Policy in Poland: the language of scorched earth

Tens of thousands of poles came out recently to rally in support of the independence of justice. During the meetings the writer Jacek Denelle in Warsaw gave a speech about the violent political rhetoric. Denelle is one of the key Polish poets and novelists. In German recently released his novel “Saturn”. In this essay the author writes about how the radicalization of the Polish language.


To understand the true language of our policy inventory. Over the last 15 years in Poland was dominated by the two founded in 2001, the party “law and justice” Jaroslaw Kaczynski and Civic platform of Donald Tusk. Both parties are right. “Law and justice” should be more extreme, nationalistic, religious, and critical course toward Europe, “Civic platform” — most moderate, cosmopolitan and Pro-European. On issues relating to Economics or values, the differences are not as large as one would think, based on mutual hatred.

For eight years (2007-2015) neo-liberal “Civic platform”, which is not without reason criticized the passivity and arrogance, extracted political capital from the view of the party “law and justice” in an insidious manner. Hysteria, exaggeration and conspiracy theories Tusk opposed the so-called policy of “warm running water” — development of infrastructure with EU support, the construction of roads and sports facilities. “Civic platform”, consisting of the progressive wing (in favour of same-sex marriage and IVF) and the conservative wing (under the strong influence of the Catholic Church) any cost avoided debate and without a struggle passed on to others the prerogative of interpretation when they talked about the way the modern society.

“Law and justice” have focused on the degradation of values, the reason of which was, in all probability, the EU warned on refugees, terrorists, parasites and carriers of dangerous diseases. It used the discontent and after the election came to power, including the fact that the separation of the mandate was to win by that many votes had parties that were not included in the Parliament — 37% of votes gave a majority of seats in the Sejm, so that “law and justice” could rule alone.


Language changes occurred during the first period (2005-2007) “Law and justice” when he was proclaimed “the war of origin.” Since the 90-ies it was all about “de-communization” and began in 1997 “lustration”, during which had to be identified, whether politicians, judges or senior officials of the secret staff of the Communist security services.

Opponents, who did not cooperate with the intelligence, pursued a different way — either them regardless of the data archives or judicial decisions continued to blame or accuse them of real or imaginary ancestors. MP Marek Suski said in this connection that the correct attitude ancestors guarantees “genetic patriotism.” A special case was the presidential election campaign of 2005, when Jacek Kursk (then the head of the electoral headquarters of the “Law and justice”, and now head of the propaganda television) has accused Donald Tusk that his grandfather voluntarily joined the ranks of the Wehrmacht. In fact, him, as a prisoner of the concentration camp, forced to join the ranks of the Wehrmacht, and later he escaped to the allied forces. This “grandfather in the Wehrmacht” was probably the decisive factor in the election.

I am not going to discuss self-evident things that everyone is responsible only for their own actions, not the actions of parents or grandparents. But the most interesting in all this is the inconsistency. Categories: Communist, postcommunist, secret employee became completely normal. Analogue of Karl Lueger “Who is a Jew, that I decide” — the party has decided and decides who is the (genetic) a Communist. The son became a Communist in the party “law and justice” the Vice-Prime Minister, the son of Stalin’s criminal was the state Secretary in the Ministry of justice and myself, as a judge, condemning the opposition.

Deputy Stanislav piotrowicz — a onetime member of the Communist party during the martial law Prosecutor presenting the charges, including on political matters, but today plays a leading role in the suppression of an independent judiciary in the name of “decommunization” and urges ironically their opponents, which was partly anti-Communist opposition: “Out of the commune!”

Political events are commented on the language of the Bible


The political scene in Poland still: the basic model consists of a strong leader at the head of the party, alpha male with a strong ego, which is fear of losing power does not admit new leaders, and therefore, the young generation remains faceless. As in the case of a provincial theatre with a small filling, the actors are always on stage, no matter which direction takes effect.

After each shock politicians running from one party to another, the one to whom it caused the greatest insults, now becomes her ally and Vice versa. The Minister of defence, “Law and justice” Radoslaw Sikorski was under the government of the Civic platform Minister of foreign Affairs, his then colleague from the “Civic platform”, the Minister of justice Jaroslav Gowing, today is a Deputy Prime Minister in the government, “Law and justice”. The Champions managed to change a few parties. No wonder the society is tired of these “unsinkable persons” and questioned the honesty of their intentions. Not surprising also that political manners — or rather the lack thereof — most of the political class pronounced.

Language cruelty causes a reaction. Although I do not consider correct the thesis that verbal aggression on both sides of the same strong, but we cannot say that the party “law and justice” to blame. On the other side heard absolutely inexcusable statements, for example, that “Kaczynski you need to shoot and disembowel”, “Kaczynski behaves like a sick murderer” (Janusz Palikot), “I call scum by its name” (władysław Bartoszewski), “let’s go gang” (Radoslaw Sikorski), etc.

In December 2015 Jaroslaw Kaczynski because of the criticism of the new government in the foreign media claimed that “there is a habit to bring Poland abroad.” This “tradition of national betrayal”, which fits the “genetic idea of patriotism” will be “in the genes of some people, the worst sort of poles. This one is the worst grade is currently very active, because he feels threatened”. He continued: politicians, journalists and people from the cultural sector, who criticize the “law and justice”, managed only because of war and communism to get into the elite, she only care about their interests and steal from society. Not surprisingly, this statement caused outrage. Kaczynski has not only refused to apologize, but was radicalized even more, saying to a journalist: “I mean it. The Gestapo officers and members of the national army are of the same kind of people? In my opinion, no.”

