The rule of the Law and Justice (PiS) government is harmful. There is no doubt about it. Yet, pointing the finger at the party as the only entity that destroys freedom in Poland is a lie.
The Law and Justice party did not win the election in 2015 because it had had a good political program, but because those who were supposed to defend freedom turned out not to be too devoted to their cause.
Two Reasons of PiS Success
There are two main reasons for the victory of PiS. The first is economic negligence of former governments contrasted with the rhetoric of success that did not match the reality. The poor and the rich have always existed. Yet, if the former see that the latter squander their money while at the same time claiming how well-off is everyone – a rebellion is inevitable.
The second reason is neglecting political awareness of the citizens. Polish parties such as Law and Justice National Movement (RN) are based – at least to some extent – on Catholicism. Meanwhile, for an average politically aware person who enjoys their freedom Catholicism is unacceptable. So if all the voters who ahead of the election supported Civic Platform (PO) were to a sufficient degree aware politically, the moment they grew tired or ashamed of this party they were more likely to vote for the Nowoczesna party, Razem or any other party that loosely falls in the category of a liberal party instead.
These political parties would not have accepted as invasive actions as PiS has. It would also be much easier for them to come to an understanding. Their voters would definitely not support PiS – perceiving the party as a threat to their freedom.
Alas, the people have not yet been made aware of the fact that Catholicism might pose a problem. They remain mainly oblivious to its extremely anti-freedom political doctrine, which does not care about the well-being of the Polish state, in which it had entrenched itself. (Catholic Church is therefore a kind of a mixture of political and financial influence, which even if it does work for the benefit of others, it focuses its efforts on the rich). They have not been made to realize that its expansion, although creeping in nature, will continue – always in the same direction. They have not been taught about what had happened in the states where the catholic option took over the power.
For the majority of Poles Catholicism is thus but some religion that exists somewhere on the fringes of their lives, which is based on sprinkling Easter eggs with holy water and christening children. Many who intended to use their vote as a protest vote thus voted for the catholic PiS party, which was considered an enemy of the PO party. It was, however, not treated as a threat to voters’ freedom.
This consolidation of the power of Catholicism in Poland was supported also by politicians from various parties. These were the politicians who succumbed to the financial demands of the Catholic Church, granting it control over yet another area of influence, ignoring the catholic expansion in the education system. These are the people who try to be perceived as the „defenders of democracy” (who at the same time defend the catholic influence in Poland) – the fact that only further contributes to this bizzarre state of affairs.
“Defenders of Democracy”
Not to mention the fact that Poland has always been not only a democratoid, but also a consolidated democracy. One of the best known examples of such „democrats” is Mr Andrzej Rzepliński, former president of the Constitutional Tribunal in Poland.
A man who – while still being the president of the Constitutional Tribunal – issued such biased decisions to the benefit of the Catholic Church that he was even given a medal by Vatican. Many people, however, still defend him, believing him to be a symbol of the democratic order. Yet, one would have to be either a complete ignoramus or a liar to call the man who was rewarded for the destruction of democracy its „defender”.
PiS gets its inspiration and legitimization for its anti-democratic rule from the Catholic Church and its doctrine of condemning both the democracy itself (Pope Leo XIII’s Diuturnum illud) and individual rights necessary for its efficient functioning – such as freedom of speech (Pope Gregory XVI: Mirari vos).
Destroying judiciary, economy, defense. Generous financial support granted to catholic organizations. Using public institutions to attack political rivals. All this is coherent with a vision of building a catholic state and was entirely predictable. It is therefore not only the Law and Justice party and Catholic Church that are to blame for these developments, but also all those who due to their ignorance and negligence contributed to the development of this situation. Both, the negligent politicians and average citizens who claimed that they do not see anything wrong in pursuing a catholic order in the country.
The article was originally published in Polish at: https://liberte.pl/rzady-pis-i-obroncy-demokracji/
Translated by Olga Łabendowicz