwards to our narrow interests focused solely on buying, consuming and digesting. This will open the floodgates to populists and political charlatans alike. " "If we do not stand in solidarity, our freedom will be taken away from us by false prophets who despise it. All of us, to the extent of our abilities, have to voice our protest against evil. "

Reading it I was thinking exactly of the quote from the pastor Niemöller who is closing it *" First they came for the Communists, And I did not speak out, Because I was not a Communist *Then they came for the Socialists And I did not speak out Because I was not a Socialist *Then they came for the trade unionists And I did not speak out Because I was not a trade unionist Then they came for the Jews And I did not speak out Because I was not a Jew ***When they came for me And there was no one left To speak out for me"

However, for our lighting, one aspect is missing: why do Polish citizens turn to their parties ? why are they not vigilant about their liberties, freedom ? Why do they oppose minorities, their different neighbors ?

We could suspect for ourselves, but each country having both its history and its references, it would be important to align the reasons for this movement …

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" The article is well written and convincing. It’s like a European scream in the evening … *“Authoritarian states flourish not when bad people do bad things, but when good people allow it.” "

The argument is arbitrary because bad people always claim they are the good guys. And if they do not let the good guys do good things they say - that’s bad.Good and evil is not easy to distinguish. You have to distinguish the dishonest from the honest. Both will say - the other one is lying. But only one is right. And there it is bad if one was too often caught lying. The euro and the EU are full of lies. Your example with Pastor Niemöller, ok. But who is the minority we should stand for? The refugees? They are already a large minority. Africa quintuples its population every 50 years. They will not remain a minority. That’s what scares us. Africans are our antagonists in many ways. Alone with Islam, its values and ideals. These contradict our values and ideals. Everyone needs to be respected, but that does not exclude recognizing our opponents . I respect Muslims, that’s why I believe they are ready to fight for their values and ideals. Some lack respect.

et que faîtes vous des Africains chrétiens ?

Are you setting a trap for me? Do I want to help Christians and not Muslims? Am I a racist then? I want to help European Christians so they do not get into the same situation as African Christians!

vous me prêtez des intentions que je n’ai pas. Mais vous parliez comme si en Afrique il n’y a que des musulmans : d’où ma question !

That’s true . You’re right. I’m sorry. I am worried about Africa. Far too high birth rates, and no chance to give these many people a decent future. A huge problem, and nobody calls it. This inevitably ends in disaster and no world climate can prevent that. May sound paranoid .I wish it was that.

Il y a quelques points que vous ne savez peut-être pas quand vous pensez à la démographie africaine. Effectivement certaines familles en Afrique font beaucoup d’enfants. Par contre les parents qui sont allés à l’école et qui ont une situation stable, en font moins. Il y a aussi une différence entre les familles selon les religions. Dans les familles pauvres également faire des enfants, c’est garantir une génération, et aussi garantir “une retraite” (une subsistance) pour les parents (comme autre fois chez nous en Europe). C’est un système économique.

Mais un autre point qui est important dans la démographie africaine ce sont les épidémies. Ébola, SIDA, rougeole, choléra, dysenterie, tuberculose, et autres tuent beaucoup de personnes adultes, font des handicapés enfants, la mortalité infantile est forte dans certaines zones. Le moyen d’y remédier est de faire des enfants pour que quelques uns survivent. Je ne défends pas, j’explique.

Le problème aussi est que beaucoup de dirigeants africains ne développent ni n’améliorent la vie de leurs habitants. Les aides, les ressources ne servent pas les pays. Nous envoyons des feuilletons (séries) dans lesquelles la vie matérielle semblent un paradis (en dépit des intrigues). Cela fait rêver. Alors ceux qui ont la force, ceux qui sont mandatés par leur famille tentent le grand voyage par leurs propres moyens vers l’Europe. Les femmes vendent leurs bijoux en or ou en argent pour financer une partie de l’expédition hasardeuse ou elles s’endettent fortement. Les jeunes qui partent sont une richesse en moins pour leur pays. Une dette pour les familles. Cela aussi est un désastre pour le continent africain. Et je ne vous raconte pas tout, pour ne pas saouler. C’est seulement une description de certaines situations. Cela ne veut pas dire, quel bonheur d’être envahi… Les politiques français savent tout cela et ont perpétué un système que l’on nomme ici France-Afrique qui cautionne, finance le non-développement des pays francophones par exemple. Nous, citoyens français payons. Les citoyens africains ne constatent aucune amélioration depuis l’indépendance et les fonds versés. Une copine africaine me disait, sous la colonisation, nous n’étions pas des citoyens, les productions allaient au bénéfice de la France, mais il y avait des hôpitaux, des dispensaires, des écoles, une administration. Maintenant les productions servent quelques uns et il n’y a plus d’infrastructure pour les citoyens. Voilà quelques facettes du problème, telles que je les comprends. Les théories du Grand Remplacement (dont l’origine est Yankee peut-être ?) ne donnent pas toujours les élèments de la situation. bien cordialement

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There are reasons for everything, sometimes even good reasons. Unfortunately that does not change the problem.