On October 15, elections were held in Poland. Due to the lack of coalition abilities, PiS lost it. The new government in a broad coalition of KO, Third Way and the Left came to power under the slogans of restoring the rule of law and observing the Constitution, but its first actions showed that it was unable to make any changes in accordance with the letter of the law contained in the Constitution.
Currently, we are dealing with judicial dualism, where individual courts do not recognize each other's judgments. The chambers of the Supreme Court, established to pay particular attention to the consistency of case law in the Polish judicial system, issue two different and contradictory decisions in the same case. The Constitutional Tribunal is not recognized by the new government. The pardon granted by the President of the Republic of Poland is also not recognized by the new government. Legal interpretation is not the law itself, but is determined by various "experts", where the quality of their analyses depends on their ideological orientation.
A separate issue is the actions of the police, who are involved in seizing buildings and arresting MPs without presenting the appropriate documents or following the procedures applicable to democratic countries. The example of the police entering the Presidential Palace, where the National Security Bureau is located, is a shock from the point of view of a journalist living in the United States. Each such action at the White House in Washington would end with the death of the intruders at the hands of Secret Service agents. These are the procedures for agents recruited from other American services protecting the White House. The basis for protecting the President of the United States is complete trust in a given agent, and the agent will not hesitate to risk his own life to save the president. No other formation may operate on the White House premises. The action of the Warsaw police and government security service is completely disqualifying at this point. The procedures for threatening the president's life (despite his absence) and the security of the National Security Bureau were violated.
The takeover of the media is another shocking case. Appropriate legal solutions are constantly being sought, as clearly stated in the words of Minister Bodnar: "we are looking for some legal basis." To sum up: the new government announced: "bridging the divisions" and the first weeks of government revealed the will to settle accounts through illegal actions that were in clear contradiction to the rule of law and compliance with the Constitution.
I am referring to the March Biden-Scholtz meeting in Washington, where important arrangements were most likely reached in a face-to-face conversation. One of these issues was most likely the issue of the extinction of international support for the PiS government by both countries. From that moment on, Ambassador Marek Brzeziński's decisive coldness towards the PiS government could be noticed. The unfortunate September statement by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki that Poland no longer transfers weapons to the Ukraine added fuel to the fire.
Today, neither the European Union nor Ambassador Brzeziński will say a word about the lawlessness of the actions of the new government in Warsaw, and the Ambassador's meetings with Minister Bodnar only make the actions of the new government more credible. You could say "hypocrisy", but it can be described as real politics. One thing is certain: if there was a strong pro-Polish lobbying in the USA, which is demanded by the American Polonia, both the attitude of the American administration towards the Polish government and the reactions of various ambassadors would be completely different today.
Pro-Polish lobbying was formed spontaneously as a reaction to the American Act 447. Back then, American Poles fought to avoid a threat to Poland by preventing the passage of Act 447. I wrote about it in Solidarity Weekly: "The House of Representatives of the United States Congress passed the Senate bill S.447 on the restitution of Jewish property and compensation payments for the so-called heirless property. It will certainly go down in history as the largest heist of lawyers and banksters from New York against the Polish state treasury with the professional silence of the Polish side. Now I will add that the initiative of the American Polish community weakened significantly after the visit of the then Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marek Magierowski, to the USA. He met with representatives of this Polish initiative. After the meeting, many Polish communities withdrew from active participation in the campaign.
From that moment on, any political activities with the Polish community were avoided, and a narrative was constructed in Warsaw about the Polish community's alleged inability to cooperate and its quarrelsome nature. I myself have heard phrases expressed by important representatives of "Good Change" (PiS, the Law and Order Party) that the Polish community is "conflicted and difficult to cooperate with." After this situation, the topic of the Polish diaspora disappeared from the narrative of the Polish media in Warsaw, and this state of affairs continues to this day. The inability to cooperate with its diaspora and the lack of political will in Warsaw excluded the Polish diaspora from any participation in Polish political life.
Today in the US, instead of the entire Republican party influencing the Biden administration, there is only one fair-minded Republican senator, JD Vance from Ohio, who stated that the Polish government's actions call into question the government's commitment to the rule of law and media freedom, and in a letter to the Secretary of State Antony Blinken's USA asks the US administration to put pressure on Donald Tusk's government to reconsider the changes made to TVP.
"A Limited State of Emergency"
PiS's weakness is the lack of a correct diagnosis of why it lost the election and of building a new narrative based on it that would appeal to all Poles, not only to its concrete electorate, and opening up to new opinion-forming groups.
