Three elements seem to have played a decisive role in this: voluntary servitude, the Polish brand of inferiority complex, and a deep-seated Polish anti-Semitism and more general exclusivism.
Can I imagine a George Bush Fund? A Dan Quayle Fund? Even a Ted Kennedy or a Dan Rostenkowski Fund? How many Americans, old or young, would donate their wedding bands, or even their talents “for the good of the Republic”?
The Polish government’s wholesale refusal to admit any guilt or own up to mistakes speaks to a deep-seated immaturity. Recently, when the US secretary of state called President Andrzej Duda to oppose the government’s controversial historical memory law, Duda wouldn’t answer the phone, essentially sticking his fingers in his ears.
What are we to call the political project that emerges from the drama directed by Kaczyński? Maciej Gdula calls it “new authoritarianism”. It is “new” because, contrary to traditional dictatorships, it harnesses the democratic imaginary, and the practice of democracy.
“The East Germans are angry now with Poles. Poles come to East Berlin and buy up all the food, then sell it in West Berlin, where Easterners cannot go, at a big profit.”
“Each factory was a cacophony of noise, a cloud of noxious vapor, a sewer of pollution. Each factory devoured people whole, laborers and managers both.” The ninth chapter of the book by David R. Pichaske about Poland between 1989 and 1991.
The massive protests taking place in Slovakia lack a clear direction, and the opposition is not exactly a shining example of liberal democracy either.