So, the person who criticized the new government in the foreign press — as I am now degraded to “Gestapo”.


For the rhetoric of the camp, “Law and justice” April 2010 was an important moment, when the presidential plane crashed near Smolensk, the disaster killed nearly 100 people, including twin brother, Yaroslav, President Lech Kaczynski. The next day after the disaster, there has been a new narrative: it is more did not go on suspicious links, corruption, broken state. As in the medieval legend of king Popiel, who came to power by poisoning twelve of their relatives and Tusk along with Vladimir Putin organized the murder of the elite of the party “law and justice”, to avoid the re-election of Lech Kaczynski. And no matter was on Board the plane were members of different parties, and that the popularity rating of the President was low. The story of the murder symbolically perfectly fit the historical context of Katyn, where 70 years earlier the victims of Stalin’s crimes have fallen more than 20 thousand Polish officers.

Previously Jaroslaw Kaczynski was charged with unproven allegations about the secret forces. And here we are talking about the specific crime and the alleged murderous government. The narrative in a different direction. In parallel with the official Commission, which investigated the crash, worked the Commission of self-proclaimed experts who with the help of Red Bull cans and boiled sausages had a “test” and tried to “prove” that the plane was destroyed from the inside by a bomb or suffered a crash as a result of artificial fog. From the initial remarks of grief developed many months of mourning events, which reminded about the disaster (“crime”), religious-political demonstrations which marked the beginning of the “Smolensk religion” phenomenon that took place between the people’s piety and aggressive propaganda.

Often political events are commented on the language of the Bible. As for politicians of the party “law and justice” it was, among other things about “blessed are the shot.” And in respect of Lech Kaczynski said he was “sitting at the right hand of the father.”

For Kaczynski’s talking about revolution, complete the capture of the state

The veneration is another way. The street and the Internet with lightning speed became radicalized — on posters and in the comments were these words as a murderer, a traitor, a servant of Russia. Tusk turned into “Mr. Tusk”, the Chairman of the Parliament (and the next President has become a “Komorowskiego”). Talked about the Smolensk lie, shade the crime of Smolensk. Because of fear of the consequences of the policy of “Law and justice” avoided direct accusations and was satisfied with a subordinate position.

Only recently, when Jaroslaw Kaczynski repeatedly recalled the words of his brother, which contrast with current political actions, he acted “outside the rules”, he said, and shouted in the Sejm: “I do Not remember the name of my late brother with his treacherous lips, you dealt with him, you killed him, you rascals”. Thus, he expressed that what motivated his actions and that was not previously so explicit demand revenge.

Probably Kaczynski is not interested in the Board itself. It is important to revolution full capture of the state, sole domination, which will allow him, like Titus Andronicus, a cruel revenge imaginary murderers of his brother.

With this kind of mood, of course, develops the mentality of a “besieged fortress”. The opposition is not only opposition, but also a deadly enemy, the Parliament no longer make the laws, he becomes an instrument of revenge. Everywhere the conspiracies that lead to the old Communist structures in the Kremlin, and anyone who hesitates, changes his mind or shows a willingness to compromise, is a traitor, a collaborator or an agent of the enemy. The language and the underlying emotions operate in accordance with a scorched earth policy. There is no space for negotiations, the bridges are crumbling, villages and fields are burned. This is the battlefield of total war.

This has been noticed in the course of protests against the three laws that are inconsistent with the Constitution, which should strengthen the independence of judges. When President Andrzej Duda — who has previously signed all diligently, so got a nickname “ballpoint pen” — vetoed two of them, there was a riot right on the Internet. More recently, the great statesman, now Duda is compared with the Stalinist criminal, it is called an agent, a spy, a traitor, and so on. Their children eat and the language revolution.



The current protests also have the language side. The Minister of internal Affairs said about the mass demonstrations involving thousands of people that among them there were a lot of “walking”. However, his party colleague said the protesters — mostly young and very young people born after 1989 — the “Bolshevik old ghosts and widows Stasi”, which led to status in Facebook about an imaginary career of the young children in the security services.

They talked about the development that may indicate quantitative changes and changes in generations.

In both political camps, politicians and journalists are using discriminatory, sexist, homophobic and racist language. As for the conservatives, it is a little surprising, but the other camp often uses such terms, goes over a small rise and probable homosexuality Kaczynski, spreading stories about his possible mental illness, read instrumentalisieren the poor and women (for example, on the feminist protests — “We support women because they are sexy”).

The younger generation is disappointed not only in the political class as a whole, but in the flat, sexist jokes and the lack of reflection on the part of those who lost in recent elections, but still does not see the fault and does not intend to leave the neoliberal project, which has remained unchanged since the 90-ies. There are protests as No Logo, which did not name the politicians. In Wroclaw on the scene were not allowed the opposition politician, in Poznan politicians thanked for their support and invited them not to the microphone, and to help law enforcement.

Probably scorched-earth tactics resulted in the weakening of both sides, to blockade which makes it impossible to measure the reflection and exchange of arguments and views, so that only the fires of which must occur absolutely new powers, free from the disputes of the opposition is 80 years old, who do not notice that one by one they reach retirement age.