08 September 2016

The Guardian: “The conspiracy theorists who have taken over Poland”

This circular reasoning helps to make sense of Jarosław’s success in building an electoral coalition around the notion of the układ. The identification of Poland’s liberals with an anti-Polish conspiracy means that one can either begin by believing in the układ, and therefore be convinced of the need to purge the state of liberal influence, or begin by wishing to purge the state of liberal influence, and therefore have an interest in pretending to believe in the układ. The result is a peculiar alliance between the paranoid and the cynical that Poles and foreigners alike struggle to understand.

It is no coincidence that faith in communism depended on exactly the same kind of logic. Contempt for the rule of law; the identification of a minority faction with the interests of the nation; the separation of power from office by constructing extra-legal chains of command; the demonisation of opponents and purges of state structures; an ideological re-interpretation of history: these are all legacies of communist rule. A quarter of a century after the end of communism, the alleged hold of communists over the Polish state is still being used as a pretext to deploy communist-era methods to take hold of the Polish state.

Christian Davies

Concerning development for Poland’s political system and society – unfortunately with many parallels in today’s world, from Trump to Brexit to Turkey.

The ironic side of the story: while openly rejecting everything and everyone even remotely related to the communist regime, the Law and Justice party is employing communist tactics to gain control, thereby threatening to reverse recent advances in democracy and freedom.

Candles lit in tribute to Lech Kaczyński in 2010
Candles lit in tribute to Lech Kaczyński outside the presidential palace in Warsaw, after his death in the 2010 Smolensk air crash. Photograph: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

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