However, the most accurate description of the current situation in Poland is by former PO politician and current political commentator Jan Maria Rokita, who analyzes the actions of the current Polish authorities in Teologia Polityczna. Rokita points out that we are dealing with a "crisis of the rule of procedure", which "is the first shock of this scale to the entire system in post-war Europe".
Rokita further says: this crisis "brings harbingers of a political change of historical significance. From this historical perspective, two aspects of this crisis are particularly interesting because they have the character of precedents." The first of them is "an innovative modus operandi used by the new authorities in Poland, which I would like to call a 'limited state of emergency' ... As the case of radio and television shows, it was used in a limited way only for one legislative act (about the media), the effect of which was suspended by one of the ministers de facto, without announcing it de jure," explains the former MP.
"The second precedent aspect is a hitherto unknown, and (as far as my knowledge reaches) unknown within the horizon of the entire European modernity, a case of questioning the legal force of key political institutions of a state, including courts established under its legislation, now proclaimed 'non-courts' " – writes Jan Maria Rokita. Concluding, Rokita further writes: "The scale of the attack on the rule of law that the Polish state is now facing is, in this sense, a new phenomenon and marks a completely new era on our continent."
The lack of reaction from the European Union and the Washington administration suggests tacit acceptance of a specific form of the latest experiment of liberal-left autocracy in Poland. We are seeing the twilight of the liberal-left experiment around the world. Joshua Kurlantzick perfectly analyzes this process in his book entitled: “Democracy in Retreat: The Revolt of the Middle Class and the Worldwide Decline of Representative Government” (Council on Foreign Relations Books). The prevailing model of liberal democracy assumed that with economic development, nations would also become more democratic - especially when an active middle class would develop. This assumption underlies the expansion of the increasingly federalistic European Union and a significant part of American Democrats, the Department of State and US foreign policy. Positive examples of this assumption are countries such as South Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan.
Perfect examples against liberal democracy are the completely unsuccessful attempts to implement it in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and throughout the Middle East. Another important fact is the rejection of liberal democracy by the southern countries. The enlargement of the BRICs countries is a great illustration of the rejection of the liberal democratic model. It involves rejecting the development model based on the formula: money for ideological cultural models. Today, Agata Bielik-Robson, a philosopher associated with the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, a professor at the University of Nottingham, a liberal journalist, says the following: "The 'liberal gang' is destroying itself."
We must all realize that what the world will look like in the near future depends on the presidential elections in the United States. We must also realize that Trump's likely victory carries the risk of even greater chaos. And if the United States decided on a policy of isolationism, with the United States leaving NATO and the UN, it would bring completely new threats to Poland. Therefore, it is necessary to have professional pro-Polish lobbying in the United States.
As Rokita says: there is a "limited state of emergency" in Poland. The number one target is the institution of the President of the Republic of Poland. We remember well how President Lech Kaczyński was attacked. The attack on President Duda will be much greater, and calls for shortening his term of office cannot be ignored. .
PiS lost these elections by its own doing and it is high time to draw conclusions from it. To dream of returning to power, they need to create a vision of Poland for all Poles. Locking oneself within one's own solid electorate is just the proverbial nail in the coffin. So let's talk about the CPK (pol. Centralny Port Komunikacyjny, Central Communication Port), the port in Świnoujście, north-south connections, and other development projects. Let's invite all experts from the left and right to cooperate, let's bridge the divisions instead of digging new ditches. Let's build a civil society based on the vision of the state's development and its role in this part of the world. There are 60 million of us around the world. It's time to popularize this idea in the media. It is time for Poland to build a geopolitical project of a country of freedom and solidarity that would be attractive in this part of the world.
It is worth realizing that legal dualism in Poland is the result of imperfect law created since the Round Table era. We must realize that this imperfect law was created by imperfect legislators, i.e. the Polish political elite. It cannot be that the Minister of Justice seeks legal opinions to make his decisions. Its decisions must result from clear and precise Polish law. Hence, there is a clear premise that Poland needs a new constitution that does not follow the sorry results of the Round Table agreements. Poland needs a new constitution comparable to the Constitution of May 3.
The Polish raison d'état has so far been built on an important fragment of the national poem: "Pan Tadeusz" and its heroes, about whom Adam Mickiewicz wrote not without love, but sarcastically: "We will not run out of sabers, the nobility will get on the horse, I with my son-in-law at the head, and? - somehow we will all manage!". Nothing is ever professionally planned and prepared in accordance with the law. Everything is a constant improvisation of two men who hate each other, sprinkled with intrigue and collecting "hooks" on everyone. It's time to build a professional civil society, with think tanks, non-ideological university centers and other institutions where there should be a place for the creative, new Polish intelligentsia.
Translated from Polish by Andrew Woźniewicz.